If You Buy One New Thing This Season, Make It a Pair of Mary Janes

These surprisingly versatile shoes are in their comeback era.

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One New Thing: Mary Janes

Getty Images/ InStyle

If the footwear landscape were a group chat, it would probably look a little something like this: Sneakers are the always-on, cool friend that flies under the radar while low key carrying the conversation on their back. Sky-high platforms are the sassy rule breaker who swoops in every once in a while with a devastating one-liner. Mary Janes, on the other hand, would be the friend that’s hard to nail down (which is part of their charm). They’re the one absolutely everyone loves but can never quite guess what they’ll do next — and, to be honest, that’s the only proper way to describe this majorly universally flattering spring 2023 shoe trend. They are the moment, after all.

Mary Janes have been on the fashion scene forever, but in recent years, there’s been a major spike in interest around this ultra-cute baby doll style. Marina Larroudé, designer of It-girl shoe brand Larroudé, notes this increase in popularity is partly due to the fact that people are returning to the office and looking for a comfy but still stylish shoe option for the workday.

“As much as I love sneakers, women are seeking a more feminine and sophisticated footwear option when getting dressed that can still be casual,” Larroudé tells InStyle. “Mary Janes are just that: easy but elevated.”

On the spring and summer 2023 runways last year, designers like Sandy Liang, Emilia Wickstead, and Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada all made a case for Mary Janes, too, with the latter presenting a whopping 45 (out of 55) looks that included the iconic shoes. And we can see why: Mary Janes are a smart buy. They’re incredibly versatile, meaning you can wear them with anything and everything, and the most recent Prada show proves it: Models wore Mary Janes with practically every wardrobe essential imaginable — from skinny trousers to flowy silk dresses to full-on leather looks — showing just how multi-faceted the style can be. 

“As much as I love sneakers, women are seeking a more feminine and sophisticated footwear option when getting dressed that can still be casual. Mary Janes are just that: easy but elevated.” -Marina Larroudé, founder of Larroudé

Given the sheer number of ways you can wear them, Mary Janes are obviously worthy of a spot in your rotation, and celebs seem to feel the same. Amal Clooney paired hers with an ultra-short, mod-inspired dress; Kelly Ripa wore sparkly Miu Miu Mary Janes with a maxi dress; and Taylor Swift styled a sleek black version with baggy jeans and a tee.

They’re also technically multi-season shoes, which means you can slip into them in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. For the latter two, simply add tights or socks for extra warmth — a beloved styling choice among fashion girls and celebrities alike — and you’ll never have to worry about getting cold feet. Think: crew socks or sheer stockings, depending on the look and feel you’re going for.

Larroudé agrees that Mary Janes are a highly versatile footwear pick. “I just got back from a weeklong vacation with my family and only packed my Blair Ballet Flats in linen with daisy embroidery,” she says. “They worked so well from day to night and with everything from jeans, dresses, mini skirts, you name it! They’re one of those styles that revitalize any outfit.”

Given the popularity of Mary Janes, it’s also fitting that their signature design, which most notably includes a practical front strap that keeps the shoes securely on your feet, has been reimagined in a number of ways. There is still an abundance of tried-and-true Mary Janes styles, like this adorable, closed-toed pair from Reformation, but designers have also churned out alternate versions. You’ll now find options with chunky soles, like these Dr. Martens; styles with wedge heels and ultra pointy toes, à la Maeve; or in the form of elevated flats. While the overall designs certainly differ, the inherent charm of Mary Janes is undeniable — and it’s clearly making people clamor for the silhouette. 

Mary Janes are classic, timeless, and cool without trying too hard — just like that person everyone wanted to be friends with — there really is something about Mary (Jane).

Reformation Naima Mary Jane Heel

Naima Mary Jane Heel


Shop now: $298; reformation.com

Larroudé Blair Ballet Flat

Blair Ballet Flat In Black Patent Leather


Shop now: $315; larroude.com

Maeve Mary Jane Wedge Heel

Maeve Mary Jane Wedge Heels


Shop now: $160; anthropologie.com

Prada Logo Patent Slingback Pump

Logo Patent Slingback Pump (Women) PRADA


Shop now: $1,250; nordstrom.com

Sam Edelman Michaela Mary Jane Flat

Michaela Mary Jane Flat (Women) SAM EDELMAN


Shop now: $130; nordstrom.com

Margaux the Mary Jane

Margaux The Mary Jane


Shop now: $245; zappos.com

Jeffrey Campbell Reine Platform Mary Jane Pump

Reine Platform Mary Jane Pump (Women) JEFFREY CAMPBELL


Shop now: $175; nordstrom.com

Dream Pairs Chunky Platform Mary Jane

DREAM PAIRS Women's High Chunky Platform Closed Toe


Shop now: $50; amazon.com

Loeffler Randall Leonie Flat

Loeffler Randall Leonie


Shop now: $275; zappos.com

Nodaleto Bulla Babies 65 Leather Pump

Nodaleto Bulla Babies 65 leather pumps


Shop now: $625; farfetch.com

Dr. Martens Bethan T-Bar Mary Jane

Dr. Martens Bethan T-Bar


Shop now: $160 (Originally $170); zappos.com

Marni Sculpted-Heel Mary Jane Pump

Marni sculpted-heel Mary Jane pumps


Shop now: $1,050; farfetch.com

Rothy’s the Point Mary Jane

The Point Mary Jane


Shop now: $159; rothys.com

Schutz Jeane Mary Jane Pump

Jeane Mary Jane Pump (Women) SCHUTZ


Shop now: $168; nordstrom.com

Jeffrey Campbell Tutu Strap Ballet Flat

Jeffrey Campbell Women's Tutu Strap Ballet Flats


Shop now: $135; bloomingdales.com

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