Coffee Break: Cole Haan OT Air Pump

Cole Haan – Carma OT Air Pump (Plumeria Snake Embossed)You know, it has been far too long since we expressed our love for purple shoes.  (Unless we’re crazy and we did it last week, in which case, our apologies.)  They go with navy and black, they add a dose of funk (in a conservative way), and, in general, they’re great.  We had not seen the “plumeria” color in Cole Haan before — but we must say, we’re loving it. They’re $278 at Zappos.  Cole Haan – Carma OT Air Pump (Plumeria Snake Embossed) – Footwear

(Note to readers — gauge your office culture before wearing open-toed shoes like this; they are inappropriate in the more conservative spaces.)



  1. Me likey! Looks like the same color family as my patent-leather plum Coach bag that I linked to a while ago, that I am just loving and getting tons of compliments on.

    • I have the same plum colored Coach bag and I love it. I get compliments on it almost everyday! Plum is the new black.

  2. Delta Sierra :

    Purple + patent + snake = I’m not sure about this for most offices. However, I do think the amount of toe exposed by this degree of peep-ness would be ok in most offices.

    My dream shoes, and a handbag to go with them, have black and brown smooth leather together (heh), so I have something to wear with black-shoe-and-bag-outfits and with brown-shoe-and-bag-outfits both. For days when I don’t feel like moving all my crap into a different bag. Also, with a brown and black mix, I’d feel happier spending serious money on better quality, knowing I’d get better use of it.

    My best briefcasey/totey bag is black, so it gets lugged along with all other colors, even brown, tough. Money-spending (and time spent transferring contents) for fashion has to stop somewhere.

    Hm. Real colors are luxury items for me, since I like quality over quantity. Brown and black are my go-to colors for shoes and bags. Sometimes I feel like a nun, dressing for work. Gah.

    p.s. for the briefcase/tote role I seriously lust after a Rimowa pilot case. It opens at the top, so no need to put it on the conference room table, the mess in there is out of sight. But: $1000. Never goes on sale. Sigh. Not this year. Maybe it’s too clanky and shiny anyhow. Another sigh.

    • These are only left in size 9 & 11, but if you happen to be that size . . . I saw them earlier and loved them for the very reason you described in your post.

      • Ooh… and these too… many more sizes& a comfy heel… I am ordering a pair!

        • Delta Sierra :

          AIMS – thank you, so kind! They are both gorgeous. I die for the Mary Janes, but not my size, shoot.

    • Anonymous :

      Delta Sierra – If you get the above in “tortoise-shell”, that’s your dream shoe! I won a pair & they are seriously gorgeous.

    • The Rimowas go for about $800 on eBay. Still a lot of money…

  3. Purple shoes can also go with gray suits quite successfully. I have never understood the allure of peep-toe shoes though – I barely have time to keep my toenails from slicing through my socks and/or husband, much less keep them prettily pedicured.

    • Anonymous :

      awwwww, while i understand the tendency to not take care of oneself when busy, that is just too graphic.

    • Rachel, that’s hilarious and I suspect many of us can relate!!!!

      Ironically, I am wearing deep red peep toes today and I happened to notice halfway up the elevator that the deep red color on my toenails – that was put on there 2 weeks ago, while running out the door late for work (I commuted in flip flops – I am in Florida) – matches the color of my shoes a little too perfectly!

      Ladies, is that a faux pax… When colored shoes meet colored toes and they happen to be the same color should I be thinking, “wow, that’s seriously fantastic that I look so put together today on accident!” or more along the lines of, “oh god, this is really slightly embarrasing… I certainly hope that no one think I did that on purpose!”??

      • ARinFL: I am not a fan of being that perfectly matched myself, but there are enough people on both sides of this so that I think you’re safe. Maybe a little dated, but certainly not a faux pas . . . Just don’t match all your make up to your shoes & toes, and you’ll be safe ;)

  4. OMG-LOVE!!!! *Swoon*

    Unfortunately they are waaaaayy out of my acceptable price range for shoes though:( Despite a six-figure income, I keep things under $100, period.

    Now if you’ll excuse me…I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon staring at the various “views” of these shoes.

    • I bought 3 pairs for $120-160 each at the end of the season a year ago. I think it’s worth it if the alternative is to buy cheaper shoes but have to replace them more often (and they may be less comfortable). I don’t foresee needing to buy new work shoes for a long, long time. I sound like a schill for Cole Haan, but I really love mine!

      • Me too. I must have about 10 pairs of Cole Haans (all but two pairs purcahsed on sale or at the outlet). I love them, to the point that 3 to 4 days out of the week, I have Cole Haan’s on my feet. With regular polishing and efforts to avoid wearing them in the rain/snow/mud, they stay looking nice for several years (whereas, some of my J.Crew shoes look worn out and need to be tossed after a year or two, tops). I used to have an eclectic collection of moderately to semi-moderately priced shoes, most of which hurt my feet after a few hours of standing. I’d much rather invest in CH’s and know that they are going to fit well, be comfortable, and last.

    • It would be interesting to see what people’s “price ceilings” are for an individual item. I read an article in Vogue once that discussed breaking the $1,000 mark for one individual piece and how different people felt about it. For me, it depends on the item, but I have a hard time spending more than $225 on one thing, and if I go that high, it’s generally on a coat I can wear multiple years. Most of the time, $100 is my price ceiling, and I never order more than $350 at a time in an online order (although, I have been known to go back later and order more from the same place – but only if I have a free shipping code :). And if I am spending $350, that’s generally for a lot of items – I have a thing for stacking discount codes to get the total price down as low as possible.

      • We sound very similar in our shopping philosophy – I spent about 225 for my winter coat this year…that I expect to last me at least 2 more winters. Definitely worth the money, especially since I live in a place where winter lasts forever!

        Luckily Zappos doesn’t even have my size in these, so the temptation is gone:)

      • We did a similar post on here a few months ago before Christmas. It was a great discussion… Included suits, purses, shoes, tops, slacks, sweaters, and more, if I recall correctly. It would be worth finding again, if you’re interested.

      • Never crossed that for 1 item except on a winter coat (Burberry) & my LV epi & Bottega Veneta bags! Jewellery doesn’t count:) And now that I can shop the US websites that ship internationally (I live in Asia) and take advantage of the heavy discounts, i think twice before crossing US$100 on anything!

  5. Super comfy as long as you can get your heel to stay in. I have narrow heels, so I have to wear the mary jane style. (Those heel grips don’t work so well.) Cole Haan goes on sale at lots of different retailers, so if you love them, keep an eye out.

    I just bought purple patent metallic Tory Burch Revas! Was going to go for black, but thought the purple was different and am trying to make it work. I’ve found that a standard for “too funky for work” is whether most men in the office would notice and think something looks strange.

    • I love those Tory Burch shoes! I wear purple shoes all the time (since my entire wardrobe is black, grey and purple) and those are a great shade.

      • I would have preferred them to be a little darker and/or just patent and not metallic, but I’m hoping they’re not too out there!

    • Have you ever tried the Dr. Scholls heel liners? They always worked for me.

  6. wow, I share your love for purple and I love peep toes but then my law firm culture is a bit more relaxed than your typical NY firm. These are oh, so tempting . . .

  7. Also, these are really well made. Get rubber soles put on, and they will probably last forever. I’ve been wearing my favorite pair (black patent) almost every day for over a year and they still look brand new. I also have a suede pair, but those don’t wear as well – I like to sit on my feet sometimes and the contact damages the suede.

  8. Love it! Just bought a pair of CH Carma OT’s in patent dark grey that are awesome. I need to check these out.

  9. Anne Vohl :

    I can’t imagine a setting that is so conservative that you cannot wear these shoes. Caveat: in winter with a dark shoe that is a peep toe you are better off wearing dark hose that blend with the shoe. The toenail poish shade will not even be an issue.

  10. While I DO love the color, I just can’t get behind the snakeskin print. Sorry!

  11. Really cute, but for non-black/brown classic heels, I try to spend a lot less … I have a few good pairs of wear-with-anything heels and then a nice variety of fun statement shoes that I pick up at TJ Maxx/Rack/etc. for under $60. The more the merrier when it comes to shoes, I say!

  12. I had a pair of spectator shoes once, brown with a black cap, with just a slight heel but as comfortable as a flat … Until a dog got them … I got so much use out of them, and haven’t found anything good since.

  13. housecounsel :

    These are lovely and I am not going to be able to stop thinking about them. I love Cole Haans and am wearing Air Anabels as we speak, but I don’t think I can drop that kind of cash on purple, either.

    I need to master the peep-toes with tights look. I still fear it.

  14. Hello…what doesn’t purple go with…I exaggerate, but only slightly…it also goes with, as one other reader noted, grey, but also brown, khaki, and that whole color family.

  15. Stick with dark colors, but if you are going to cross-examine, then you may want the jury’s eyes to be on you, in which case you may want to wear a brighter color. I’m petite and prefer all year round wool. I usually can get a wool suit jacket with matching skirt and pants on sale at Brooks Brothers outlets, Nordstroms, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic.

work fashion blog press mentions