The Hunt: Black Tall Boots

tall black boots

2017 Update: We still like a lot of these tall black boots for work, but you may also want to check out our most recent discussion on what boots to wear with tights to 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.

We’ve talked about knee high boots before — a lot — but I don’t think we’ve ever done a round-up.  (Update: check out our 2015 roundup here.) To repeat what I’ve said before — wearing tall boots is very much a “know your office” kind of thing, and in very conservative offices people may attach words like “dominatrix” to boots — so proceed with caution!  I do think in general that black tall boots have come a long way, and provided they’re not over your knee (and they’re well taken care of) most women can get away with wearing them, particularly with opaque black tights and modest skirt (not a miniskirt), to the office. For my $.02, I would also avoid a boot with a thick platform (such as these).  Readers, have you recently bought a great pair of black boots?  What do you look for in an ideal pair — and how much are you willing to spend? (Check out the roundup, below…)

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Coffee Break – Jaimy Boots

La Canadienne - Jaimy (Tobacco) - FootwearWhenever we talk about boots for the winter, the favorite brand that readers mention is La Canadienne. 6pm has a number of styles on deep discount, including this suede boot with a 2″ heel. Although not among La Canadienne’s waterproof offerings, they look like a well-made boot and for a great price: they were $210, but are marked to $63 at 6pm.com today. La Canadienne – Jaimy (Tobacco) – Footwear

(They’re also available at:  Sierra Trading Post.)

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Coffee Break: Lynda Short Boots

Cole Haan Lynda Short Boots - Nike Air®
iconWe’re always a fan of the short ankle-high boots — they’re perfect beneath pants all fall and winter long. We like the Nike Air technology in these simple Cole Haan boots, and we like the variety of sizes still available even though they’re marked down — they were $298, now $161.46 at Sierra Trading Post. (They’re available in both black and brown, too.) Cole Haan Lynda Short Boots – Nike Air®
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Wednesday’s TPS Report: Ponte knit bateau neck dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.
Picture 3Today we’re liking this simple knee-length dress from Talbots. We’d wear an opera-length necklace with it (or perhaps a scarf wrapped once around our neck) and tall leather or suede boots.  (And we’d skip the belt — it is not doing the model any favors.)  The black dress is full price at $149, but the red and gray versions are on sale for $74.  Available in regular, women’s sizes, and petites.  Ponte knit bateau neck dress

If you’ve recently seen a great work piece you’d like to recommend to the readers, please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line. Unless you ask otherwise, we’ll refer to you by your first initial.

We mentioned this on Facebook, but thought we’d mention it here also — Boden USA has tons of great discounts, but it seems like most pieces only have a few sizes left.

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Reader mail: Are bare feet in pumps and toe cleavage acceptable?

Today’s reader mail comes from reader E…

My feet get sweaty while wearing pumps all day. Am I supposed to be wearing some type of hosiery-sock with them? How do others deal with the sweaty feet issue? Is it even appropriate to have the bare tops of my feet showing while I’m in pumps?

And in that same vein, what are your thoughts on “toe cleavage?” Some of my pumps are cut so low that I’m flashing toe cleavage at work. Can you recommend pumps that are cut higher?

We’re curious what the readers have to say about this one.  (Pictured above:  Toe Cleavage, originally uploaded to Flickr by cuteheels.) For our $.02: We find it difficult to walk in pumps while wearing trouser socks or tights — on those days we tend to wear Mary Janes, T-straps, or at least something with a higher vamp.  And we’ve seen plenty of women on the streets of New York wearing pumps and bare feet.  There do exist various kinds of socks — toe covers or other — but in our experience they tend to be very difficult to wear with pumps because the cloth from the “sock”  is always showing.   (A guiding principle, though: for the love of God, please do not take your shoes off if you’re sitting in a meeting. In your own office, fine, but no one wants to see bare feet beneath a conference room table.  Actually, no one wants to see bestocking’d feet, either.) But then, our feet don’t get that sweaty — apparently, camel leather shoe inserts are your best bet to helping control that issue.   (If anyone can recommend a brand of such inserts, we’re sure our reader would appreciate it — we can’t seem to find one.)  We would also advise giving your shoes a day “off” between wearings, to let them air out and so forth.

In terms of toe cleavage — this has historically been a controversial issue, and maybe one that’s ripe for a poll. But that said, personally, we don’t mind it.  Here’s our reasoning:  there are a variety of reasons why other types of shoes are considered not acceptable for the office.  The peep toe requires a perfect pedicure (and hopefully the wearer doesn’t have unattractive toe problems, such as hammertoes or things).  The tall boot (which, according to our poll a few weeks ago, 1 out of 5 women would still say is “absolutely, always inappropriate” for the office) veers a little too close to the “dominatrix/stripper” vibe.  And yes, there’s the name — cleavage — but, let’s face it:  a view of your toes isn’t similar to a view of your breasts.   (Also, we’re a little biased because a friend of ours had a great kitten-heeled pair of Louboutins that showed toe cleavage, and we loved. those. shoes. Also very similar: these more affordable kitten heels from Stuart Weitzman.)

Readers, what are your thoughts?cleavage

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

Shopping’s My Cardio has a great round-up of fall cuffed boots (probably not great for the office, but thank goodness for the weekend, right?)  Our favorite from her picks: Ash ‘Olivia’ Tall Boot, available at Nordstrom for $299.

– Should women be forced to wear high heels as part of a workplace “dress code”?  Jezebel covers the controversy.

– OK, we had to post this: Perez Hilton has footage of Sonia Sotomayor doing the salsa. We hate to quote Oprah (and, disturbingly, our father) but: You go, girl!

– If you’re on the verge of a laptop purchase, Gizmodo offers you a few reasons to wait just two months more.

– Fine, fine:  after Jezebel’s glowing review of “Jennifer’s Body,” we have added it to our Netflix queue.

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