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Where Mary Jane Shoes Come From And Why They Are Still Popular

Aug 17, 2007
Mary Jane shoes are among the most popular styles of shoes for girls and women. They're traditionally viewed as shoes for children, but modern buyers know better.

Mary Jane shoes are an American invention. Actually, it's more accurate to say that the label "Mary Jane" is an American one applied to a style of shoe which had already been around for quite some time. This style of shoe has a low heel, closed rounded toe, a strap, and a buckle. The name Mary Jane comes from the name of a character invented by Brown Shoe Company in the early 20th century to accompany their boys brand, Buster Brown. The original Mary Jane was Buster Brown's friend, and the type of shoes she wore came to be known as Mary Janes. Because of this origin in America, Mary Janes came to be identified with children, though there is nothing inherently childish about their design.

Mary Janes are a terrific, youthful shoe. They make a great choice for young girls. They can be worn with dresses and pants. Parents will appreciate their versatile nature.

For grown-ups, the versatility of Mary Janes also makes them an excellent addition to your shoe collection. Because they can be worn with a variety of a fashions, they make a great all-around shoe. Mary Janes made specially for adults often feature taller, clunkier heels. Some are as big as 3". That's quite a change from the low heels you remember from your childhood.

Another contemporary update of the old classic are Mary Jane mules. Yes, now you can get the style of the Mary Jane without that irritating back. The mule adds a more squarish toe which may be more suitable for the professional environment. If you're looking for a Mary Jane with an even more contemporary look, you have to check out Josef Seibel's "Maddie". This unique take on the Mary Jane fuses the classic style with a look reminiscent of casual athletic shoes.

It's hard to do these shoes justice with mere words. You have to check them out online or at your favorite Josef Seibel retailer. I guarantee you'll get all sorts of comments on them if you decide to get a pair.

One of the scenes encouraging the popularity of Mary Janes is the rockabilly music scene. Some other fashion subcultures are perpetuating their popularity as well. They're popular with punk fans and people in the Lolita fashion underground.

Mary Jane shoes are not just for little girls anymore. While Brown Shoe Company may have popularized them for girls in the early 20th century, modern adult female shoe buyers(and some guys, too) have claimed them as their own. As with so many other popular fashion trends, the resurgence of the Mary Jane was catalyzed by lesser known fashion subcultures.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as girl shoes at http://www.designershoesplus.com
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