Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Women's Shoes for the Workplace

Photo from personal archives


I am a 30 year old woman and work in a fairly conservative law firm.  I read the list of men's dress and casual shoes enviously and wonder if there are any similar suggestions for women's workplace shoes, especially with low to medium heels  For both personal and professional reasons, I am not interested in anything loud.  What classic shoes do women wear? Thank you.

Some companies:

24 comments:

  1. For the past 30 years, I have worn Ferragamo 'Vara' almost exclusively. For me they are very comfortable, classic and come in great basic colors - black leather, black patent, navy and bone will take you anywhere! Two years ago I added a hunter green to my collection and it is a surprisingly versatile color.

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  2. The lower heeled Stuart Weitzman pumps are nice and comfortable. Also, as women's shoes go, they are a rare in between price point.

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  3. I love my Ferragamo Vara pumps and wear them all the time. I work in a slightly more casual office now and absolutely live in my Ann Mashburn ballet flats (although I think they've sadly discontinued them...) As well, I find that double monkstrap shoes work very well in an office and can easily be dressed up or down. Ann Mashburn (clearly a favorite!) and Billy Reid have great pairs, and Sam Edelman also offers a nice budget-friendly version.

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  4. Oh, and also and always--Stubbs & Wootton smoking slippers!

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  5. Please check into Munroshoes.com.These are made in USA and come in narrow to wide widths. I like the style "Nora". it's a black stretch fabric,which paired with black tights give a long lean look. I'v also worn them bare ankle with skinny jeans.Good Luck. Proper shoes will make any outfit a"smart look" And as always less is more.

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  6. I wear GH Bass loafers with my suits a lot, I've got a pair in black and a pair in cordovan. Otherwise I usually go with a kitten heel in black, brown, or navy, or some ballet flats, though I'm dedicated to no one specific brand for these so I'm watching everyone else's suggestions carefully.

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  7. I've always had conservative taste for workplace dress shoes: mostly pumps, no terribly high heels, no open toes, no sandals, and no wedges.
    My #1 is Ferragamo; you can still find many of their classic styles on eBay. My other favorite shoe sources are Arthur Beren of San Francisco and Keith Scarrott of the UK. However, I'm saddened that another dear favorite, Galo Shoes in New York, is now closed.

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  8. Great question!

    I agree that in a conservative office, Ferragamo's Vara is about perfect. I wouldn't go much higher for the heel. When I find a low heel that is comfortable and suitable for skirts and trousers, I try to buy it in black, brown, navy and burgundy.

    I keep a pair of loafers and black ballet flats for casual days. I don't live in a community that offers a lot of choices for women's shoes, and I like to try them on. In the past I have purchased Trotters, Clarks, Naturalizers and even department store brands, which are often priced well for the value.

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  9. I concur with Sarah on Ann Mashburn (not just for shoes, but for everything) and with the Ferragamo recommendation. S&W slippers are a great alternative to loafers with trousers. If you're looking for more traditional pumps, similar to the photo Muffy selected for the post, Delman and Butter are great choices. Simply Soles is an online source for some terrific pumps that are work appropriate and the service is great.

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  10. I just have to ask: what is back story on why that photos was taken?

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  11. Stubbs and Wooten, Delman, and Donald J. Pliner are styles that look appropriate with trousers and skirts.

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  12. Un avis de FRANCE : Je ne mets que des TOOD'S .Mon travail exige élégance et confort . Ce n'est certes pas un produit Américain mais si élégant pour nous européennes. Avec un bon roulement on peut les garder entre 10 a 12 ans . .www.tods.com . De plus dans notre monde cela est aussi classe que Hermes ou Chanel A un prix et une élégance confortable inégalée. Tous les notaires, médecins ,avocats femmes se chaussent ainsi. Pour les hommes il n'y a que CHURDH et ALDEN mais au printemps ils achètent aussi TOOD'S . Bien cordialement.

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  13. Heh-heh; depends on your "workplace," doesn't it?

    Muck boots, Bean boots, or pull-on Ariat ropers do pretty well for mine! ; )

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  14. I like a Clarks Mary Jane with a 2-1/2" heel. I can walk a good pace and be on my feet without discomfort. I wear them with slacks and skirts.

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  15. The Ferragamo Vera is discreet and appropriate in a conservative workplace. The Vera is also comfortable and will carry you easily through a long workday.

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  16. I think that a stacked heel allows a woman to wear a higher heel in the office without looking inappropriate. Rounded or squared toes are a classic look. If you want to add a feminine touch, look for a pair with a cap toe or a discreet buckle or bow. Ferragamo is a favorite with me.

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  17. The Vara from Ferragamo really is a very nice option, although I do not own it myself.

    I am really into Tod's. They have loafers with very low heels and also pumps with very comfortable heels. The quality is amazing and IMHO definitely worth the money.

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  18. I second the recommendation for Munro shoes. Unfortunately, I can no longer wear shoes as narrow as the Ferragamo shoes tend to be.

    Clarks shoes can be nice, with a leather lining, which is a must if worn for a long day.

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  19. I used to love a number of the shoes that Bass offered, but sadly so many of them are either gone (ballet style flats, tassel loafer with a heel) or the fit is bad. I also loved Etienne Aigner, but that is another company that is nothing like it used to be. Several have mentioned Clark's shoes and I have to say, they are by far some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, and they do make a nice selection of professional looking styles.

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  20. echoing the ferragamo vara's here. they are pricy to buy new, but a vintage pair can be gotten for around $75 on ebay. You can spend a lot on shoes, but I for one, being extremely picky, look for the following:

    stack heel
    closed toe
    classic lines, hard to describe but you just "know"
    black, dark brown, oxblood, or navy

    on the pricey side, besides ferragamo, french brand chloe makes lovely shoes. for a more affordable alternative, try googling the chelsea crew brand for some vintage inspired classic heels.

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  21. Re Anonymous 11/13, 4:12pm: I, too, am curious. Unless I'm mistaken, this photo is of a group of 1960's Stewardesses taken at an airport location (note chairs)taken to commemorate (see single carnation on each arm) a new airplane, a new route, or a maiden flight. Their regulation uniform shoes were navy leather 2" heel, usually purchased at either upscale shoes stores, or better department stores. Their posture is a reflection of their training. Brings back memories. I'd like Muffy to confirm back story also.

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  22. Munro, Old Maine Trotters [covered heels do not hold up well but price point is low], Always Ferragamos, I have a pair that is 10 years old and still lovely

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  23. Michael Kors flex pumps. They look classic and I can race around airports and jump into taxis in them. I have three pairs in black so that I can rotate one out to the cobbler for re-heeling. They also come in navy, red, and nude. The pointed toe enlongates the leg. They are my go-to shoes for work.

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  24. Definitely agree with all the 'gamo suggestions.

    Starting about now, I won't wear shoes again until late March. Almost strictly boots. They go over or under pants and look great with skirts.

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