What Do I Wear to Work to Avoid High Heels?

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Image Consulting for Women

The Future of High Heels Looks Wobbly—at Least for Now

Not to plagiarize, but I couldn’t have said it better than this 4/13/21 article headline from Wall Street Journal.

This image is characteristic of most women’s shoe wardrobes “pre-pandemic” and not just for special occasions.  Women with style, slender women, and most young women in a professional office setting have worn a 3 to 4-inch heel to work every day for decades.

Apparently, women are not in a rush to resume this less than comfortable accessory, especially after a year spent in slippers and sneaks.

So what’s new?

90’s inspired platform shoes have a new name “flatforms” and a new place on store shelves.  They allow for an elevated shoe, but with a far more comfortable heel.  Except in the most casual of offices, this look would not be appropriate.

I notice that square toe sandals are in.  For a professional woman, strappy sandals are not work-appropriate and let it be known, I am NOT a fan of square toe shoes, sandals, or otherwise.  Visually the strong horizontal line at the end of your foot is a bit jarring.  And since your feet are not square, they look odd to me.

In a casual office, clogs can give some shoe mileage when paired with trousers.  Choose a clog in a neutral color and a more refined heel if possible.  I saw a lot of “lug soles” like Doc Martins which are chunky/clunky boot and shoe heels.  These also are so casual they are not in the work-wear category.

It surprised me how little “dressy” shoes I saw in all my research.  Maybe a high heel or two on a pastel strappy sandal but for the most part, women’s shoes are very casual.  And so little to choose from for the Professional Woman.  The one exception was flats or ballerina flats.  These shoes are work-appropriate and comfortable.

This pair by Ferragamo is about as elegant as a flat can be.

Avoid flats with rounded Mary-Jane toes.  A pointed toe is far more sophisticated shoe for a woman.

Avoid flats with an elasticized band around the top.  Plaa-leeeze.

Loafers are in the running for work shoes, and there is a world of options beyond Weejuns.  Try a perforated suede loafer for example.  That said, if you prefer a more feminine shoe, on the shoe to wear with a dress or skirt, go for the pointed toe flat.

Need any help transitioning your dusty 2019 wardrobe to 2021?  That is what I do!  🙂

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