Mary-Janes are 2023’s ‘it’ shoe – Here are 5 of the best leather pairs

Mary-Janes are 2023's 'it' shoe

Mary-Janes are 2023’s ‘it’ shoe – Here are 5 of the best leather pairs

By Fiona Ward

2023 has seen a number of shoe styles return to favour after a hiatus (we’re looking at you, too, ballet flats) – but none offer more versatility than the humble Mary-Jane, which vary widely from heels and platforms to flats.

The Mary-Jane in fact has a long history, dating all the way back to 1904 when the trademark one-strap shoe was named after a Buster Brown comic book character called Mary Jane. Over the years, the classic styles have been worn mainly by both women and children – in the 60s, it was supermodel-of-the-moment Twiggy who made Mary-Janes her signature, worn sweetly with mini skirts and dresses.

Today, the quintessentially-girly shoe proffers far more than cutesy kidswear or retro styling (though both still apply). There’s chunky styles with platform soles, multiple strap versions and materials varying from satin to velvet and mesh – though supple leather remains the go-to. 2023’s Mary-Jane aficionados include Alexa Chung, Dua Lipa and Katie Holmes, so we’re in stylish company with our round-up of the best styles…


Cos leather Mary-Jane flats, £115

A modern take on the traditional silhouette, all the cool girls will be flocking to Cos for these soft, almond-toe pumps. With a wider strap that’s reminiscent of trending  luxury styles such as Alaïa’s, its deep-cut vamp (or the upper part of the shoe) is particularly flattering, too. Cos’ leather is chrome-free and comes from Leather Working Group-approved suppliers.


Le Monde Béryl ballet Mary-Jane, £395

London-based indie brand Le Monde Béryl is having a moment with its simple-yet-sleek ballet flats and Mary-Janes, which are loved by the likes of Alexa Chung, Sofia Richie and Daisy Edgar-Jones. Made with Italian leather using minimal-waste practices, its classic flat is made in soft lambskin with a cushioned calf sole – plus that signature strap and buckle, of course.


The Row ‘Ava’ Mary-Jane flats, £800

Michelle Williams, Jennifer Lawrence and Zoë Kravitz are amongst the celebrity fans of The Row’s cult Mary-Janes, which offer the brand’s signature simplicity. The ‘Ava’ pumps may look flat, but they feature a concealed wedge to give an elevated look to the foot; a slightly higher strap and a square silhouette gives them a modern edge, too.


Solovair Mary-Jane shoes, £195

While many trending styles are leaning towards the dainty and delicate, the Mary-Jane can make for a sturdier option, too – so if you prefer a chunky silhouette, allow us to introduce you to Solovair’s iteration. Handmade in Northamptonshire using cowhide leather sourced from European tanneries, they sit on a recycled PVC sole – and look particularly great with thick-knit socks. Cosy.


Aeyde ‘Aline’ Mary-Jane with block heel, £295

For a bit of height, there are a number of heeled Mary-Janes out there, though Aeyde is another small brand that has caught the eye of a number of style stars (including model Gigi Hadid). Created using Leather Working Group-certified Italian leather, the ‘Aline’ style gives just enough height with its small block heel and flattering square toe.