The Hunt: Work-Appropriate Wedges

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.

Wedges seem to be the unofficial work shoes of summer, perhaps because people walk so much more when the weather is nice — they venture farther for lunch spots, out to bars after work with coworkers, and some people even walk all the way to and from work in them. So I thought we’d round up some sleek, work-appropriate ones for today’s “Hunt.” To my eyes, the material of the wedge says a lot about whether it’s work appropriate — cork, espadrille, even wood all look very casual to me. As always, know your office — many of these are peep toes, which are not appropriate for every office. Readers, do you prefer wedge heels in summer? Have you bought any great wedges lately (or do you swear by classics like the Kate Spade Halle or the Target Merona wedge)?

Aerosoles Plum TreeSay what you will about Aerosoles, but when you’re looking for a basic like a wedge, they deliver. I like the “Plum Tree” wedge, which mixes a variety of materials so the heel and shoe are almost always different combos. I like this “mink combo” pair, with snakeskin heels and gray suede uppers, but that’s me. They’re priced between $29.99 and $79 at Aerosoles. Aerosoles Plum Tree
I’ve seen the brand “Soft Style” a lot on Zappos, but I never knew that they were affiliated with Hush Puppies until today. This one, like many others, is a peep toe, but I like the fabric/leather combination, and the bit of chain detailing across the toe is nice. While the shoe is available elsewhere, Amazon seems to have the biggest collection of sizes and colors: red, brown and black in lucky sizes from 6B-12B, all for $34.99. Soft Style by Hush Puppies Women’s Resilient Pumps
KORS Michael Kors Women's Vail Wedge Pump Wow – I’m very impressed with the sheer number of styles the “Vail” wedge comes in. Endless has the best variety and prices, with some styles marked from $112-$195 (all on sale from the MSRP of $225). KORS Michael Kors Women’s Vail Wedge Pump
Belle by Sigerson Morrison Women's Wallis Slingback WedgeOoooo: this shoe also comes in a “subtle taupe” and black, but I’m loving the “Baltic blue,” especially with the fun pop of neon around the edge. Limited sizes available, sadly; Amazon has them for $178.19-$225. Belle by Sigerson Morrison Women’s Wallis Slingback Wedge
kate spade new york 'deb' pumpHello, gorgeous. Love the gentle curves of this Kate Spade New York pump. The pointed toe, the architectural heel, the summer suede… gorgeous. It’s $298 at Nordstrom in beige and black suede; also has it (on sale for $165) in a leopard-printed satin. kate spade new york ‘deb’ pump
Maison Martin Margiela Line 22 / Heel-In-Heel PumpOk, I’m breaking my own rule — I don’t normally like wood wedges for the office. But come on: isn’t this hilarious? I love the wit (not to mention the perfect light beige color) with these Maison Martin Margiela pumps. They’re 30% off at La Garconne — were $790, now marked to $553. Maison Martin Margiela Line 22 / Heel-In-Heel Pump

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  1. SF Bay Associate :

    Kate Spade Halle + SuperFeet insoles = I can take over the world. They are the best shoes ever.

    • SF Bay, not to nitpick OR seem super weird remembering this, but I thought I remembered when seeking Halle advice a year and a half ago (!) that you ended up going with the one that started with an M – Marli? – because of the stitching?

      But I do agree that the Halle’s are fabulous for their height.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Goodness, you’re right. They are Marlis. I had forgotten. I’m impressed and slightly disturbed that you remebered, but mostly impressed ;).

        • Normally I am not THIS scary, but it was a personal milestone as, per your feedback, I placed the biggest Zappos order in my personal history, getting both the Halle’s and Marli’s in my normal size and a half size up. Ended up with Halle’s in my normal size as the best fit for me and got the other three pairs zipping right back to Zappos so the return would be credited the same billing cycle :)

          • Four is your biggest Zappos order? You have some shopping to do. A box of 9 pairs just arrived (that I ordered at 2 am on Sunday).

            I don’t even have a lot of shoes (~12 pairs including boots, running shoes, etc). I just am picky and try on and return a lot.

    • soulfusion :

      I haven’t tried the Halle’s but I love the Marli or whatever they are called. I may need to check out the Halle….

  2. Cole Haan Air Tali. It’s like walking on a cloud, with your feet wrapped in clouds. I can’t even convey how comfortable these shoes are for me.

    • Seconding this. I recently bought a pair, realized how comfortable they were, then hastily purchased them in other colors before they were no longer available.

      • They’re on sale (and in my cart) at 6 pm dot com in grey and black snakeskin for $99.
        Lots of other really great CH stuff, too.

        Also: For the poster with the amazing budget tracking skills who didn’t spend a lot on/didn’t like buying bags but was looking to upgrade, check out the CH bags. Many styles on sale for under $200, and I think it’s always better to buy a more expensive bag marked down to your price range than to start off with something initially there that will then be marked down to $5o (not to mention, the quality is so much better).

        • Cole Hana air Lainey….they’re super. Wore them till my due date and they were sooooo comfy.

    • I love all the Cole Haan wedges. Wearing this pair now:
      They’re super comfy and on sale today in black.

  3. I purchased the Ashby Wedge from Naturalizer that Kat featured in a Coffee Break in November, and find them really comfortable.

    • Ditto, now I am seriously looking into the Naturalizer ones recommended here. Can anyone speak to sizing? I had to go a full size down in the Naturalizer ones…

      • I’m between sizes, and had to go with the smaller size for the Naturalizer wedges.

      • Rural Juror :

        I’m usually between a 6 and 6.5 in shoes and ordered both for these naturalizer wedges. The 6 was tight but otherwise fine, the 6.5 were more comfortable generally but cut into my baby toe in a weird way. I ultimately decided the 6.5 would be better and sent the 6 back. However, they are still doing the baby toe crush even after I broke them in. I don’t get it. Maybe I need a wide width although I have never taken a wide before.

        • Get the toebox stretched a little. Also, a really cheap service for your shoes.

          What is today, Godzilla-advertising-for-cobblers-day? I swear, I don’t own a shoe repair shop.

  4. Don’t own any….gasp!
    Tried some on over the weekend and was super comfortable (walking around for maybe 5min) and was even comfortable carrying my daughter. But my feet hurt a little after I took them off. They seemed good quality and had the nicest padded insoles. Unfamiliar (to you) brand obviously.
    To buy, or not to buy? Loved em!

    • Padded insoles don’t make up for the fact that there is more material supporting your foot…or pushing against your bones. I’d say it depends on the pain – if it’s joint pain, stay away, it’s not going to get better. If it’s a fleshy pain (in the balls of your feet or heel) due of the height of the heel or angle of the shoe, that’s something your feet can learn to tolerate. Pinchy/scratchy irritations – I stay far away from those – there are too many shoes that in the world that want me, I don’t need to put up with that.

      Of course I’d analyze shoes structurally, of course.

      • Thanks for that. Really neatly deconstructed. Ditto scratchy pinchy shoes. Hate those. This was more a dull ache, like my feet were a bit sore, and my toes needed to wriggle. Sorry if the extra nursery time this weekend is eroding my vocabulary :)
        So yes, this is probably to do with the 3 + inches of heel height; more than the 2 1/2 I would wear regularly. I’d best be going back for them tomorrow then. Thanks Godzilla!

        • Great rundown.

          Just had to add that seeing “Thanks Godzilla!” at the end made me laugh out loud. :)

  5. Toms actually has some cute wedges – I bought a pair in black and cream houndstooth and love them! The only pair of Toms shoes that is comfortable for me.

  6. Oh those blue sling backs hit all of my buttons! If I could keep sling backs on my feet (sadly, the strap always slips down) I would be splurging on those right this minute.

    • You can get them shortened! And it’s really cheap to shorten them, too! Try it with a cheaper pair if you have ’em, it makes such a difference.

      • Is that the same as buying a smaller size? I have tried that and all that does is crush my toes while the strap continues to slip down. I have a very straight up and down back of the foot.

        • It’s not the same as buying a smaller size. Make sure the shoe fits properly everywhere and if the strap is the only thing giving you a problem, they can cut the elastic to fit the length of your foot. The front of my feet are wide and my heels are narrow, so discovering that I can get the straps shortened was a revelation. However, if tightening shoes with the belt-type strap doesn’t work for your foot, then I think shortening the straps in your case may not work for you.

          • I … had never even considered this. My feet are also wide on the toes and narrow in the heel, and I had consequently sworn off sling backs because I could never get them to stay on my feet. I can’t believe I didn’t think of getting the strap shortened.

            Thank you, Godzilla!

    • soulfusion :

      I have this same issue and have never found a solution, I don’t know what it is about the structure of my foot that makes sling backs impossible to keep on but I just avoid them.

    • Same problem – basically, if the strap is snug enough that it doesn’t slip down my heel, it pinches.

    • Hm, I have a pair of slingbacks that always slip, and it’s not the length of the strap (it’s adjustable). I was thinking of buying some foot petals and cutting a strip to stick to the inside of the strap to make it more grippy. Thoughts on whether that would work?

    • I can’t keep em on my feet either. I walk right out of them.

  7. Annoyed Guest :

    Not to start the wedding bug up again, but I am about to vent about an issue that I think most people will hear me on. I am planning on traveling to a wedding in a couple of days. It is apparently a simple, small affair in a park outside with a picnic type lunch. There were no formal invites. The couple announced everything via a very simple, non-detailed Web site that was updated infrequently.

    This wouldn’t be a problem, except that a couple of days ago when I was asking the bride a completely unrelated question, it came up that apparently women are required to wear modest attire (with knees and elbows coverd, no pants/slacks allowed) for the conservative religious ceremony they are having. What? There was zero information about attire requirements posted on their wedding site, and I would never, ever have assumed in a million years that an outdoor park ceremony would demand such a dress code (she is so not outwardly religious either, so it’s not as if I could have expected that based on her). Perhaps had the ceremony been listed in a house of worship, I would have thought to ask to make sure, but honestly what in the world was I to assume with an outdoor park wedding?

    I’m annoyed she didn’t publicize this information. Surely this person has to know how difficult it is to find a dress/skirt that is truly 100% below the knees and long(ish) sleeves. Why would she not make sure everybody knew about this? I am a really modest, if not sometimes overly prim, person, and even I have almost nothing that meets this requirement (I hem all my skirts and dresses right at the knee or very slightly above). I have only one shawl that only kind of goes with the one truly below knee dress I have. Plus, I already spent money on a new outfit I was excited to wear and can’t now. I could have easily bought a maxi dress and or new wrap had I known (and would have happily done so), but literally there was no information given about this stringent dress code and it was a total fluke I even found out. I can’t imagine how terrible I would have felt to show up in ‘inappropriate’ attire because I was not told otherwise.

    So, please, I ask all future brides whose wedding requires a strict dress code… please tell people ahead of time. I don’t care if that’s on your invite, in an email, whatever, but please make sure I know how to dress for your event so I can adhere to your religious requirements. I 100000% respect religious dress requirements and want to adhere to them, but if they are especially stringnent, please don’t assume I a) know those requirements automatically, b) have anything to wear that meets those requirements unless you tell me to get something, and c) expect me to find something in 4 days that meets those requirements. I guess I will be wearing said meh shawl and meh dress because I literally have nothing else and no time to get anything, although at least I have something. Not sure what I would do at thsi point if I really didn’t have anything.

    • I think it’s annoying that she wasn’t clear about it from the get-go.

    • Moonstone :

      This would have made my head explode. God love her for not being a bridezilla, but jeez.

    • I would just wear the dress you were planning to wear (as long as it’s not super short, which it sounds like it’s not) with a wrap or cardigan for the ceremony. Do you think other people will know about this to the extent that you would feel out of place doing that?

      • Annoyed Guest :

        I have no idea if she has told others and forgot to tell me or what. I was originally planning on wearing dress slacks and a silk tunic but found out that slacks were not okay (only skirt or dress) and my tunic ends right above my elbows (it doesn’t actually cover my elbows). I was debating just wearing a regular dress/skirt, but I feel if my friend felt the need to mention explicitly that “knees must be covered” that my skirts/dresses hemmed right at the knee technically won’t cut it. I will probably obsess over this greatly and take great pains to show up as she requested only to see all the other guests in regular clothes. Then again, maybe everybody else got the memo and has been planning such attire for months. I have zero clue.

        I have one dress that definitely is hemmed below the knees and a wrap that doesn’t match it all that well but will probably do. I don’t really have a cardigan or jacket that matches that dress at all. I just wish she would have made this information known sooner so I could have actually bought something to 100% work without question.

        • Sorry, that sucks. I really dislike it when people are just so laid back about things that they fail to appreciate that others actually need to plan around them, which is how it sounds like your friend is being about this.

    • Wow, that really is something. If you didn’t make it clear to her then, it might be a good idea to let her know now, as a friend, how many people are probably going to show up dressed “inappropriately.” Unless you live in the artic, no one’s going to think to cover their knees and elbows outdoors in June, and the bride needs to find a way to deal with this, either by warning the people in charge, or by calling each one of her friends, or something. I’d hate to think of a bunch of her guests getting turned away for dressing inappropriately or something.

    • It does seem very odd. Second some of the suggestions above. Do what you can, in the given time, and don’t feel bad about it; it’s not your fault. It sucks though!

    • I’m curious about what religion this is (maybe I’m just nosy). My experience has been that the religions conservative enough to require a certain dress code also tend to require that their ceremonies by held in certain venues, and not outdoors. But that is an admittedly limited experience…

      • Annoyed Guest :

        My thoughts exactly!!! She is Jewish, so I assumed that with it being an informal park wedding outside (and knowing that she doesn’t practice that actively in her regular life) that it was a reform ceremony and wouldn’t involve anything out of the ordinary (like the vast majority of such ceremonies I’ve been to/read about).

        Had the invite listed the ceremony location at a synogogue, I would have 100% asked months ago what the dress code would be and would not have been at all surprised at the modesty standards. But… modesty standards for an outdoor wedding? If you’re religious enough to care about enforcing such modesty standards , why are you also getting married outdoors and not in a more formal religious ceremony?

        To add another dimension to the strangeness, the bride showed me a couple of pictures of her dress a few weeks ago and it was very vra vra vroom, clingy, low cut, and backless!! Yet another reason why I am shocked at the guest dress code. The guests are going to be more modest than she is. I’m so confused and don’t get much of what is going on here, but I will show up in my yucky wedding outfit because she told me to and I want to try to be a good friend/guest.

        • Haha – your friend has spent months exercising/dieting like a fiend in order to look like HotBride2012 in her va va voom wedding gown, and she’s going to be d*mned if someone else upstages her! Cue – everyone else has to cover up.

          Okay, so maybe not this. But that is totally where my mind went.

        • It’s actually not a big deal not to get married in a synagogue. Before you posted this, I was guessing Jewish and their officiant is requiring the dress code. However, if the officiant doesn’t care what she is wearing (although are you sure she’s not wearing a shrug or something to provide coverage for the ceremony?), I don’t see how the officiant cares what the guests are wearing. It just seems bizarre; elbows covered and no slacks sounds pretty traditional, there are Orthodox women that wear pants and just make sure shoulders are covered.

          • Annoyed Guest :

            Well, I do know that Orthodox have standards of modesty for bride and guests, and I would completely expect that were she an Orthodox Jew. But she is nowhere near Orthodox, nor is her fiance (her parents are not either). So, it just is very strange to me why she would have an Orthodox wedding period or require those standards of modesty (beyond just telling people to wear tasteful, more broadly modest attire). Also, I have known some Orthodox friends in the past and none of them have gotten married outside, all indoors in very formal/traditional ceremonies. Plus, the ‘no pants’ thing seems very Orthodox to me, as the only Jewish people I have ever known to shun pants have been very very traditional Orthodox Jews. Basically I just had/have no reason to assume an Orthodox ceremony from this person, and all the variables just seem really strange.

            Plus, a shrug does not modest a dress make. Even if she somehow is wearing a shrug, it sure seems contrary to the point to wear something super slinky that looks like a slip and wouldn’t be considered modest by anybody’s standards, shrug or not. I’m just grumpy so much of this doesn’t really add up and she just didn’t publicize this dress information on her site. Had she just done that, this all might have been odd still, but not nearly as big a deal.

            Like, your wedding can have whatever dress code it wants, but if it’s something that most reasonable people would not assume or it is stringent or outside the norm, you should publicize it so people know!

          • Well, now I’m really curious, so I hope you post an update post-wedding. And I hope you’re not too uncomfortable having to pull something together so last minute.

            I’ve definitely encountered some people who will only wear a skirt for modesty reasons, yet they wear mainly skintight skirts (but it covers their knees!) that show way more than a pair of slacks would. And it’s one thing to create your own rules about what’s modest for yourself, but to impose that on your guests?

        • Charlotte :

          I would wear something I already have, if it has sleeves of any sort, with perhaps a cardigan or shawl and be done with it. I doubt that if this was not publicized on the website that many people know of this bizarre requirement. So I don’t think you would stick out in any “OMG — she’s showing her knees!” way. If she *would* [rudely] question your attire, I’d just tell her that it was the best you could do on such short notice. And then completely re-evaluate this friendship. This is just bizarre, and kind of smacks of bridezilla/controlling behavior, if you ask me.

          Oh, and PS — I mean that if she were to criticize your attire in any way, she is rude. Not just if she criticized it rudely, ha ha.

    • OrthoAnon :

      That is seriously bizarre. At my (Orthodox) wedding, I let guests know that they probably wanted to wear a knee-length-ish skirt and be relatively covered, purely so that THEY would feel comfortable among the other attendees.

      Every Orthodox wedding I’ve been to (and I’ve been to quite a few) has included some guests that were a little less-“modestly” dressed (quotes are to note that covering does not necessarily equal modest, to agree with some of the commenters’ points below…) and nobody said a word. It’s understood that people interpret modest dress differently based on their background, and closet.

      I am really so baffled by what’s going on here. Wear something that is close enough to the instructions, and makes you feel good. And report back!

      • I had an Orthodox wedding too. The (Orthodox) rabbi officiating preferred that I wear a shawn or shrug over my (sleeveless) wedding dress, and also that female guests not be at the ceremony in sleeveless, so he suggested I have some shawls or scarves around, along with kipot/yarmulkes for the men, just in case some women wore sleeveless so they could cover their shoulders during the ceremony.
        As to why a non-Orthodox Jew would have an Orthodox wedding: Maybe your friend, although not Orthodox, is marrying someone Orthodox? Or maybe the groom’s family is Orthodox so they decided on an Orthodox wedding for their sensitivies?
        In any case, I really do think that since your friend herself isn’t Orthodox that you don’t have to go crazy with the modesty. In fact, you could probably wear whatever you were planning to wear and just wear a shawl or scarf to cover your shoulders and any cleavage. True, most women there may not be wearing pants, but pants are actually less of a modesty issue than cleavage or shoulders.
        In addition, while officially Orthodox women are supposed to wear skirts at least knee-length, in reality even very Orthodox women (i.e., Chassidic) even wear skirts right above the knee, and this is pretty much considered acceptable in that community. So if I were you I would wear your slightly above the knee skirts and not worry about that AT ALL.
        Hope this helps, and in the end, just try to enjoy the wedding and party!

    • Annoyed guest — don’t know if you’ll see this — but Talbots has several dresses in their sale and outlet sections that might meet these requirements. Including, for example, this one:

      • Or this one (which I own) depending on your height. I love this dress and have worn it tons of times now. Its work appropriate but can be glammed up for c*cktail or dressed down for other things.

        • Annoyed Guest :

          Hi TCFKAG, thanks for the links. I suppose the 1st could work (I’ve seen it before), but not only do I not have time to get it, I feel it would look really schlumpy on me and I would hate to actively spend money to look schlumpy. The second is nice but would probably not cover my knees. I have a lot of dresses that are longer sleeve, but are knee length, and similarly I have a couple of dresses with longer hems but literally I have 0 cardigan to wear over. Then, all my skirts are hemmed at the knee so they wouldn’t even work with long sleeve blouses.

          I really wish I could have bought a maxi dress (and wrap) because I would have loved an excuse to buy a pretty one and I think that would have been perfect. Alas, no time. Again, why people can’t publicize this stuff from the get go is beyond me, life would have been so much easier.

          • Sash Dress :

            I have the first dress (the sash dress) in maroon. I am short (5’4) so I had to have it taken up to knee length. I wore it for the first time yesterday to work, and I got a ton of complements. It is not dowdy at all. If anything, it was maybe just a little too dressy for a summer day in our office. I wore it with a full slip for modesty.

  8. spacegeek :

    I have 2 pairs of the aerosole wedges and they are soo comfy! I wore one through the airport and on a 5 hr plane flight–my feet felt fine! (And I have troublesome bunions so I have to be careful about heel heights and shoe vamp.) These are worth a try–agree that they are relatively simple/boring on the top, but it is the wedge that makes them more fun. (Business in the front, “party” on the bottom? YMMV)

    • Can you give some sizing tips? Thx.

      • Sorry for late reply. I don’t check more than once per day! Sizing is TTS/slightly large. I usually go 0.5 size up for closed-toed shoes, but these fit like my open-toed shoes. Comfortable!

      • I will second spacegeek’s assertion. (In fact, most of them!) I have the Aerosoles Plum Tree wedges in black leather, and they do run true to size. I tend to take a half-size down in some pumps, but these are my normal flats/wedges/usual size and fit well. More info:
        – The Plum Tree wedges are INSANELY comfortable.
        – But, they are a tad frumpy. The rounded toe is quite round. They look better from the back, because the wedge heel is thin-ish.
        – Mine have been extremely road-tested, and are holding up great! I purchased them for a business trip in which I would be trapsing around a cold Eastern European capital, complete with cobblestones. Wore them for a week, no inserts, no blisters! (And no resting between days, which I normally wouldn’t recommend, but you have to compromise when living out of a suitcase for two weeks.)
        – Actually wore them on the plane to Europe! Included running around several airports in them. Feet did not hurt. Knees did not hurt! (These shoes are not very heavy = added bonus.)
        – Even wore them with a skirt in a pinch. Not something you’d want to do, but cobblestones? Grass and mud? Yes, please.

  9. Mountain Girl :

    Early TJ (but since I was actually coming to post on the earlier thread I get a pass, right?)

    Have any of you switched to a no-polish pedicure? Last week I went polish free on my toes because I didn’t have time to finish my pedicure. I think I like the maintenance free aspect of no-polish and feel like my feel are actually in better condition because I’m not depending on the polish to camouflage damaged or dry cuticles.

    I have also been sporting short, polish free fingers for a few months now and think I’m a convert on this style as well.

    • Merabella :

      I like this approach. I usually just add a clear coat on my fingernails to add polish 0r just buff them well and put cuticle oil on. I go polish free on my toes at least once and a while to let them breathe but I find I like the look of polished toes more.

    • Yep, I have. I’m typically polish-free but more recently, I’ve been applying henna on my nails, which dyes your nails anywhere from light orange to dark brown, depending on the dye and how long you keep it on for. I’ve posted photos of my feet on tumblr – it’s great, no maintenance required except to reapply every month or so (depending on how fast your nails grow). I’ll try to post a link to that post.

    • I like to skip the polish in winter for your reasons (plus, no worry about smudging the polish by putting shoes back on), but keep the polish on in summer because, while peep-toes are acceptable at my office, peep-toes without polished (even if pedicured) toes are not.

    • Yes to no polish pedicures and manicures. Apart from one mani-pedi as part of a bachelorette party weekend, I haven’t had polish (clear or colored) in years. I’m involved in martial arts and polish (even clear) won’t last one workout.

      My nails are always trimmed and buffed, cuticles are neat and clean, and and my pumice stone and I are good friends. I think my hands and feet look perfectly presentable without polish.

    • I skipped the polish on my toes for about 6 months, because when I had to remove it last fall after a particularly bad chip, I realized that my own feet looked really weird to me with no polish on. That seemed wrong. I do have polish now for the summer months, but will probably go polish-free in the winter again. My nails did seem healthier after a couple of months.

    • I never polish during the winter just to give my nails fresh air, but I still get manicures and pedicures to keep my cuticles clean.

    • soulfusion :

      I do not believe looking professional as a woman requires a polished manicure and pedicure. I rarely get manicures as I hate the helpless feeling of worrying about messing it up when I first get it and I’m just not one to make the time for weekly upkeep. However, I always keep my nails neat and clean. I usually do have a pedicure with polish due to my personal preference and I feel like pedicures are relaxing but I recently went several weeks with no polish and still wore open-toe shoes and I don’t think it was a mark against me professionaly.

    • Mountain Girl :

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I am going to gladly rock my new sans polish appendages. However, if I decide to add blue to one toe it will be a shout out to all you ‘rettes!

  10. MissJackson :

    AGL wedges FTW. Seriously. They changed my life.

  11. Thoughts on these?

    I just bought them on an impulse but I’m now re-thinking the platform…

  12. :

    Update on the country club event I’m attending for my fiance’s law firm.
    The invitation says it’s after work on a weekday, spouse and children welcome, and casual dress.
    This seems to be more of a polished capris and flats “thing” to me- any other opinions?

    • Midwesterner :

      I agree. Could not believe how many white pants I saw in DC this past weekend – that might work as well.

    • I’m thinking white or black ankle or capri pants, a colorful blouse and cute flats or wedges.

    • Can you call the country club and ask if they have a dress code, just to be on the safe side?

    • I’m not sure about capris. Since people will be coming from work, I’d wear something that looks like you left a layer at the office, unless your fiance finds out that people will be changing — like a sheath, or a pretty blouse and pencil skirt. Flats are definitely fine, though.

      • another idea – skirt and “shell” half of a sweater set (like the Jackie shells) – less fussy than a blouse but still polished/conservative.

    • Are the lawyers coming from work, or will they be spending the day at the country club?

      My former firm did a day outing at a country club in VA. Spouses were welcome to join in for the evening event, but not the day part. So the lawyers were dressed pretty casually, having spent the entire day there.

      At my former firm’s event, the polished capris and flats thing would be perfectly fine.

      • :

        Lawyers are coming from work, and the event starts at 5.

        I bought one of Kat’s picks from the Nordstrom sale:

        Perhaps that and a white top and flats would work?

        • just Karen :

          That skirt’s really cute, and I think it would be totally appropriate.

  13. I swear by my Calvin Klein Yana wedges. I have them in a coral patent (found at Marshall’s for $40) but they also come in more basic colors and non-woody looking heel finishes. Super bendy even though they’re wedges (I have yet to learn to walk in platforms), and nice padding inside. There is also a great little rubber pad on the sole of the shoe to prevent slipping.

    • I bought those in purple suede and was very happy at first. But then the sides stretched soooooooo much. I have more or less stopped wearing them after only about 2 dozen wears. The most obvious problem, esp. if I am wearing tights, is that my foot can slip out (and I don’t have very narrow feet at all). But, also, their streched out width has just made them look hideous on my feet with skirts. I haven’t the heart to toss ’em yet, and if I wear them barefoot with pants, it’s not terrible looking/feeling, but, still, you count me highly disappointed.

      Maybe the patent leather is less prone to this, though. Just a word warning about the suede. Not cool.

      • What a bummer! I actually bought mine a half-size too big—it’s all they had at Marshall’s and I wasn’t about to go hunt them down at multiple stores, and it’s worked out fine so far. I’ve worn them a lot and I haven’t noticed any stretching, but I will keep an eye out for it. I’m not a fan of suede to begin with, but it’s good to know!

      • I have black suede Yana 2’s (purchased from 6pm as well). I have not been pleased. When I first put them on, they seemed very comfortable (the gel insoles feel amazing on your feet), but this quickly subsided — they start to pinch my toes pretty quickly and end up giving me blisters. I wish I had worn them more around the house, because I wish I had sent them back. You are better off putting a nice insert in the $29 Merona wedges from Target (and honestly, they look better on as well).

        I would definitely recommend the Aerosoles Plum Tree wedges over the Calvin Klein Yana 2. Much more comfortable.

        • Oh! And another weird thing… this may seem a little OCD. The inside of the CK Yana 2’s is a very light cream color, but the way the shoe is shaped, you can see the outer light ring even when your foot is all the way in the shoe. It makes the shoes look downright odd if you happen to be wearing black tights or hose.

          • Gosh, I guess I got lucky with mine? I don’t know…I wear them all the time (at least 2x per week) and after 3 months they’re still great. I haven’t tried them with tights or anything, though (it’s never tights weather in South Florida).

  14. Slight threadjack, but has anyone shopped on shoes dot com or onlineshoes dot com? I found the perfect pointed toe, mary jane, nude pumps, but I usually stick to zappos because of their great returns policy. Anyone have any good/bad experiences with these other two websites?

    • D Train South :

      I’ve used both several times. I don’t recall their return policies, but I’ve never had a hiccup with either vendor.

    • I’ve purchased from onlineshoes several times. No problems, although I don’t think I returned anything.

    • just Karen :

      I’ve ordered and returned from without a problem. You have 60 days and can print a free return label from their website.

  15. Duchess of Cambridge Catherine knew what she was picking out – the LK Bennett wedge is awesome.

  16. Sorry for the TJ – but I need some non-professional fashion advice from all you outdoorsy types. I have gotten roped into a five day camping trip later this summer and I have no idea what I need to bring, clothing-wise. We will be hiking and canoeing along a small part of the appalachian trail. This will be a very rustic camping experience (no cabins, no running water), and I have never done such a thing in my life. The trip is a group trip and the planners will provide tents and all other equipment, so that is not an issue. I am not especially girly and am happy to wear the same thing five days straight (with fresh undies) – but what?

    • long time lurker :

      Appalachian trail is very big, so not sure where you are put it can get chilly in the mountains. Definitely use weather dot com or similar to check exact low temps of your area, so you’ll know how to dress. Think layers in terms of your clothes. Definitely a pair of jeans for sitting around the campfire and a thick sweater or fleece if the temps warrant. Shorts for daytime. Sneakers/hiking boots and then some sort of shoe you don’t mind getting wet for the canoeing. In addition to basic toiletries, I suggest bugspray, sunscreen, dry shampoo, headbands/hat/scarf to deal with hair that has not had the benefit of styling tools, flashlight for trips to the loo at night, flipflops for shower. I’d ask about whether they are providing pillows, sleeping bags, towels. Snacks like trail mix or granola bars (although, pay attention to the rules about storing food away from bears). I always bring my own stock of toilet paper, just in case, and some wetwipes for dirty/sticky hands and for my face. Maybe something to read for the downtime and in case you get up early with the sun. Have fun,

      • long time lurker :

        One more thing: a cheapy rain poncho from the drugstore in case it rains when you are hiking. Those have saved me from getting completely soaked several times.

      • another anon :

        Agreed on the layers. They make lightweight pants that zip off at just above the knee and become shorts, which minimizes how many items you need to bring. REI sells these. Also, if you don’t already have hiking boots, get some ASAP and be sure to break them in before your trip. You do not want to find out that your boots are uncomfortable on the first day of your trip. I would get some hiking socks as well.

      • Lots of great suggestions there from Long Time Lurker, but I would like to make one recommendation that is different from hers. Based on personal experience, please *do not* wear jeans. Try to get some hiking pants (maybe even convertible into shorts) from REI or somewhere like that instead. Jeans tend to be heavy for hiking and take up a lot of space in your pack, and if they get wet you are hooped – they do not dry. Also, if you are canoeing, you may want to bring sport sandals (Teva-style) that you do not mind getting wet – and then leave the flip flops at home. Wearing flip flops in the forest is just asking for trouble (pesky tree roots). Sounds like a great adventure!

        • +1 on avoiding jeans. Pants like these will take up less space and will dry quickly:
          Tevas are great for canoeing. They can get wet but you won’t have to worry about losing a shoe!

        • kerrycontrary :

          Agree on not wearing jeans. I went camping in alaska (and I mean CAMPING) for 3 weeks and we did not bring any jeans. Honestly you could even go with a yoga pant. When it’s cold I wear these amazing fleece-lined leggings I got from REI. Bring the lightest equipment possible, one fleece jacket, a rain coat is a necessity, 2-3 pairs of pants and 1-2 pairs of shorts depending on forcast. Bring light toiletries, such as pert plus which doubles as shampoo and conditioner, and some soap.

      • Mountain Girl :

        Another vote for no jeans. I find them too heavy and restricting in this setting.

        Make sure you have a hat that protects you from the sun – not just to hide your hair. One that collapses and will fit in a pocket is great. If you are tent camping in an area that gets cold at night you might want to think about a fleece hat or headband to keep you warm in the evening.

        Medications that you might not normally pack – anti-diarrhea, antihistamine, aloe vera (for sunburn) and maybe a sleeping aid. Don’t forget the regular first aid items such as tylenol and ibuprofin, band-aids, etc.

        Large (like 2 gallon) ziploc bags. These work great for isolating wet items, dirty items, medications and shampoo, and even things you never imagine you’ll use them for. Bring more of these than you think you might need.

        Small camera that fits in a pocket. This is not the place to lug your $1000 DSLR no matter how great a photographer you are.

        Chapstick – lots of chapstick. I take 4 or 5 tubes because I find I lose them along the way.

        Hand sanitizer and wet wipes. (Just remember that you shouldn’t use hand sanitizer around a campfire as most of them are alcohol based. We treated a burn in the ER last season caused by this.)

        Sandals, sweatpants and sweatshirt/hoodie – because you need these when you are just chilling after a long day. (I will admit that I like sandals that are not flip-flops because sometimes I want to wear socks with my sandals if the night gets cold. You are camping – you get to look grungy and break fashion rules!)

    • Skippy pea :

      Well, you will want comfortable pair of hiking shoes- meaning ones that are already broken in. Preferable water shoes while canoeing. The water shoes can be found real cheap and can double as shower shoes, though I doubt you will have acres to shower.

      Get yourself to REI and get appropriate underwear. Carry wet wipes that are biodegradable.

      Plan to dress in layers. Cannot emphasize that enough. You can add or remove layers as it gets hot and cold. Get a hat, bug a pray and sunscreen spray. If possible, pre treat your clothes with premethrin spray to keep bugs away and you will not have to use DEET a lot on your body. I would also get a headlamp so that your hands are free while going to toilet at night. Also, a small handheld shovel might be a good idea to dig a hole if the toilet means go anywhere around a tree.

      • Second the layers, bug spray, and broken-in hiking shoes.

        I went hiking without my trusty boots, and had blisters that just would.not.heal. For a month.

      • kerrycontrary :

        Second the wet wipes! They are a god send when you don’t have a shower. You will feel so much cleaner after using them.

    • soulfusion :

      I am an outdoorsy type and love camping so I’ll sum up what I would take but I’m also wondering if you are car camping or backpacking? I assume since you didn’t specify you are just doing day hikes, if it is backpacking then some of this will be altered. Here are some essentials for me when I camp:
      -backpack with hydration system
      -duffel bag (I find it is easier to get my stuff in and out if I’m not backpacking which means this would be replaced with a backpack)
      -a few small dry bags are very handy for organizing your gear and for keeping things like your camera/ipod/phone dry and out of the dirt
      -rain jacket/rain pants – I view it as insurance and the rain pants are very important if you end up hiking in rain (took me a long time to realize this for some reason)
      -water bottle – even with a hydration system I like to have a water bottle for around camp
      -sun/rain hat and/or bandana
      -trekking poles – depending on how much you are hiking/how steep. I converted to these a few years ago and my finicky knee has been thanking me over and over
      -hiking shoes/boots – honestly, I generally hike in trail shoes and have a ridiculous loyalty to Soloman brand. Break them in before you go
      -water proof sandals (chacos/tevas/keens) for canoeing and wearing around camp
      -ziploc bags – you’ll be surprised how often you end up using them
      -dryer sheets – I throw a couple in with the ziploc bags to shove in anything that has the potential to get stinky (laundry bag or when wet things have to get shoved back in my bag)
      -anti-bacterial soap
      -bug spray (I love Avon’s Skin-so-Soft because it is dual purpose sunscreen and bug spray and it WORKS!)
      -toilet paper (I like the small travel rolls that don’t take up a lot of space in the backpack)
      -baby wipes (just come in handy)
      -basic first aid kit that might include: pepto, tweezers, first aid cream, motion sickness medication, anti-itch cream, aloe vera, pain killers, antacids, bandaids, mole skin, eye drops

      Clothing: layers, layers, layers! I keep most of my layers in tech fabrics that are breathable. I also have a not-so-secret desire to jump into the Athleta catalogue so I’m a big fan of their outdoor wear – cute and practical, I haven’t been disappointed in anything I’ve purchased yet. Also, REI is a great resource but you can also find good stuff on Zappos (with the near-instant gratification of next day shipping) but if you area runner or spend much time in the gym you will find you can repurpose some of your work-out gear for the trip and won’t have to pick up too much extra.
      -5-6 pairs hiking socks (I love Smartwool), take more than you think you’ll wear
      -5-6 underwear
      -1-2 shorts, preferably quick drying since you will be canoeing
      -2 pairs pants – I really like Mountain Hardware brand, I think NorthFace run snug if you have any amount of rump (ahem); I also pack a pair of running tights as they are warm enough they can be layered under other pants if it gets unexpectedly cold
      -2 long sleeve shirts
      -5-6 t-shirts/tanks
      -fleece jacket/hoody
      -fleece or flannel pjs for sleeping (depending on the temps and how cold you get, some summer camping places will be freezing and others you will sleep with your bag unzipped in shorts)

      I hope that helps! Have a great time!!

    • I just discovered a Tweezerman camping/outdoors set that includes two needle tweezers for ticks and splinters. $15, and I’ve gotten them from Ulta and Zappos (been stocking up).

      I also recommend not jeans. Go for something lighter weight and fast drying, but I do like having something to change into after hiking that isn’t the same sweaty/sunscreeny/bug dopey things I’ve been wearing all day.

      For your water shoes, I would get something that are easy on/off, if possible, so you can slip into them at night if you have to get out of the tent to pee (this would work fine for Tevas or Chacos, it’s just a pain to have to get on boots, and I don’t like not having shoes on in the dark like that).

    • Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! Very, very helpful. I will ask some pointed questions to the organizers about gear. And no, this isn’t car camping, nor will we have access to even the most primitive showers. Would stretchy pants (like my beloved yoga pants) be a good alternative to jeans? I have to say that the pants that convert into bermuda shorts will look like hell on me.

      • I like hiking in yoga pants.

        I have to recommend, though, contra other folks—don’t wear shorts. It sounds like a great idea until the mosquitoes, poison ivy/sumac/oak, and ticks get to you. Wear a pair of comfortable, lightweight pants with a bit of room to breathe in.

      • kerrycontrary :

        Yeh I think yoga pants are great for hiking. You might want to go with a non-black pair to spot ticks (which are rampant on the Appalachian trail)

  17. I love camping :

    I would recommend bringing layers — 3 sports bras (they can be washed out easily if you can only bring a few), 3 short-sleved T-shirts, 1-2 long-sleeved but thin shirts, and then one fleece that can be layered over top of everything or worn at night if it gets chilly. Fleece also dries quickly if it gets wet. A light rain jacket if you can swing it. I have a Columbia one that can roll up into a tiny ball. For lower-body, a pair of pants to hike in (they should cover your ankles), a pair of longish shorts to kayak/canoe in, and maybe a pair of capri-length pants for other activities. Socks – tall and short. When packing, roll up everything very tightly. You’ll probably want all of it to fit into a single backpack, along with your personal toiletries. You can get small bottles of sunscreen, bug spray, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and other essentials. Don’t forget a hat, toothbrush, chapstick, and tissues (especially if you’re an allergy sufferer).

  18. I do love the Baltic blue shoes!

    Just as a silly in-law weekend story – attended a family barbecue with my husband’s family yesterday. These are people who I have known for 6 years, for reference. One of the uncles and I are talking, and he says something along the lines of “oh, not that you’d know what office or higher education life is like, since you don’t work.” Um, I’ve never NOT worked, work 55 hour weeks in non-law as a consultant, and have a master’s degree. (As a matter of fact, I’m the primary earner in our household.)

    Said uncle seemed shocked to hear that I have a career, more shocked to hear that I plan to continue it after I have our child, and baffled that I would have a few degrees. He asked my husband about it later in the day to confirm.

    So, I have a question to pose to the hive. Should I be making an effort in the next few months to spread the fact that I do have a career in casual conversation to the rest of the family, or should I assume he’s an outlier?

    • that is bizarre! If the rest of the family is so out of the loop, I’m betting your “breaking news” will spread of its own accord. But it wouldn’t hurt to drop in a comment or two from time to time – “oh, the traveling on this project is really getting to me this summer” or similar.

      in sympathy, my grandmother, upon learning I’d gotten engaged the summer before starting law school, could not BELIEVE that I was still planning to attend.

      • Thanks for the support. Life is never boring over here, that’s for certain. My husband just laughed it off and told him I was the high powered career person in the marriage (we’re probably equal, though his title is higher, but it is always nice to be appreciated).

        I’ll make sure to mention my upcoming work travel and a project or two as I see the family.

        On the other hand, I guess it explains prior requests to meet up for afternoon shopping trips in the middle of the week?

      • Admittedly my grandmother’s mental faculties were going so she forgot I’d been to law school, but every time she asked where I worked these days and I told her “a law firm in [town],” she’d always say something about what a nice profession being a legal secretary was and launch in stories about how she loved being a receptionist for the Navy during WWII. It just never occurred to her that I was an attorney and she was always surprised when I told her how I actually earned my paycheck there. :)

      • Cat, I had the same conversation when I got engaged in the year before law school (and planned a July wedding): “But I thought you were going to law school!” — with my father. Fortunately, he adjusted quickly. :)

        For NML, I honestly wouldn’t worry about it too much. If Uncle is that surprised, and checking in with your husband, etc., he’s probably already repeated your convo to others.

    • wow. I really don’t even know what advice to give you. That is really baffling. I would def assume he is an outlier. Did you talk to your husband about it? How old is the uncle?

      • The uncle is 59, turning 60 this year. My husband was pretty surprised to hear that people thought I was a stay-at-home wife, but didn’t have a constructive suggestion on how to handle this with the rest of the older generation. The under-35 set all seem to know.

        I suppose, at least, that this is a good sign I am not over-sharing about work woes in public settings.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Lie low. It’s probably a good thing you haven’t been a subject of interest yet.

  19. research lawyer in SV :

    If you love the blue wedges with the lime trim, check out Anthropologie. They have them in the reverse color scheme – green with blue trim.

  20. What do you guys think of this pair? Was browsing Banana Republic last night cos I have a gift card there. They’re also having a 30% off promotion today, so the price should come out to under $50!

    Anyone tried this in store? Does it look as cute in person? Also…what color should I get?


  21. Oh! And don’t forget the Corso Como Lancaster wedges. Kat did a Coffee Break post on them a while back!

    These wedges are fantastic!

  22. Interns and other beginners take heart: I’m in love with a pair of black suede wedges I found at Payless for $20.

    I’d wear them anywhere (and do, to the point where maybe a backup pair is justified). They even come in a full range of women’s sizes, 5-13, though a couple of the middle sizes are out of stock online. Apparently they also come in red. Who knew?

    I’ve even stuck my mother in a pair for an upcoming event. She hates heels, but she can walk in these. :)

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