I originally wrote this post following the news story about Nicola Thorp, the receptionist who was sent home because she refused to wear heels to work and started a petition to prevent employers stopping women wearing flats. And today she was interviewed by man of the moment (*rolls eyes*) Piers Morgan as well as being on BBC4’s Woman’s Hour, so the debate is in the news again. Though why it’s a debate in the first place I don’t know…
Anyway, you guys seemed to really like it first time around, and we all need decent comfy shoes to wear to work, right? So I’ve rounded up the best flat shoes available right now to wear to the office. In doing so, I am assuming a few things:
- That you aren’t lucky enough to work in an environment where you can wear pretty much whichever shoes you fancy, within reason, like I am.
- That you are expected to conform to a smart dress code, which probably includes tailoring, and that you may feel more comfortable in a pencil skirt than trousers to do this.
- That you’re looking for shoes with a neutral colour palette because frankly, your office isn’t really the place to explore your flamboyant side. With the exception of a couple of pairs, which I couldn’t resist, these shoes should go with most of your office gear.
- That when I say ‘yes! You can wear flat shoes to work!’, what you’re really looking for is a comfy alternative to a simple heeled court shoe, rather than to hear me harp on about how easy it is to wear trainers or brogues to the office. Because actually, that’s not really true, is it.
- That you’re willing to spend money on real leather shoes, because if we’re going to take a stand on this ladies, we can’t rock up to work in tatty old ballerinas with holes in the soles now can we?! It’s still perfectly reasonable for your employer to expect you to look well put together.
That said, I do have a few tips to make wearing flat shoes in the office a little easier. Look for a lower cut vamp – the bit on the top of your foot – as showing more of the skin on your foot gives the illusion of elongating your legs. Opt for an almond or pointy toe; round toes are trickier to style elegantly (though of course, it is possible). And if you are wearing trousers rather than a skirt, always show a flash of ankle because it’s much more flattering.
Right, now to the fun bit. My favourite 13 shoes – and there’s something for every budget here – available to buy right now. So there’s really no need to lug your heels around in your handbag, now is there?!
Massimo Dutti, £74.95, massimodutti.com
Anthropologie, £118, anthropologie.com
French Sole, £140, frenchsole.com
Finery London, £79, finerylondon.com
Next, £38, next.co.uk
Zara, £17.00, zara.com
COS, £79, cosstores.com
Hudson, £120, hudsonshoes.com
Jigsaw, £98, jigsaw-online.com
Free People, £128, freepeople.com
Kurt Geiger, £110, kurtgeiger.com
& Other Stories, £65, stories.com
Joseph, £360, net-a-porter.com