Socks, Cold Feet, and Professional Shoes

Feet in the snow, originally uploaded to Flickr by BuzzFarmers.What shoes look professional and can be worn with socks? I keep getting questions about this, so let’s discuss. (Pictured.) First, reader J wondered:

I was wondering if you have ever covered where to find great workplace-appropriate shoes that you can wear with socks (that aren’t tall boots). The weather where I live is often cloudy and rainy so wearing shoes without socks leaves my feet cold, but I don’t want to wear boots all the time. Any suggestions? It seems like all I can find are very casual shoes or something that looks like it belongs in the men’s department.

Then, Reader L asked:

I’ve been searching your blog and others for advice about what shoes to wear to work when you have to wear socks. I mean real socks, not trouser socks. Did you already do a post about this? If not, would you consider it?

Great questions! I’m one of those people who constantly suffers from freezing feet, so here are the solutions that I’ve found in the past:

- Wear medium-height boots. Whether they’re flat-footed, wedge-heeled, or high-heeled, there are a ton of great options out there. We just did a roundup of knee-high boots, but in the past my go-to boot with pants has been the medium boot (above the ankle but below the calf) — I find the medium boot to be much more comfortable and less restrictive than the knee-high boot.  [Read more...]

Comfortable Heels: Which Are Your Favorite Brands For Comfortable Heels?

shoes shoes shoes shoes, originally uploaded to Flickr by dhutchman.One of the top Corporette posts of all time, The Quest for Comfortable Heels, turned into one of the best resources on this site: our Guide to Comfortable Heels (which I’ll be trying to update today). But I’ve long wondered what the top brands, for the most people, truly were. Some of the shoes that I’ve worn into the ground were actually from random brands (such as a pair of red peep-toe Liz Flex heels that I bought on sale for $17!) while other much-lauded brands have sat in my closet, unworn. And then there are some high-end surprises — after all, Tiffany of I-Am Styleish praised Miu Miu above other designer brands in her Newbie’s Guide to Designer Shoes.  So I want you guys to dig deep, and think: you know that amazing pair (or two? or three?) of shoes in your closet, the super comfortable ones? What brand are those shoes? We’ll also accept answers for “when it’s time to find a comfortable shoe, the first brand I check out is…”  (Pictured.)

I’ve arranged this as a poll — please write in if there are other brands and I’ll try to add them. You’re allowed up to 10 answers.  If you know the style names, please add them in the comments!

[Read more...]

Guest Post: How to Travel Internationally in Comfort and Style

Aeroplane, originally uploaded to Flickr by Vox Efx. Hot on the heels of our discussion about where to shop in Asia, today’s guest poster has some advice for how to travel internationally in comfort and style — and to keep your cool as a business traveler. Readers, welcome Courtney Gould Miller, a Los Angeles attorney and founder of the blog Chinaful, focusing on all things China, from law and business to culture, food, and travel. – Kat.  (Pictured: Aeroplane, originally uploaded to Flickr by Vox Efx.)

Before joining a law firm, I spent much of my time traveling Asia and Europe for study and leisure, learning new cultures and having a few mishaps along the way. As I’ve learned since joining the firm, international business travel is very different – you’ve got to be prepared and ready to work, regardless of the setting. Kat keeps us all up-to-date with the latest clothes, supplies, and technology we need as busy professional women, and I’m excited to share with Corporette readers a few of my must-haves to travel internationally for work in comfort and style. [Read more...]

The Hunt: Heels Under 2 Inches

Stuart Weitzman Poco PumpSure, 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.

So here’s the thing about low heels: 80% of the shoes offered with low heels can look really gross* — kind of the shoe equivalent of Mom Jeans. But there are cute ones out there (although it can be a challenge to find them), and there are actually a lot of times you might want to wear low heels, even if you’re not 90 years old:
- All you peeps preparing for interview week where you’ll be on your feet for 8 hours, running from interview to interview? Yeah, you.
- When you’re attending a conference or another networking event that will involve a lot of standing.
- If you have pants that are hemmed for flats.
- If you’re easing back into heels after a long delay because of injury (or if you never really wore heels to begin with).
- If you’re suffering from feet problems like bunions or worse — higher heels just aren’t doable all of the time!

So with that said, I tried to poke around to find the most sophisticated shoes I could for under 2 inches — and on the lower end of the price spectrum, because it’s surprisingly easy to find $600 shoes with 1.5 inch heels. Readers, what heel height do you wear 80% of the time? For those of you who prefer lower heels, which are your favorite brands?  [Read more...]

Staying Warm in the Subzero Office

Snow(business)man, originally uploaded to Flickr by oxygen timebomb.If your office is freezing, it doesn’t matter how hot it is outside — you want to bundle up and stay as warm as possible. Perhaps there’s a better way than having an office Snuggie, as some of Reader N’s coworkers seem to have done:

Despite record breaking temperatures this summer, I find myself huddled in my “office sweater” most of the day. (You know, the one you keep in a drawer in case your nice business casual outfit can’t keep you warm.) While some of my co-workers have long resorted to bringing in  fleece blankets to huddle in, I would like to avoid this ‘burrito-chic’ fashion.  I’m already wearing winter-weight pants with seasonally appropriate tops, but most of the time I resort back to the tired but appropriate Old Navy sweater. That is, until I found a strange alternative.  My question for you is it so strange I should actually just stick to my sweater…

The piece in question is a blazer made of thick hoodie material. It’s fitted/tailored  just right for me as a blazer, but it has a zipper where the front buttons should be. I feel kind of funny wearing such an odd thing, but it does make me feel like I’m more business-casual than business-burrito.

I’m with you — it always felt like my office was the South Pole in the summertime.  And trust me, nothing makes you feel more glamorous than settling in for a long day of doc review wearing a hat and gloves (although, hey, those are options).  We’ve talked about how to stay warm in the office in the fall and winter, but the summer office can be a bit more difficult because there’s such a stark contrast between your inside and outside dress. (Pictured: Snow(business)man, originally uploaded to Flickr by oxygen timebomb.) Here are some more professional suggestions… [Read more...]

Pantyhose in the Summer

Wolford 'Fatal Lace 15' Seamless StockingsDo you have to wear pantyhose in the summer? The pantyhose-at-the-office question comes up so often, but I don’t think we’ve addressed it in a while — and Reader N wonders…

I had a question about wearing pantyhose. I’m about to start my first internship in finance (a mid-sized hedge fund) this summer and I’m really confused as to what to wear. It’ll be in London, so I don’t know if that changes business formal guidelines. Anyway, I’m 20 years old and a southern girl, and I’ve never worn pantyhose in my life. Is it really necessary to wear pantyhose with a skirt suit, even in the middle of July? I’m tempted to just wear a pant suit the first day and see what everyone else is wearing, but then I’ve heard people say that pantsuits aren’t conservative enough and I should wear a skirtsuit the first day just in case.

Obviously, I have no idea what I’m doing. Oh dear.

Congratulations on your summer internship — it sounds excellent. There is a really big range in what’s acceptable at conservative offices, and so — for my $.02 — it’s always best to get started on the right foot, which is to say the safest foot. You don’t want people’s first impression of you to be of your clothes — you want it to be of your work, your accomplishments. So for the first day — probably even the first week — I would suggest wearing: [Read more...]