Coffee Break – Patent & Hair Calf Ballet Pumps

Stuart Weitzman Patent & Hair Calf Ballet PumpsReader A wrote in to recommend these cute pumps, which she swears are the most comfortable pair of shoes she has ever purchased. “Yes, pricey…but given that they go with black, tan, and many solids, quite worth it. They have padded insoles too. Super comfy (and have converted me from Ferragamo! The heel height is great for skirts and pants, and if you need to do a lot of walking. They also look super conservative & probably the only way I’d wear animal print to work. FWIW: I’m Ms Bigfoot (size 9-9.5), wide feet and with bunions. And they’re still comfy.” Love it! I think they’d look great with basic black or brown, and I might try them with a dark burgundy A-line skirt as well.  They’re $335 at Saks.  Stuart Weitzman Patent & Hair Calf Ballet Pumps



  1. Those are really cute, but definitely not for me. Love leopard print, but get grossed out by actual calfhair.

  2. NYC Tailor rec :

    Threadjack – I have a suit jacket I had made in Asia, and somehow they forgot to sew one of the button holes on the front of the jacket. Anyone have a rec for a good tailor in nyc that would be able to rectify this situation? My local dry cleaner couldn’t do it, and had no recs on where to take it.


    • found a peanut :


      • I tried to go there earlier this fall, and they were on the brink of going out of business and wouldn’t take new work. You may want to call first.

        • found a peanut :

          I was just there a week ago and they are definitely not going out of business. They might not be taking on new business, though, because they are so busy.

    • If you are on the upper east, Pin Point Tailor on 84th b/t 2nd and 3rd.

  3. These shoes look great! I must stalk them to go on sale. I have a plain black pair of SW’s that I didn’t mind paying full price for, but since these aren’t as basic I would want to get a deal on them.

  4. Since when does wearing size 9 make somebody a bigfoot?

    It’s the average shoe size for women these days.

    • I thought that too when I read this. Guess my 11 and I will go cry in the corner.

  5. Heatheresq :

    Dislike. Just too much going on in a semi-dowdy shoe. How is that even possible. Sorry, I bow out on this one. Especially at that price.

    In related but unrelated news, I find Weitzman’s to run incredibly narrow. I am surprised these are as comfy as the reader says. Kudos to her for a find that suits her.

    • found a peanut :

      I think this shoe is dowdy too, it’s the combination of the heel height, the shape of the heel and the square-ish toe. Not for me.

    • Ditto. This type of short heel looks dowdy to me.

    • I agree that these are so old-fashioned! Downright grandmotherly.

      I don’t know what’s happened to Corporette lately, but the taste level has been questionable for weeks (months?) now. I used to look forward to the posts and now I just skim them in my Reader.

  6. SAlit-a-gator :

    Cute shoes. I agree with the OP that these are some of the most conservative animal print shoes I’ve seen. I think the reason these shoes are so comfortable is the size and type of heel – I have a bunch of shoes with a 1 1/2 in heel and they are all simply awesome. I almost feel like I’m wearing flats with this type of heel. Ideal for a long day on your feet (like a hearing) where you still need to wear a heel, but also need to be comfortable.

  7. anonymous :

    Very cute, except for the pattern and the patent leather (PL looks like Sunday School shoes to me and scratches). I wear a 4.5/5 and the smallest size listed is 6.

    Have to stick with Ferragamo, although they’re not that comfortable.

  8. I bought the Nine West Oak kitten heels based on recommendations I saw here, and I love them. Easily the most comfortable shoes I have, and they’re stylish.

    I noticed that Nine West changed its shoe names recently; I think they’re now named Izabela.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Yep, the Nine West Oak kitten heels are what I was talking about above – the 1 1/2″ heel is perfect. I bought them in four colors after I realized how awesome they are!

  9. I just had to sit through an hour and a half presentation on “workplace communication”. My firm brought in an “expert” to talk to us about presentation. In addition to the fact that her bra and pants didn’t fit (the girls were somewhere around her waist, her pants were clearly hemmed for flats and she was wearing tall heels, and I can tell you exactly what cut of underwear she was wearing), she had typos in her presentation and did all of the “girl” things you aren’t supposed to do – qualifying her statements, repeatedly tilting her head, using limp or otherwise unhelpful hand gestures… the whole nine. It would have been so much more effective if the professional development team had just handed out copies of NGDGTCO and called it a day.

    rant over.

    • These are the moments when I resent being so competent at my good job. Sometimes I wish I were borderline stupid but yet considered a consultant (with the honoraria that go with the title).

  10. animal print at work, yay or nay?

    • Can be appropriate, but use with caution?

      I used to work for a female partner who wore animal print daily. I think what made it work was that she wore one piece at a time. Also, I think being more established helped.

    • I think one piece is fine. Anything more than that skews Real Housewives/Carmela Soprano.

      (PS, no offense; love you, Carm.)

      • love carmela. want her on my team. she’d kickass in the office. but do not want to emulate her dress style.

      • I’m from jersey (nicki…..acrylic nails….i don’t know if anyone’s connected the dots). i would wear a pair of leopard flats on occasion when i was just out of college, and i may have worn a navy/grey/black leopard cardigan once or twice to work, and if i’m cold happened to have worn my grey on grey leopard scarf i might wear that around the office. my office has an extremely liberal dress code, but i’m in a male dominated field so i tend to limit high heels, hot pink and animal prints.

    • Yay. Just don’t overdo it.

    • Classic animal print in neutral colors, yes, one piece at a time. Hot pink zebra print faux fur, oh hell no.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i have a pair of leopard flats i wear very frequently at work – bus casual office. i treat them like a neutral and it works fine, but wouldn’t wear them to court or an important meeting. i need to replace them, actually – one of the downsides of calf hair is that it wears away.

  11. Is anyone else obsessing about this Sandusky story? I’m pretty shaken up about the whole thing. I figured football programs probably participate in some cover ups, but not for so long and about such a horrifying crime. I read the grand jury’s findings today, and they are worse than I thought. There is testimony that the police and the DA, as well as the football staff, knew that illegal behavior was going on back in 1998, and yet declined to prosecute. They taped a phone conversation with Sandusky where he admitted showering with and hugging a little boy. Ugh. I’m just disgusted.

    • I just saw that it was discussed earlier today in the TPS. I just can’t stop thinking and reading about it . . . .

    • Yes – I’m horrified and shocked. I’m listening to yesterday’s Talk of the Nation right now, actually, and it’s about why witnesses do or don’t report abuse, and it’s surprising too. What I’m getting from it is that a lot of people claim to not know what to do if they learn that a child is being abused. How is that possible? I’ve been a mandated reporter at various times in my life, and have been through training on that subject, but even before the training it was very obvious to me that if you know or suspect that a child is being abused you report it and do what you can to stop it, REGARDLESS of whether the adult is a prominent or important person or even somebody you know. How can people find this perplexing?

      Back to the Penn situation, it is shocking that SO MANY people knew about it and said nothing. How did those people live with themselves while they were silent for all those years?

      And I keep thinking about the children who were victimized and how they must feel now when they hear about students protesting Paterno being fired. It must be just crushing for them.

      • From another perspective, though, it’s crushing to see that Paterno may be being used as a scapegoat while the person who actually witnessed the rape still has a job at Penn State.

        • I agree he absolutely should have been fired, but so should Paterno.

          • Agree with this.

            It’s appalling to me that McQueary (the assistant who witnessed it) is still coaching. I can’t even imagine why the university would want to keep him, especially in his role as recruiting coordinator, as no mother on Earth should want to send her son to play and mature under that kind of coward.

          • I’m thinking we’ll see a “resignation” from the former grad student/current asst coach (McQueary) fairly soon. I’ll bet the University hasn’t fired him yet because they were afraid of some sort of whistleblower retaliation lawsuit if they did so.

            That doesn’t make it right, though.

        • another anon :

          I absolutely think that the person who witnessed it should be fired too, but it’s “crushing” to see Paterno as a scapegoat? Seriously? You know what else must have been crushing? being a 10 year old boy and having an adult who was supposed to look after you rape you instead. And then having none of the other adults who knew about it do the right thing. And then having to see a ton of people RIOT in support of your rapist.

          • I think you are confused. Paterno is not accused of raping anyone. When McQueary tried to tell Paterno that he witnessed a rape, Paterno stopped him mid-sentence and refused to hear the rest of teh allegations, preferring to have McQueary report them to the athletic director. Whether or not that is a fireable offense is up for debate, but the fact that Paterno got fired while McQueary – who clearly admits to having witnessed a rape – still has a job makes Paterno a scapegoat. The attorney general explicitly stated that Paterno is not suspected of having committed any crime; McQuearly clearly failed to report a crime in progress, which is illegal although the statute of limitations has run and he isn’t charged.

          • J (and anyone else who might still be reading this thread ..) i respectfully disagree with that characterization. Calling Paterno a “scapegoat” implies that he didn’t have a larger obligation to the football program, to the University, and to the community as a clear leader and representative of all three. He is being removed for the same reason that the University President is being removed, and for the same reason that CEOs are removed when horrible things happen deep within the company – even if caused by people who had no contact with management at all. The buck stops with them.

            Mind you, McQueary should go, too!

        • What I find so horrifying is that it doesn’t seem that the witness stopped the rape. Or did he? Did I miss that?

          • No. The witness (McQueary) waited a day, told Paterno something (they disagree on what exactly he told Paterno), and then the next day Paterno arranged a meeting with the athletic director. At some point, McQueary told the athletic director and another university official exactly what he saw, and they decided not to do anything except bar Sandusky (the rapist) from bringing boys on campus. The athletic director and university official are now charged with crimes including perjury.

      • another anon :

        Yeah, I had a situation once where I needed to report a neighbor for child abuse, and I wasn’t sure who exactly to call at first. But you know what? (1) I knew I needed to report it, even though I’m not a mandated reporter; and (2) I called someone who was a mandated reporter and asked them what to do. And then I called the number they gave me and reported it. Really, really, not that difficult (logistically at least…emotionally it was heart wrenching).

        And all of those students who protested/rioted should be seriously ashamed of themselves.

    • Research, Not Law :

      It’s very disturbing.

      I had a stint in administration for a large state university and was appalled by the strings athletics – particularly football – could pull. But this goes way beyond what even my very cynical mind could have thought possible. I’ve also been a mandatory reporter. It’s not complicated. The whole thing is incredibly disgusting.

      And as a mom… ::shudder::

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve found my reaction to this story to be rather strong, given how far away from it I am. I’m not a mom and don’t particularly like kids, but that’s like the one thing that gets me snarly when I see it or hear about it. You. Don’t. Mess. With. Kids.

    • Yes. Everyone at my workplace (we have many football fans) is talking about it too. Deadspin has had great coverage – here’s a primer on the charges:
      Weirdly, the original prosecutor (who didn’t file charges) just flat out disappeared a few years ago and was eventually declared dead.

      Everything about this is so very sad. Impossible to stop thinking and talking about it.

    • Anonymous :

      On top of everything, the students are out in the street protesting his dismissal. What?!? Yeah, we’re ok with child abuse. Just keep us winning games!

    • I am not around children much so it is unlikely that I would ever find out about abuse, but I definitely would not hesitate to make a report if I needed to. But, honestly I would not know how to report it. I would probably just turn to Google or call the police so that I did make the rpoert, but can someone explain if there is a specific procedure one is supposed to follow in that type of situation?

      • When I started working with children, I received “Mandated Reporter” training from representative from Child Protective Services and the Police. Part of that training was how to report it, who to report it to, and how to document that you’ve reported it. We received an org chart showing the chain of command.

        Now that I’m not working with kids anymore, I’d probably go straight to the police or CPS. The allegations are taken seriously and reporting child abuse is very scary even as an adult. I was lucky to have a supervisor who helped me through the process.

      • I think it differs from community to community. I would Google, then if that didn’t give me a clear directive, I would call the police.

    • Joe Paterno is not a victim

      I think all television proceeds from Penn State’s football program for the next season should be donated to charities that try to undo the damage that people like Sandusky have done to children. Let Penn State feel the financial toll of such catastrophic, amoral decisions.

      I’m the mother of a son. It brings tears to my eyes, to imagine someone turning their back on an 11 year old.

  12. Just finished a week long business trip and regional director gave me an airport lounge pass. Multiple vodka crans before a 5 hour flight whee!
    The trip was great but I did not love that thanks to the time difference and the blackberry I’ve recently been given I was basically answering emails straight from 6 am every day. But writing late night notes was made a lot better with room service sundaes, I’ve definitely taken NGDGTCO to heart, figured I have per diems for a reason and have used them well.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Mmmm… I wish my per diem could be used for room service sundaes. My current company is insanely particular and precise with travel reimbursements, which removes the very few joys there are in business travel.


    • I do not have a per diem but I take a travel allowance and spend from it, then give the rest back to the company. I too have changed my travelling habits. I recall one trip 2 years ago where I hadn’t eaten all day… now, the first thing I do is order room service before I open my laptop.

  13. Late post so maybe someone can laugh with me tonight yet.

    My firm is doing an “employee appreciation” event that is just so awful, it’s kind of funny. It’s theme is “Donate to _____ (charity we chose)!”

    On Monday, we have the honor of attending a presentation given by the charity to help us make “donation decisions”. Huh? How is that fun?

    Tuesday and Wednesday sound like silly but inoffensive games like “fishing”, “snow shoveling” and a state-specific trivia contest (even though many of us aren’t from that state–but whatever).

    But Tuesday is also “Lottery Day”! Every employee MUST purchase a $1 ticket to participate. The $1 is a donation to the charity selected by the firm. Huh?

    Thursday is a potluck lunch masquerading as a cooking contest (nice way to save money on catering!) and a silent auction (using what money? Details not provided).

    Friday is–and this is the worst–“Pasty legs? Guess those attorney’s legs!” WHAT. THE. HECK. Did someone miss sexual harassment training? Really, I’m not making this up.

    • Oh, we just learned that the employees also need to make and bring in the items being sold in the silent auction.

      Seriously? Seriously?

      • Sounds like you need to get the flu this week. Seriously!

      • That sounds awful. If it makes you feel any better my job had a big to do a while back wherein they had a very public meeting about needing to change our “sexual harassment” training to “sexual harassment awareness” training because apparently people were concerned that employees were being trained to sexually harass others.

    • Ha! Are you at my old firm? Crap like that is one of the (many) reasons that I left.

    • wow, i dont even know what to say…… except: i’m so sorry ;o)

      i thought my workplace was obnoxious, but you totally win

    • This is just awful – especially the Friday thing. What decade (or what century) do the party planners think we live in! I’m so sorry.

    • OMG!! I’ve been at my current job for less than a year, but so far they’ve got employee appreciation right. Profit-sharing checks and free snacks. :)

  14. Stuart! He’s one of my heroes. Agree, also worth leaving Ferragamo for.

    • My husband’s aunt manages one of the Stuart Weitzman stores in New York. She has some faaaaaaaaabulous shoes. She is originally from Argentina, so she calls them “chooz.” I adore her.

  15. PSA for the corporette looking for a swacket/bleater/swazer the other day

    this is cute. Petites only, so I’m out of luck!

  16. Threadjack! Does anyone know where I could find boots that would be similar to Fryes (well-made, will last 10+ years) but are maybe a tiny bit more stylish? I desperately want a pair of black motorcycle-ish boots this season, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money on a pair with poorly glued soles and crappy leather.


    • Have you tried Red Wings or Dr Martins? Both will last for a decade or more.

    • a passion for fashion :

      there’s a gorgous pair of valentinos that fit the bill i am currently coveting.

      • a passion for fashion :

  17. Anonymous :

    Has anyone had the Organizational Development Department do MBTI testing on you or your department?

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

    • Just signed up to do it at work.. interested to see what it says!

    • We did it at a workplace of mine a few years ago. It was WONDERFUL to learn what made my boss and co-workers tick. Well, I guess that’s the thing – we were all required to share our profiles inside our team of 5 – it’d be pointless, IMO, to do it without sharing. But I immediately modified my behaviors, and reduced conflicts, with my boss once I learned that X was a big thing for him. He, in turn, changed the way he did Y with me. Truly changed our working dynamic. Highly recommended.

    • karenpadi :

      We do it for new hires. I know the partners use it but most of our work is pretty solitary so the results aren’t shared among the team.

      If I am having a problem working with someone, and I speak to the partner about it, he’ll pull up our results and give me some insight into what I can do to improve the working dynamic. It’s been very helpful.

  18. Grant Writer Extraordinare! :

    grant season has begun…I blocked out all the time I had to write, minus travel days, and had to add an extra 60 hours over the next three weeks to give me enough time…

    today, I am wearing black yoga pants, mismatched socks, brown danskos, a red tee-shirt, and a navy cardigan. Want to know WHY…it’s the only clean clothes I could find!!

    Yesterday I was dressed up pretty spiffy, though hehe.

    • That’s going to be me tomorrow although I don’t know if I have anything as practical as yoga pants- it might be a pencil skirt and my university hoodie. I had to go to Marks & Spencer to buy undies the other day because I seriously had no clean laundry.

      Aack, so much to do!

  19. OP here.

    I must say that I bought these in the medium width and they’re great. They do look frumpy in the pic but they’re lovely when worn.

    Anyway, at 4 mths pregnant, I can see myself wearing them till my due date. That’s also a big draw for me!

    Also, at size 9-9.5, where I live, these were the largest size in stock and I was lucky they even had my size. Most stores here stop at 8. ( my justification for spending big bucks on these)