Pumps with the added wow factor are the name of the game at Aldo this week as it ushers in the fierce PEAT high heel. With a closed pointy toe these babies work whatever the weather – with no chilly toes during winter rain or snow to contend with, you can content yourself on letting your feet do the talking. Available in classic black and chic bone, the towering 11cm heel, cut out detailing and chunky, adjustable strap with back detail pack a punch from all angles. £70.00 from Aldo.com.
Polished to perfection is one of these sartorial styles that looks a lot easier to pull together than it actually is. Fortunately, Zara swoop in to the rescue with these totally businesslike leather pumps in embossed snakeskin. Screaming elegance, these beauties are park avenue princess meets working day, perfectly pulled together and 100% business. Designer-esque, the embossed snakeskin leather in royal blue is demure meets daring, with the animal print tempered by the almost conservative hue. Traverse further down the pointy sinuous however and the subtly sexy asymmetric cut outs, pointy toe and razor sharp 12 cm heel say the lady can also be a vamp. £69.00, Zara.com.
Lace meets leather for a ladylike take on the statement shoe in these sassy but sweet Amika pumps by Jimmy Choo. If you’ve been looking for a high heel that will work day to night and go with everything from skinny jeans for bar hopping to pencil skirts for boardroom meetings, the Amika leather trimmed lace and mesh combo is a winner.
Pretty in patent, the leather heel and toe cap is set off by a delicate floral lace pattern which adds just the right touch of girly to the sophisticated shoe. The heel height measures 4 inches. Priced £450 from Net-a-Porter.
The black work pump is an essential of office attire: it goes with everything, can be worn daily and will stand up to punishment with a bold defiance. Over the years I’ve wrecked far too many pairs of black work pumps to count – bashing heels on every conceivable corner and scratching the leather on hidden office hazards that they never tell you about in induction.
It’s not that I don’t love them of course. I love them to death – for their practicality, their comfort and their magic ability to keep my ankles from twisting when running for the bus.
And that’s the problem with black high heels – they’re for work, not play. They live a hard and happy life but it is a short one compared to their glamorous designer cousins. Office heels live under the desk, not in an embroidered designer dust bag.
Feeling that another pair are coming to the end of their natural lifespan, I’m on the hunt for some new ones and comfort has to be top of my list of desired features. If my black work pumps aren’t comfortable then I might as well be trekking around the office in gravity-defying Alexander McQueen party heels, or 6-inch Louboutins. And when Loubie called them “pleasure with pain” last week he sure wasn’t kidding.
For me a comfortable work heel is no more than four inches high with no platform (platforms are fine, but not for every day). Some padding on the insole is also highly regarded. A leather upper is essential.
Usually I opt for a pointy style – not enough to squeeze the foot, but not too little that they look like grandma shoes either. A hint of toe-cleavage is ideal, but more than a hint says “nightclub” not office.” We’re going for the smart, in control and feminine look, not desperate and dateless.
Finally, the ideal black work pump must be reasonably priced. I wear designer heels to the office too, but not every day. If I had that much money I wouldn’t be at work! The perfect black work pumps I’ve chosen to illustrate this column are (from top to bottom):
- Aldo’s new Fravel pumps – $90 (top)
- Jazzalyn with curved collar by Boutique 9, on sale for $104.99
- Gurdia with subtle cut-out details by Ivanka Trump, on sale for $95.99
- Flax by Nine West – $75 (below)
- Natalie by Calvin Klein – $99 (bottom)
So there you have it – the perfect pair of black work pumps are comfortable, pointy and reasonably priced. Add feminine, practical, hard-working and versatile to that list and it would be rude to ask for anything more.
Nothing beats a pair of leopard print pumps to add some cat-like tread to an outfit. Dressed down or dressed up, a pair should just about be a wardrobe staple and these classic Karolina pumps from Kate Spade are pretty hard to pass up. Elegantly detailed and designed with a leather upper and 3 1/2 inch heel they’re comfortable enough for the office – or for a full night out and about.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for the round-toe, leopard print look for less then it is hard to go past Chinese Laundry’s New Love pumps. They’ve got a patent leather upper, and a heel that’s only a little bit shorter than the Kate Spade shoes at 3 inches tall.