The Basics: Chic Classic Black Pumps

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Why are classic black pumps a wardrobe staple? The number one reason is they never go out of style. Trends come and go, but a mid-high heel black leather pump with a classic pointed toe has been en vogue for decades. On top of that swell fact, they match about 80% of your wardrobe. Really, they do. From your power suit, to your LBD, to your favorite pair of designer jeans, a classic black pump makes the whole ensemble look chic and put together.

Bottom line: invest in the highest quality pair your budget can handle. While I lusted after something in the Choo-boutin range, my reality just after law school was about a quarter of that price, so I invested in a pair of Coach "Alison" black leather pumps (similar here). They were one of my most savvy purchases -- they lasted over ten years! I replaced them with a pair of Jimmy Choos that show every sign of lasting twice as long.

What makes a quality shoe better than it's bargain-basement priced cousin? Comfort, quality, durability, and style. A high quality shoe is just as comfy after a 10 hour day as when you first put it on and it can last decades if cared for properly. Once you give it a try, you'll be a believer.

Ready to fork over the big bucks for a top of the line classic black pump? Look no further than the simply named "BB Pointed Toe Pump" from Manolo Blahnik. This is the classic black pump. Crafted from super soft, premium leather inside and out and sporting the signature Blahnik silhouette, this pump will serve you well for many years.

Manolo Blahnik BB Pointed Toe Pump

→ Buy the Manolo Blahnik BB Pointed Toe Pump, $595.00, at

Looking for something a little more affordable, but still in the top tier of quality footwear? For about half the price of a new pair of Manolos you can pick up the chic "Fira" Pump from AERIN. The new-ish AERIN line, from Estee Lauder heiress Aerin Lauder, has quickly become known for quality mid-priced options in classic silhouettes.

AERIN Fira Point Toe Pump

→ Buy the AERIN Fira Point Toe Pump, $278.00, at

These sleek "Daisy" Pumps from Stuart Weitzman represent a chance to get a high quality pair of classic black pumps at a very reasonable price. While supplies last, these all leather pumps are yours at over half off retail price thanks to the wonder known as The shopping gods are smiling.

Stuart Weitzman Daisy Point Toe Pump

→ Buy the Stuart Weitzman Daisy Point Toe Pump, $126.74 (was $298.00), at

For moderately priced quality shoes you can't top Nine West. These "Martina" pumps feature an all leather upper coupled with a super durable manmade sole for a shoe that is both chic and practical.

Nine West Martina Pump

→ Buy the Nine West Martina Pump, $79.00, at

There is something special about a Steve Madden shoe that makes it incredibly comfortable. I've heard that it has something to do with a more supportive arch, but I can't be certain. What I do know is that every pair of Steve Maddens I've owned have been super comfy, no matter the heel height. Sure, they're not Manolos, but for $90 it's hard to go wrong.

Steve Madden Daart Pumps

→ Buy the Steve Madden Daart Pumps, $99.95, at

Looking for an entry-level classic black pump that won't set you back a paycheck, but has the same classic look as the big boys? Try out the "Valentin" Pump from Gabriella Rocha. The look is classic chic, but the price is oh-so-affordable.

Gabriella Rocha Valentin Pump

→ Buy the Gabriella Rocha Valentin Pump, $30.99 (was $59.00), at

Photo: black+pumps-+stripes-+sleeveless+trench by Maegan, on Flickr (outfit details)

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on December 17, 2006; it has since been updated.