The Mary Jane is a classic and beloved shoe style that has continued to evolve and adapt to suit modern markets, ensuring that it remains a popular shoe choice for wearers of all ages! From infants and young children to adults and mature-aged consumers, this versatile shoe proves that simple and elegant never goes out of style!
Mary Jane shoes are easily recognizable for their typically closed toe, low cut style with the signature buckled strap over the instep ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. This somewhat simple but clever design has been an ever-popular choice for both children and adults alike since the 1920’s, with the shoe constantly evolving to be inclusive for a variety of fashion styles.
While the style of the shoe had been around for quite a while beforehand, the conception of the Mary Jane as we know it now commenced from a simple beginning with a character named Mary Jane in American Richard Felton Outcault’s comic strip Buster Brown. This comic, featuring the titular young boy Buster Brown and his friend Mary Jane, was used during the early 20th Century as advertising for the Brown Shoe Company to showcase their range of unisex children’s shoes. This clever marketing tool became a well-known and integral part of fashion history, paving the way for the name Mary Jane to become synonymous with the classic children’s style of buckled shoe. Still a popular style today and a staple wardrobe choice for many parents, children’s Mary Jane’s are available for kids of all ages as not only a cute addition to their look, but as a functional shoe comfortable for wear at any age. Largely accessible in the classic black, red, or brown, a generous amount of colour and texture options from neon and pastels to glitters to suedes are also widely available, catering to all your child’s style needs! Furthermore, with a history as one of the most popular children’s shoe styles, this shoe has been a major influence on the modern school footwear styles. As a gender-neutral shoe that covers the foot well while still being visually pleasing, the availability of low-cost options alongside more costly high-end styles ensure consumers of all kinds can enjoy this style no matter what the occasion!
However, despite the continued popularity among the younger wearers, Mary Jane’s are not just a style aimed towards children! With so many new variations of the classic Mary Jane having evolved over the last hundred years, they are also a popular shoe for adults to wear and enjoy at many different stages of life. From classic demure low-heeled styles to playful formal heels, and even sexy alternative styles, the Mary Jane is a versatile piece of footwear appropriate for all occasions.
With so many different styles of this classic shoe available in the market, the Mary Jane is a true master of style longevity! While very popular in mainstream fashion for both every day and specialty wear, there are many style sub-cultures that have successfully adapted their own version of the Mary Jane style to suit their specific needs! Popular in kitten heel styles for both the Rockabilly and Lolita fashion scenes, the vintage feel of this shoe is ideal for adding glamour and a cool feel to your look! A nostalgic representation of an era gone by, the Mary Jane’s of this style are reminiscent of the Flappers of 1920’s America, with matte uppers and thick heels allowing for dancing and socializing the night away in style! Also, as a very popular addition among the Goth and Punk subculture, the typically black shoe is often paired with white socks at various heights up the leg to add a hint of childish innocence that contrasts the otherwise dramatic clothing and make-up style.
Available in flats, kitten heels, or even in a stiletto, the Mary Jane shoe is a style you can enjoy at every stage of your life. From childhood and adolescence to adulthood and retirement, the flattering style and versatility of this shoes means that there is a style of Mary Jane heels available to suit everyone! Whether you are looking for a vintage touch to your wedding day, a demure work appropriate shoe, or just something flattering to add to your wardrobe, the Mary Jane is always an on-trend choice.