Black Pumps Under $100

VOLATILE - Molly (Black) - Footwear2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on comfortable black pumps!

Last week, we had The Corporette Guide to Interview Suits.  We thought we’d do a round-up of black pumps today, another must-have for the interview wardrobe.  However, we thought we’d challenge ourselves by only rounding up good-looking shoes under $100…

LifeStride - Haze (Black Premier Kid/Sherillo) - FootwearLove the side detail on these pumps — it adds a bit of texture and interest without detracting from the classic shape; also love the cushioned footbed. They’re available in black (patent and kid), beige, and navy at Zappos.com for $54. LifeStride – Haze (Black Premier Kid/Sherillo) – Footwear
Selene Leather PumpFor some reason, we love the look to these shoes. They strike us as classic and beautiful. We particularly like the rounded toe, the stacked heel, and the non-slip panel on the sole. They’re available at CalvinKlein.com for $98. Selene Leather Pump (Note — there’s a great taupe pair on sale at Shoes.com for $75; take an additional 15% off with code 15OFF.)
Eddie Bauer Dress PumpsWe like the stacked 2.75″ heel on these, as well as the promise of a “plush, cushioned footbed.”  Nice!  They’re available in black, a purpley “burgandy” suede, and a gray “pewter” leather for $99 at EddieBauer.com (sizes 6-12).  Eddie Bauer Dress Pumps
Franco Sarto - Napoli (Black Kidskin Leather) - FootwearThis highly-rated shoe on Zappos has a bit of a platform to it, which can make the high heel (almost 4″) far easier to walk in — and in general we’ve had great luck with Franco Sarto shoes.  They’re available at Zappos.com in black (patent and kid), gray, taupe, gold, and magenta for $80.10 (they were $89). Franco Sarto – Napoli (Black Kidskin Leather) – Footwear
Seychelles Women's Code PumpThis is a great pump with a classic look that, for reasons we can’t put our fingers on, almost has a slight vintage vibe to it.  It’s available in red, teal, and “whiskey” brown at Endless.com for $89.95. Seychelles Women’s Code Pump,Black
BCBGeneration - Edith (Black Synthetic Kid) - FootwearToday only specials — 6pm.com has a ton of great black pumps on sale today, also, which we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you towards.  We like the BCBG Generation Edith, pictured (BCBGeneration – Edith (Black Synthetic Kid) – Footwear, was $49, now $19.60 at 6pm.com for today only), as well as the a patent leather pump from Volatile (VOLATILE – Molly (Black) – Footwear, was $49.99, now $15) (pictured at the very top of this post), and the Sofft Rivoli (Sofft – Rivoli (Black Madras Kid Skin) – Footwear, was $99.95, now $34.95).


Readers, what are your favorite inexpensive heels?

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The Hunt: Professional Winter Coats

professional winter coat

2017 Update: Check out our latest roundup of winter coats that work as hard as you do!

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Sure — everyone who lives in a cold climate knows that you’ve got to have a warm winter coat. But who makes the most professional winter coats? What qualities define it — and how crucial is it to your office style? For our $.02, it’s knee-length, which covers skirts but doesn’t overwhelm you if you’re petite, and is slightly bigger than the size you normally wear, so you can fit your suit jackets beneath it. Also, we’ve always heard that a wool/cashmere blend is much warmer than a pure cashmere blend. You should try to get it dry-cleaned once a season (too much more and it will look worn too soon), and hope to have it last at least 3 winters. Although funnel necks seem to be in this season, we’re in favor of the traditional “walking coat” for the your basic (but preferably one that does have the option to fasten all the way up to your neck, so you don’t need to rely on scarves to keep you warm). These are the best winter coats we can find online, but we really suggest going to the store to check them out — the wool should feel soft, not scratchy, and that’s something best compared in person; furthermore, the intangibles (such as inside pockets and a fun printed lining) aren’t often featured online).

[Read more…]

The Hunt: Appropriate Bags for Summer Associates

The Best Bags for Summer Associates | CorporetteWe got this request in from a reader, and thought we might resurrect an old feature — The Hunt — in which we look for a great basic, available now, in a variety of price points. Here’s the request:

As an incoming summer associate at a large NY firm, I’ve been wondering – what kind of bag would be appropriate? I’ve been told that Longchamp is too casual, and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it. I don’t want to break the bank before I’ve even made my first paycheck, but would like something nice and versatile that will last a long time. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

We would actually disagree with that — we think Longchamp is fine for a big tote bag. It’s functional (fits a ton of papers), is made well (is strong enough to carry a ton of papers) and — especially if you get the black on black versions available in Canada or at the physical stores in New York City, quite appropriate for work. [Read more…]

The Hunt: Basic Black Pumps

2016 Update: Check out our most recent discussion and roundup of comfortable black pumps!

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have. Psst: check out our frequently updated Guide to Comfortable Heels!

In today’s hunt, we search for reasonably-heeled black leather pumps — nothing higher than 3″…

black pumps for work 1Corso Como makes extremely comfortable shoes — their insoles are lined with gel.  Available at Endless for $154.95. Corso Como Women’s Cate Pump
black pumps for work2These black leather shoes also have a 5-star comfort rating on Zappos — and are at a slightly lower price point of $89. Calvin Klein – Dolly (Black)
black pumps for work under $100These are exactly 3″, but we’ll make an exception because they come in so many colors and get great ratings for comfort.  (Hmmn, perhaps we need a pair of peacock blue pumps.)  Available at Zappos for $83. Kenneth Cole Reaction – Inner Space (Black Leather)
black pumps for the officeWe just couldn’t do a round-up of basic black pumps without including one of our favorite brands, Cole Haan.  These Air Pumps are made with Nike Air technology — we won’t be playing basketball in our pumps any time soon, but it’s good to know someone’s making the shoes as if we were.  Available at Zappos on sale for $243.  (2″ heel; also available in 3″ heel.) Cole Haan – Fiona Low Air Pump (Black Calf)
black pumps pradaIf you’re upgrading and want something in a slightly higher price range, these Prada leather pumps (2.5″ heel) are only $360 at Saks. Prada Linea Rossa
black pumps for office louboutinWe’ve always envied the women who can rock the 4″ heels on the red carpet — and we’ve somehow developed a taste for the lipstick red of the Louboutin pumps.  Unfortunately, their towering heels make them next to impossible for us to use to navigate at the office.  Fortunately, there are more sensible pumps if you’re like us — these are far sturdier and more walkable, with a 2.75″ heel.  Available at Saks for $595. Christian Louboutin – Miss Tack Pumpstktktktk LINK6

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

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The Hunt: Interview Tote Bags

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

This week, we were inspired by a question from a reader:

Hi gals – thanks for the great blog, I’ve come to rely on it as I prepare for fall law firm interviews! Thanks for all the timely posts. I have a slight emergency – would it be possible for you to do a post on appropriate interview handbags? I’m looking for a structured bag in a lower price range (i.e., ideally less than $200) but still professional and nice enough to make a good impression. Also – I stupidly bought a dark gray pinstripe suit and a dark brown suit – no chance there’s some kind of bag that would look good with both, right? If not, I’m looking for both a black and a brown bag, so suggestions for either would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! I don’t know how you find all the great sales and styles that you do, but I’m always impressed! Thanks in advance -Amy

For interviews, we’ve always taken tote bags. You can get these in a range of prices — from affordable to break-the-bank — but they’re all kind of the same. Keep in mind that nylon ones will wear less well (but in the beginning it’s fine) whereas the leather ones will be heavier once fully loaded (less pliable, also). [Read more…]

The Hunt: Laptop Sleeves

2017 Update: We still think a lot of these laptop sleeves are awfully cute, but you may also want to check out our 2017 roundup of the best laptop bags for work.

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Inspired by Amelia’s law school bag question, we thought we’d do a Hunt for laptop sleeves — they’re lightweight, simple, and mean you don’t have to carry techie bags that scream “I have a laptop in here” (or that fugly faux leather thing your laptop comes with). Sleeves can save you significant space/money when traveling (especially with all the crazy new restrictions these days), and can also make it easier to get through security elsewhere (such as, say, courthouses).

Waterfield makes custom sleeves for computers of all kinds, including Amazon’s Kindle and those teeny lightweight laptops that are all the rage. Prices start at $99, and the neoprene cushioning and ballistic nylon coating will keep your computer well protected. Alas, they only come in basic black.
LeSportsac’s colorful laptop sleeves come in three sizes and range between $25 and $39; the nylon exterior and padded interior will keep your laptop clean and protected. Also available in black. Also available at Nordstromicon.
Built has awesome sleeves for just about everything you can imagine — laptops, wine bottles, camera cases, etc. The laptop sleeves come in 3 sizes and a variety of colors, including black (although we like the wood grain one, pictured at left). It’s made of wetsuit grade neoprene, has easy grips on the side, and costs between $30 and $43. Other cute things to check out if you’re visiting the site: the tidy bib, the Hoodie camera case, and their iPod and iPhone cases.
If you have a larger laptop — especially a 12″ or 14″ Mac, these GYMS Pacific bags are perfect for you. (The one pictured at right is specifically for the iBook, in fact: Sukie iBook Notebook Sleeve.) Made of neoprene and lined in felt, these cases, most costing around $40. (They also have very cute iPod cases for $12.) The brand is also available at eBags.com, which has free shipping over $50. gyms pacific laptop sleeves
fabrix laptop sleeve If neoprene isn’t your thing, Fabrix has some truly great cases to fit your Macs. The internal quilted padding will keep your laptop safe and sound, while the external fabric looks gorgeous. Pictured at left: Black Suit, available for between $36-$45.
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