Mary Janes for Those of Us Who Can't Afford the Olsen Twins' £650 Pair

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have built their fashion empire around luxury basics—after all, The Row sells £200 jersey T-shirts and £2695 leather backpacks. This season they have taken on footwear for the first time, with simple shoes made for pounding New York sidewalks (with a venti Starbucks in hand, of course).

If you have seen any pictures of the twins playing their constant game of hide-and-go-seek with the paparazzi recently, chances are they are wearing their £700 flat Mary Janes. The velvet Mary Jane pumps come in both navy and black and have a square toe, a strap with a buckle adorned with a blue rectangular stone and a minuscule heel.


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Ashley Olsen wearing Mary Janes in New York City.

This simple shoe might have been forgotten in recent years, thanks to the return of the loafer and our undying obsession with trainers, but the Olsens prove it’s time to rethink this classic little black shoe. When it comes to footwear, the sisters are all about comfort, wearing leather flip-flops, Birkenstocks and slip-on loafers almost exclusively—no red carpet can steer them off-piste. So the good news is we can be sure that their Mary Janes are a blister-free option.


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Both Kate Moss and Alexa Chung are fans of a classic Mary Jane.

And it’s not just the Olsen twins making a case for the return of Mary Jane flats. Kate Moss has been inseparable from her Repetto Rose Mary Jane Pumps (£270) this year, and Alexa Chung has never stopped wearing hers.

The Row Ava Mary Jane Flats (£690) go on sale in June, but they have almost sold out while still in the pre-order stage at Barneys. But thankfully, there are also a number of other options for those of us who can’t afford to spend the big bucks on an everyday shoe.

See below for our edit of the nine best Mary Jane shoes, from Office to Gucci

As the key Mary Janes with an edge, these metallic Jimmy Choo beauties will look so good with denim.

If Mary Janes bring back memories of your childhood, chances are you wore a pair of Clarks the first time around. If you are after a classic pair, these are still the sensible choice.

If your vibe is more Gucci than The Row, Alessandro Michele has given the classic silhouette a makeover in red patent leather with pearl detailing and the GG logo.

If you’re looking for a party pump, Marc by Marc Jacobs put a silver glittery heel on its patent Mary Janes.

These suede round-toe pumps are the ultimate throw-on weekend shoes. Pair with “awkward-length” jeans or a summer dress.

Your Mary Janes can be as alt as you like: Check out these python-print slingbacks for starters.

These patent Repetto pumps have a cult following, and they have been styled out by Kate Moss with everything from evening dresses with fishnets to skinny jeans worn with tees.

Don’t be scared of Mary Janes with a little more personality. Tabitha Simmons’s floral-embroidered flats will work for every occasion, from a trip to the flower market on a Sunday to a traditional wedding.

For an evening option, turn to Whistles for their upgraded Mary Janes. In silver leather with a number of thin buckled straps and a block heel, these are a wise alternative to the stiletto.

Will you wear a pair of these Mary Janes? Let us know in the comments box below…

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