Me and Mary Jane

Today I met with my friend, Mary Jane.  I haven’t seen her in a really long time.  It was quite nice.  She is quite practical.  Cute in a mature kind of way.  A little flirty, and fun.  Today she made me feel great!!!  I felt taller, and slimmer and  it made me wonder why I don’t hang out with her more often.  She is quite the fashion icon, and everyone seems to know her.  In fairness, I have to be in the mood to chill with her, and feel a bit self-conscious unless I am wearing just the right ensemble with some fab accessories.  I guess it’s been about a year since we’ve hung out, and today we did a fair amount of walking around.  We tend to see each other mostly in the fall, when we are better able to find the time to spend together; particularly when the weather cools and the autumn leaves start to fall.  And then, we’re practically inseparable until  late spring.  I suppose you could classify her as a seasonal friend.  She was locked in my shoe cabinet until today, when I broke her out of retirement.

Yes, I, like many others, have a few Mary Janes stashed away.  And, I am quite fond of them all.  I always wondered how the name of these utterly fabulous shoes came to be, and here’s the scoop:

Many a moon ago, in 1902, (yeah…. that was a l-o-n-g time ago), there was a comic strip called ‘Buster Brown’.   He looks kind of girly in the comic above, but I guess for the time, that’s what all the young whipper snappers were wearing!  The story goes that Mary Jane was Buster Brown’s sweetheart/girlfriend/babe/hot tamale (coincidentally the same name as the creator’s daughter).  Apparently, a couple of years later, Richard Felton Outcault, licensed the use of his characters to a load of companies to advertise their wares.  The Brown Shoe Company, being one of the most famous of course.  So, both, Buster Browns and Mary-Janes gained in popularity, mostly due to some live skit that travelled across the country, where actors were hired and … yada…yada…yada – kind of interesting from a marketing point of view; very ingenious for the day.   I’m sure I must’ve had a pair of Mary Janes as a young girl (or that would’ve just been wrong, on many levels), but for some reason I have a very vivid memory of little Kevin Horner from elementary school, in his adorable lace up buster brown shoes.  Could the impact of his impressionable soles become the stepping stone for my shoe obsession?

These totally cute brown Mary-Janes I wore today, were must-haves for £5 when my Sistah and I were perusing through a ‘car boot’ sale in England a couple of summers ago.

“The future’s got a million roads for you to choose, But you’ll walk a little taller in some high heel shoes” – Hairspray
Ain’t that the truth! 

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13 thoughts on “Me and Mary Jane

  1. Ha, Barb that’s hilarious. Good one Sher. I can beleive you only paid 5 pounds..cheers to that (with a cup of tea of course). I bought a pair of sling back black Browns at Holts for work and they lasted years, you only get what you pay for I guess. I actually love mary janes too….I have 3 black pairs…I’ll have to take a pic for FB. Loved to hear the history too, thanks. Hey, guess what? We’re getting a Pottery Barn in WEM, opens on the weekend. Wish you were here to go with me. xoK

    • Oooooh! Pottery barn! Sooooo jealous! Might you attempt a trip, even if it’s in a mall…?. And WEM to boot! Wish i could join you – can’t believe Ottawa still doesn’t have one or an H&M. Grrrr……

      • I might venture there some early morning mid November to eyeball their Christmas goodies, but even the most seasoned shopper’s will be tested at their WEM grande opening on Thanksgiving Long Weekend…OMG, it will be banana’s.

  2. Love those shoes!!! Your blog also took me right back to trying on shoes in the old shoe store in the OLD Crestwood strip mall on 142nd..it was THE place to go and get Buster Browns!

    • Thanks Ma! Sooooo…. The burning question is: was i deprived of a pair of Mary Janes when I was little? Or do i have a repressed memory of them being the fist shoes i fell in love with?

  3. Love it and I think these are the very shoes I saw on you yesterday : ) They are way fab my friend!!! Great post yet again, keep it up {cant wait to read more}

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