Friday, February 4, 2011

Shoe Codes

I've never been one for dress codes. The thought of wearing a uniform in high school terrified me. As soon as I was given a dress code I pushed it. Through school, my first job, my second job, and my transition into corporate name it.

I generally play by the rules and keep it professional, I just add a little something. Faux fur collars on sweaters or suits (yes, suits), bright colors, no nylons in summer. (Nude pantyhose don't do anything a clean shave and some moisturizer can't do).

Class it up with colored heels and tweed
The one place I've always had free reign is shoes. Sure, policies usually state things like no gym shoes or flip flops, but that really doesn't impact me anyway (as if I'd wear those out). Now offices are looking at heels and asking how high is too high? Even the classic, thin stiletto is being scrutinized, and it's professionalism is being questioned.

Heels keep getting higher, and platforms are now the norm. Banning them from workplace dress codes would cripple the shopping experience. I don't think I even own heels without a platform at this point. And stilettos have been a part of women's dress as long as we have been allowed in offices.

The problem is women sometimes choose "fashion" over common sense. If you can't walk, don't wear them is a general rule regardless of the location. And if you look like a hooker it's probably not office appropriate. The issue is really less the heel height or thickness and more what it's paired with.

Short shirts, low cut tops and tight pants aren't appropriate for any office, even if you're wearing ballet flats. Issues with shoes aren't the fault of the shoes, it's the person in the shoes. Teetering around all stupid dressed like you're going out rather than to the office.

I've managed to professionally wear some pretty outwardly appalling heels to the office. Metallics, animal prints, heels and platforms of all shapes and sizes have been on my feet as they click through the halls of Corporate America and I kick ass. And my shoes get noticed. People stop by my office to see what I'm wearing or when they hear I have on a new pair of shoes, but it's always in a good way. I have never been accused of dressing unprofessionally, only fashionably.

So next time you're getting dressed and have questions about your shoes, do a lap in the house, look in the mirror, and when in doubt, change. Otherwise you'll walk around all silly and ruin it for the rest of us.


findingmyway said...

Cat, you and I are of the same mold. I dress fashionably yet professionally everyday and people are always clamoring to see what I have on my feet. If you don't mind I'm going to link to your blog through mine and spin a post off of this post. Love it!

Cat said...

Feel free to link and spin off all you want! I love connecting with like minded people.