We see a smattering of Mary Jane footwear every season, and it’s a fringe trend at the moment. This shoe has a signature strap across the top of the foot, which is how it stays securely in position. Some styles have multiple straps running across the instep of the foot. Some have a T-strap. The strap feature of Mary Janes is handy when strapless shoes like loafers, pumps, and ballet flats tend to fall off your feet.

Mary Janes can be dainty and refined, or chunky. They can be heeled, platformed, or flat. Some have pointy and round toes, while others are square. Some are dressy and others casual. Some are backless and shaped like a mule. Others are shaped like pumps. And some are shaped like sneakers. They come in any colour or pattern. The collection shows an assortment of Mary Janes.

Mary-Jane-style footwear is not common with my clientele friends and family. It might be likely to remain a fringe trend for now. I suspect that some find the vibe a bit child-like, sweet and cutesy, which can be true of some of the round-toe flat versions. Or that the strap across the instep of the foot creates an unattractive horizontally cutting line on the lower leg. Maybe the strap is uncomfortable and overly maximal.

If these are your concerns, here are some ways to address them. Choose Mary Janes that look less like a little girl’s shoe. A less round toe, and a bit of a heel is one way to go. Keeping Mary Janes low contrast to your skin tone, socks or hosiery will temper the horizontally cutting line of the strap. And go for a simple silhouette if there’s too much going on with the addition of the strap.

I’ve worn Mary Janes my whole life. As a very little girl, I wore white Mary Janes because my Mum put me in them. From ages 5 to 17, I wore brown Mary Jane Clarks five times a week because they were part of my school uniform. I’ve had plenty others since then. In red, white, and green, and even had a black patent pair in the ‘90s. They were refined dressier styles with almond, round, or snip toes, and low block heels or flats. I didn’t wear chunky Mary Janes, but sometimes the buckles were big and made a statement.

I adore Mary Janes and vote YAY. I find them interesting, pretty, practical, and deliciously modern retro. I don’t have any at the moment, but will look at them next year as an option to wear instead of ballet flats. Personally, I fancy the look of these Mary Janes, and would wear them in the Spring and Summer.

Over to you. Do you like Mary Janes, and do you wear them?