selection of women's dress shoes

Shoe Options for Women in Business

Buy two pairs of medium heels (11⁄2 to 2 inches) in an updated classic court or pump styles to wear on days when you require a business professional to formal attire (No stilettos please). Plus buy one pair of low-to-stack heel (3⁄4 to 11⁄2 inches) to wear with trousers or some skirts on days when you require business casual attire or for Casual Fridays.
Flat shoes are not recommended for business because they are too casual in look and very limiting unless you are very tall. Do not buy plastic or fabric weaves.

Read more about sandals and stilettos in the “Image Breaker or Image Builder: Should I wear sandals to work or not?” section.

As a rule in general, wear shoes in the same colour or slightly darker than hemline for a more professional look. Neutral colours are best as they are more versatile than brighter, more memorable colours. Beware of seasonal fashion colours that have a limited life and work only with a few items in your wardrobe. Avoid white in any style, regardless of the price.
Don’t know what your best neutrals are? Match your natural hair colour to balance your feet to your head and harmonize with your natural colouring. For example:

  • For cool light hair: taupe, pewter, light to medium grey, medium charcoal, light cool navy, rosy brown, cocoa
  • For warm light hair: camel, medium warm brown, sage, light warm navy
  • For red hair: bronze, oatmeal, olive, moss, sage, grey green, warm brown, warm green navy
  • For cool dark hair: black, black navy, black brown, black burgundy, dark pewter
  • For warm dark hair: mahogany, dark warm brown, brown burgundy, aubergine, deep olive
  • Light colour people need to be careful not to choose a neutral that is too dark as the eyes will be attracted to the darkest colour and therefore bring the attention to your feet instead of looking up at your face (which is where the attention should be). 

Women looking for something lighter or cooler to wear to work during the hot season, choose a good quality open-toe, or open-heel shoe (never both at the same time). Simple styles in good quality leather are business appropriate and acceptable in more casual work environments or on casual Fridays.