The Hunt: Nude Flats

nude flatsSure, 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 item that every woman should have.

Almost since this blog was born, we’ve done roundups of nude-for-you heels — beige heels, brown heels, pink heels and more. But I don’t think we’ve ever done a roundup of nude flats — so I thought we’d do one today. Ladies, do you wear nude-for-you flats as often as you wear nude-for-you heels? Which outfits are your favorite to pair with nude-for-you flats? Any favorite brands of flats, either for comfort or the perfect match to your skin?  

Update: Check out three work outfit ideas with nude flats

(Psst: check out our recent roundup of comfortable ballet flats, and of course our recently updated guide to comfortable heels.)

First up, some of our “Workwear Hall of Fame” styles — these are the best sellers and classics that have been around for years:

nude flats - classic styles

Pictured: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 


Before we get into today’s recommendations, some specialty categories:

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Coffee Break – Alpert Slip-Ons

Born - Alpert (Chestnut) - FootwearRelax, ladies: this one’s for guys. In keeping with the last-minute-gift-theme of this week’s Coffee Breaks, I thought I’d throw in Børn shoes, which all of the men in my family love. (Looove.) They’re that great in-between shoe for when sneakers are too casual and wingtips are too, well, formal — and they’re chock full of cushioning and no-skid treads. I’m eyeing this Alpert slip-on for my husband, and perhaps a pair of the Jacob boots for my brother. The Alpert is $105 at Zappos.  Born – Alpert (Chestnut) – Footwear


Coffee Break – Closed-Toe Slip-Ons

FORNARINA Closed-toe slip-ons Oooh: I first spied these in the black/gray/blue combo, but when I saw the purple I knew it was fate: I love these purple pumps from Fornarina. I love the way the purple leather details wrap around the front of the shoe — almost as if it were a peep toe, but I believe this is a totally closed-toe shoe. Unfortunately, very limited sizes are available — but if you’re a smaller size, it’s your lucky day. The shoes were $135, but are now marked to $69 at Yoox (which offers free shipping on all orders). FORNARINA Closed-toe slip-ons


(Hunting for a new pair of comfortable heels? Check out our guide here.)

The Hunt: The Purple Pump

Croc-embossed platforms

2017 Update: We still think these purple pumps are cute, but you may want to check out our latest roundup of  what to wear with wine-colored pumps.

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 item that every woman should have.

We often mention a purple pump as being a great solution to both the “what do I wear with navy” dilemma, as well as the “I’m bored to tears of my black shoes but don’t want people to think I’m a clown” woes.  But then again, finding a purple pump can be a tricky business — so we thought we’d round up a few for you in a range of prices.  Readers, did we miss any great purple pumps you’ve found recently?


Jessica Simpson - Jessica (Electric Purple) - FootwearWe’re not normally fans of Jessica Simpson shoes, but these are highly rated on Zappos, cute, and relatively inexpensive — $68.95 at Zappos. Available in purple patent (pictured), black, red, and a felt grey.  Jessica Simpson – Jessica (Electric Purple) – Footwear
iconThese pumps from brand Me Too are such a dark “violet” that you almost don’t even notice it — they’re also great for a woman who likes a more squared toe. They’re $88.95 at Nordstrom (available in violet (pictured), black, and pewter). Me Too ‘Pixy’ Pump
Sofft - Astoria (Violet Patent) - FootwearWe’re fans of Sofft generally (they’re part of our “most comfortable heels” roundup) and we like the fact that these have a slight point to the toe, as well as a heel height under 3″. They’re $104.95 at Zappos.   Sofft – Astoria (Violet Patent) – Footwear
Croc-embossed high heelsTalbots has some great-looking croc-embossed heels in a “dark rosette” — what’s particularly nice is that they have a 3.5″ heel (pictured), a kitten heel, and a platform heel (pictured at the very top) — all in the same dark purple stamped leather. (They also offer the shoes in a lovely light “Madison” blue, as well as a camel “Luggage,” brown, gray, and black.) The 3.5″ heels are $139 at (online only). Croc-embossed high heels
Moschino Cheap and Chic Women's Offline Patent PumpLove these gorgeous purple patent pumps from Moschino Cheap and Chic, marked 45% off at Endless — the purple strikes us as the perfect tone to provide a subtle pop of color with either navy, black, or gray trousers. Were $375, now $206.25 at Endless — — with a 25% off discount that applies at checkout, the price comes to around $155.  (Also available in a teal blue).  Moschino Cheap and Chic Women’s Offline Patent Pump
Claudia Ciuti Women's Afrik PumpThe texture in these shoes is a wonderful addition — the round toe is perfect. The price drops an additional 25% ($64.49) once you get to the final stage of checkout — was $469, marked to $257.95, comes to around $193 at checkout. Available at Endless. Claudia Ciuti Women’s Afrik Pump
Christian Louboutin Yotruche 70 python-effect pumps
iconLove. Ly. Even though we’re not quite sure what “python-effect pumps” are, we love these Christian Louboutin peep toes. They’re the classic 3″, and we like the silver heels and red leather soles. Were $1,030, now $566.50 at Christian Louboutin Yotruche 70 python-effect pumps

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

Beauty Wednesday: Insolia Inserts

insolia review(I know: this doesn’t quite qualify as a “beauty” item, but in my mind it makes sense to talk about it here…)

I’ve been a fan of the cushion-y, almost gel-like inserts that you put under the ball of your foot for years now — so I was intrigued when I was sent free samples of the Insolia “weight-shifting” insert, which is a hard piece of plastic that goes beneath your heel and below your arch.  “Keep trying them out,” the product engineer urged — “they’re a little like a contact lens for your foot.”  (Which is true — it feels like there’s something in your shoe at first, and then you get used to it and it feels like there’s nothing there.)  After one wearing, I must say I was even more intrigued — I survived a night out with some of my highest heels! — and have continued to have good results.  I can’t explain the science behind it, but I will definitely be giving these a try the next time I have to wear heels that are higher than my comfort zone.  You can get 3 pairs at Amazon for $19.97, or buy them direct from the Insolia website, where code corporette will give you a 15% discount through June 30, 2010.

Check out our Guide to Comfortable Heels for even more ideas! 

Please note: all products sent to Kat for review are subject to the Corporette Review Policy.

The Quest for Comfortable Heels

comfortable heels2016 Update: Links have been updated below; please also check out our new and revised guide to comfortable heels or our latest roundup of stylish comfort heels for workAnd if you’re new here (welcome!), please consider subscribing to our email newsletter or checking out our Top Posts!

Pictured at left, clockwise: strappy pumpchunky heelhalf d’Orsay pump, pointy toe pump.

Today’s reader mail has to do with comfortable shoes…

I was wondering whether you had heard of Tsubo shoes. I recently posted on Facebook about my quest for comfortable heels, and instead of the usual “get the Cole Haan Nike Air pumps” suggestion, two people posted about Tsubos. I checked out the site, and the shoes really do appear to be very well made and at $100 to $150, a reasonable expenditure, even for me. Thought it might be worth a post. Many of your readers certainly must be walking to the courthouse regularly, and are probably looking for fashionable yet professional footwear that won’t cause them to limp by the end of the day.

Seriously, forget the Holy Grail — this is one of our lifelong quests. As one might expect from all the Mary Jane and other comfortable-type shoes we post (what? we wear ’em with pants) this author has problem feet — it’s incredibly difficult to get shoes that both feel and look great.  Not only does it seem like there are variances within each brand (e.g., some of our Cole Haans we love, others we want to throw across the room), but shoes that were favorites in previous seasons become hated things in newer ones (and never get better). Whine, whine — perhaps we just need a higher tolerance for pain.  (As for the blog, we can’t bring ourselves to recommend, sight unseen, shoes that we would never even order ourselves.  So again, ladies, send us your suggestions!)  In terms of pain, we actually read a book about feet a while ago that contained some helpful exercises, such as drawing the alphabet with a pointed toe, or spending a few minutes, barefoot, trying to pick up a pencil with your toes — but that doesn’t help with the comfort of shoes to begin with. [Read more…]

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