15 Mary Janes That Offer A Modern Twist On the Schoolgirl Classic

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Shoe trends come and go but there are a few silhouettes that have earned a permanent spot in the footwear Hall of Fame—and Mary Janes are one of them. The prim and proper style has been around for more than a century, adorning the feet of Queen Elizabeth, mega celebs like Naomi Campbell and Beyoncé and pop culture icons including Carrie Bradshaw and the ever-stylish Cher Horowitz in Clueless.

Though Mary Janes are a timeless classic and there are still plenty of traditional styles out there (a few of which you’ll find below), they have gotten an upgrade in 2022. Now with eye-catching embellishments, chunkier soles, sky-high block heels and in an array of playful colors and designs, there are many more iterations available for the taking.

Interested in adding this nostalgic style to your collection? Here are 15 pairs we’re currently eyeing—from minimalistic flats to platform heels that serve modern realness.

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1. Universal Thread Amala Mary Jane Flats

This minimalistic pair gives us major Eloise At the Plaza vibes. While you probably won’t be wearing them to run amuck in one of Manhattan’s most iconic hotels, they’ll still look plenty chic while running errands.

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2. Everlane The Mary Jane

Sure, black is timeless, but flats in a sunshine-y yellow? What could be cheerier than that? Just think of how sweet they would look with an all-white fit once spring arrives. Or kick the vibrancy up a notch and pair them with other bold hues like blue, orange and green.

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3. Sam Edelman Michaela Mary Jane Flat

If your tattered old slippers are no longer making the cut, it’s time for an upgrade. The luxe velvet on these make for a comfy WFH shoe that has a chic leg up on your beloved Uggs.

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4. Jimmy Choo Ade Imitation Pearl Strap Mary Jane Flat

Are these a splurge? Yes. But are they 100 percent worth the investment? Also yes. Let’s face it, Jimmy Choo is unmatched when it comes to footwear you’ll keep for years to come and these square-toed flats with an imitation pearl strap are no different.

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5. Asos Design Maisie Chunky Mary Jane Flats

Do these transport anyone else right back to their uniform wearing days or is that just us? Either way, the platform soles and patent leather give us major nostalgia for the pair we wore as tweens.

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6. Reformation Abalonia Chunky Mary Jane

Mary Janes and lug soles: who would’ve thought? This ivory pair proves that combining the two trends isn’t just a good idea, it’s a great one. With a buckled strap that offers more coverage, we’re categorizing them as a year-round shoe. Wear ‘em on their own in the spring and summer, and slip them on over some cozy socks in the fall and winter.

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7. Dr. Martens 8065 Mary Jane Flat

We firmly believe that everyone needs a pair of trusty Docs in their footwear collection but if the brand’s iconic boots aren’t exactly your vibe, these effortlessly cool MJs just may fit the bill.

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8. Madewell The Claudie Lugsole Mary Jane

If you’re on the hunt for a shoe that you’ll reach for time and again, these are it. This sandal and Mary Jane combo is ideal for the approaching spring and summer months and they go just as well with cuffed blue jeans as they would with a flowy midi skirt.

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9. Journee Ellsy Mary Jane Pump

What do you get when you mix a sensible heel with dainty pleated details and sage green leather? The spring shoe of our dreams. Catch us frolicking through a field of wildflowers (or through the aisles of a Trader Joes) in these sweet pumps in a few weeks time. And if green isn’t your vibe, these cuties come in ivory and black, too.

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10. Intentionally Blank Mika Platform Heels

Think of these platforms as a more mature version of the schoolgirl classic. We’d pair them with some tights and a mini skirt, along with a basic turtleneck and a coat or a jacket with a slightly oversized fit. Oh, and that heel? Totally walkable.

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Urban Outfitters

11. Uo Daria Treaded Mary Jane

A little bit of height with none of the pain, the two-inch block heel on this neutral toned pair is not only office appropriate, but also easy to run in as you try to catch the subway on those mornings when you’re just a tad behind schedule.

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12. Kate Spade Maren Mary Jane Pump

Behold: Your next favorite date night shoe. They’re elegant, chic as hell and would look totally cute with some ankle-length slacks and a flowy blouse.

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Free People

13. Maggie Mary Jane Platforms

Mega-platform heels are everywhere right now—and the higher they are, the better. We are completely obsessed with these towering platforms because the combo of neutral tones and the chunky buckle make them stand out without being difficult to match with our wardrobe.

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14. Jeffrey Campbell Reine Platform Mary Jane Pump

It could be the squared off toes or the larger-than-life block heel, but something about these platform pumps takes use right back to the 90s—and we aren’t mad about it.

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15. Steve Madden Twice Mary Jane Platform Pump

OK, so we don’t recommend these for running Sunday errands, but we definitely suggest adding them to your rotation of footwear. Pair them with your favorite boyfriend jeans and a form-fitting tee under a slightly cropped moto jacket and voila! A cool-girl fit with a touch of femininity for a night out.

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purewow author

Commerce Editor

Anna Smutny covered a range of beats, from fashion and beauty verticals to home decor (and everything else in between) for PureWow from 2021-2022. With a background in wedding and...