My friends are tired of hearing this, but I firmly, emphatically believe that every woman deserves to wear the very best shoes she can afford. That’s why I tell anyone who will listen that you should own one flawless, classic-but-not-frumpy, totally luxurious pair of black pumps. Plan to spend $200, or more, if your budget will allow. Don’t think you have $200 to spend on shoes? Replace the 4 or so pairs you would have otherwise bought with just one, glorious pair that you will own forever. Mine are from Jimmy Choo. They are still gorgeous, nearly 10 years after I first spotted them in Chicago. Ready to make the leap and make a serious style investment? Here are some tips to help you choose wisely:
1. Save trendy styles for the budget buys. Your investment shoes should be timeless. Skip exaggerated platforms, unusual textures (except for an exotic animal skin), peep toes, flatforms, extreme wedges, etc.
2. Avoid embellishments. This may be the only time you hear me say this, as I am typically a frou frou fan, but this time, keep it simple for maximum versatility. A simple bow is fine, but avoid glitter, studs, spikes, or sparkles.
3. Look for a moderate toe, not too pointy, not too round. Something with a slight curve is perfect.
4. Look for a moderate heel, 2 inches or higher, slim but not stiletto-like.
5. A beautiful matte leather is the most versatile option, though in a warmer climate a patent is almost as versatile. Avoid suede, which is more limiting and more fragile.
So here, the rundown. Which is your favorite?
1. KORS Michael Kors Glitter Pump, $195: In spite of its name, there is no glitter anywhere on this perfectly shaped patent pump on a 4″ heel. If you’d like similar style and versatility on a lower heel, try the KORS Ghita, also $195.
2. Kate Spade Karolina Pump, $298: This perennial favorite from Kate Spade is versatile, comfortable, and endlessly wearable. That’s why the company makes them, in different colors and materials, year after year. They are that perfect.
3. Bottega Veneta black pump, $344.99: This is my one exception to the simpler-is-better rule for black pumps – a flawless, classic pump in the iconic Bottega weave. Gorgeous and a total luxury, and though they aren’t exactly inexpensive, the price above is half off the original $690 price tag. Love.
4. Salvatore Ferragamo “Carla,” $495: Timeless Italian luxury for your feet. Love the bow and the very wearable 2 3/4″ heel.
5. Burberry Brogue Detail Leather Pumps, $475: These gorgeous pumps have more detail than some of the others, including the brogue styling and the gold at the heel, but they are still versatile enough to wear virtually everywhere, except a black tie event.