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.
When the weather starts to get brisk, I’m always on the hunt for great strappy pumps to wear with tights to work, whether they’re ankle strap, T-strap, Mary Jane, crisscross, or other styles with straps. (Particularly as someone with narrow heels but a wide forefoot, I swear by these for comfort and stability!) Strappy pumps like these are great for days where boots may feel too soon — and they can also be great as shoes that “live in your office” to change into if you do your commute in rainboots. This year, there are more heeled oxfords on the market than in previous years (like these nice ones from Isolá and Calvin Klein) — and of course wearing booties to the office is so trendy right now that we’ll do a separate roundup for booties (stay tuned!). We’ve included some of our favorite strappy office pumps this year — which are your favorites, ladies? In general, what shoes are your favorites to wear with tights to work — pumps, strappy pumps, booties, or something else?
Psst: here are our favorite tights for work (just updated the post!).
- Hall of Famers (specific styles that have stood the test of time): AK Anne Klein, SJP, Valentino … (A few old standards have been discontinued, but they’re but still available at Amazon, including these popular styles from Naturalizer & Sam Edelman… and while Nordstrom doesn’t sell them anymore, Sole Society still has options for their old bestsellers, the $70 strappy pump and ankle strap style heels.)
- Under $100: BP., AK Anne Klein, Clarks, Rockport, Bella Vita, Naturalizer, Antonio Melani, LifeSride, Franco Sarto
- Splurges: Manolo Blahnik, Fendi, Nicholas Kirkwood, Miu Miu, Christian Louboutin
- Extended widths (AA, C, W): Munro (four widths), Bella Vita (4 widths), Naturalizer (3 widths), Clarks (wide), Rockport (wide)
- Extended sizes (4-13): Munro (4-11), Bella Vita (5-12), Naturalizer (4-12), Clarks (5-12), Ecco (4-10)
- Comfort (and/or for commuting!): Paul Green, Cole Haan, Naturalizer, Clarks, Rockport, Fly London, Ecco, L’Amour des Pieds, Munro, Bella Vita (Don’t forget to check out our entire guide to comfortable heels!)
- Recently(ish) featured in a Coffee Break or elsewhere: Naturalizer, Talbots, Linea Paolo
|These $70 pumps are great if you’re looking for an affordable option — and they’re super trendy with the block heel. They’re also highly rated, and it looks like they sold out of the other colors they used to have — but these are still available in sizes 5.5-10. Ankle Strap Block Heel Pump|
|OK: If you’re not a fan of the “envelope pumps” that are everywhere, you probably won’t like these either. I’m not usually a fan of those pumps either — but something about these suede pumps strike me as cute rather than hideous. Or maybe they’re so hideous they’re cute? Hmmn. They’re available in eight colors over at Amazon, Macy’s, and Nordstrom, $79-$99. They come in four widths (N-WW), sizes 5-12. Bella Vita Neve Pump|
|I like that these strappy pumps are a) affordable, b) low heels, and c) very minimal on the strap — I could see this being a very elegant line whether with tights or without. They’ve got lots of good reviews at Nordstrom, where they’re $109. Page Pointy Toe Pump|
|I swear that we’ve featured these before, but the only place I can find them was in our last roundup of nude-for-you heels (in addition to black they also come in a “darker than light beige but not brown” shade). LOVE the look of these shoes, from the crisscross details to the zipper up the back to the nice range of colors to the affordability ($139). I haven’t had good luck myself with Corso Como heels, but many (many) people swear by these $99 Corso Como heels for comfort. Pictured: ‘Colette’ Crisscross Pointy Toe Pump|
|Another ankle strap/block heel style for you: these lovely suede Stuart Weitzmans. At $425, they’re definitely an investment piece, but I love the architectural vibes to the flared block heel, the thickness of the ankle cuff, and the square toe. Nice. They’re available in several colors, sizes 4.5-11, at Nordstrom (in suede) and Saks (in leather). Clara Pump|
|I think it’s Chloe’s flats with the scalloped details that are suddenly everywhere — but I like the look of the scalloped trim here, too. Note that because these are patent leather, it means a) they’re going to be more waterproof, b) they’re going to add a nice element of texture and polish to your regular looks with black tights, c) they’re going to be easier to pair with navy tights (black patent is great with navy tights), and d) they may need a bit of upkeep to look their best, which shouldn’t be surprising to you if you’re the type of woman to spend $695 on heels. They’re at Saks and Nordstrom.|
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