Oooh: It may be a bit early for bootie season, but if you’re a fan of Rag & Bone’s hugely popular Harrow bootie, you may want to try these much more affordable, lower-heeled boots from Born. I love that these are only 2” high (as opposed to 3.5” with the Harrow) yet still have the flattering cutout in the front of the boot. The fact that they’re from a brand renowned for its comfort (and that they’re enjoying 14 5-star reviews at Zappos) doesn’t hurt at all. The boots are $135 at Zappos, and also available at Amazon for $99-$218. Born Michel Bootie
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.
One of our top pages of all time is our regularly updated Guide to Comfortable Heels — and while that guide includes brands outside of those that bill themselves as “comfort” brands, sometimes you just really want a heel that is built like a sneaker, whether for commuting, for long days on your feet, or for general foot problems. Finding stylish “comfort” heels can be a challenge, though, so I thought we’d round some up.
- Hall of Famers (best selling styles that have been around for years): Naturalizer, ComfortPlus by Predictions, Stuart Weitzman, Anyi Lu, Trotters, Corso Como, Michael Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo
- Usual Suspects (brands that are known for comfort): Clarks, Børn, Isola, Sofft, Stuart Weitzman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Naturalizer, Aerosoles, Rockport, Geox, Arche, Anyi Lu, AGL, Munro, Cole Haan, Eileen Fisher, Beautifeel, Earthies, Trotters, Vaneli, UKIES, Mephisto, Bella Vita
- Under $100: Corso Como, Aerosoles, ComfortPlus by Predictions, Michael Michael Kors, Naturalizer, Trotters,
- Extended widths (e.g., AA, C, W, etc): Naturalizer (N M W), Aerosoles (B C), Munro (AAAA-EE), Clarks (B D), Stuart Weitzman (N M W), Ferragamo (2A B C)
- Extended sizes (4-13): Naturalizer (4.5-12), Munro (4-14), Stuart Weitzman (4-12), Ferragamo (4-12)
- 2″ or under: Stuart Weitzman, Gabor, Mephisto, Pikolinos, Gentle Souls, Clarks, Geox, Spring Step, Trotters, Ferragamo
- A bit clunkier but great for commuting shoes (particularly if your pants are hemmed for 3″ heels): Camper, Naturalizer, Naot, Aerosoles, Naot
|Aerosoles are known for having affordable comfortable shoes, and these 3″ heels have 24 5-star reviews over at Zappos. They incorporate Heel Rest, a “technology designed to distribute your body weight toward your heel, and away from the ball of your foot.” They’re available in four colors in sizes 5-12 in regular and wide sizes. Another highly rated shoe from this brand: the Domino dress pump — sold out in all colors except navy at Zappos, but Amazon still has it in black and red for $46-$77. Pictured, for $79: Aerosoles Dolled Up|
|We’ve featured this shoe a ton over the years (and it’s got a zillion great reviews on both Nordstrom and Zappos), but I’ve never noticed it in any colors but the neutral ones — I’m excited to say it now comes in NINE colors over at Nordstrom, all for $98. Corso Como Del|
|Even though this platform is higher than what I usually recommend for work (they’re .75″ and I usually recommend no higher than .5″), I think these shoes look great for work. They use a Cushion Plus™ technology to ensure “feet are comfy withe very step,” and though they only have 3 reviews, they’re all five stars. They’re available in black suede and patent, as well as this lovely plum suede, for $110 at Zappos. (These are from Clarks’ Narrative Collection; note that lots of ladies have also loved the Artisan collection over the years — if you have a strong preference for Artisan you may want to check out these pumps.) Pictured: Clarks Kendra Sienna|
|OK. I didn’t intend to feature quite so many purple pumps today, but I’m excited about these heels too: the Rockport Total Motion pump has been around for years and is highly rated over at Nordstrom — and now it comes in this lovely burgundy snake print leather (also in a black snake print as well as a ton of solid neutral colors). The shoe is $119-$128 at Nordstrom and Zappos. Rockport Total Motion Pointy Toe Pump|
|We’ve drooled over these Cole Haan pumps before, but it’s nice to see the ten solid reviews they have over at Nordstrom. Even better: they’re on sale! The shoes were $250, but are now marked to $159. (Amazon has more colors, some sizes and colors marked as low as $103.) Cole Haan ‘Highline’ Half d’Orsay Pump|
|I originally dismissed Eileen Fisher shoes as just another licensed brand name, but their shoes are worth noting if you’re looking for comfortable, minimalist styles. I like these architectural block pumps, which feel really modern. They’re available in black and gray for $210. (Another modern heel in this price range: these well-reviewed pumps from Paul Green.) Pictured: Eileen Fisher ‘Hawk’ Block Heel Pump|
Ladies, when you’re looking for a comfort heel, where do you start the search? Have you bought any amazing, comfortable, stylish heels lately?
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Ann Taylor’s Friends and Family sale is ending TONIGHT, with the entire site being 40% off with code FRIENDS40 until then. Sales are so much fun to shop with friends, and I’d love to hear what the Corporette community has bought already, is still considering buying, and is going back for more! I’m absolutely loving the patterns and textures I’m seeing, all amidst the classic shapes we know and love from Ann Taylor. Some of my favorites are below — but which are your favorites?
Bold Patterns for Work
Bold patterns are a lux, sophisticated way to inject a ton of personality to your workwear. Pair them with neutrals to play it safe, or try mixing patterns and textures to have a bit of fun. Some of my favorites from the sale:
- Modern Geo Tie Waist Dress – I love this one for work and beyond! To make the dress more versatile, don’t forget that you can always top it with a slim cut merino sweater in navy to wear it just as a skirt; you can also layer it with a thin navy turtleneck beneath it for winter. The dress is $159 full price, available in regular and petites, and sizes 00-14; in the sale it comes to $95.
- Colorblock Pencil Skirt – The slanted color block pattern here is amazing — classic but interesting at the same time. White and navy are the obvious things to pair it with, but I’d also urge you to try it with a pale blue. The skirt is $89 full price, avilaalbe in regular, petite, and tall sizes 00-18, and comes down to $53 in the sale.
- Diagonal Stripe Wrap Dress – Wow, I love this. It usually drives me batty when patterns don’t line up just so, but it looks intentional and artsy here — and the flattering, feminine colors somehow remind me of a tie. The dress is available in regular and petite sizes 00-14, and it’s $98 full price, but comes to $58 in the sale. (There are actually a TON of great patterned wrap dresses if you’re looking, and this particular pattern also comes in a silky wrap blouse.)
- Bird Ruffle Sleeve Top – While ruffles and birds aren’t for everyone, I think this top shows that you can still “put a bird on it” and be professional — love the way the pattern just looks abstract at a difference, and the unusual mix of pale peach and a brighter, almost fuschia-like pink in the pattern — interesting and great. The highly-rated top is $79.50, but comes down to $47.70 in the sale — it’s available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL.
Texture is a fabulous way to elevate your wardrobe — depending on how textured a fabric is, it can almost read as a pattern — but it’s far easier to mix and match pieces and colors without sticking to neutrals. Ann Taylor’s new collection showcases a ton of great textures; some of my favorites include:
Ooh: I like this textured chiffon blouse from Theory, available in white and black at Nordstrom (and also in a sleeveless version). This definitely will ignite debate about whether the best camisole is nude-for-you or a black or white — I’m pretty solidly on team “I’m obviously wearing a camisole,” but lots of readers have disagreed with me on that point. The blouse is $295 and available in sizes P-L. Theory ‘Dionelle’ Pintuck Pleat Textured Chiffon Blouse
Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
These small studs seem stately but fresh — I love the circle-square-rectangle pattern and the fact that they’re small sapphires. They’re $55 at Saks Off 5th — and there’s a rhodium-plated version at Nordstrom for $95. Elizabeth and James Dia White Sapphire Roni Hoop Earrings
One of the things that came up in the comments on our diets for busy women post was the idea of prepping meals and snacks on Sunday for the week ahead — and I’ve read a ton of advice saying that you should steal an hour during the weekend to review the major tasks you need to accomplish in the week ahead. So I thought it might be an interesting open thread today: Do YOU do weekend prep for Monday or the week ahead? When do you do it, and what do you do?
For my $.02, when I was working in BigLaw I liked resting/playing on Saturday and coming into the office on Sunday for a few hours if I needed to do some work. Because I was well rested and there was no one else in the office (or, at least, vastly fewer people, and everyone was there to work), my focus was so much better — I used to call them “Super Mondays” because I was so productive. These days, I often try to get at least half of the short morning and afternoon posts written for the week on Sunday afternoons, putting in a few hours of work while my youngest son naps. If at all possible I also try to write a to-do list of my tasks for the week ahead, and put papers to review on my desk so I can get some focused work done before turning on the computer — easier said than done when your business is online! This probably isn’t even that noteworthy, but another thing I try to do is look at the NYT and WSJ and other news outlets on Sunday, because I’ve found that I waste far too much time looking at articles on Monday, particularly the longer magazine articles.
So ladies, let’s hear it — what routines and practices have you put in place for your weekends that lay the groundwork for a great week ahead? For those of you who do meal prep or have other healthy habits on the weekend, I’d love to hear what you do!
Psst: here’s our last discussion on morning routines for successful people.