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Mary Janes are often the very first shoes we ever wear, especially when you’re just getting into the “wearing heels” era. Their easy slip-on silhouette and the straps around your ankle help you stabilize your foot and manage walking in heels like a pro. Some are flat which make for a cute, casual look and many kids wear them. Most of us were probably introduced to this shoe by Alice in Wonderland, Courtney Love, Sex and the City, or even Clueless.

Mary Janes can be heeled, platformed, or flat and, as time has gone, they now come in a variety of textiles like leather, cotton, or patent, also, in a variety of colors. They all have a patented look though: at least one strap across the top of the foot, a closed and usually rounded toe, a buckle at the ankle, and a closed back.

This footwear has been around for some time now seeing as many English kings chose to wear the silhouette in their head-to-toe portraits, and it was a very popular part of school uniforms and church attire. The origin of the name came about in the early 1900s with the popularity of Richard Oucault’s comic strip Buster Brown. One of his characters was named Mary Jane; though Buster Brown also wore the shoe, the style came to bear her name in popular culture. MJ’s have shown up everywhere from the punk scene, to the goth scene, and to your mom´s closet.

Over the past 30 years we´ve seen Mary Janes modify and experience a complete revival from the shoes the English kings wore to the fashion statement they are today.

Mary Janes have definitely been something of a timeless piece of clothing. There are some with a lot of straps, some with a t-shape, and some with embellishments. In general, Mary Jane heels are low in height and black color. With their current resurgence, they’ve been modernized and there are styles with cutouts!


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If you’re wanting to wear a pair of white Mary Janes with tear shape cutouts like the ones in the pictures above, you can go for a lovely sweet outfit. A red or blue dress heart-shaped silhouette and a full skirt will make you look like the Disney Princess of your dreams! You can also pair these with gray slacks and a silky blouse for a more sophisticated or work day look.


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Now, if you own a pair of the most basic closet-must-have known to humankind, a black pair of Mary Janes, these go with just about anything. Are you wearing mom jeans and a plain white tee? Black Mary Janes. Are you wearing a linen t-shirt dress cinched at the waist? Black Mary Janes. Are you wearing cutoff shorts and a button-down blouse? Black Mary Janes.The point I’m trying to make is that these are incredibly versatile shoes. They can make do with a casual outfit or they can upgrade a simple dress. Honestly, these shoes are lovely with just about everything.


Try these out and shoot us a picture and a message if you do! You can find Her Campus UPR on Twitter.

Antoinette Luna is a Performance Studies and Comparative Literature major at the UPR. Her passions include writing, reading, and anything crafty. She loves to sew, write, and make things from scratch. DIY is the name of her game. Around campus, she is known as a bubbly young woman who goes by just Luna. Her future goals include traveling, traveling, and more traveling. Outspoken transfeminist, and wannabe activist, she's out to set fires.
Ariana Rios is a book lover and aspiring writer ready to change the world with her words. Her interests vary from film-watching and writing to taking care of dogs and all animals. Some of her inspirations are: nature and diversity. Proud student of University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Foreign Languages Major. Double Major in Journalism. Junior Student.
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