My Flat Substitute for Ankle Strap Pumps

I used to wear pointy-toe ankle strap pumps with a two inch heel a lot in warm weather (sometimes without the ankle strap). The pointy toe suited my narrow feet, the dainty style suited my narrow calf, and the heel lengthened my leg line. The pumps also added what I perceived to be a dressy, elegant and refined polish to my outfits. I wore them with skirts and dresses, cropped pants, cropped jeans, a jumpsuit, and harem pants. They were a very versatile warm-weather shoe for my style. Here are the exact pumps from my wardrobe.

Sadly, I passed on all the pumps two years ago because I can no longer comfortably wear the heel height. Switching up the heel shape to a block heel makes no difference because I’m happiest in heel heights between half and one and a half inches. I walk and travel a lot, and therefore do not compromise on foot comfort. So I temporarily lost quite an integral part of my warm-weather style when the pumps went bye-bye.

I left things for a year and simply wore multiple pairs of modern classic loafers with a one inch heel because I was all too happy to have found covered Summer shoes that went the distance. As much as I adore flat loafers, they are not a substitute for pointy-toe ankle strap pumps. Too casual and not as refined or elegant.

It seemed obvious that I look for a flat version of the ankle strap pumps as a replacement, but that’s easier said than done. The strap of ankle strap flats usually cuts into my skin, and regular ballet flats are hard to fit. Round-toe ballet flats are too wide and short for my low-volume feet, and not dainty enough for my tastes. The pointy-toe styles fall off my feet. Ballet flats can also be hard and unsupportive.

By chance this Summer (because you find things when you’re NOT looking for them) I found a much better visual substitute for the pumps. They’re Banana Republic’s pointy-toe Robin ballet flat in watermelon and red suede (above). I took a chance with the watermelon, put them through their paces, and was delighted to discover that they work wonderfully well. I’ve walked Velp, Seattle and Salt Lake City flat in them, and they’re great. I promptly repeated the style in red.

Retro-Drape

With the addition of the flat substitute, I’ve been able to haul out old wardrobe favourites like my black harem pants and wear them with the same affection as when I wore them with pumps. For example, I wore the old outfit on the right in Salt Lake City last week, but with watermelon ballet flats instead of pumps. I added pearls, a denim jacket, and light blue crossbody bag. I was very comfortable walking and working, and sometimes with our Yorkie Sam in tow.

Here are the exact components of the 2018 outfit. I enjoy remixing old wardrobe items with new. The pants are ten years old, the jacket and blouse five, and the shoes and bag are new. The pants, blouse and jacket are exceptional quality items that it’s no wonder they went the distance. They look as good now, as the day I bought them despite frequent washing and wearing. I’m hard on shoes, so I don’t know how long the flats will last, but the Furla will go the distance too.

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Trump pays sober tribute to 9/11 after Russia tweets, fist pumps

President Donald Trump paid a sober tribute to victims of crashed Flight 93 in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.


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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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The Hunt: Nude-For-You Pumps

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Tis the season, ladies — to do a nude-for-you pump roundup! As we’ve noted before, a shoe that is a close match for your natural leg tone is a great way to elongate your leg and make it look like it goes for miles — of course you can always just wear a beige, tan, or brown shoe as a neutral as well (regardless of whether it matches your skin tone).  We’ve rounded up something for everyone, hopefully — affordable nude-for-you pumps, dark brown pumps, light beige pumps, medium brown pumps, and some super light pink pumps for the pasty-legged among us (including me!). Readers, are you in the market for a new nude-for-you pump? Which ones did you wear into the ground last year?

Some Hall of Famers, pictured above (clockwise): one / two / three / four

Psst: looking for nude flats? Check this roundup.

nude-for-you pumps 2018

Hall of Famers, pictured above, top row: one / two / three / four // bottom row: one / two / three / four

For our featured nude-for-you pumps this year, read on after the jump…

Naturalizer's Nude CollectionNaturalizer deserves a shoutout for their Nude Collection — they offer a huge range of “nude for you” shades for flats, heels, sandals, and more. The pictured pump has been around forever, and the teensy platform makes the heel that much more walkable and comfortable; it’s $ 80. Naturalizer Michelle
Astoria Pump I’m surprised to see that the Nine West mainstay pump (Margot) seems to be on the way out — but these affordable block heel pumps from the same brand are winning rave reviews and look polished and modern. They’re $ 89 at Nordstrom, Zappos, and Amazon (where some colors are as low as $ 45!). Astoria Pump
Sam Edelman Stillson These Sam Edelman pumps are high (3.5″) but look great if you can maneuver. I love this oatmeal suede, but they also have a beige leather and a dusty rose suede, along with otther neutrals (including a fabulous leopard print). They’re $ 120 at Zappos, available in sizes 5-11 in regular and wide sizes. (Amazon also has them as low as $ 54.) Sam Edelman Stillson
Everlane's Day Heel If you like the look of block heels, Everlane’s uber popular “day heel” comes in a TON of colors, including the “cognac” suede pictured as well as a “natural” suede, and various patents including “taupe” and “pale rose.” They’re $ 145, available in sizes 5-11. The Day Heel 
AGL d'Orsay heel Ooooh… if you are like me and have a wider forefront and narrow heel (I’ve heard readers call similar fit problems “duck feet” and thought, yep), an ankle strap can be a lifesaver — and coming from renowned comfort brand AGL, these shoes look fabulous if you’ve got fussy feet. I love the low heel (2.25″) and the modern look with the architectural block heel. They’re $ 345 at Nordstrom. (This very similar Cole Haan style is also from a comfort brand and is only $ 160.) Pictured: d’Orsay Ankle Strap Pump
Gucci Daisy Ankle Heel These pumps caught my eye because there are so many things I hate about them — yet the overall look is so chic. I hate logos. I hate super high pumps (4.25″, or 105mm!). And when choosing a ankle strap pump for myself I always try to be mindful of the fact that a darker strap will make my leg look stumpy — so I definitely would not choose a dark red strap like this. And yet… I’ve never seen anything quite like this shoe. Hmmn. Hmmmn. The pump is $ 1,150. Daisy Ankle Strap Pump

Curious for older editions of this roundup? Check them out here: 201720162015201420132011201120092008 (awww, just a few weeks after the blog was born).

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It's here: our 2018 roundup of 25+ nude-for-you pumps -- a must-have neutral for every working woman, particularly in conservative offices!

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Trend: Slingback Pumps & Flats

There’s an incredibly rich list of ingredients simmering in the melting pot of fashion right now. Fashion has moved on from fads, and trends now have more longevity. The range of colours, silhouettes and outfit combinations in fashion is greater than ever, and keeps growing. We are at the point where almost anything goes. 

For the last few seasons, fashion has been bringing back classic and iconic looks. In fact, the bringing back of the looks is a trend in itself. This is FABULOUS because it increases variety and diversity, and celebrates the “personal” in personal style. Items also don’t date as easily as they used to.

A great example of all of this is the return of the closed-toe slingback shoe. Slingback pumps and flats look like regular closed-toe pumps, loafers and flats in front, but have open backs to expose the heel and ankle. A strap that “slings back” keeps the shoe on the foot and is what differentiates it from a backless mule. The collection below showcases a variety of examples.

The pointy-toe flat and stiletto-heeled versions look particularly modern classic to me. The block-heeled, wedged-heel, loafer, and mule versions look a little “newer”. The versions with vamp straps have a Mary-Jane vibe and look more Modern Retro.

Where closed-back pumps and flats without straps can slide off your feet, the strap of the slingback can make it a very secure style of shoe. That said, you need a little luck with the strap so that it doesn’t slide down the heel (very annoying). Another annoying thing with slingback styles is when the hems of regular length wide hemmed pants or jeans slide under the heel as you stride because the heel is exposed.

I like slingback pumps and flats because they create a breezy, yet closed-toe look. I prefer to keep my toes covered, but exposing my heels gives the shoe a sandal vibe. I feel a little ahead of the curve because I wore my low block-heeled white slingback pumps into the ground last year. I tried to duplicate them, but they were gone in my size. I LOVE how dainty and dressy they look. The extra strap across the vamp cleverly prevents the strap around the back of the ankle to slide down the heel. It also gives the pump more of a ‘60s Modern Retro vibe.

I bat for Team Slingback Pumps and Flats. How about you?

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Zendaya Pumps Up Glamour’s November Cover

I’ve been back and forth on this one. I love that Zendaya looks strong and confident. I wish the eyeliner weren’t quite so overpowering, in an Annie Potts/Pretty In Pink way. I love the curly hair, but I’m turned off by the cobwebs oozing off her shirt. I love that, even though I misread a cover…
Go Fug Yourself

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The Hunt: Sleek Strappy Pumps for the Office

Sleek Strappy Pumps for the OfficeSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

When the weather starts to get brisk, I’m always on the hunt for great strappy pumps to wear with tights to work, whether they’re ankle strap, T-strap, Mary Jane, crisscross, or other styles with straps. (Particularly as someone with narrow heels but a wide forefoot, I swear by these for comfort and stability!) Strappy pumps like these are great for days where boots may feel too soon — and they can also be great as shoes that “live in your office” to change into if you do your commute in rainboots. This year, there are more heeled oxfords on the market than in previous years (like these nice ones from Isolá and Calvin Klein) — and of course wearing booties to the office is so trendy right now that we’ll do a separate roundup for booties (stay tuned!). We’ve included some of our favorite strappy office pumps this year — which are your favorites, ladies? In general, what shoes are your favorites to wear with tights to work — pumps, strappy pumps, booties, or something else? 

Psst: here are our favorite tights for work (just updated the post!).

Pictured at top, clockwise from top: one / two / three

Curious about roundups from previous years? Here are our favorites from 201620152014, and 2012.

BP. strappy pumpThese $ 70 pumps are great if you’re looking for an affordable option — and they’re super trendy with the block heel. They’re also highly rated, and it looks like they sold out of the other colors they used to have — but these are still available in sizes 5.5-10.  Ankle Strap Block Heel Pump
OK: if you’re not a fan of the “envelope pumps” that are everywhere, you probably won’t like these either.  I’m not usually a fan of those pumps either — but something about these suede pumps strike me as cute rather than hideous. Or maybe they’re so hideous they’re cute? Hmmn. They’re available in eight colors over at Amazon, Macy’s, and Nordstrom, $ 79-$ 99. They come in four widths (N-WW), sizes 5-12.  Bella Vita Neve Pump
minimal strappy pumps to wear to workI like that these strappy pumps are a) affordable, b) low heels, and c) very minimal on the strap — I could see this being a very elegant line whether with tights or without. They’ve got lots of good reviews at Nordstrom, where they’re $ 109. Page Pointy Toe Pump
strappy pumps to wear with tights to workI swear that we’ve featured these before, but the only place I can find them was in our last roundup of nude-for-you heels (in addition to black they also come in a “darker than light beige but not brown” shade). LOVE the look of these shoes, from the crisscross details to the zipper up the back to the nice range of colors to the affordability ($ 139). I haven’t had good luck myself with Corso Como heels, but many (many) people swear by these $ 99 Corso Como heels for comfort. Pictured: ‘Colette’ Crisscross Pointy Toe Pump
Another ankle strap/block heel style for you: these lovely suede Stuart Weitzmans. At $ 425, they’re definitely an investment piece — but I love the architectural vibes to the flared block heel, the thickness of the ankle cuff, and the square toe. Nice. They’re available in several colors, sizes 4.5-11, at Nordstrom (in suede) and Saks (in leather). Clara Pump
scalloped trim strappy pumps for workI think it’s Chloe’s flats with the scalloped details that are suddenly everywhere — but I like the look of the scalloped trim here, too. Note that because these are patent leather, it means a) they’re going to be more waterproof, b) they’re going to add a nice element of texture and polish to your regular looks with black tights, c) they’re going to be easier to pair with navy tights (black patent is great with navy tights), and d) they may need a bit of upkeep to look their best, which shouldn’t be surprising to you if you’re the type of woman to spend $ 695 on heels. They’re at Saks, Nordstrom, and   LINK6

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One of my favorite office looks for fall/winter/spring is black tights and strappy heels like ankle straps, Mary Jane styles, crisscross styles, and more. We rounded up some of our favorites of 2017 -- which are your favorites to wear to work in the fall?

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Wine-Colored Pumps: A Versatile Shoe for Office Looks

What to wear with wine-colored pumpsSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Every year, I argue that wine-colored pumps are some of the most surprisingly versatile pumps you’ll have, particularly for office looks. Wear them with black, gray, navy, beige, and white! Wear them in spring with kelly greens and pastel colors! Wear them in autumn next to emerald tones and other fall hues! If you’re looking for a fun, colorful shoe, a dark red/deep purple shoe is a great workhorse for your work wardrobe. It was interesting to note that this year there was a dearth in general of colorful pumps of any color — red is about as wild as most brands are going. (Embroidered/fabric/velvet shoes are popular — so many embroidered booties! — but I think that’s more of an impulse purchase and, frankly, much harder to incorporate into a work wardrobe.)  So: onward with the wine-colored pump roundup for today — but I’m curious to hear from you guys: do colorful pumps have a place in your working wardrobe? Do you prefer embroidered/fabric/velvet shoes to mix things up at the office — and how do you wear them? (For example, do you play it safe and wear a shoe with a bold print/detail with a neutral or monochromatic outfit? Or do you delight in mixing patterns, colors, and textures?)

Links for the pumps pictured above, going clockwise from top LH corner: one / two / three / four

Here are some of our favorite purple pumps out there right now…

I’m always a fan of a strappy pump like this one — if you’ve got narrow heels they can be lifesavers in terms of comfort and fit. I’ve had luck with Anne Klein shoes in the past, and at $ 80 at Zappos and Amazon (with pretty good reviews) this shoe looks great. Part of the reason I like strappy pumps is because they’re great for wearing with tights — and on that issue I would probably either go with black, navy, or gray; with pants I’d probably stick with nude-for-you trouser socks like pantyhose sheers or fishnets.  Anne Klein Fayme
Speaking of embroidered/velvet/fabric shoes — we have these absolutely gorgeous ones from Nine West. These are more on the purple side of the “wine colored” spectrum, and I think they’re gorgeous if the heel height is doable for you. It says they’re only 3″ high, but they look a lot higher to me! They come in a zillion colors (mostly neutral) at Zappos; note that Amazon has a burgundy “wine leather” option. Nine West Astoria
Here’s another great option under $ 100: these dark purple options from Franco Sarto. I love the mixed textures — the front of the shoe is suede with metallic leather accents, and the back of the shoe is a matte leather. They’re $ 89, available in five colors, sizes 4.5-11 in three widths. (If you prefer more of a bordeaux/red, Amazon has that in this shoe in suede — ooh, and ShoeMall has 30% off a wide variety of colors, including the pictured shoes, with code FORTUNE30.) Franco Sarto Darlis
I hate the way they’re pictured here — they look a little beaten up! — but these Naturalizer heels are actually really highly rated, with 29 reviews and four stars. They’re on trend with the block heel and round toe, and of course Naturalizer is known for comfortable details like arch support, non-slip outersoles, and more; I also like that these are only 2.25″ high. They’re $ 99, available in six colors and four widths at Zappos, sizes 4-12. (Ooh: over at Amazon, lucky sizes are as low as $ 56.) Naturalizer Whitney
I adore the little pom-pom details on these 3″ Boden heels — and the sporty stripe up the back — so I have to include. They come in a really fun “forest green” color as well as a navy, sizes 36-42, for $ 150. Polly Mid Heel Pumps
bow pointy toe pump from prada - awesome wine colored pump to wear to work!I’m going to go slightly out of order here and jump ahead to the most expensive pump — it’s just too purty to put with all the other ones in the roundup below! I’m not usually a bow-detail kind of girl, but I could make it work with these adorable suede/satin heels from Prada. They’re $ 690 at Nordstrom, available in sizes 6-11, in burgundy and black. Bow Pointy Toe Pump

AND — for our final note, there were a lot of “mildly expensive” pumps that, in my opinion, often come down to familiarity with the brand — if you love that brand and like the shoe it’s a nobrainer, but you’re not likely to make the leap up or down just based on the shoe.  So for purposes of commentary here, note that these range in price from $ 275-$ 395… brands are listed below the collage; all links go to Zappos…

Pictured, L-R: L.K. Bennett / Tory Burch / Loeffler Randall / Aquatalia

How about you, ladies — what are your tips for what to wear with wine-colored pumps for work? Do you find wine-colored flats to be just as versatile? In general, how do you wear colorful shoes — and how do you feel about the trend for fabric shoes with details like embroidery and velvet?  

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Oklahoma City Thunder Cuce Shoes Women’s Spirited Wedge Pumps – Navy Blue

Oklahoma City Thunder Cuce Shoes Women’s Spirited Wedge Pumps – Navy Blue


Cheer on your Oklahoma City Thunder in style with these Spirited wedge pumps from Cuce Shoes! Sneakers are great, but you like to go all out on game day. These shoes feature a 4 wedge platform heel, synthetic team-color suede and an embroidered Oklahoma City Thunder logo on the toe. When you sport these shoes, you’ll be covered from head to toe in Oklahoma City Thunder spirit! Shop for your favorite NBA gear at Fanatics.com
List Price: $ 98.99
Price: $ 79.99

Whale Pumps Quick Connect Water System, Adapter, 1/2″ NPT Male to 15mm (Brass)

Whale Pumps Quick Connect Water System, Adapter, 1/2″ NPT Male to 15mm (Brass)


Whale Pumps Quick Connect Water System, Adapter, 1/2″ NPT Male to 15mm (Brass) Achieve professional results quickly and easily without the mess of soldering or cementing pipes and junctions together with Whale’s Quick Connect Water System Plumbing components.All components are manufactured from nontoxic, food-grade materials and are designed to allow unrestricted flowUnique Double Gripper” provides secure lifelong tube retention, even at excessive pressures.*Collet has internal support ring ensuring O-ring seal is held in position and does not distort or leak under pressure.The innovative tube supporting cage collet” design eliminates leaks where fittings are close to tight bends.High-integrity, single-piece molding improves the reliability and strength of the fittings.Outer sleeve incorporates collet cover, thus preventing accidental tube releases.No collet clips are used, thus the Whale system reduces costs and speeds up installation time.Adapter, 1/2″ NPT Male to 15mm (Brass)
List Price: $ 26.99
Price: $ 26.99

Chicago Bears Cuce Shoes Women’s Spirited Wedge Pumps – Navy Blue

Chicago Bears Cuce Shoes Women’s Spirited Wedge Pumps – Navy Blue


Cheer on your Chicago Bears in style with these Spirited wedge pumps from Cuce Shoes! Sneakers are great, but you like to go all out on game day. These shoes feature a 4″ wedge platform heel, synthetic team-color suede and an embroidered Chicago Bears logo on the toe. When you sport these shoes, you’ll be covered from head to toe in Chicago Bears spirit! Shop for your favorite NFL gear at Fanatics.com
List Price: $ 98.95
Price: $ 98.95

Seattle Seahawks Cuce Shoes Women’s Spirited Wedge Pumps – Navy Blue

Seattle Seahawks Cuce Shoes Women’s Spirited Wedge Pumps – Navy Blue


Cheer on your Seattle Seahawks in style with these Spirited wedge pumps from Cuce Shoes! Sneakers are great, but you like to go all out on game day. These shoes feature a 4″ wedge platform heel, synthetic team-color suede and an embroidered Seattle Seahawks logo on the toe. When you sport these shoes, you’ll be covered from head to toe in Seattle Seahawks spirit! Shop for your favorite NFL gear at Fanatics.com
List Price: $ 98.95
Price: $ 98.95

Finish Line No-drip Chain Luber Slick Deals on Lubes Pumps and Tools

Finish Line No-drip Chain Luber Slick Deals on Lubes Pumps and Tools


Finish Line No-drip Chain Luber. Sick of leaving little puddles of oil on the garage floor every time you freshen up your chain? Keep the slick stuff where you want it: in the bottle or on the chain. The Finish Line No-Drip Chain Luber is the key. Just roll it over your chain and get rolling.
List Price: $ 8.99
Price: $ 8.99

Finish Line Mountain Clean And Lube Pack Slick Deals on Lubes Pumps and Tools

Finish Line Mountain Clean And Lube Pack Slick Deals on Lubes Pumps and Tools


Finish Line Mountain Clean And Lube Pack. For tough task cleaning you need the combination of Eco Tech 2 degreaser and the Finish Line Grunge Brush to do the Job. Finsh up with Finish the Cross Country Wet Lubricant, designed for extreme riding conditions this high performance wet lube is designed to withstand anything you can dish out.
List Price: $ 29.99
Price: $ 24.99

Baby Pink Patent Leather Cutie Pie Pumps

Baby Pink Patent Leather Cutie Pie Pumps


BACKORDERED SIZES WILL BE AVAILABLE EARLY FEBRUARY. Be the talk of the town in these glamorous 4.5” pumps! With a sexy silhouette and flirty strap on the front as well as a 3/4” hidden platform; these heels will be the perfect pairing for any outfit! Vintage flair with a touch of class. Available in sizes 6-11 while supplies last. These shoes are shipped separately from your order and have a 5-7 day handling time before shipping. There is a 15% restocking fee if you choose to return.
List Price: $ 64.00
Price: $ 64.00