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.
For today’s Hunt for basic heels for work and interviews, I thought I’d do it a bit differently than I usually do, since there are so many disagreements on what’s in with regard to heels — what shape of heel or toe, and what height, and so forth. So I asked myself: if I had an unlimited budget and wanted to buy a great basic heel for work, right now, where would I go — and what would I find?
I did constrain the search using our typical definition of a basic heel for work – something closed toe, in a neutral color, without any obvious blingy details or party details (why is there so much iridescent PVC right now, even in fancy shoes)?
My general findings: pointed toes and stilettos are back in again, in a big way — block heels seem to be on their way out. But: you can find a bit of everything in stores right now in terms of heel and toe shapes, so you don’t need to rush to buy all new shoes.
I’m curious, readers — where would you look for an on-trend shoes if you had an unlimited budget? Have you bought any great new heels for work lately?
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The Most-Loved, Comfortable Heels for Work from Before Times
These have been around for years, but it’s worth noting that not only are they still being sold, but they’re still on many bestseller lists! The Sam Edelman pump (#2) is a current best-seller at Shopbop, and the block-heeled Marc Fisher LTD (#3) is a current best-seller at both Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.
Another note: one of our favorites for nude-for-you heels, Kahmune, is currently on sale at Shopbop!)
(As noted above, block heels seem to be on their way out, but you can still find them in a few best-seller lists, like #3 below, as well as the Everlane pump and this Tory Burch pump.
These are some of our favorite heels as of 2023, but check out our entire Guide to Comfortable Heels!
Some Trendier Heels for Work…
Zappos’s Style Room is featuring this pointed-toe slingback from Sam Edelman. The $139 heel has a 2.25″ heel height, and comes in sizes 5-14. (It’s really rare to see anything above size 12!) The Colette slingbacks from J.Crew are a similar style, but with asymmetrical vamps.
This pointed-toe style with a 3.25 inch heel is a new best-seller at Revolve — and it’s from L’Agence, which we love for blouses, blazers, and more. It’s available in sizes 6-10 for $395 in the black suede pictured above. Nordstrom carries a ton of colors, some of them marked down as low as $158; you can also find some colors on sale at Intermix.
Although their ultra-classic Romy shoe is still a best-seller, this other Jimmy Choo shoe is a new bestseller at Bloomingdale’s. I like the pointed toe, the tiny strap, and the 2.5″ curved heel. It’s $725 at Bloomingdale’s in two patent leather colors, available in sizes 5-12 (some sizes sold out). You can find it in more colors at Jimmy Choo and My Theresa (including matte black, and some versions in flats!).
Net-a-Porter was featuring the Kate pump from Louboutin – they note that they’re a timeless style. The shoe is $775, and Net-a-Porter has them in four colors and sizes IT34-IT42; you can also find them at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and other designer department stores.
Ferragamo heels are always a reader favorite for comfort — and we’ve featured these pointed-toe shoes before in a tan color. They’re best-sellers at Neiman Marcus, available in sizes 5.5-11 for $850; you can also find them at Nordstrom.
The curve of the heel is very similar to the best-selling Ann Taylor pumps, the Mila.
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Oooh, love this. I would suggest the Gianvitto Rossi 105 or M. Gemi Esatto 90. Or Sarah Flint!
Aquatalia’s heels are weatherproof, super comfortable, and a block heel—they are one of the only things getting me through interviews.