As I transition my closet to graduate school smart casual and basic wear to one that is more refined to work, I’m starting to understand the importance of investing in versatile classic pieces. Whilst perusing online shops for some work closet inspiration, I came across mostly outfits that were either too trendy for my field or too boring for my taste. So I’m hoping that I can share the wisdom that I’ve gained from trial-and-error on how to incorporate and build your classic piece collection into your workwear wardrobe starting with finding the perfect black heels! I needed these for work and I love the idea of heels at work, albeit comfort being a factor. After speaking to a sales associate at Ann Taylor, here’s what she told me about finding the perfect black heels for work.
The perfect black heels for the office come in three different materials and they are either suede, leather, or patent leather. For a setting that is more conservative and looking for refined and bold looks, suede and leather are the best options to go with. Patent leather is a shiny material that can be either too distracting and sometimes if the fitting isn’t right, it tends to rub against your skin and makes uncomfortable sounds. That’s why it’s important to always try on heels before purchasing. If you’re looking for the perfect black heels to invest in for work then aim to purchase leather or suede heels as they have a longer lifespan and don’t easily get scuffed.
Heel Height & Shape
This is the most important aspect of a shoe and it’s all a personal preference! Traditionally, heels in an office setting should be no higher than two and three-quarters of an inch. Most of my heels are at that height and it is easy to move and provides stability. You can also tell if the quality of a heel is good when your ankles are stable whilst walking and standing and doesn’t strain the back of your legs or your knees. My rule for the perfect black heels is that I go half an inch lower than what I can walk in.
Sizing might be the trickiest aspect of finding the perfect black heels! The Ann Taylor sales associate said that the easiest way of determining the best size for you is measuring your foot flat from heel to toe in centimeteres. To get comfortable heels, you will need to pretend you don’t have a standard size and go with that. Usually the rule of thumb is that for heels between 2 to 3.5 inches, it’s best to go with 1/2 size larger. For high heels between 4 to 6 inches, go with 1 full size larger. For high heels 6.5 inches and above, you should go with 1.5 sizes larger.
One thing we all will look for in perfect black heels is comfort. Is it soft leather? Is the back soft enough for my heels? Does the sole provide comfort? One thing I love about Ann Taylor heels is its genuine comfort. It almost feels like you’re walking on clouds. This reassures that you will not find it too straining to walk in heels.
Pointed vs. Rounded Toe
This is where the trend gets confusing. As much as I love a proper stiletto heel, I find them a bit uncomfortable as the pointed toe seems to cut off my circulation. The Ann Taylor sales associate assured me that this is not the case for everyone! Some people have more narrow feet and can withstand the pointed toe. For your perfect black heels, make sure you give both rounded and pointed toe a change. If you are keen to find a pair that is pointed, find one that is slightly rounded like photographed in this post. If you want to go for something in patent leather, try to avoid the point as it is a much stiffer and tougher material. Matte leather usually molds to your feet as you wear them, so they’re the best when opting for pointed-toe black heels.
Since I mentioned above how I was putting together some looks for the office and for working travel days, I thought I would put together a Pinterest board where I can re-create and replicate outfits! You can find my office work outfit Pinterest board here.
Tell me what makes up your perfect black heels in the comments below!