Instep straps are originally the trademark of Mary Jane shoes. Classic Mary Janes used to be popular with children. I remember myself owning several pairs of patent Mary Janes as a kid. I wore them with laced white ankle socks.
But the shoe eventually evolved since the late 1990s. Chunky heels and exaggerated grommets or buckles were added which appealed to punk rock, psychobilly, and goth subcultures. The new Mary Janes would typically be worn with knee-high knit socks in dark-colored stripes or patterns, and a plaid, pleated schoolgirl-style skirt.
Slowly, the chunky heels and overwhelming grommets were replaced with slimmer heels, slimmer instep straps, and simpler buckles. These classic shoes are now called Mary Jane pumps. But fashion doesn´t end there, we now have a wide variation of instep strapped pumps including peep-toes, court shoes, platforms, and classic pumps.
While instep straps give that vintage attitude to a modern pump, it has its own cons especially to petite women. Just like ankle straps, instep straps cut the line of the wearer making her appear shorter. But that doesn´t mean you should avoid shoes with instep straps altogether, follow these tricks in styling them for you to achieve that maximum flattering silhouette.
Wear Black Mary Jane Pumps with Bright Mini Dress
Pump meets Mary Jane. A round toe pump is great for slim, tall women but not for petite. Add a thick instep strap and it becomes twice unflattering. The trick is to wear it with a bright mini dress. You need to look leggy, showing more skin will help. The bright color of the dress will gather attention; bring the eyes more on top than on your feet. Because the style of this Mary Jane pump is semi-casual in spite of it being dressy, go for a less formal dress such as a hot pink, drop waist mini dress.
Create a Tonal Combination
Another trick you can use in styling a pair of classic black pumps with instep straps, with the goal of making your legs appear slimmer and longer, is a tonal combination. Choose separates in a shade that matches your skin tone such as beige, light brown, or cream. Create a monochrome mix, for example, a beige floral top teamed with beige dress shorts. Add a two-toned bag in black and nude to balance the color of your shoes.
If you are pear shape, a strict monotone would emphasize your proportion. To avoid this, opt for visibly patterned top in colors that still blend with your bottom separate. This will make your top appear bigger, thus giving your shape a better balance.
Wear with Bermuda Shorts
We saw the comeback of Bermuda shorts this summer 2013. Keep your summer wardrobe trendy by teaming nude t-strapped peep-toe pumps with a pair of nude Bermuda shorts. You need not worry on your vertical line if your shoes are nude; since they match your skin color, they don´t cut your line. Add a striking pattern on your top such as stripes, dots, floral or checked.
Avoid capri pants. While you can be tempted to go for capris knowing that Bermuda shorts are currently in, the favor they´ll give you are different. Bermuda shorts hit on your knees, the slim part of your legs, while capri pants hit on the thickest part of your shin. Combined with your shoes´ instep straps, you would appear shorter in capri pants than you really are.
Try with High Waist Slim Jeans
Probably the reason why Victoria Beckham loves high waist flared jeans is because they make her look like she has a pair of endless legs. Mimic her style. Wear an instep t-strap peep-toe pumps with high waist flare dark jeans. Add a striking, printed button-down shirt worn tucked in. Whenever you sit and cross your legs, you give that gorgeous peek of t-straps. But when you´re standing and walking, the straps don´t take center stage, thus keeping them from blocking your silhouette.
What do you think of Mary Jane pumps and platform pumps with instep straps?