Shoe Shopping This Weekend? Here’s How to Climb the Corporate Ladder…In the Right Shoes!

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Posted December 7, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand
We’ve all heard the adage that if you give a girl the right shoes, she can run the world. But what if you’re wearing the wrong pair? When setting yourself up for success in the workplace, don’t let hard work and determination be thwarted by a choice of footwear. Instead, follow these “dos and don’ts” to putting your best foot forward.

Don’t Do This

  • DON’T let your wild side out. While the most killer pair of leopard print stilettos may adorn the shelves of your well-vetted shoe closet, the office is not an appropriate place to let them out of their cage.

Photo by …love Maegan from Flickr

  • DON’T go sky high. While you may want to add a few inches to your stature, platform heels are best kept for a girls’ night out. Instead, strategically pair shoes and outfits to give the appearance of an elongated look. Check out these 14 fashion tricks to looking taller from Women’s Health.

Photo by Julie Rashelle. from Flickr

  • DON’T fall prey to casual Friday. Your office may support casual Fridays, or even a laid-back environment over all, but there is such thing as too casual. And soaring to the top of that list is the flip-flop. Perfect poolside or post pedicure, these summer favorites have no place in the office.

Photo by Steve A johnson from Flickr

  • DON’T get the boot. As seasons change and the temperatures start dropping, resist the urge to cozy up in your comfiest pair of Uggs or trendiest riding boots. Instead, keep your lower half toasty with a pair of tights or slim-cut, tailored pants.

Photo by ukhomeoffice from Flickr

Do This Instead

  • DO pick a neutral shoe that can complement any perfectly pressed ensemble. Basic black is always a reliable choice, but try softening the look and freshening up this office staple with a nude heel instead. This subtle change can show upper management that you are a professional but can potentially bring some new perspective to the table.

Photo of a classic nude heel from Target

  • DO find a modest, comfortable heel with a little personality. It’s true, the office is no place to break out the party shoes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a personal touch and still secure your spot for that next big promotion. A splash of flair can highlight your originality and ability to stand out, and above, the rest.

Photo by …love Maegan from Flickr

  • DO choose a perfectly poised flat. Heels aren’t always appropriate but, as we have already noted, flip flops never are. As part of the standard dress code, many companies require shoes to have a full back. This means avoiding backless or sling backs at all costs. A good rule of thumb when shopping for career-oriented flats is, if you would slip them on to run errands, they do not make the cut.

Photo by Raluca Marie Wolfski from Flickr

  • DO create a classic winter look with a flattering bootie. Coupling a sophisticated ankle boot with a trimmed and tailored ensemble showcases your ability to be flexible and appropriate when occasion demands.

Photo by ldhren from Flickr

Selecting the right shoe to complete your office look can say a lot more about you than you originally intended. And keep in mind that price doesn’t necessarily trump style. Shop shoes at places like Target and carefully build a robust collection of professional shoes to help climb your way up that corporate ladder.


About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is the author of "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works" and a career expert who believes in order to be empowered in your career, you must be surrounded with resources and a network that both supports and challenges you. Marcy began her own networking journey as a professional fundraiser in the nonprofit industry, honed those skills as a fundraising consultant, and in 2012 networked her way to nearly 1 million readers as the CEO of the professional development website Career Girl Network.

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