Shoes, Footwear with Open Toes, Buckles and Shoe Design

Can You Tell Everything About A Person From Their Shoes? Don’t Be The Guinea Pig at Work

There are people who buy shoes and then there are shoe people. If you have a special place in your heart—and wallet—for shoes, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But there are some rules you’ll want to follow for work guidelines and your own personal comfort, not to mention that you don’t want to get into hot water or create the wrong reputation for yourself just because of your footwear when the quality of your work should speak for itself.

You might be buying shoes because they are on sale—those BOGOS (buy one get one free) offers are hard to pass up. On the other hand, you may be a major serial shoe buyer regardless of price, and in this case, oftentimes your shoe selection is likely not puritanical. In either situation, there’s a high likelihood that you have shoes you should never, ever wear to work. The question is, do you know the difference?

Here are some guidelines for those who aren’t entirely in the loop:

Open-toed shoes are generally a no-no: Unless otherwise stated by your boss or workplace manual, wearing shoes that show off your little piggies is a no-no. Of course, if you work in the world of fashion or even perhaps some other more creative industries, this may be okay; that said, chances are, if it isn’t a big deal where you work, you already know that. But for those who don’t know, your first day as a bank teller, physician’s assistant, or receptionist at a law firm are not going to be enhanced by wearing open-toed heels, no matter how much you may have loved wearing them last Saturday night.

The same shoes every single day: It says a lot about a person when they can’t branch out. This includes the world of footwear. It’s probably not expected that you have an Imelda Marcos closet filled with thousands of options, but by having some of the standards covered, you’ll do well. For example, a couple of decent pairs of flats that go with anything, a pair or two of heels you can pair with dresses or wide-legged slacks, and that one pair of stilettos or heeled boots that can carry any outfit over the threshold of a fancy gathering or last minute meeting with the higher-ups or clients doing a drop-in from Hong Kong will work in your favor.

Buckles are for pilgrims: Not for all pilgrims, but for those that came over on the Mayflower, the slight-heeled buckle-topped shoe was for them—not you, and definitely not for the office. Steer clear of any shoe that has a large buckle at front and center of the shoe’s top. It’s fine to have a side buckle, as one might see with a Mary Jane type shoe—as long as it is not a massive accessory to the shoe. The deal with buckles on shoes is functionality: if they actually serve the purpose of putting the shoe on or taking it off, then chances are, it’s fine. In any case, a shoe that has a buckle of more than one square inch in size is probably better worn to the bar where your favorite Ska band is playing, and not at the office.

Common sense: So you have those sweet disco ball mirrored chunky heels Gaga wore in her last video? That’s awesome. Don’t wear them to work unless you own your own clothing design operation. Use common sense to dictate what works at work and what will not. Chances are, if you are sitting on your bed the night before weighing your options, the pair of shoes in question are questionable for a reason, and it’s probably best to stick with safer bets, at least until you know without a shadow of a doubt precisely what is okay with the boss and what will keep you out of trouble—or the rumor mill in the break room.

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