Figuring out what shoes to wear to the office is difficult, especially in the summer. Like, is Richard in accounting going to get his delicate sensibilities offended by the sight of my bare toes? But at the same time, why should I have to sweat my feet off in close-toed heels? Let’s start with what you shouldn’t wear. Anything that resembles something you would find in a retirement home is a no-go. Feel like that should go without saying, but figured I’d spell it out for you so there’s no confusion. The basic rule here is that anything that looks too comfortable is also probs too ugly.
Now that I’ve laid the groundwork of what not to wear, let’s discuss some alternatives to your tacky Naturalizers. Shoes are something worth investing in, especially shoes to wear to the office, because you’re going to be wearing them every day. If you wear crappy shoes, then no one is going to take you seriously (and your feet will hurt). You can say looks don’t matter all you want, but how you choose to present yourself undoubtedly affects people’s perception of you. And, if perception didn’t matter, then you wouldn’t have spent two hours doing your makeup for the beach, just to get a bikini pic for your perfectly curated Insta feed. So we can agree—how you look does matter. That being said, you don’t need to spend tons of money on your shoes, but you do need to take the time to make sure you’re finding quality ones.
Finding stylish shoes to wear to the office is especially hard during the summer, but luckily, you have me. These shoes are work-appropriate and won’t leave your feet sweaty and gross, and they also won’t leave you with an HR complaint.
Fortunately for you and your otherwise pitiful office wardrobe, mules are currently back in style. This is great because they’re, like, legit everywhere right now and there are some really cute styles out there. Mules look great with everything from your tailored pants to your pencil skirt. And, most importantly, the open back allows your foot to breathe. I probably would stay away from the open-toed styles unless you know for sure your office is okay with that, and even then, I’d probs stick with a more subtle peep toe. Like, woahhh don’t want to be considered the office slut because you’re strutting around the office exposing your bare toes! Just use your best judgement and be mindful of your office’s “culture.”
Jeffrey Campbell Complete Plaid point toe pumps
Dolce Vita Cinda point toe mule
2. Open Back Flats
To quote Hannah Montana, you get the best of both worlds with open back flats: no heel (more comfortable) and no back (more breathable). Open back flats look polished and professional. There’s just something sweet and innocent about a flat—like, no one would suspect that the girl in flats spent the majority of the workday in the bathroom scrolling through Instagram…speaking for a friend of course…
Rebecca Minkoff Alexis Bow point toe flats
Raye x Stone Cold Fox Kensie slide
3. Slingback Pumps
As much as I hate to say it, this may be the only time and place where kitten heels make sense. Slingback pumps are the perfect summer shoes to wear to the office because they offer a breathable open back heel, plus a strap around the ankle so that you can actually walk in them. Please don’t make it weird by wearing full-blown stilettos to your 9-5. Who would have thought Caila Quinn might have been on to something with her kitten heels? Turns out, there are actually a lot of cute styles of slingback pumps with kitten heels that aren’t basic.
Sam Edelman Ludlow slingback pump
Linea Paolo Carly slingback pump
In addition to those, you could also toss in a loafer or a short ankle boot to wear to work in the summer as well, but just know they’re a lot less breathable. I gave you a fuck ton of suggestions for each style of shoe, so if you don’t like any of them, this is no longer my problem.
Images: Shopbop (5); Revolve; Nordstrom (3)
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As a secret hoe (I’m not that secret about it) I’m constantly pushing the limits of my employer’s sanity by seeing how much I can get away with in terms of the office dress code. Tbh they never should have called it business casual in the first place. Once you throw the word “casual” around that’s just asking me not to take it seriously. Like when a fuckboy tries to tell me he’s only into “casual dating” or when my mother tries to talk to me about my “casual drinking problem.” Please. And because my look is incredibly fashion forward a mix between lazy and slutty, I’m always trying to circumvent the dress code. For example, in the winter that includes me trying to get away with literally not wearing pants. I’ll show up to the office in leggings and an over-sized sweater/shirt/$5 Forever21 T-shirt that I’m trying to pass off as Yeezy and booties and just dare anyone to say shit about my outfit. And by dare I mean hide in my office and hope the girl I pissed off by eating her yogurt the other day doesn’t write a passive-aggressive email to HR. IT WAS ONE TIME, SUSAN.
But in the summer I sure as hell will be toeing that line between business and casual in a cute af crop top. Crop tops have been around for a while now and apparently the trend is sticking. Blessings. But unlike in college where you could literally wear a bra to the bar and call it couture—just me?—now, crop tops have become more chic and fashion forward. To which I would just like to say, are you listening to this, mother?? And because I support v important causes like making hoe fashion (thank you, Tyra), here are 5 crop tops for every office style that you should buy ASAP because you can absolutely probably get away with wearing this shit to your 9am department meeting.
You have, like, a normal 9-5 job that definitely enforces the “business casual” dress code no matter how many times you tell HR that you’re feeling personally victimized by this. In order to carry on with your hoe ways, you’ll def want to stick to a looser silhouette. Think longer, loose pants with a flowy, boxy top. The pants will elongate your legs while the crop top will keep you from looking like a bag lady an Olsen Twin. The key here is to make sure that your shirt is long enough so that nosey bitch Susan won’t report you for “inappropriate behavior.”
You’re the type of person who doesn’t call wearing a crop top to work “pushing the boundaries,” but rather, “expressing yourself.” Odds are you work in advertising or some other creative field that encourages you to dress however the fuck you want. You get a bit more leeway than the rest of us, so go for a matching shirt/skirt combo in a funky print. It’s kind of like a trap a fashion optical illusion because while it kind of looks like you’re wearing a crop top it also kind of looks like you could just be wearing a dress.
Preppy & Girly
If this is your look then I’m assuming you do, in fact, work in a professional office setting but also you want to look cute. So I’m guessing your style icon is probs more Audrey Hepburn at a premiere than Bella Thorne getting felt up by Scott Disick on a yacht in Cannes. Just a guess. I suggest, pairing an over-sized skirt with a boxy, crop top for a chic yet office appropriate look. If you want to pretend like you have a personality mix it up a bit, try a bold color or print for the skirt.
I’m not going to make any sort of assumptions about what your job title is (shocking, I know). You could work at a gym or have some sort of fitness Instagram account or you could just be me work in a normal office setting where you show up looking like you don’t give a fuck. Either way, your secret weapon is going to be an over-sized bomber or jean jacket. If you’re trying to keep with your normal lazy af aesthetic, then throw one of those jackets over a black jean/crop top combo. It’s a classic, easy, and only slightly slutty look—three words I also def use to describe myself in my Bumble bio. If you’re trying to class it up because the new hire has a man-bun and you’re feeling like for once Mercury is not in retrograde and actively fucking with your dating life, then consider pairing the jacket over a knit crop top and matching pencil skirt. You’ll still look v edgy but also like you didn’t just find your outfit at the bottom of your laundry pile.
Wannabe Instagram Influencer
You’re def an assistant to an Anna Wintour wannabe who probs throws shoe samples at you when you forget to order her lunch with dressing on the side. Think Nina Garcia two seconds before she emotionally obliterates an amateur designer for not “editing” enough. The rules of business appropriate work attire do not apply to you because if you showed up in a basic blouse and a pencil skirt your boss would take one look at you and say this:
Do not be the Anne Hathaway of this scenario. DO NOT. You work in fashion (I assume) so take some chances for god’s sake (assuming your boss is cool with that. I realize I’m assuming a lot this article). That being said, don’t be afraid to try out a tighter, shorter crop top as long as you pair it with something high-waisted.