If you’ve been ogling designer shoes but aren’t sure where to start (or whether to make the leap!), this post is for you. I’ve been reading Tiffany’s blog at I am Style-ish for a few years now, and I’ve always admired the professional but chic way she incorporates designer shoes into her outfits. She has quite a collection, so I asked her to write a “intro to designer shoes” post for Corporette. Enjoy! — Kat
Hello Corporette readers! It’s Tiffany from I am Style-ish here! I’m so happy to be here while Kat is away enjoying time with her new little one.
I love Kat and Corporette for bringing together so many of us career driven, highly ambitious women. I also love that Kat incorporates a lot of fashion and style in her blog because I know a lot of us still want to look our best while working our way up to the top ;) I’ve never sacrificed style for my career in HR and I don’t believe that you have to. Along those lines, although I’m a very career driven woman, I also love fashion and if there is one thing that you need to know about me is that I love shoes. Not just any shoes, really really tall shoes and preferably with a red sole ;)
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My first pair of designer heels was a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps that I thought were beautiful and when I wore them, I just felt fabulous! I caught the bug for designer heels after that pair and I just haven’t stopped. Even though I worked at a conservative IT Consulting firm, I never felt weird about wearing them, in fact, I got more compliments on my shoes at work than I ever expected! (In my current position as Director of Operations for a consulting firm, I work from home a lot, but my designer heels always come with me when I travel for meetings.)
I get a lot of questions about designer shoes, what to buy, how they fit, how to get them on sale and are they REALLY that much more comfortable so here are some things that I’ve learned.
Hunting for investment heels? Some of the bestselling, highest-rated designer heels for work in 2023 include:
Different designers fit very differently and you’ll never know which ones you like until you try them on. I very rarely order shoes online unless I’ve tried them on before only because sizing can be so inconsistent. In terms of comfort, my top choices are Miu Miu and Jimmy Choo. For very pretty but not very comfortable shoes, it’s definitely Christian Louboutin. Dior, Prada and YSL all fall into the middle for me. These all have exceptions of course as I’ve found that my Louboutin Simple 85 pumps (pictured below) are one of my most comfortable shoes (although in general, I’ve found that Louboutins are not that comfortable — but that doesn’t stop me from buying them!).
These Jimmy Choos are perfect for the office. I own many Jimmy Choo pumps as I find that they have the most office appropriate styles.
Or these Miu Miu pumps are gorgeous! It’s a 5 inch heel but with a 1 inch platform and perfect for shorties like me that like to feel that we can be a “normal” height sometimes :)
Having a hard time finding shoes in your size or on sale? Befriend the sales associate! This part is very important for a shoe lover like me! When you are trying on shoes, let your sales associate know that you are interested in more shoes that are similar or by the same brand and also if they have a sale on designer shoes, please give you a call. And then every time after that when you walk into their department, ask for them and buy all your shoes from them. It’s a win-win partnership as you get the shoes you want and they get the commission! I’ve had the same sales associate at Nordstrom for the past 4 years and he calls me every time he gets shoes in my size (I wear a size 5 which is a hard size to come by) and he also calls me when they have sales on designer shoes and I get to pick out the shoes before they go on sale to the public. This in itself has saved me hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars! If I had to wait for sales to buy my shoes, I’d be stuck with a lot of styles that I didn’t like or I’d buy a size up and try to put in extra insoles hoping it will fit (it never does, I’ve learned to only buy shoes in my size, no matter how much on sale they are!)
Comfort wise – I think that the comfort levels are different in designer and non designer shoes. I do think that designer shoes are more comfortable because of the craftsmanship. The insoles which are made with leather are much more comfortable and cushion your foot as opposed to non-designer heels which can be made with manmade materials and that are stiff and can feel like you are walking on a piece of wood. When designer shoes are uncomfortable it’s because the arch of the shoe may be a bit too high, which Louboutin is guilty of but that’s also why your foot looks so damn good in his shoes. He does an arch like no other. It’s definitely something that you have to get used to and I usually reserve those types of shoes for evenings when I know I’ll be sitting most of the time. I’m not going to say that all designer shoes are comfortable but with my experience I’ve had very little issues of getting blisters because the shoe is rubbing me the wrong way.
Are you a shoe lover as well? What brands are your favorites? What would your best advice be for someone looking for a newbie guide to designer shoes?
And if you’re interested in how I store all my shoes, check out my shoe closet video!
Psst: looking for more affordable but cute, comfortable heels?
These are some of our favorite heels as of 2023, but check out our entire Guide to Comfortable Heels!