The Hunt: Purple Heels for the Office

purple heels for the office 2018Purple Heels for the Office - 2018 roundup!Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work 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.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I always feel like purple heels for the office are a hugely versatile basic that every woman should have. Wear them with navy if you’re uncomfortable wearing black with navy! Add some interest to black and gray outfits, and have some fun with contrasting colors by wearing purple on days when you’ve got green or red accents, and fun with complementary colors when you’re wearing purples or blues. The definition of “purple” comes and goes over the years, of course — in years past we’ve rounded up wine-colored pumps with names like “bordeaux” — while this year there are a ton of super bright purples available for purchase, probably in part because the Pantone color of 2018 is ultra violet. Readers, do you have a pair of purple heels for the office — or purple flats or booties? How do you wear them, and do you consider them a basic or a “fun” shoe? 

Before we get to today’s roundup, here are a few specific categories (like under $100, extended widths, and comfort options) for purple heels for the office:

Curious for some of our older roundups? Here they are from 20172016201520142012, and 2010.

Purple Heels for the office - Sam EdelmanThese pumps have been best-sellers for years, so it’s great to see them in a fun, saturated purple like this. The name of the color is “purple plum suede,” and if you’re looking for a classic stiletto on the higher side (3.75″) then this may be for you. (Note that normally this shoe is a good bet if you need extended sizes or widths, but neither is available in the purple color.) They’re $119 at Nordstrom. Sam Edelman Hazel
Purple heels for the office - BotkierI’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but some of my favorite bags come from Botkier — so I was excited to see a few years ago when they expanded to shoes as well. These architectural, wedge-like pumps are calling my name, and the slightly darker “winter purple suede” color is great. They’re $127 at Nordstrom. Note that if you really like the color but not the shoe, the brand offers the same color in a higher pump, as well as in two booties and a sandal, though it may be worth noting that for my $.02 I find colorful pumps to be infinitely more versatile than colorful booties — but that’s me. Pictured: Botkier Stella Pump
Purple heels for the office - Ann TaylorAnn Taylor is another brand offering several shoe options in the same purple; for my money these 2″ bow pumps make perfect use of a bow, making them a subtle Mary Jane heel without the mumsiness that comes with that kind of shoe. Interestingly, the name of the color is “Scarlet Lily,” but to my eye they seem to belong more in the purple family than the red family. They’re $139 at Ann Taylor, available in half-sizes 5-11. Dylan Suede Bow Kitten Heel Pumps
Purple Heels for the Office - TalbotsAgain, I really like the bow detail here — they’re fun and flirty but still professional — and I like the brighter color (named “Hawthorne Rose” here, but again they look more purple than pink to me). They’re $159 at Talbots. Erica Bow Pumps
Purple heels for the office - AGLIf you want a darker, more sedate purple, these “plum patent” heels from AGL are great. Obviously AGL is a huge favorite for comfort flats — the sculpted block heel here also looks very comfortable but interesting. (If you like the color and price but not the shoe, check out these sky high Tory Burch heels in a more classic purply cordovan “Malbec.”) The pictured heels are $365 at Nordstrom. Block Heel Slingback Pump
Purple Heels for the Office - PradaI like the black “liquid shine patent” detail at the capped toe of this classic stiletto from Prada — the shoe also comes in a version with navy and black. The shoe is available for preorder at Nordstrom for $895; note that while the shoe comes in sizes 4-12, many of the less common sizes are already selling out. Check out more splurgey options from Roger Vivier, Jimmy Choo, Tibi, and Bottega Veneta (with an absolutely fabulous heel detail). Pictured:  Pointy Cap Toe Pump

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 I always feel like a purple heel for the office is insanely versatile whether you're in a business casual or conservative office -- wear purple heels with black, navy, gray, as well as fun complementary colors like blues and purples, and contrasting colors like greens and reds. These are our favorite purple heels fro the office on the market in 2018!


  1. Anonymous :

    Any tips for things to do/see near Bethany Beach, DE? Traveling for work.

    • Bethany Beach (and its sister town Fenwick Island) are known as the “quiet resorts” for a reason. :) Bethany has a small boardwalk and a few restaurants. If you’re looking for nightlife or just a bigger beach town, head north to Dewey and Rehoboth, or south to Ocean City, MD.

  2. Minnie Beebe :

    Based on image alone, I fell in love with what turned out to be (natch) the most expensive shoes listed, those Prada pumps! Alas, $900 shoes are nowhere near my budget, but those are gorgeous.

  3. Anonymous :

    I’m not Godzilla but those SW’s are awesome!!

  4. Vicky Austin :

    Those Ann Taylor Frannie pumps (click on “several”) are to DIE for.

  5. You keep using purple or plum to describe what looks like burgundy or cordovan. You went to Northwestern, for heaven’s sake! You should know what purple looks like!

  6. Kat, I love the Tory Birch 85MM pump’s at Nordstrom’s! I think that men respect me more when I have 4″ pump’s or 85MM (which may be higher!) This way, I can monitor men and where they are lookeing if I am almost as tall as they are. If they don’t look me in the eye, it’s curtans for them, as I don’t need men stareing at my boobies. FOOEY on that!

  7. Vionic Josie kitten heels in merlot. Very comfortable and versatile.

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