While you shouldn’t take much fashion advice from Forrest Gump, he did have a few words of wardrobe wisdom: “Momma always says there’s an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they’re going. Where they’ve been.”
It’s true. Look down at your shoes right now. See how they – and you – may appear to others. Where do they say you’ve been? Down in the dumps because you haven’t yet received that coveted promotion, or well-polished, freshly heeled and ready to climb that corporate ladder? Where do they say you’re going? Down the same dusty path you’ve been traveling for years, or professionally prepped to step into that new, perfect-for-you position.
That’s right, ladies! Dress not for the job you have, but for the job you want. Wear a pair of shoes that make you (literally) stand tall. Confidence breeds confidence, so put your best foot forward with a great pair of shoes that “pump” up your self-esteem.
According to J. Lee Tyer, wardrobe consultant for Doncaster Fashionistas, says you should avoid:
- Scuffed or worn shoes make you appear neglectful, lazy or just plain sloppy.
- Plain lace-up oxfords may make you appear as someone who is tightly bound and inflexible.
- Flamboyant shoes that are “loud” can send a message that you are a show off and perhaps not a good team player or leader.
- Shoes over 3″ high, such as stilettos, convey a sexual overtone to your image, which is inappropriate for the workplace.
- Overdone vintage shoes may potentially make you look out-of-date, sending a subliminal message that you are “out of touch.”
Depending on your industry, your shoe choices vary. Advertising and fashion tend to allow for a bit more personality and sense of style. Banking, investments or the corporate world tends to be more conservative. But you’ll never go wrong with a basic pump, says Margie Nimmo, a Doncaster Designs wardrobe consultant.
“With most companies moving into a more relaxed and fashion forward dress sense, the ‘shoe code’ has also relaxed and now the variety and options are greater than ever,” Nimmo adds. “Pumps are still the preferred work shoe, but now there are so many fun colors, it is easy to be both comfortable and fashion savvy.”
Lesley Hern, owner of The Wardrobe, a new fashion-forward store opening on Miami Avenue in Madeira, says sling-back and flat styles are essential to the working woman’s wardrobe. “If you are looking only at Spring and Summer, then you could go with this Spring’s new style: the gladiator-style heel,” adds Hern. According to Nimmo, peep toe pumps, mules and wedge heels are also popular and acceptable for your Summer work wardrobe. Check out this week’s spotlight to learn more about Hern.
Tyer says these three tips will leave your successor with big shoes to fill:
- Quality before quantity: Invest in a few quality shoes which convey that you possess excellent taste, value quality and are able to make sound decisions by investing wisely in quality pieces that will last.
- Flattering before fad-following: Select shoes that are appropriate for your age, your current position and your outfit, while also expressing your own individualistic style. This sends a subliminal message that you possess common sense, confidence, and the ability to lead – rather than merely follow the heard.
- Forge a style all your own, tastefully: Be courageous in creating your own fashion identity which expresses your personality, originality, and ability to take risks. For instance, try a pair of open-toed shoes in a pattern that complements your conservative suit to show your creativity.