What to Wear with Mary Jane Shoes: The Complete Guide

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Got a cute pair of Mary Jane shoes just waiting to be shown off? Check out our style guide on what to wear with Mary Janes for the best tips!

If there’s one shoe style that belongs to the footwear hall of fame, it would be the Mary Janes for their timeless and versatile style. And if you don’t have a pair of Mary Janes yet, you should definitely grab one now!

Mary Jane shoes are famous for their trademark strap that goes over the top of the foot and is usually fastened with a buckle or a button. The shoes are often worn by little girls for school, but they’re also a classic style that can be enjoyed by ladies of all ages.

Before the shoes were called Mary Janes, they were called bar shoes because of the “bar” that goes over the top of the foot. In the early 1900s, they were named “Mary Janes” after a Missourian shoe company started referring to their bar shoes after a cartoon character called Mary Jane.

Nowadays, this type of shoe style is popular for office attire, chic outfits, laid-back styles, and more. 

What to wear with Mary Janes: green pleated skirt outfit
Get this look on Shein

What’s better is that Mary Janes also come in different styles now: you got them in platform heels, in Mary Jane pumps, in sky-high block heels, in minimalistic flats, and even ones with chunkier soles.

No matter what your aesthetic is, there’s always a pair of Mary Jane shoes for you. But what should you wear with each Mary Jane pair to create the most stylish outfits? Let’s discuss!

What To Wear With Mary Janes

1. Top & Pleated Skirt

Shiny black platform Mary Jane shoes
Get this pair on ASOS

For a fun, feminine, and dressy look, pair your Mary Janes with a shorter skirt. You can go with an A-line skirt or a pleated skirt in a solid color, or try a printed pattern like polka dots or stripes.

Don’t be afraid to add some accessories! A belt, scarf, and statement necklace will all help dress up your outfit.

To complete your look, don’t forget to wear your platform Mary Janes and your mini skirt with some white socks for a nostalgic style.

2. (Feminine) Dresses

Black Mary Jane espadrilles
Get this pair on ASOS

Mary Janes pair really well with soft, feminine dresses that have a slight retro vibe to them. Dresses with puffy sleeves, a bit of volume, etc, are perfect for this!

However, if this isn’t your style, you can also opt for other casual dresses for a laid-back look, or for a smart business casual dress to create the perfect office look.

Just make sure to choose a dress that is the right length: It should be short enough to show off your shoes! (We love both dresses that end above the knee and midi-length dresses for this look, but we’d avoid maxi dresses.)

3. Top & Jeans

If you’re looking for something more casual, you can wear your Mary Janes with jeans. Skinny jeans are a good choice because they’re usually super easy to style.

You can also mix and match different colors and prints when pairing jeans and Mary Jane shoes and go a bit bolder with your top.

 
 
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For a streamlined look, go for straight-leg jeans paired with nude Mary Janes. You can also do this with wide-leg jeans as well.

4. Suspender Skirt

Black flat Mary Jane shoes with white socks
Get this pair on ASOS

Suspender skirts will totally make you feel like a schoolgirl once again. This timeless classic style is perfect for pairing with Mary Jane shoes, as it gives you a feminine and retro look. You can go for Mary Janes with high heels, or a low-cut shoe instead for that “schoolgirl” look.

You can find suspender skirts in a variety of colors and patterns, so there’s something for everyone. Just make sure to choose a skirt that fits your personality and style. Don’t forget the white socks or, you can go for sheer socks too for an edgier vibe.

5. Smart Casual Shorts

Purple plaid platform Mary Jane shoes
Get this pair on ASOS

For a more comfortable look, try pairing your Mary Jane shoes with shorts. This is a great option for warmer weather and summer months, as it will keep you cool and comfortable.

Choose shorts that are around knee-length or shorter. And don’t forget to add some accessories! A belt, scarf, and statement necklace will all help dress up your outfit.

When it comes to this type of shoe style, it would be much better to stick to smart casual shorts in solid colors and try your best to avoid denim shorts or ripped/distressed shorts. As per the example above, even biker shorts can look smart with MJs when styled the right way!

You can also go for shoes with eye-catching embellishments to make it more of a fashion statement.

6. Dress Pants / Trousers

Shiny black Mary Jane flats
Get this pair on ASOS

If you’re looking for a more professional look, try pairing your Mary Jane heels with dress pants. This is a great option for the office.

Just make sure to choose dress pants that are the right length. They should be long enough to cover your shoes, but not so long that they drag on the ground.

How to Style Mary Janes: Outfit Ideas

Now that we’ve covered some ideas on what you can wear with your Mary Janes, let’s look at some additional styling ideas to help you bring them into your own wardrobe without compromising on your personal style.

Speaking of which, make sure to choose a shoe that fits your personal style. There’s no point in choosing a pair of Mary Jane pumps if you’re more comfortable with one that has no heel height instead.

There are Mary Jane shoes in all sorts of colors, materials, and styles. So take some time to find a pair that you love and feel confident in.

You can find Mary Jane shoes in many fashion boutiques, but if you want to opt for a designer, the two most popular brands for this shoe style would be Miu Miu and Versace.

OUTFIT #1: OFFICE LOOK

If you’re going to be wearing your Mary Jane dress shoes to work, try pairing them with a pencil skirt or trousers.

Make sure the outfit is professional and polished, and don’t forget to add some accessories. A belt, scarf, and statement necklace will all help dress up your outfit.

OUTFIT #2: SCHOOLGIRL LOOK

One of the most popular ways to style Mary Jane shoes is with a schoolgirl look. To achieve this, pair your shoes with a pleated skirt and blouse.

You can mix and match different colors and prints when pairing skirts and blouses. Just make sure to complete the outfit with some socks or black tights!

OUTFIT #3: CUTE & COZY

If you’re looking for something comfortable and casual, try pairing your Mary Janes with some cozy pants. This is a great option for lazy weekends or running errands. You can also add a sweater or jacket to keep warm.

OUTFIT #4: FEMININE & FLIRTY

If you’re going out on a date or to a party, try pairing your Mary Janes with a dress. Choose a dress that is the right length and fits your style. You can also add accessories like a belt, scarf, and statement necklace for extra glamour.

And there you have it! We hope you have a few more ideas about what to wear with your Mary Janes and feel more confident wearing them next time you’re out!

If you’re still looking for more fashion inspiration, check the posts down below.

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