Style Guide: Ballet Flats & Mary Janes
Posted by Jones Bootmaker on
There was a time when Mary Janes and ballet flats conjured up images of dance recitals and the school playground. Since their early years, Mary Janes and ballet flats have seen many iterations.
Mary Janes, a term coined State-side for bar or doll shoes, were seen everywhere from classrooms to the red carpet throughout the nineties. Characterised by a single bar strap across the instep, Mary Janes could be seen on all the well-heeled celebrities of their heyday, from Winona Ryder to Sandra Bullock.
Fast-forward a few years to a time when women’s ballet flats were popularised both on and off the runway by the London It-girls of the noughties. Alexa Chung’s low-effort, max-impact ballet flats and denim skirt combination oozed indie-sleaze. While Kate Moss paraded in her signature noughties uniform: skinny jeans and a military jacket, signed off with simple black ballet pumps.
So, are Mary Jane shoes back in style? Are ballet pumps? Thanks to a wave of nineties and noughties nostalgia, spring-summer 2022 plays host to the revival of these ultra-versatile styles.
At Jones, we’ve embraced the child-like simplicity of these timeless silhouettes. Showcasing slimline, flat-soled designs, crafted from butter-soft leather with minimalist details. Adopting the mantra that simple is chic.
A shorter skirt with ballet flats will give the appearance of longer legs thanks to the shoe’s open top design.
How to Wear Ballet Flats
The simplicity of your ballet flats will allow you to be bold when it comes to choosing the cuts, prints, and colours of your clothes. A shorter skirt with ballet flats will give the appearance of longer legs thanks to the shoe’s open top design.
A perfect shoe for the commuters among us, there’s no need to worry about rolling your ankle with the ballet flats’ comfortable, cobble-friendly profile. Paired with a midi dress or skirt, ballet flats can take you from daywear to evening in a flash. Just switch out your slouchy tote bag (note Kate Moss circa 2005) for a clutch or handbag.
Choose a pump in a single colour for maximum versatility. Black is the safest option if you’re undecided about colour. Black ballet pumps will look effortlessly smart alongside your working week ensembles and your weekend denims. Black tights make the perfect companion to your black ballet pumps and will lend them wear beyond the warmer months.
Paired with a midi dress or skirt, ballet flats can take you from daywear to evening in a flash.
How to Wear Ballet Flats with Jeans
For an injection of noughties nostalgia, pair your ballerina pumps with skinny or drainpipe jeans. For a contemporary twist on this noughties classic, choose an ankle grazing style for a more clean-cut aesthetic.
Versatile as they are, there are very few cuts of jeans that ballet flats can’t handle. For looser cuts of jeans such as flared, wide-leg, or ‘mom’ jeans, slip on your ballet pumps with a matching belt to maintain a sense of streamlined structure throughout your look.
Versatile as they are, there are very few cuts of jeans that ballet flats can’t handle.
What to Wear with Mary Jane Shoes?
The same rules apply for your flat Mary Janes when it comes to colour. A single block colour will serve you well when looking for a shoe you’ll want to wear anywhere, everywhere.
In terms of cut, match the clean lines of your Mary Janes to more structured cuts of clothing. Ankle grazing jeans and sharp tailoring will match the tone of your Mary Janes – but that doesn’t mean you should avoid looser fitting clothes. Why not pair your Mary Janes with an oversized blazer for a relaxed yet refined appeal?
In terms of cut, match the clean lines of your Mary Janes to more structured cuts of clothes.
Socks with Mary Janes
The right pair of socks can change the tone of your Mary Janes in an instant. Opt for white socks if you’re looking to lean into their childlike quality, or black socks with black Mary Janes for a little Parisian edge.
A simple switch from opaque socks to sheer mesh is a sure way to make a statement and offers an easy way to elevate your Mary Jane ensembles for evening or a touch more formal occasions.