So you thought the classic, single-strap Mary Jane pump was the only go-to shoe you would ever need?
Not so fast, my fast-walking sisters.
Our favorite dress-up (and dress-down) shoe is taking several modern turns on the summer streets. Some of the cuter Mary Janes feature comfortably thicker heels, and others pop with floral prints. Spectator stiletto versions add zing to many a monochromatic look, and the double-strap shoe is both cubicle and cocktail perfection.
Where does it come from?
The Mary Jane takes its name from a character who wore those style shoes in the popular comic strip Buster Brown, created in 1902 by Richard F. Outcault. In 1904, John Bush, a sales executive with the Brown Shoe Co., persuaded his company to purchase rights to the Buster Brown name.
Buster Brown shoes specialized in children's footwear especially known for tie-up oxfords, penny loafers, and Mary Janes - slip-on shoes with a strap across that secured the child's foot. In the 1920s, Mary Janes were popular with cabaret and cancan dancers. But for the most part, they were still considered the footwear of children, especially as Shirley Temple looked so cute in her patent leather ones.
Designer Mary Quant dressed the trendsetting British model Twiggy in trapeze-style minis she paired with Mary Janes, ushering in the fashionably mod 1960s. The shoe was a perfect fit with Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dress, too. Thirty years later, Courtney Love made the chunky-heeled Mary Jane popular with GenXers.
As looks inspired by decades past - especially the '20s, '30s, and '70s - cycle in and out of the zeitgeist, Mary Janes stay in high-fashion shoe circulation. Notable versions include three-strap Christian Louboutins, peep-toe Jimmy Choos, and T-strap Nine Wests. Color-blocking is optional.
Who is wearing them?
Sarah Jessica Parker, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, and just about every woman with a great shoe game.
Would Elizabeth wear them?
Oh, yes, they are my absolute favorite shoe. I can't wait to update my wardrobe with a few pairs of chunky ballet flats and lots of color-blocking. #Obsessed.
Should you wear them?
Yeppers. They are perfect for the summer-to-fall transition. Wear them sans hose, and as the weather cools down, add a vibrant-hued tight, like mulberry, navy, or hunter, for a splash of contrast.
Florals, Bettye Muller Mary Jane pumps, $325; black-and-white spectator, Gucci, $980; Mulberry, Ivanka Trump Kellsee lace-ups, $140; metallic flat, Marc Jacobs, $350; peach, flesh-toned, Sergio Rossi, $610. All shoes available at Bloomingdale's in the Court at King of Prussia, 610- 337-6300, www.bloomingdales.com.