Plain Jane, No More

by Leandra Medine
August 28, 2012
READ NEXT

There’s just something about Mary.

This week in trends to resurrect: the Mary Jane. And why? Because, well, look what Louis Vuitton did; it’s magical. And if that’s not enough, here’s a fun historical fact: Mary Janes adopted their name from a very popular early 1900′s comic strip when the illustrator/author licensed his characters’ comic names to Browns Shoe Company who associated one particular character, Mary Jane, the most notable fixture of the protagonist’s romantic endeavors, with the shoe style in question.

At last, irony strikes again: Mary Jane is a man getter?

That can’t be right. Maybe she represents what they are when not worn with socks. Appropriated most accurately by Michael Kors (above), the shoe most prominently represents what the trenches of childhood are made of. See also: Jachs, Play-Doh, gum drops, thick socks, pink backpacks. Lisa Frank?

And if this were the Mary Jane superlatives, competing with Louis Vuitton (and potentially triumphing,) welcome Prada. These are shoes with character and if the old adage don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, were to be re-implemented and here’s what was being used to exercise the walk in question, I’d walk two–nay, three–miles, just for good measure. It’s creative, really. An interesting alternative to jewelry. Clothes, even.

Finally, a loose adaptation. Isabel Marant‘s variation of the Mary Jane is actually not really a Mary Jane at all, now is it. Still, they’re important for Shoesday purpose for two reasons that are actually questions: 1. I bought them yesterday (gift card, people,) and am still undecided, what do you think? 2. Do the sparse ankle boots and copious proper shoes alongside riding boots evident in this season’s shoe round up mean anything significant, albeit threatening for our collective orthopedic future?

Dun dun dun.

From top: Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Prada, Isabel Marant. And because Marni is almost always on board for a retro shoe equipped with center strap, here are some of their offerings too. More cost effective alternatives here (Topshop) and here (Asos).

REPLIES
  • eliseschmalise

    I’m just waiting for the day when Chinese foot binding is a “thing” again…

  • kaka brasil

    u gotta meet these beauties
    http://louloux.com.br/

  • Liana

    ahhh yes I love that golden toe!

    http://www.nogrammatika.com > eastern european fashion, trends, interviews

  • the (un?)social butterfly

    Am I insane, or these Isabel Marant “mary janes” are loosely inspired by the Prada Flame sandals?
    My favorites are the Louis Vuitton. And those pants!
    http://humanwomen.wordpress.com

    • disqus_XoSAAC5ogf

      I agree, it immediately reminded me og Prada, especially the straight shape of the heel

    • http://www.style-abuse.blogspot.com/ Marcia

      Reminds me of a tone-down version of the fire pattern.

  • Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    I love jane heels!!!
    Great shoes!!!

  • ClosetCravings

    Isabel Marant’s version of the Mary Jane is much more appealing to me. Love.
    Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

  • http://twitter.com/far_and_wild Far and Wild Jewelry

    the isabel marants are the best. not because they’re really maryjanes, more just cause they’re dope.

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.blogspot.com

  • Diana Pereira

    I don’t think you can call the Isabel Marant’s Mary Jane.
    Season after season it less likely for things to be different but the same, and it looks like everything goes. everything!

    http://thefashionadroit.com

  • http://twitter.com/EileenieWang Eileen Wang

    I actually have come to love the Prada Mary Janes. They are quite delicate looking. They definitely would make my feet look smaller too. Oh btw, somehow the Michael Kors pictures are not showing up?

  • Morgan Liti

    Ah, the Mary Jane. Can’t help but love it – although I can’t say I have any pairs as fabulous as the above – they are definitely a wardrobe staple for me. I’m even wearing some today!

    xo,

    Mo

    seemomogo.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Thomas/39001019 Erin Thomas

    the asos mary janes with the slime green soles seem like they’d be very man repellent, therefore they are of course a must have!
    http://zero-style.blogspot.com

  • CinchedWaist

    i’d marry those janes

  • monkeyshines

    stunning picks!

    Bises,
    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

  • Domonique

    Obsessing over the Prada’s!

    http://lilylovelock.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

  • http://twitter.com/selenaaponte selena aponte

    Prada aka “Lady Miss Kier” shoes are shitloads amaze

  • Brita

    the Isabel Marant ones are definitely my favorites! and the burgundy color is suuuuper trendy for the fall. perf perf perf
    comininhot.wordpress.com

  • XeanaFashion

    Louis Vuitton shoes are magical. I think it have a comfortable heels. But Isabel Marant shoes look delicate, but at the same time have an unusual ornament!

    From http://www.xeanafashion.com

  • Alexandra

    The Marant’s rule! So glad you got them! They’re a wonderful combination of so many things– Mary Janes (as you mention), Prada’s car shoes, fab pumps, and the weird flames that people who love the 50s tend to sport.

  • Namrata Kedar

    The Isabel Marant not May Janes look good. And interesting fact about where the name Mary Jane came from.
    But, after reading this post, I realize the classic Mary Janes, like the Manolo Blahnik ones are what I like the best.
    And to answer your question, what shoe isn’t threatening to our orthopedic future?

    N
    http://seasoncheck.blogspot.in/

  • Jenaly Enns

    I like the Isabel Marant ones the best!!

    http://jenalyenns.blogspot.ca

  • marinacasapu

    The Prada’s are too mainstream. the rest – a big like.
    http://www.live-love-fashion.com

  • Rachel

    Jury’s still out on the Prada’s for me…but I love all the rest! My favorite pair, though, are the Manolo Blahnik ones a-la Sex and the City.
    http://www.eugeniawoods.com

    • Leandra Medine

      The urban shoe myth! How could I forget…

  • http://twitter.com/chelsiemoss Chelsie

    Oh MY Isabel Marant! Keep ‘em honey, they are amazing!

    -C

    Mossypants | A Lifestyle Blog

  • The Provoker

    darn, a shoe that a guy cant wear but I must admit the LV blunt toe square knob is super covetable, I’m sure I’d be seeing TMR working her feet into them and nudging a wide spectrum of emotions and reactions from all people she encounters as she steps out of bloomingdales. Btw, if you’re into printed tees, I’d recommend entering my newest Christopher Kane SS printed tee with aqua collar giveaway, totes free-

    xx nathan.niche
    http://www.the-provoker.com/2012/08/christopher-kane-giveaway.html

    CHRISTOPHER KANE GIVEAWAY
    CHRISTOPHER KANE GIVEAWAY

  • Sharon

    Awesome heels!

    http://style-chameleon.blogspot.com/

    SANS-ONLINE €50 VOUCHER GIVEAWAY!

  • LCM

    Noott a fan of the above Mary Janes. However, Marant’s loose adaptation is quite fetching! I would say thumbs up to that one.
    http://one-daysome-day.blogspot.com

  • Eva Kraaijeveld

    LOve the Michael Kors version and especially the black ones with the golden(?) heels!

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.blogspot.com

  • Mickey Lynn Jewelry

    man getter…maybe Mickey getter, definitely!

    http://mickeylynn.com/

  • Biffy Rose

    I’ll take the black Michael Kors please.

    http://www.biffyrose.com/

  • anne

    I love the prada mary janes, they are really fun, realy ”comic-esque” ^_^

    http://remplirlesblancs.blogspot.fr/

  • StyleNonsense

    I Like The Black & Silver Michael Kors Pair But I Don’t Think The Louis Vuitton Ones Are Really That Wearable.
    http://StyleNonsense.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/EmmaLouiseeexo Emma Louise Westbrook

    I’m pretty sure that I’m actually in love with the Isabel Marant shoes!
    http://www.feathersandfringing.blogspot.com

  • gaowmichelle

    the isabel redo is my fave. having the strap so high can be so unflattering for your leg. the lower the better i say. that also applies to necklines.

    http://www.prettydinos.com

  • Christina

    The Isabel Marant’s are pretty [and by that I mean super repelling, of course], especially in white!

    Christina, bohemianwild.blogspot.com

  • Jenny

    That’s pretty unique! I wonder if I can find something like this style on Who Brain?
    http://www.whobrain.com/

  • The Style Engineer

    I do love a good Mary Jane! The shoe is classic, girly, and can be super sexy as well!
    http://lestyleengineer.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryalice.bowman Mary-Alice Graydon Bowman

    Whoa – Lisa Frank? Blast from the past!

    I personally am a big fan of the Mary Jane style, however the socks on display were just a no for me. The Isabel Marant versions hit closer to home!

    Visit my blog at: FarytaleBlog.com

    Mary-Alice

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryalice.bowman Mary-Alice Graydon Bowman

    Whoa – Lisa Frank? Blast from the past!

    I personally am a big fan of the Mary Jane style, however the socks
    on display were just a no for me. The Isabel Marant versions hit closer
    to home!

    Visit my blog at: FarytaleBlog.com
    Mary-Alice

  • Grey Gardener

    Unfortunately have to disagree with The Provoker, this is totally a trend for dudes of any gender. Just call ‘em Larry Janes if that makes u feel better. Dr. Martens has dude-friendly uni styles, check out this Comme collab: http://www.talkshoes.com/files/2011/01/Comme-des-Garcons-Dr.-Martens-Mary-Janes.jpg

  • sketch42

    Needless to say, I hate all of these except the Marant. Those white prada ones look like a Goth Bridal DIY gone wrong.

  • geela
  • jamiegillingham

    The cap toe Louis Vuits are pretty freakin snazzy. Can we abbrev Louis Vuitton?

    manupstyle.com

  • nataluya85

    love the MK ones best!!!

    nataliya
    sewniice.blogspot.com

  • jas

    did you know that men used to wear mary jane-style shoes?!?

    http://jas-tidbits.blogspot.com/

  • Kesly

    Mary Janes are so cute! I used to wear Mary Janes when I was in elementary school (and I actually still do, until now… For special occasions only, mind you)

    http://justfashiondiary.blogspot.com

  • MarthaDahhling

    Oh the Michael Kors Mary Janes! I need something similar in my life asap!

  • Jill

    Dislike all but the Isabel Marants. Those are sexxxxxy! Of course I am partial to a pointy toed shoe…

  • http://twitter.com/patternsforlife Sundal

    the isabel marant’s are so sexy. I wore them for a recent editorial (November issue of Biba, check it out, a whole footwear and bag story with some to die for pieces) and they make your feet and ankles look so dainty. I think it’s the toe cleavage. Or just the general shape of them. Executed to perfection.

  • http://twitter.com/Alexa_Curtis Alexa Curtis

    Mary Janes are such a classic style. I don’t think they will ever go out of fashion as long as they keep staying in. The perfect shoe.

    http://www.alifeinthefashionlane.blogspot.com

    xo

    • http://www.facebook.com/christinageorgopoulos1 Christina Georgopoulos

      i agree !

  • karen solis

    The revamp of the all-time classic mary janes is so perfect that it makes women wearing them feel innocently sexy.

  • EllieGaston

    Mary Janes the most difficult shoe to get right. As an Irish Catholic I find their reinvention a delicous temptation. I can alternate from good girl to naughty in a heart beat. Manolo Blahnik is my favourite Mary Jane designer followed by Prada’s leather flower platform pump

  • Noelle L

    A man wont be attracted to the shoe, but he’ll be damn turned on by the confidence it took to strut in those things. I’d proudly wear the blue/brown situation. Proudly I say!

  • http://www.jildorshoes.com/ Jildor Shoes

    These Mary Jane reinventions are fabulous! The new take on a classic style is refreshing and fun. Another great modern take on the Mary Jane is Stuart Weitzman’s Capsize Pump in bordeaux suede. The metallic leather toecap and thick 4″ heel are a stylish and unconventional combination.

  • Mojo Martini

    The chunky Mary Janes are perfect for those of us who don’t have the pretty or dainty Sex-And-the-City feet. I’d never thought of wearing them with the thick socks– taking man repelling to fabulous new heights!! Love it!

SHOW MORE COMMENTS