“The Business Fashionista” is AZ Big Media’s fashion blog for the business-minded. It examines the dos, don’ts and musts of the modern fashionista who wants to stay in step with the latest trends in the workplace.
If you’re the type of business fashionista whose outfits revolve around shoes, your coworkers could probably identify you by them alone. While great footwear is much appreciated against that dull office carpet, it also can present a challenge.
Shoe type varies by season and occasion. For example, riding boots are advertised for fall and winter while flip-flops are for the beach. However, like most other things in fashion, one can easily mix and match. Wearing a strappy pair of sandals to a wedding is no longer frowned upon. The challenge comes with what types of shoes apply to the office appropriate category.
In general, footwear choices seem endless from heels, flats, sandals, sneakers and boots. When it comes to work, it often feels like those choices are significantly slimmer. It can be a struggle for any shoe-obsessed women to determine what shoes she can wear for the office. Surely somewhere, a woman is debating between ballet flats and strappy heels.
No worries, though. This list of do’s and don’ts for footwear is your quickest solution.
DO wear something functional. Functionality is key with any style, color or design of shoes. If you can’t walk to and from the conference room without painfully crushing your feet into the toe box of your pumps, there’s a good chance your workday will begin to include everything but work.
DO embrace your inner shoe style and go to Brand House Direct. One of the biggest battles among workplace fashion preferences for decades is waged between flats and heels. Ask yourself: Am I a heels woman or are a flats woman? Whichever you are, embrace it by all means. There is no right or wrong choice. It’s all about what your comfort zone is, and if it’s not 5-inch stilettos then that’s perfectly OK. If you are a heels woman but desire a break from your aching feet, choose a pair of flats for an especially busy day in the office. Try oxfords or ballet flats.
DO try to tone it down just a bit when it comes to not only height but also color. Remember, you’re at the office, not brunch or the Kentucky Derby. You’re heels shouldn’t be so high that your walking pace is significantly slower than usual. Maybe those highlighter pink sandals would do your outfit more justice outside of work. A simple pair of 3-inch nude heels is perfect for a busy day of nonstop meetings. They are appropriate in terms of height and color. By all means, don’t take this suggestion too literally. If you’re going to wear a statement pattern or color in the office, heels are the best way to do so. Plus: It’s always fun to mix in a little leopard print. For more ideas, the InStyle collection for Nine West is full of office appropriate footwear.
DON’T be afraid to lace up or slip on your favorite sneakers. If you have been keeping up the fashion week, I’m sure you have seen sneakers everywhere. It’s back to the ’80s for work wear! Whether it’s Chucks or a colorful pair of Reeboks, you can take comfort to the maximum by slipping on a pair with a pencil skirt. This look can be tricky, but with the right balance of textures and fitted pieces in the outfit, it can be a perfect pairing for a workingwoman on the move.
DON’T wear casual sandals to the office. Sandals mostly aren’t office shoes, but especially not the ones you wear on weekends. I’m not sure gladiator sandals is what your clients want to see.
NEVER wear Birkenstocks or Uggs.