"Hello lover," Carrie Bradshaw cooed on the streets of New York. The object of her affection was not a man, but a pair of pink, ruffled Christian Louboutin stilettos.
Carrie's enthusiasm for shoes should have earned the show the title "Sex and the City and Stillettos," for shoes were as much a part of her identity as the original monikers. But, as much as style-minded women fell prey to the fantastical allure of her glamorous lifestyle, reproducing Carrie's closet and fetish for shoes remains an elusive daydream for most.
Curbed by corporate dress codes, comfort, ease of mobility, or any other number of limitations, working women can seldom pull-off the skyscraper heels in which Carrie pranced around the city. Instead, we find ourselves often compromising on some aspect of our footwear, or toting around spare flats in our over-sized purses. Alas, and thankfully, with the increasing acceptability of flats for evening-wear and the rising fascination with the retro-inspired Mary-Janes, transitioning from work to cocktail hour might be more feasible than ever.
Let's start with a high-heeled purist. If you fall into this camp, you don't want to sacrifice your love of heels to fit office dress-codes. Mary-Janes had long ago found a niche as a safe and –dare I say– prude option, but recently the style has evolved. A svelte heeled version is not only office acceptable but now will fit seamlessly at a swanky bar.
If you crave the femininity of a heel without sacrificing comfort, look to the classic "Vera" by Ferragamo. The style offers a small lift, but appears sweet and feminine with a bow – a demure nod to Audrey Hepburn.
And finally, good ol' flats. Modern practicality has taken it's toll (for better or worse, depending who you ask) on fashion and now possibly the most daring and cutting edge fashion choice you can make is wearing flats into the evening. Long accepted as appropriate footwear for the office, this amplified version will take flats to wherever the evening takes you.
Finally, if your evening plans are more casual, look to Princess Kate for a work-appropriate wedge inspiration. In a corporate office setting, be wary of espadrilles. Instead, a closed-toe, sling-back would be a nice balance of summer and professional without giving an over the top "beachy" vibe at the office. The stability of the wedge heel will be last you through nine-to-five as well as be a summery option for what follows.
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