Reader CT asked: Another Corporette reader (although I never comment, just lurk!) here! I'm a journalist who normally wears pretty conservative outfits. However, I'm obsessed with quirky shoes and would love to get tips on low to medium-heeled shoes I can wear outside of work. I own several pairs of Poetic License flats and love that brand. I love patterns, metallics, glitter snakeskin, polka dots and different textures. Price range: max $200. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance!

Hey CT!  This is definitely a question I couldn't resist. I have to say that I tend to go with more simplistic shoes - mostly because they go with more outfits - but I LOVE quirky, patterned shoes as a way to add fun to a conservative outfit or for outside work. I will suggest a variety of fun shoes - and will try to find at least a few that I think will work for both work AND play. And for those I will also suggest work outfits that I think will go well with the shoes (either toning them down or coordinating with them in a way that brings them into the working world.)  That way you can have your cake and wear them to work as well!
Isaac Mizrahi New York Jenniferle slingbacks at Zappos ($87.99 - These shoes would be fun for weddings or fancy nights out with your significant other [or date nights with NOT SO significant others.]  I like that they are close toed but sling backed - making them useful for those of us who tend to wear panty-hose even with our fancy dresses. And since they are still relatively conservative, they'd be a great way to add flair for a work cocktail party or afterwork event.
Funtasma by Please Women's College 04 Mary Jane Pump at Amazon ($15.99 - if you follow my tumblr - which you totally should - you may know that I actually own these shoes. I'm totally enjoying the tartan trend lately and I figured, even if I only wore these shoes a couple of times, the price was certainly no bar. They are actually pretty cute and not wildly uncomfortable. So...tartan shoes....yay!
Ivanka Trump Natalie pump in Bronze at Zappos ($130 - bronze is a nice alternative to all the silver and gold metallics out there right now and this shoe would be great for nights out or for events - whatever those might be in your life. A fun shoe but maybe not for a trip to the farmer's market. Ivanka Trump's Indico pump in gold is also great.)
Vince Camuto Faux Wrap Stripe Blouse in Oyster at Nordstroms ($89-99 - simple blouse, would look great with or without a blazer in a variety of colors, including black or gray or purple - for examples.)
Jacquard Faux Leather Waist Pencil Skirt at the Limited ($69.95 before 50% off sale - I like the subtle jacquard pattern on this skirt, plus the leather waistband which is current without being TOO current. The purple would look great with both the gray pumps and the black and cream striped shirt. Together they'd make a chic but still conservative outfit.)
Jeffrey Campbell 'Bridges' Pump at Nordstroms ($119.95 - the perfect mix of a conservative color and fabric with a fun shape and a little snakeskin mixed in to assuage your funky soul.  With this outfit I think you'd look professional and awesome, all at once - and the relatively low heel means they may well be comfortable. Gray is my personal favorite for work pumps because it goes with EVERYTHING, but this shoe also comes in navy blue, burgundy, and black.)
Nexx Silk Blouse at Nordstroms ($88 - I'm a big fan of a simple silk button down, like this one at Nordies or this similar one at J-Crew (on-sale to a very good price) - better than a stiffer traditional fabric and still very flattering. Worth checking out.)
Camber A-Line Skirt by BCBG Max Azaria ($110.60 - Houndstooth goes great with cobalt blue and I wanted to recommend something a little different than the typical pencil skirt (not that there's anything wrong with that - I wear them all the time).  This a-line ponte skirt looks great for work - its a reasonable length and the a-line is noticeable without being too flouncy.)
Isaac Mizrahi Joy Houndstooth Pumps at Lord and Taylor ($140 - I love houndstooth and love that its back in fashion - and I especially love this pump - that its got a bit of the driving shoe/menswear look going on but the heel and the pump design keeps it quite feminine.  With jeans or a cute skirt it would be great for weekends, but it would also be a great "statement" shoe for work wear as well.)
Top Shop 'Maple' Mid-Heel Pump at Nordstroms ($60 - this is another pump that I think you could TOTALLY wear to work and for play, as long as you wear it with a fairly conservative work outfit [perhaps with black trousers] On the weekend, I'd go wild. The stacked heel means these would be pretty comfortable and they'd be perfect for wearing to a friend's house for brunch or really anywhere. They also come in bright orange, which I like a lot too.)
Dolce Vita 'Kadyn' Pump at Nordstroms ($178.95 - definitely more of a "going out" shoe than a "going out to the grocery store" shoe - but whoo boy - can you imagine this with a little black dress. Or skinny jeans that are short enough for them to show and a silk black blouse. Or a black pencil skirt, a purple shirt, and a leather jacket. Yes. I think I like them A LOT.)
Sofft 'Valletta' Pump at Nordstroms ($69.90 - POLKA DOTS - really need I say more? A cute, vintage style peep-toe pump with pink and black polka-dots. The reviews are quite good (the worst review is "I wish it were navy and pink," which I agree with but consider fairly minor.)  A cute, comfortable shoe for indoor events in the winter or outdoor events in the spring and fall.)
Instantly Slimming Three-Quarter Sleeved Dress at White House Black Market ($112 - so everyone should have that "go to" little black dress for work cocktail parties and date nights and just - generally. WHBM has become my go to for all my LBD needs - they have dresses in all shapes (a-line, bodycon, dropped waist, etc. but I like this one especially for work. If only they carried plus sizes as well.)
Nervous System 'Dichotomous' Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace at Amazon ($40 - this necklace, which is modeled off the leaf of a gingko tree, would be nice simple, almost quiet accessory with this outfit. Since I think for a work event I'd keep my accessories pretty neutral (maybe add some silver or mixed metal bangles) but otherwise keep it rather simple.)
Sam Edelman 'Othello' Pump at Nordstroms ($129.95 - so this is not really a 'wear to work' pump - but this would be a perfect 'wear to work' events pump. It would go with basically all of your cocktail dresses, unless your cocktail dress was bright gold, but they are a fun alternative to the more 'normal' neutral cocktail options of black, nude for you, or ... well ... black.)
Color Blocked v-neck Sweater Dress from Ann Taylor ($109 - I love this simple, yet pretty, burgundy sweater dress from Ann Taylor. I think for a business casual workplace this would be a great way to add some color. Add a nice necklace and perhaps a belt and you have a simple dress that is complete for the office.)
Lodis Accessories Burton Way Wide Covered Buckle Waist Belt at Zappos ($53 - I like this belt with this outfit - I think the sweater dress could really use belting on a lot of us who look best with a bit of waist definition and the green adds another color to the mix that grounds the outfit and keeps it in neutral territory. I really like this combo all together.)
Isaac Mizrahi 'Perry' Pump at Nordstroms ($139.95 - this is definitely a fun, bright shoe that would adapt beautifully to the work week. Not only would it go great with all things black because of the black on the buckle, but it would also go really well with gray and navy. I also think, though, that this would be a nice way to work in a couple other jewel tones into your wardrobe - like burgundy and emerald green, since these shoes would look great with both. This shoe is so seasonally appropriate, it might actually be MADE of fall.)
Gabriella Rocha 'Shelby 3' T-Strap pumps in Teal patent leather at 6PM ($21.99 - also available in a pretty sweet looking purple patent leather, I think these pumps would be great with an a-line skirt or dress on the weekend for going to casual but slightly dressy events or even for events that involve more walking since they look pretty comfortable with the stacked heel.)
Ivanka Trump 'Ilyssa' Pump at Nordstroms ($125.90 - this is maybe not the most fall/winter appropriate colors - but I love the oxford detailing on this shoe and the colors are undeniably fun. Its a different take on a classic shoe; and definitely something I'd wear to both work and weekend events.)
Miz Mooz 'Coco' Bootie at Zappos ($139.95 - for a weekend shoe, this bootie might be just the fun, sensible shoe you are looking for.  I love the color - the bright cobalt really would be a fun way to add some vibrancy to an outfit, and the stacked heel looks quite sensible. Plus the ruched leather and prominent buttons look just fun.)
2/14/2014 03:06:36

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