They were the shoe popularised in the early 1900s when a Missouri shoe manufacturer, The Brown Shoe Company, began marketing them for young children as a formal option. Transcending time, trends, and the cartoon character the shoe was initially named after, we can still appreciate the Mary Jane for it's refined, feminine silhouette and classic touch.
The shoe that was once for the school yard and church-goers was adopted by luxury houses like Chanel, Gucci and Prada on their runways and into the trend cycle. With the impending resurgence of "indie-sleaze", a subculture of style with offshoots in the "twee" trend amongst others, the Mary Jane takes centre stage once again. This isn't to say that Mary Janes have not held a permanent seat in the trend cycle for mere decades, but that similarly to the ballet flat and the penny loafer, they're dipped their shiny toes back into the mainstream once more.
In honour of the iconic shoe, we're rounding up our favourite Mary Janes of the season, below. From classic iterations via Carel Paris to those with a cult following like Nicola Saldana's Fabiana shoe to Ms. Prada who has been doling out the sandal for as long as we can remember...
If you're looking for something more masculine, our guide to the best loafers of the season can be found here. Otherwise, to continue the feminine approach, we've rounded up our favourite ballet flats to get amongst. Clogs are having a moment too, and to find our top picks in the clog department, look no further than our edit. Happy shopping.