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Luxe to Less 5 July 2021

Buckle Up: Make This Season’s ‘It’ Shoe Work For You

Mary Janes are here to stay; so why not splurge on these year-round trend cycle defiant shoes.

Long been the quintessential Aussie school shoe, and the resurgence of the Mary Jane as fashion's 'It' shoe has seen the '90s style move from classroom to the street. The reintroduction of Mary Jane's was always inevitable as we continue to work our way through our favourite '90s trends. The comfortable statement shoe suits pretty much all styles, from feminine to punk; their classic appearance and universal appeal make them a wardrobe staple for life.

Words By Eliza Sears


With nearly every fashion house taking on the style, Marni’s chunky sole leather pumps are a modern interpretation of the school shoe, leaving you ready for life-long learning.

A classic outfit is the obvious choice with such a classic shoe but don’t worry; there are no boring ensembles here. Tonal blacks mixed with thoughtful detailing and unique tailoring make for an outfit worth repeating over and over again.

Japanese fashion designer Junya Watanabe creates beautiful silhouettes through tailored pieces with a twist. Junya Watanabe’s open-back wool-blend blazer features padded shoulders and long puff sleeves, making it stand out from the crowd of blazers on the market.

Perfect for pairing with a casual white tee, bralette or cami of your choosing, this wool blazer will invite compliments aplenty.

To layer over your blazer, Acne Studios’ small leather bag with architectural knots inspired by traditional Japanese obi sashes or kimono belts is the modern take on tradition we love to express and celebrate through our clothes.

These trousers bring this outfit together. Offset the bold blazer with Bottega Veneta’s muted straight leg, high waisted wool trousers. And Gucci’s GG bow-embellished cotton-blend socks with archival 1970s gold hardware and ribbed cuff add an unexpected accent to finish it off. Truly the school socks we wish we had back in the day.

Clockwise Left to Right

Marni Chunky Sole Leather Pumps, $1,215, Farfetch 
Acne Studios Small Leather Bag, $1,500, Acne Studios
Junya Watanabe Open-Back Wool-Blend Blazer, $1615, Selfridges
Bottega Veneta Trousers, $1,240, Bottega Veneta 
Gucci GCBow Embellished Cotton-Blend Socks, $255, MATCHES FASHION


For a feminine edge, Mary Jane’s can easily be worn with your favourite dress of the moment.

Melbourne-based label, Habbot is known for their comfortable yet chic designs and quality craftsmanship.

Made in Italy, Habbot’s Vasto Block Heels in fudge brown, with a pinky hue, is a pretty take on the Mary Jane.

Ganni never ceases to amaze, and their Shirred striped organic cotton-poplin midi dress is no exception; from its cinched in waist and mock neckline to its bold green stripe detailing, this dress is the stuff of dreams.

While it remains on the cooler side in the Southern Hemisphere, an added layer is a necessary addition to any outfit.

Sweater vests are having their moment right now, and we love to see it. Not only is the white cotton-blend knit vest byTiMo warm and cosy, but it’s knit construction and ribbed detailing add dimension and shape to the overall look.

And as with any outfit, a delectable bag to hold all your bits and bobs goes a long way.

Vegan accessories label Matt & Natt’s Gessi Micro Vegan Crossbody Bag in velvet offers a nod to the Habbot shoes without being overly matchy for an ‘I just threw this on’ look.

Clockwise Left to Right

Habbot Vasto Block Heels, $455, The Iconic
GANNI Shirred Striped Organic Cotton-Poplin Midi Dress, $438.82, NET-A-PORTER
byTiMo Cotton-Blend Knit Vest, $543, Farfetch
Isabel Marant Hoop Earrings, $418.51, Shopbop
Matt & Nat Gessi Micro Vegan Crossbody Bag, $205, Matt & Nat


For those of us on a tighter budget, spending less is no obstacle in the world of Mary Jane’s.

Labels high and low have taken on the style, leaving plenty of options to choose from.

Dr Martens 8065 Mary Jane, first released in the ‘80s, made practical shoes the norm in womenswear, and we can’t thank them enough.

With unmatched versatility, you can wear these Dr Martens everywhere and anywhere.

And what better way to introduce a versatile piece into your wardrobe than by pairing it with versatile pieces like the Long Straight Leg Jeans from Cotton On in a light wash.

The high-rise, rigid denim is a wardrobe winner and will undoubtedly save many a fashion emergency because jeans are always a good option.

While the bottom is reasonably practical, the power of a good top is second to none. A silky shirt, like the Parisian Girl shirt from Dazie, can transform an outfit from day to night and add some much-needed shine for a night out.

And finally, to tame the mane and finish off this casual Parisian look, add some texture with Peach-It’s gorgeous velvet headband.

Whether you’re stomping the streets of a windswept city during the day or keeping your hair at bay as you dance the night away, a headband is always a good idea.

Clockwise Left to Right

Dr. Martens 8065 Mary Jane, $239.99, Dr. Martens
Cotton On Long Straight Jean, was $59.99 now $44.99, Cotton On
Glassons Mini Croc Faux Leather Shoulder Bag, $29.99, Glassons
Dazie Parisian Girl Silky Shirt, $79.99, The Iconic
Peach It Velvet Plait Headband in Primrose Pink, was $19.95 now $12.00, Glue Store