Ballet flats step aside, it's time for the sweet Mary Janes to shine
Plain Jane no more
If we’re being honest here, the origin of the mary jane shoes isn’t glamorous or romantic, and in fact, this style was never really worn by some of the stylish elites of those times because they were preferred instead by women who loved them for their practicality and lack of design.
But if there’s something that Velma from Scooby Doo knows (seriously, google her. She wears a pair), it’s that whether you’re chasing a criminal disguised as a monster or just kicking it back with your friends, a pair of mary janes is the more formal version of the sneaker that doesn’t sacrifice the comfort level of the latter. Here are 10 of our favourites from the minimal to the maximalist.
The home grown shoe label seems to be blowing the others out of the water lately with shoes that marry design (aka distilling the season’s trends into some lovely shoes) and workmanship (real leather shoes for that price? Yes please). Whilst this pair looks deceptively simple, we see a lot of outfit potentials with them.
At first glance, they look like Barbie meets Polly Pocket flats but that’s the exact appeal of them. And since you’re probably not going to need us to wax on their practicality, the price point won’t make a dent in your bank account and its cheerful summery shade means you’re going to want to wear them with everything you already own.
So the bedrock of every school shoe in our little red dot are the Bata white sneakers (or Converse if you were more sartorially savvy) but look across the ocean (or several) and you might notice our British friends wearing these instead. But that’s not to say you wear them the Brit-punk way, they look the best with floaty floral dresses or pretty princess ones.
They look like you’ve fished them out of a vintage store or nicked them off your grandma but this pair of mary janes in the classic Burberry print is anything but dated. They’re slimmed down considerably and the toe cap has been rounded out to make them the printed shoe you should be buying this season.
The faded dusty pink of these shoes are an immediate pleaser and the delicate straps mean they won’t overwhelm your foot. But what we love the most about them are how compact they are, which means you’re going to want to stuff them into your bag in case your feet start to hurt from the heels you’re wearing.
6. Suede mary janes, US$730 (S$987.54), Salvatore Ferragamo
Paul Andrew of Ferragamo seems to be having a hit-list with the shoes he’s designing at the house, but for anybody who doesn’t want or already has a pair of the house’s iconic Vara flats, this pair of mary janes in sumptuous suede and an architectural gold heel is your next pair of power-office-lady shoes.
7. Roger Vivier patent leather mary janes, US$1,164 (S$1,574.50), Net-A-Porter
Gherardo Felloni’s vision for Roger Vivier since his debut in SS’19 is romantic and what better way to express it than shoes inspired by ‘40s styles and…a giant fabric rose on its buckle. We aren’t entirely sure how they’d float with HR or the people you’re brunching with on the weekends but on date nights, we’re sure you won’t have any complaints.
8. Goodwin suede flats, 750€ (S$1,155.33), Jimmy Choo
It’s slightly Carrie Bradshaw (she does after all, have an obsession with Jimmy Choo), quite weekday-weekend appropriate, but very we-want-to-have-it-now. No one is going to have a problem coordinating it because after all, it’s black, but you’re going to have a problem because you’re going to want to wear it everyday.
We don’t know what it is about mock-croc leather but when it’s used to make the simplest shoe, the shoe instantly gets a luxe upgrade. You might be fooled into thinking these H&M ones are from a higher-end label and we don’t fault you, we were too.
For anybody who’s looking for a pair of leopard print shoes that doesn’t look Kardashian-esque, just remember to look for ones without a vertiginous heel (which is to say, you can actually walk comfortably in them). Statement-making without looking vulgar, these pair of flats will look as good in the office as it will on the dance floor.