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 … Read More about The Hunt: Waterproof, Weatherproof Shoes for Work
Ladies, which are your favorite flip flops for your commute or for the weekends? Do you look for arch support, comfort, sustainability, or color? When we’ve talked about flip flops in the past, it’s almost always because we’re including them in a list of what not to wear to work — but because it’s Weekend Wednesday, flip flops are the main … Read More about Weekend Wednesday: The Best Flip Flops
Wondering how to stay cool on your commute and in general on really hot workdays? It can be tricky to stay polished instead of melted (and then not freeze in freezing office temperatures!) — so here are our best tips: Tip #1 for Staying Cool on Hot Workdays: Use Cold Water on Pulse Points Use … Read More about 5 Tips to Stay Cool on Your Commute and on Really Hot Workdays
What are the best strategies for staying warm during a wintry commute while still looking professional when you get to work? How can you look stylish and professional in the winter?
What should you wear on a long flight with colleagues if you want to be comfortable but still look professional? Reader N wonders… Could you do a post on comfortable, but professional attire for international or long flights? I have an upcoming business trip where my boss and two colleagues will be on a long flight … Read More about Dressing Professionally But Comfortably: What to Wear for a Long Flight
2020 Update: We still think this is a great roundup of podcasts for working women — but if you’re looking for something a little more recent, here’s our latest discussion of the best podcasts for smart women. In the past we’ve talked about our favorite magazines as well as summer brain candy books, but we haven’t talked about … Read More about What Are Your Favorite Podcasts for Working Women?
If you’re running for the train in high heels and find yourself getting left behind by a male colleague (or a woman, for that matter) as you struggle to keep the pace, is that coworker simply being rude? What should you do next time?
Reader L wonders:
I am from Germany and I love your Blog. Some topics are differently handled here but still most of the tips and advice can be applied here as well. I have experienced some male behaviour which I just find to be rude but I wanted to know if other women have experienced it as well and how they dealt with it. I was travelling with my former boss and and we went to meetings with potential partners etc. I usually wore heels. After the meeting we really had to hurry to catch a train. Meaning he walked extremely fast and did not look after me where I was. I really had trouble keeping up with him. The other time I was prepared and wore flats but then we actually had to run to get to the train. A couple of weeks ago I was travelling with a sort of male CEO and the train was a bit late, but we still had more than enough time to get to our appointment. I was also pacing, almost running, just seeing that he did not bump into others.
I’ve seen situations like this unfold — and I definitely have Opinions. I’m curious to hear what the readers say. To recap, we’ve talked about comfortable heels, the best commuting shoes, how to walk quietly in heels, how to look professional in flats, and traveling with coworkers — but I haven’t stated my pretty stark opinion on heel height for work in a while…. so here goes:
If you cannot walk quickly in your shoes, you are wearing the wrong shoes to work. If the people you work with — whether women or men — are forced to change their routines and wait for you because of your fashion choices, you are making the wrong fashion choices.
The right time to wear shoes you can’t walk in: a) when they are limo shoes (as in, the limo picks you up at your door and drops you off at the restaurant where you have to walk exactly three steps before you sit down), b) when you’re a model, or c) when you’re a trophy wife or the princess daughter. OK, fine, one more: when you’re d) the boss and Can Do Whatever You Like Because You Set the Pace.
Maybe I’m being harsh — or too New Yorker-ish — but the business world moves quickly. When you’re lower on the career ladder, you have to follow other people’s pace.
Something else that I think Reader L is discovering is a personality I like to call the Eccentric Genius, which is a special breed of coworker/boss (usually an older man) who has either developed or kept odd quirks that have been tolerated by those around him because he is Very Intelligent and a High Earner. Maybe he runs and bumps into others, but there are other versions of this same personality — one partner I used to work with had a thing about playing Tetris while giving assignments, hearing reports, brainstorming, whatever. As in, he sat with his back facing me and casually played Tetris the entire time. Charming! I’ve found that the best you can do is realize what the little quirks are, adapt as best you can if you need to continue the working relationship, and ultimately decide if want to continue the relationship at all. (Maybe I’m a pessimist, but the thought of trying to change this behavior, or somehow acknowledging it as rude or antisocial, never occurred to me as a real possibility.)
Next time, Reader L, make sure you have PLENTY of time so you’re not late, plan as much in advance so you don’t have to carry a ton of paperwork or anything with you, and possibly wear shoes you can run in.
Ladies, have you been left behind by coworkers because you couldn’t walk quickly enough in your heels? Have you had to work with difficult personalities at work (Eccentric Geniuses or otherwise) who had rude, antisocial habits? (Ladies on the other side of the table — have you gotten annoyed at coworkers who couldn’t walk quickly in high heels?)
N.B. PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS ON TOPIC; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course I highly value all comments by my readers, I’m going ask you to please respect some boundaries on substantive posts like this one. Thank you for your understanding!
2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to wear heels if you’re used to flats – links have also been updated. How can you wear heels, if you’re used to flats? Which are the best first heels to buy? How do you make the transition smoothly and effectively? Reader J wonders: I … Read More about How to Wear Heels (If You’re Used to Flats)
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: shoe care and upkeep is very important when it comes to your appearance and general presentation, for both women and men. Yet why is there so much more information directed at men? Today I’ve brought in The Fine Young Gentleman to give us a few tips on … Read More about Shoe Care for Women
2018 Update: A reader requested an update to the best commuting shoes — so here’s a link to the best commuting shoes in 2018! See more of our thoughts on commuting to work. What are your favorite shoes for walking to work? Reader J wonders what the best commuting shoes are… Can you do a … Read More about The Best Commuting Shoes
If you’re carrying a million bags, how do you look professional? How can you lighten your load and reduce the number of bags you’re carrying? Reader R wonders… I work in a large corporate environment and recently had a daughter. I’m back at work, but I feel like a bag lady. I’m only 5’3″ and … Read More about How to Lighten Your Load
What do you wear to keep your feet dry during summer showers? Do summer rainboots exist? Reader P wonders. A shoe question for you – what are the best shoes to wear when commuting in hot summer rain? I usually wear my tall Hunter rainboots fall through spring, but they’re way too hot for muggy … Read More about Rainboots — for Summer?