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Appropriate workplace heels

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Having graduated from the College of Business, we were always taught to not look “sexy” at work, but to look professional as women.  Part of this “professional” appearance is the heel size.  I gave presentations where the dress code specifically stated “3 in. max heels.”

I as surprised to find that not everyone receives this training going into the work place.  Several companies even have policies again high-high-heels.  My highest set of work heels are 3 inches, strictly because I’m always scared of getting in trouble or giving the wrong impression.  If I could wear higher – I probably would.  They make my legs look longer which makes me feel more confident.  And isn’t confidence key to because a successful worker?

Confidence is key – yes.

Appearance is also key (one of several keys – in my opinion).

So how high is too high for heels?

I like to believe that anything greater than 3 inches shouldn’t be at work.  Yes, it may prevent you from having to hem your pants (which can add up over time!), however practicality is more important.  I personally stick to black or tan – it’s boring an vanilla but sends the message that I would like to send:  Professional with a touch of girly.

Hooker Pumps – Probably not a good idea.

Outrageous animal print/colors – what message are you sending?

Black (or tan/other neutral colors) with a 1-3″ heel – Professional and Classy


15 responses »

  1. Congrats Ashley for even being able to wear heels! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear a pair for an entire day…

  2. I think the appropriateness of heels — or any shoe — also depends where you work and what you do. You work in the offices of a fashion magazine? Maybe you can get away with those animal print shoes! You work at an insurance company? Probably not!

    I used to work in an apartment complex office. My job description included walking around a 6 acre site several times a day. One day my (male) supervisor mentioned that I should “wear heels.” I asked if the maintenance guys were also going to be wearing them. He didn’t reply and never said another word about the issue.

    • Very good point – I didn’t think to include that in this post! The office environment makes a huge different in work attire. And good for you for sticking up to your boss! That’s completely unfair to ask only you to wear heels when you’re on your feet all day. It’s not realistic.

  3. sexy in the office

    So my boss has a slight problem with the appropriateness scale of heels. She often sports the combination of the hooker pumps and animal prints. We don’t work somewhere chic and edgy, we work in a government institution. Despite the fact that your golden rule of the 3 inch heel might be conservative for some workplaces that leave a bit more room for personal style, you’ve probably gone far south of “bad impression” if any part of your professional apparel is reminiscent of the oldest profession.

    • Hooker pumps in a government institution??! What kind of message is she trying to send?? I suppose for those who can manage 8+ hours a day in heels higher than 3 inches, more power to them! I just think it is important to realize our environment and work culture if it doesn’t call for hooker-heels.

  4. It might be useful to also keep safety in mind. Open toe sandals are out for a lot of offices because when you drop that huge box of paper on your toes?

  5. I agree there is nothing wrong with heels unless you want to look like a hooker. I love very simple black pumps with the 3 inch heel. My next thought is open toe shoes, how casual should they be?

  6. @Vicky Cianci and @Kyooty – I think open toed shoes/sandals are appropriate given the work environment. I agree that if it could be a safety hazard it might be best to stick with closed toed shoes (steel toes anyone?) but if the most activity you partake in is walking to and from offices/locations then feel free to sport the peep toes! According to most company policies – they’re openly accepted now! Just make sure your toe nails are flaunt-able 🙂

  7. I like the peephole which just is designed as the pump. It can convert easily from business to afterwork event. I been watching the Style Channel and Project Runway Devotee 🙂

  8. Pingback: The Day After … | Queen of Crazy

  9. I love they shoes omg omg I’m going to buy

  10. hi my name is aaliyah melan leigh i am looking for a high heels shoes at our school we having a homecoming dance at our school with hot pink suits


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