The Hunt: Work-Appropriate Wedges

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.

Wedges seem to be the unofficial work shoes of summer, perhaps because people walk so much more when the weather is nice — they venture farther for lunch spots, out to bars after work with coworkers, and some people even walk all the way to and from work in them. So I thought we’d round up some sleek, work-appropriate ones for today’s “Hunt.” To my eyes, the material of the wedge says a lot about whether it’s work appropriate — cork, espadrille, even wood all look very casual to me. As always, know your office — many of these are peep toes, which are not appropriate for every office. Readers, do you prefer wedge heels in summer? Have you bought any great wedges lately (or do you swear by classics like the Kate Spade Halle or the Target Merona wedge)?
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Coffee Break – Ashby Wedge Pump

Naturalizer Ashby I’m really into wedge heels this season, and I like this reasonably-priced shoe from Naturalizer. I like the plain black leather one, myself, but the Naturalizer site has them in a black and gray croc pattern, Amazon and Zappos both have them in a brown croc, and Piperlime has them in a lovely wine. They’re $59.99-$79.95.

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Coffee Break – Eureka Wedge

Franco Sarto - Eureka (Barolo Suede/Patent) - FootwearRemember that Elvis Costello song, The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes? Well, they would if you were wearing these. Love the rich look to this red suede. The heel height is reasonable (just over 2″) and the strap across the vamp makes it nice and walkable. I’d wear it with a dark brown pant, or a nice dark charcoal pant — gorgeous. They’re $85 at Zappos in the red suede; they also have them in a “dark denim” suede. Note that 6pm has the black kid color on sale; and Lord & Taylor has them in patent (black and taupe) for $49.50. But me? I’d go for the red. Franco Sarto – Eureka (Barolo Suede/Patent) – Footwear

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N.B.: Peep toes are not appropriate for all conservative offices — know your own office!

You Could Walk a Mile in These Shoes…

Which are the best commuting shoes? Staying fashionable on the commute is a dilemma for a lot of professional women — and today’s guest poster has the answer!  My friend Kai Falkenberg — newsroom lawyer for Forbes and all-around fabulous and fashionable overachieving chick — rounds up some of her favorites for Fall 2011.  Welcome to Corporette, Kai! – Kat

Salvatore Ferragamo - Flo (Nero Patent) - FootwearFor those like me whose commute involves walking – and occasionally running – street friendly shoes are a must.  Long ago I decided changing shoes at work was not for me – wearing sneakers with suits looks ridiculous and it requires too much carrying back and forth.  So I was forced to seek out shoes that could brave the subway but look stylish in the boardroom.  After years of searching, I’ve finally discovered what works – and it’s not flats.  Unless you’re blessed with height, women in the corporate world should wear heels.  Particularly if you’re in an office of mostly men, it’s important to be eye level with your peers and that usually requires wearing heels.  The solution I’ve found…. is wedges.  So most days, regardless of season – you’ll find me wearing some version of a wedge heel.  When I’m not wearing wedges, I wear stacked heel shoes – thick heels usually 1 to 2 inches high that provide height without altering your gait.  For this Fall, I’ve spotted a number of shoes that could walk the distance…here’s a sampling, below. [Read more…]

Coffee Break: Myka Suede Wedge Shoes

Women's Merona® Myka Suede Wedge Shoes - PlumCorporette commenters have sung the praises of these $30 wedges for a while (including today), but I don’t think we’ve ever featured them properly on the site. To hear the commenters tell it: They’re comfortable. They’re versatile. (And they come in purple suede, which you know I love.) They’re $30 at Target.com. Women’s Merona® Myka Suede Wedge Shoes – Plum

Reader Mail: On pant lengths and shoes…

Today’s reader mail comes from J, who is trying to keep her pants from dragging on the ground…

As a New Yorker, I walk at least a couple blocks to get to commute to work. As many women do, I usually leave my heels at my desk at work and wear more comfortable shoes to and from work. The problem is that for my pants to look good with heels, they are too long to wear with the comfy flats/cute sneakers I wear for the commute and drag on the dirty streets. How do women who have to walk for part of their commute deal with this conundrum and not ruin their pants???

This is a dilemma a lot of women face, and there are a variety of ways to deal with it. (Pictured:  Pants too long, originally uploaded to Flickr by puck90.)  First, we would suggest assessing what heel height, in general, you’re comfortable in for work shoes — and having your pants hemmed to that level. As a reminder: your pant should brush the top of your foot, and no more than an inch or so of heel should be showing in the back. For us, that comes to around 2″, 2.5″ — which, honestly, can usually be worn with commuting shoes that have a decent (thick) sole. (We just tend to wear our higher heels exclusively with skirts instead — it works out particularly well in the summertime if we opt to commute in flip-flops.) But let’s say your comfort level is close to 4″. In that case, you have a few options.

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