Five Essential Shoe Styles for the Office

five pairs of shoes in photo for blog post featuring essential shoe styles for the office

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While every piece in an outfit plays an important role, there’s one item that pulls the entire look together – your shoes. Shoes really do maketh the outfit. Equally, a bad pair of shoes can ruin a perfectly good outfit. No pressure. It explains why so many stylists and fashion folk tend to build their outfit around their shoes. And the same goes with outfits for the office. 

In getting ready for work this past year, it’s become clear there are five shoe styles that have been working hard for me. Together, they’ve become my work shoe capsule and cover all the bases – from important conferences to casual Fridays. They all have one thing in common: comfort. I’m too old and have little patience to make compromises in that department. 

#1 – Loafers

Loafers are a classic, but they’re hip as ever! I love my Gucci loafers, but there are so many stylish options out there at all price points (like these or these or these). I wear mine regularly, and make use of them year round. They’re the ultimate wardrobe chameleon and while they’re perfect for the office, they’ve made regular appearances in my off-duty looks. 

L: Gucci loafers, The Curated blazer* (sz XXS), Arket t-shirt (sz S), Celine belt, Nobody Denim jeans* (sz 26), Celine bag (watch my review here), Ray Ban sunglasses, Arms of Eve earrings*; R: Gucci loafers (watch my styling video here), The Fold blazer* (sz UK 8), Arket merino top (sz S – current colours linked), The Fold trousers (sold out – similar here and here), Bellroy backpack (as featured here), Ray Ban sunglasses, Arms of Eve earrings*

#2 – Pointed Flats

If a pair of loafers don’t suit your outfit, a pair of dressy pointed flats provides a feminine touch for when you don’t want to wear heels. While I ordinarily consider black to be the safest choice when it comes to shoes, I much prefer tan or navy to provide a soft touch when I wearing pointed flats. These Sarah Flint flats are a personal favourite and feature a sachetto leather that develops a beautiful patina with age.

L: Sarah Flint Natalie Flats*, The Curated blazer* (sz XS – review here), Country Road dress (sold out), Celine belt,, Celine bag (review here); R: Sarah Flint Natalie Flats*, Toteme jacket (sold out), Arket tee (sz S), Frankie Shop trousers (sz S), Everlane bag*, Ray Ban sunglasses

#3 – Low heels

Whether it’s in the form of stilettos or block heels, low heeled shoes are my go-to for polished comfort. “Low” is characterised by being 5cm or lower, and to be honest, this is now my limit when it comes to heels. Maaaaybe for events I’ll entertain a couple more centimetres, but for work purposes, a low heel is more than enough. Because the height is so manageable, both a stiletto or block heel will be comfortable – like this chocolate brown kitten heel I’ve been loving and this muted red block heel also featured below. I like to branch out to other neutral tones with my heels, as the colour palettes of my outfits are typically on the safe monochromatic side.  

L: Ally Shoes kitten heels* (use ‘VIRGINIA40’ for $40USD off), Arket knit (sz XS), Lilysilk skirt* (sz 27), Celine bag (watch my review here), Arms of Eve earrings*, Arms of Eve cuff*, Arms of Eve bracelet*; R: Ally Shoes kitten heels* (use ‘VIRGINIA40’ for $40USD off), The Curated coat* (sz XS – review here), Sezane top (sz XS), Uniqlo vest (sz XS – not visible but my nifty cold weather hack), The Fold trousers* (sz UK 8), Tory Burch tote (review here), Arms of Eve earrings*, bangle* and ring*, Ray Ban sunglasses

Ally shoes* (use ‘VIRGINIA40’ for $40USD off all heels – read my review of a similar, but higher, style, here), The Curated coat* (sz XS – current season version linked), Sezane top (sz XS), Frankie Shop trousers (sz S), Celine belt, Bellroy backpack*, Arms of Eve earrings* and ring*

#4 – Sneakers

Quite possibly my favourite addition to my work shoe rotation, (because it’s still a novelty to get away with wearing sneakers to the office!) is a minimal sneaker. I started off wearing sneakers with clean designs and non-identifiable brands (like this pair), but these days I’ve been leaning into sneaker life and my adidas Sambas and New Balance 574s have been on high rotation.

L: Everlane sneakers*, The Curated coat* (sz XS – review here), Arket tee (sz XS), Celine belt, Everlane pants* (sz US 2, Short), Bellroy backpack (as featured here), Ray Ban sunglasses, Arms of Eve earrings*, R: Everlane sneakers*, The Curated blazer* (sz XS – review here), Onte knit* (sz S), Frankie Shop trousers (sz S), Celine beltCeline bag (review here)

adidas Samba OG sneakers, (featured here), Everlane Mac Coat* (sz XXS), Everlane cashmere crew neck jumper* (sz S – new season version linked), Arket t-shirt (sz S), The Fold trousers* (sz UK 8). Bellroy backpack*, Arms of Eve earrings* and ring*

#5 – Ankle boots

To complete this round up, a trusty pair of ankle boots is always a smart choice. They add polish while being super practical, and if you shop smart, you can find a pair that will last you for  and years years. My favourite ankle boots are my R.M. Williams Boots (reviewed here) closely followed by my Ally Shoes ankle boots (reviewed here). You can have a read of each of the reviews I’ve written about them to understand more about why I love them so much, but in a nutshell, they both balance polished and professional but are comfortable enough for me to walk around in them all day – a necessary prerequisite for work shoes. 

L: R.M. Williams boots (review here), Marle top (sold out), Nobody Denim jeansCeline bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: R.M. Williams boots (review here), Everlane Mac Coat* (size XXS), Arket merino tee (sz S – new season version linked), Anine Bing skirt (sz S), Ray Ban sunglassesCeline luggage bag

L: Ally Shoes boots* (use ‘VIRGINIA50’ for $50USD off all boots), Everlane blazer* (sz 0), Arket tee (sz S), Celine beltNobody Denim jeans (sz 26, petite), Tory Burch tote (review here); R: Ally Shoes boots* (use ‘VIRGINIA50’ for $50USD off all boots), The Fold blazer* (sz UK 8), Arket tee (sz S), Celine beltNobody Denim jeans (sz 26, petite), Celine bag (review here)

I hope you found my round up of the essential shoe styles for the office to be useful. As always, thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Check out my other office style posts here.


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