I'm sure many fellow fashionistas have faced this dilemma before: finding stylish and fashionable shoes which are suitable for work and won't leave you with dead bunion-afflicted toes by the end of the day. A lot of people don't bother with fashion for work, all in the name of comfort... sturdy heels and square toes seem to have invaded the workplace and commuter trains, but in my view it is only a sign of laziness and lack of research, because I believe it is possible to find a shoe that is not only gorgeous but also totally wearable.
Word of caution before we continue: this post is not about shoes which feel like slippers even after 15 hours standing and walking, this is a fashionista's blog after all... but I'll give you my secret about finding the perfect work shoes, and keeping them in ship-shape condition!
In my job, I have an extra factor to consider: I travel most weeks for work and so I need a shoe that is going to help me catch last-minute flights and not hinder my running in airports, and that is going to allow some degree of mild foot swelling. As much as I love my 5-inchers and platform heels, they are not really suitable for that particular exercise, so they are reserved for my London days.
For days when I have to travel, I turn to heels which are no higher than 4 inches, and no lower than 3, because under that my back starts to ache after a while. For days when I have to dress conservatively, I turn to classic pumps (or courts), usually in black or nude. Rupert Sanderson's Winona and Jimmy Choo's Gilbert are amongst my favourites, though I also adore my Louboutin Simple pumps and my L.K. Bennetts:
- 3.7 inches: Monique in cut-out calf leather, L.K. Bennett
- 3.5 inches: Gilbert in calf leather, Jimmy Choo
Sometimes it's nice to go for a little originality in footwear, especially when the rest of the outfit is a bit, how to put it, boring. I love leopard print, camo, studs, prints, and of course multiple straps, life is just too dull without originality. Over the years I've managed to find quite a few interesting pieces which are also reasonably easy to walk in, here are my picks from this season...
- 3.9 inches: Pigalle studs in patent leather, Christian Louboutin
- 4.5 inches: Souhelia in houndstooth print, Paul Andrew
But remember, your work shoes are the ones which you'll need to take the best care of. Find a great cobbler and make sure you take your stilettos in before the little heel tips are worn out, as walking on the little nail at the end of the heel will be bound to destroy your beloved shoes in minutes. For my Louboutins, I take them straight back to the Motcomb St shop where they send them to the newly opened London outpost of Minuit Moins 7... I've never seen someone fix shoes so well: I had a heel that had snapped on a brand new flannel-covered pair and they repaired it in just a few days. So rememnber to visit your cobbler ladies!