Mary Jane's Reimagined

The iconic Mary Jane shoe designed by Carel Paris has been all the craze. Here's how you can style them into your wardrobe.
April 7, 2023 by
Audriana Cristello
Mary Jane shoes are a classic style that has been around for over a century. In this article, we'll explore the history of Mary Jane shoes and the modern versions by Carel Paris. We'll also provide tips on how to style Mary Jane shoes in a modern way.

The History of Mary Jane Shoes

Mary Jane shoes were originally designed as a style of children's shoes. They were named after a comic strip character named Mary Jane, who wore a similar style of shoes. The original Mary Jane shoes had a round toe, a low heel, and a single strap across the top of the foot that fastened with a buckle. They were made of black patent leather and were worn with white ankle socks.

Over time, Mary Jane shoes became popular among women of all ages. Mary Jane shoes have gone through several style iterations, from the classic design to more modern versions that incorporate different materials and changing the number of straps across the foot.

Who is Carel Paris?

Carel Paris is a luxury shoe brand that was founded in 1952 by a French couple, Georges and Denise Carel. The brand started as a small workshop in Paris, but it quickly gained a reputation for its high-quality shoes and unique designs.

Carel Paris is known for its classic and timeless styles, including the iconic Mary Jane shoe. The brand offers a wide range of shoes, including pumps, sandals, boots, and loafers. Each shoe is handcrafted in Italy using only the finest materials, ensuring both comfort and durability.

Choose the Right Mary Jane For You

When it comes to choosing the right Mary Jane shoes for you, there are a few factors to consider. First, think about the occasion you'll be wearing them for. Will you need a dressy or casual shoe? Next, consider the material and color of the shoe. Leather is a classic choice as well as the color black, but there are also other colors Carel offers such as white, a bright cherry red, maroon, cobalt blue, nude and baby pink to name a few. Finally, think about the heel height and shape. Chunky heels are on-trend right now, but a classic Mary Jane shoe has a low heel.

My current favorites are the Kina style in red shown below and the Banana style in black.

Photo: Carel Paris
It's also important to consider the fit of the shoe. Mary Jane shoes should fit snugly but not be too tight. Make sure to try on shoes in the afternoon when your feet are most swollen, and walk around in them to make sure they're comfortable.

How to Style

1. Classic Jeans and Tee

​Pair with semi wide-leg cropped or ankle jeans and a tucked-in basic tee shirt. I suggest a pair of medium or dark wash Ribcage denim from Levi's and a cotton white tee shirt. 

When it comes to choosing the right top to wear with jeans and Mary Janes, a simple blouse or t-shirt can work well. For a more polished look, opt for a blazer or structured jacket. 

2. Pair with dresses and skirts. 

​Whether mini or maxi, the focus is still centered around your statement shoes. I suggest opting for a silk or satin fabric for a delicate look during spring and summer. For fall, choose a long knit dress and beige trench coat for a chic look.

For a classic look, pair a black patent leather Mary Jane shoe with your favorite little black dress. This timeless combination can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For a more casual look, pair a denim skirt with a pair of Mary Jane's.

When it comes to choosing the right length of skirt or dress, it's important to keep in mind the strap of the Mary Jane shoe. For a more traditional look, opt for a dress or skirt that falls just above the knee. This length will allow the strap of the shoe to be seen and will help showcase the classic style of the Mary Jane shoe

Similar Look, Different Price Point

While Carel's Mary Jane shoes can be a pricey investment, Pêche offers a similar look at a lower price point. The Nico shoes from Pêche have a little heel and a square toe with the double strap detail, similar to Carel's Kina style.

An advantage of Pêche Mary Jane shoes are the range of styles available. Pêche offers Mary Jane shoes in a variety of colors and materials, from classic black leather to bold red suede. This allows customers to find the perfect Mary Jane shoe to suit their personal style and preferences. In addition, Pêche offers a range of sizes, including half sizes, to ensure a comfortable and perfect fit for all customers.

In conclusion, Carel Paris Mary Jane shoes are a timeless and elegant investment that are worthy of your attention. Carel Paris has been producing high-quality footwear for over 60 years, and their Mary Jane shoes are no exception. Made from the finest materials and designed with attention to detail, Carel Mary Janes are both comfortable and ready to be shown. 

Audriana Cristello April 7, 2023
Share this post