Professional attire can sometimes feel like a suffocating uniform — black slacks, button-up blouse, a gray blazer, and so on. But there’s one item of clothing you can have tons of fun with, even at the office: your shoes. When work clothes feel drab, reach for any of these office-appropriate shoes to spruce up your outfit. You’d be surprised at how drastically your feet can revamp your entire look.
1. Pointy-toe heels
If you work in an office, you absolutely need a pair of pointy-toe heels. They not only look great with just about everything, but they also scream prowess and confidence. Pointy-toe heels are like weapons for your feet, and they provide you with a competitive edge (quite literally). When you have a pair of these fierce shoes on, no one will dare get in your way.
2. Stacked heels
Stacked heels (also known as block heels) strike an excellent balance of comfort and style. They’re nowhere near as painful as tall stilettos, and you can get the added height you need to command a room. Wedge heels are just too dated, so a stacked heel is the next best option for being able to walk quickly without worrying about twisting your ankle.
3. Heeled boots
Invest in a pair of heeled boots (even just an inch or two makes all the difference), so that your feet remain protected from the cold and your outfit remains professionally chic. And feel free to go with ankle boots. They come in a wide variety of styles, so you’re sure to find at least one pair you love.
4. Ballet flats
You shouldn’t feel pressured to wear stiletto heels every single workday. Ballet flats are a perfect alternative to heels, as they’re still conservative, fun, feminine, and sleek enough for the office. But unless you invest in a smart pair of cap-toe ballet flats, it’s best to play up this casual footwear option with a more formal blazer.
5. Nude heels
If you want a pair of professional shoes you can throw on without thinking twice, you need a pair of nude heels. Nude shoes work throughout every season (though they’re exceptionally fitting in spring and summer), and will match whatever you wear to work. Pair them with black slacks or a colorful dress for best results. You’ll love the way they elongate the look of your legs.
6. Leather loafers
Business isn’t just a man’s territory, and neither are leather loafers. Thanks to Gucci’s revival of their Brixton Leather Loafers, women have been drooling over androgynous footwear in recent years. To show you’re ready to play ball just as well (if not better) than the men in your office, wear your leather loafers with a power suit, and don’t take no for an answer.
7. Attention-grabbing heels
Let’s face it, by the end of the week, work can start to feel a bit tedious. To quite literally brighten your day and put some spring in your step, wear a pair of attention-grabbing heels. A pop of color is the perfect way to add energy to your outfit. Just remember, the attention shouldn’t come from the height of your heels, but rather their color. We particularly love bright pinks, reds, and leopard print shoes.
8. Knee-high boots
If you love wearing skirts and dresses that fall just above your knee, knee-high boots are an ideal way to cover up your legs while adding a dose of high-fashion to your ensemble. At the office, bare legs can make you feel overly exposed, so fitted knee-high boots are a great way to show off the shape and length of your legs without revealing too much skin.
Oxfords are the office-appropriate version of sneakers. They’re flat, walkable, and laced, but still formal enough to sport to work. Oxfords are perfect on days when you know you’ll be running errands outside of the office, and they’re especially great if you commute by bike or public transportation.
10. Kitten heels
Many women have an aversion to kitten heels, but believe it or not, they’re making a major comeback. Kitten heels aren’t just meant for your granny — they’re now just as chic as they were in the 1960s. The best part is you get the added height and pointed toe without the pain and blisters caused by three-inch heels. If that’s not a win-win, we don’t know what is.