Zoë, Kaia and J-Law All Just Wore the Anti-Heels French Girls Love

By now we're all well and truly back on the ballet-flat train. There's just something so easy, comfy and chic about the closed-toe flats. It's no wonder French girls have worshipped this shoe style for so many years, and we're very happy to follow suit. Whatever season you're dressing for, they look so good with cropped trousers, wide-leg silhouettes, full-length, baggy jeans, mini skirts, midi skirts and even dresses. You name it, you can throw on some ballet flats with it.

But recently, there's one particular iteration of the ballet pump that the most stylish celebrities (not to mention fashion people everywhere) have been opting for more often than not, and that's the mary jane. This shoe is typically distinguishable by the band across the top of the foot, which is traditionally adorned with a buckle, though many modern versions just have a simple, elasticated strap, like Miu Miu's cult pair. This humble detail instantly elevates the average ballet flats into "fashion" territory, and devotees like Zoë Kravitz (who has been wearing her mary-jane flats for years), Dua Lipa and Alexa Chung seemingly can't stop wearing them right now. 


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Kaia Gerger ticks off two trends in one, wearing her mary-jane flats with cargo trousers. 

Although some celebs are celebrating their love for mary janes with designer styles from The Row, Miu Miu and Margiela, the great British high street has cottoned on early for autumn, and we're starting to see incredibly chic pairs crop up from the likes of Zara, M&S and H&M, to name just a few. 

Of course, the quality of luxury buys can't be denied, but if you're looking to try out the trend for a more affordable price, it's hard to argue with these high-street styles. I'm sure you'll agree that the classic picks below could easily pass for designer. So whether you choose to style yours for weddings like Alexa Chung, with a simple jeans-and-white-shirt outfit like Dua Lipa, or with cute, white ankle socks like Olivia Rodrigo, you really can't go wrong with this surprisingly versatile flat shoe. 

Keep scrolling to see how celebs have been styling theirs, and then shop the best mary-jane ballet flats that the high street has to offer right now. 

See Who's Been Wearing Mary-Jane Ballet Flats


(Image credit: Backgrid)

How chic does Jennifer Lawrence look in this short-suit with mary-jane ballet flats?


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Zoë Kravitz has been wearing her mary-jane flats with everything for years now, this being her most foray. 


(Image credit: The Image Direct)

Here she is wearing hem with a slip skirt and cropped vest; a further testament to their versatility. 


(Image credit: @alexachung)

Follow Alexa Chung's lead and wear mary-jane ballet flats with a pretty dress. 


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Gigi Hadid wears her cream pair with an all-white ensemble. 


(Image credit: The Mega Agency)

Chung also recently wore an animal-print pair from Le Monde Beryl.


(Image credit: Getty)

I love this timeless look from Dua Lipa.


(Image credit: GETTY)

Olivia Rodrigo wore a chunkier pair with white ankle socks and a mini skirt in London this week. 

Shop High-Street Mary-Jane Ballet Flats:

Next Up: 6 Under-the-Radar Shoe Trends Everyone Will Want to Wear This Autumn

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.