Mary Jane shoes, a Naturalizer love affair

There’s nothing like a pair of wearable sexy shoes that make you excited to get dressed for the day (or night).

Trust me, I have a closet full of one-time wears, boxes filled with “like new” shoes of what I liked inside the store as classic pumps, ankle straps, event heels and the like. You know you do too. Shoes that beckoned and beguiled, and after 20 minutes on the foot, beat you from the feet up. Money that could have gone into my IRA or at the very least, some well placed fillers.

Naturalizer is not a brand I normally equated with chic and stylish. My go-to shoe for years has been Donald J. Pliner, as I am a perfect size 9 medium in all his shoes. I don’t even have to try them on. Because of my height (I’m 5’8″ flat footed) I have settled into wearing the Viana style shoe and have about 8 pairs in different colors. Which is great, but a girl needs a change, some variety, and I really missed wearing a higher heel too.

Enter the new Naturalizer, as I was pitched their fall / winter 2013 line, and the pictures of their shoes intrigued me, but it was the look and the wear of one particular style of Naturalizer that made me a believer.


A sample pair of 9 medium Napina Mary Janes from Naturalizer hit my door, and it was love at first sight.

I adore a Mary Jane (and a good T-Strap too) – but Janes are just classic and sexy, little girl Lolita and proper ladylike and all. The most directional style in fall and winter fashion is the Mary Jane heel, and theirs has a single-buckled strap across the top of the foot which dates back to the turn of the century.

The name comes from the shoes worn by Mary Jane, a character from the Buster Brown comic strip (drawn by R F Outcault) which first appeared in the New York Herald in 1902. Little girls everywhere clamored for them, and until the late Fifties they were a must-have style for both boys and girls.

Janes were gussied up in the roaring Twenties, where pearl buttons closed the bar, and silk satins peaked out from shorter length skirts. Shirley Temple dazzled us on the silver screen wearing white Mary Janes in Baby Takes a Bow, and now we see punk versions of them on Kinderwhore rockers who have chunked the heel and shoe profile.

Well, I don’t shave my hair, and I tend to veer to classic shapes. Naturalizer has done a brilliant job with these high heels that you can stand and walk in without looking like someone is poking a voodoo doll of you somewhere. The more I dig into their site, the more I am impressed at how they have take what I thought was a rather “old” design ethos and transformed them into really modern silhouettes and shapes. I’m really impressed with the reboot of their company.

The “Napina” particulars:


The classic heel is a leather upper dress Mary Jane style with a rounded toe. There is some stitching detailed design at the toe in grey/black stitching on black leather and the adjustable instep strap with buckle closure is positioned just right to be flattering and not cut your leg off too close to the ankle, it’s a very alluring position and elongates the ankle too.



This shoe has a super smooth lining, very structured cushioning insole features with N5 comfort elements and a 3/4 inch platform midsole with a non-slip outsole, for a 3 1/2 inch total heel height.



Absolutely hands down stunning with pants, long skirts, dresses and tights. You can find them in black and brown, but make sure you try the black pair-they are so versatile and lovely.


Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.