A Touch of Polish: Which Shoes are Best for the Workplace?

Monday, November 19, 2012

--Guest Post By Christina Jones

The issue of which shoes to wear in the morning is one I’m often confronted with and, I must admit, I have got it wrong on occasion. I have unfortunately been the one walking into work in trainers before, and it’s definitely not a good look if your office dress code calls for a smart appearance.

So, just which shoes should you wear in the office? Well, this question is best answered by going over the shoes that you really shouldn’t wear.

As mentioned, trainers are not a good office look. They will ruin a good office outfit, so don't even consider them. They're fine if you're going to be changing into a pair of heels once you reach the office though, so you can always keep them as your comfy driving or walking-to-work shoes if you must. You should steer clear of all trainers in the workplace, even if you think they can pass as smart-looking because they're black. Just don't go there.

Adidas Originals Gazelle Sneaker

→ Buy the Adidas Originals Gazelle Sneaker, $65.00, at zappos.com; shipping and returns are free.

A lot of workplaces have been forced to ban sandals and all other open-toe shoes due to health and safety. Even if there isn't a chance of you dropping something on your exposed toes and cutting them, it's best to abide by the rules on this one.

Kate Spade New York Sofia Sandals

→ Buy the Kate Spade New York Sofia Sandals, $224.99 (was $298.00), at zappos.com; shipping and returns are free.

Embellished shoes
If you love glitter (who doesn't?) you'll probably have a pair of glittery or shimmery ballet pumps in your wardrobe. Now, while ballet pumps are perfectly fine for the workplace (in neutral or statement shades like red only though - no hot pink!) you certainly won't be able to get away with glittery pumps. Why? Because they're far from professional!

Kate Spade New York Karolina Pumps

→ Buy the Kate Spade New York Karolina Pumps, $325.00, at katespade.com.

Platform heels
These shoes should be reserved for nights out only. No one can look smart and professional when they're sporting a pair of extremely high platform heels, even if they're in a subdued black.

Topshop Supreme Platform Pump

→ Buy the Topshop Supreme Platform Pump, $176.00, at nordstrom.com; shipping and returns are free.

Okay, not all boots are out, just certain kinds. No thigh high boots (for obvious reasons) and no boots with fur either, as they can look a bit too casual. Knee high boots are okay when paired with the right outfit, but be wary of boots with too many buckles and tassels on. Ankle boots, on the other hand, are ideal - choose a smart Chelsea boot or Victorian-style lace up ankle boot.

Alexander McQueen Suede Bootie

→ Buy the Alexander McQueen Suede Bootie, $1,075.00, at nordstrom.com; shipping and returns are free.

Fine for the journey in, not so fine for the rest of the day. Make sure you always bring something to change into if you're planning on travelling into work in wellie boots because of the weather.

Hunter Regent Savoy Wellie

→ Buy the Hunter Regent Savoy Wellie, $175.00, at zappos.com; shipping and returns are free.

Which shoes do you think would be alright for the workplace?

This post was contributed by Christina Jones, a freelance writer who specializes in fashion blogs on topics such as vans trainers and converse shoes.