Right now, spring is certainly looking pretty far away, but I keep telling myself it’s just around the corner. Of course, one of the best ways to feel better while going through winter is to plan ahead for all the cool spring and summer shoes you’ll be wearing next season. With this in mind, I present these super simple, versatile and darling little mary janes by blog favourites, Melissa Shoes.
Wear them everywhere, with everything for all your modern, retro and hipster needs.
They remind me of those cute Chinese shoes that were a big hit in the 90s, but unlike those they are obviously made of Melissa’s patented bubblegum scented plastic and have those big Minnie Mouse bows.
You can get them from Fashion Conscience.
These twee and green mary jane flats have a big bow and a big flower giving them an extra cute twist. There are also embroidered bows on the back in pink, to make you go “awww” just a little bit more. Gotta love Poetic License and their attention to detail! These are called “beach bunnie” and while certainly summery, I’m not sure I’d want to wear them to the beach and get sand all over them. I guess it’s more of a state of mind sort of thing, or you could wear them when you’re sitting on the somewhat less damaging wooden decking of the beach cafe, sipping your holiday cocktail. They seem to have rubber soles, so maybe you could even wear them on a boat, who knows?
They also come in a natural hessian colour with nice touches of bright pink (and a green lining). You can get them from Amazon in the US and Irregular Choice in the UK.
Lacoste is one of those companies that seem to go in and out of fashion all the time (unless you’re one of those people who’s still living in the 80s on a yacht in a Miami marina, in which case it never went out of fashion). I just got given a Lacoste t shirt by a friend and it’s turned out to be surprisingly versatile and in keeping with my current style. So you can imagine my joy when I saw these for sale, reaffirming my belief in the power of living retro. They’re called “Womens Lacoste Millyann Mary Jane Trainers” (which you’ll need, to search for them on the site) and they are just about cute and different enough to make up for the fact that plims have come back into fashion and are probably going out of fashion again (or would be, if hipsters had something to replace them with).
Apart from these pretty yachting colours, they also come in a black, white and purple combo, which is pretty damn cute too. Perfect every day, casual shoes.
You can get them from Schuh.
You may remember the totally very beautiful and unique recycled rice bag shoes I wrote about some time ago. Well, here’s another take on the genre, this time from Keen shoes, who seem to make sort of outdoorsy, sporty shoes. These effectively mary jane trainers and are made with woven strips of recycled rice bags. Apparently each one is slightly different, because of the different bags they use. Very cute concept. They remind me of those recycled bags you can get sometimes.
I don’t like these quite as much as the Wear Every Day ones, but they do look sporty and are especially designed to be comfy, plus apparently Keen are big on social responsibility and ethics.
You can get these straight from the Keen site.
Remember these? They were all over the place in the 90s. You could buy them in China Town and they came in all kinds of colours and patterns, most usually in canvas / cotton or velvet.
Well, Urban Outfitters are doing them now. At least if you live in Canada.
They come in a few different patterns and a whole load of solid colours. They used to be a vegan staple shoe when I was uhh… somewhat younger than today. With the 90s being back in retro circulation now, I think it’s about time they came back in.
Oh, and if you don’t remember this part – these shoes are super cute, but the soles are super thin. You’ll fell every little stone on the road as you walk along. These, I believe, started off as the girlie answer to those kong fu shoes you can get in China Town. I guess a martial artist needs to be connected to the earth as if he / she is not wearing shoes at all.
You can get these from UO
Finally! A vegan version of the famous TUK kitty shoes! the TUK Kitty Check shoe follows a whole line of these ultra neat kitty shoes that all came in leather. The checked version, on the other hand, is vegan, baby!
I’ve wanted a pair of the kitty shoes for so long. You won’t believe how happy I am to see these! Joining them in the vegan range are also the TUK teddy rotten mary janes. Sort of like a cross between punk and sanrio with superior strapping. Check em out.
You can get the lot from Schuh.
The 90s are defnitely back! Remember all those cute little canvas and velvet chinese mary janes we all used to wear? Well, you don’t have to remember, cause here they are back in circulation!
Here’s a very sweet example of embroidered raffia mary janes. They’re super girlie and pretty comfortable to wear (these shoes were always sold next to the “manly” version which is the kong fu shoe), though the 90s version had very thin soles that meant you felt every little stone in your path. I’m not sure, but these modern ones look a bit further removed from the ground (if only by a tiny bit).
If the raffia version is a little bit too much for you, you’ll be happy to know that they come in a whole load of other colours and patterns, from the simple solids to the striped, flowered, laced and dotted.
You can get them from Office.
Well, summer must be coming if shoes like these are up on the sites. These Rocket Dog “cookout yacht club” flats are sort of like espadrilles, sort of like mary jane flats and generally very cute. Smart- casual enough for the middle class yachting enthusiast, while still being trendy and funky enough to provide cute beach holiday shoes for the rest of us. They also come in a navy & white colour combination, for an even more classic look.
You can get these cute, functional holiday shoes from Schuh.
There is often a shortage of shoes that are comfortable yet stylish and these chunky mary janes from Rocket Dog seem to provide a fine answer to this problem. The cushioned sole makes them bouncy and fun to walk in and the design is girlie without being too girlie and unusual with the little stitch detail and retro-patterened lining. They have a reasonably wide fitting, which is rare among the usual crop of mary jane and ballerina pumps and while not quite as dainty as some, they’re definitely cute and fashionable enough to go with a pair of tights and a skirt or a dress.
In fact, these shoes are the sort that would go well with just about anything so would make a good pair of “default shoes” to have and wear constantly with every imaginable outfit. They’re pretty cheap, too.
These are available from Schuh. They’re called “hard copy”, for some reason. They also come in brown.
Recently, I wrote about a neat little pair of vegan white trimmed black mary janes. I just found a similar pair on the M&S website.
The M&S ones are slightly less modern-looking and have a cute retro button detail. They also have a chunkier square heel which is friendlier for the heel-shy.
They cost 25 pounds, which is pretty damn cheap, I’m sure you’ll agree.
They look like they have plastic soles, so combined with the low, comfortable heel, I’m guessing they’d be quite comfortable to dance in, though will probably not have particularly good grip (hence why I’m guessing they’d be good for dancing in – think of all those spins and turns!).
Like all of the Marks’ shoes I’ve seen, they’re not exactly fashion week scoop material, so don’t expect them to make your outfit in one fell swoop. You know the score: choose a good outfit that could benefit from black and white retro shoe action and they’d contribute finely. I’m kinda thinking along the lines of bold coloured tights and an understated but well cut dress.
These vegan mary janes are available from the Marks and Spencer site.
In keeping with this week’s apparent trend of cheap and useful vegan shoes you can use to put the finishing touches on a fine looking outfit, here are some black square toed mary jane heels. The square toe is apparently very in nowadays and here is a good example of reasonably priced, square toed vegan heels.
If these shoes were a person, they probably wouldn’t be your best friend or the love of your life, but they’d always be there for you when you needed them. You know, the sort of friend who’s not the most exciting person in the world, but you can spend an entirely pleasant evening with them every once in a while or work together on a successful project at the office.
If you’re not good with high heels, though, they could be the slightly grating friend who’s always there for you, but you sometimes wish you were hanging out with a better friend instead.
You can get these at Dorothy Perkins.
Cheap, cheerful and perfectly suited to unassumingly but stylishly accompany your party outfit, here are some truly useful shoes. These spikey-heeled mary janes from Dorothy Perkins won’t reinvent the wheel of high fashion, but would work well with most outfits.
They seem like decent enough shoes with classic lines and the spikey heel makes them look a tiny bit kinky. My only concern is that they may well look somewhat cheap on close inspection (they are cheap, at 30 UK pounds).
If your dress or other combination is eye-catching enough, though, these would stay quietly in the background and add favourably to the overall impression without appearing out of place. They may not steal the show, but they’ll add nice enough backing vocals, which is exactly what you need sometimes.
Available from Dorothy Perkins.
If you’re feeling low and need a little pick-me-up, then how does an extra 5″ sound? No, not that kind of inches, you perverts! These huge huge goth mary jane platform heels by T.U.K.
These are probably the highest you can get this side of full-on stripper heels. They are called “bondage”, perhaps because of the multitude of straps.
“Maybe”, I hear some of you say, “because the heels are so high, you’d feel like you were tied up when trying to walk”. But no, my uninitiated ones, the chunky heel and platform should actually make these a relative breeze to walk (and dance) in.
In their own way, these are actually pretty sensible shoes. The flared heel means they stop short of being your standard fetish shoes (too comfortable, you see).
Not quite your office shoes either (unless your office is pretty damn cool), these are nonetheless pretty versatile when it comes to a range of alternative looks. T.U.K make the bread and butter shoes of many an alternative scene, offering a look that stands out from the uninitiated, “normal” crowds, but still follows all the fashion rules that make up the non-conformist uniform.
You could spike up an otherwise sweet retro ensemble, go for full psychobilly, dark rock chick or goth or just use these as an aid to reach high shelves or look down on people.
T.U.K shoes are generally stable and comfortable (I own a few pairs), though they do sometimes tend to scuff and mark easily. Luckily, they’re pretty cheap.
These vegan platform heels are available from Schuh.
These cute little black and white mary jane heels are simple but effective. The heel isn’t too high, so they appear to be pretty comfortable even if heels are not your thing (although the pointy heel can take a bit of getting used to if you can’t walk in heels at all).
They are still very girlie and chic, though, and don’t look too “sensible”. They would certainly dress up any outfit and the black/white combination means they would go with most things.
While not quite retro in design, the colour combination certainly is, so they could fit a whole range of looks from modern to vintage, as long as you’re not too precious about being 100% authentic in your vintage look. Great as work shoes or party shoes and not too expensive, at less than £30.
Available from Next Directory.