Two questions in one!

Dreamgrrl asks:

Do you have any recommendations for a simple black flat to wear to work that is actually comfortable AND stylish? My biggest thing I need right now, all my black flats are terrible in one way or another.

And Jenn wants to know:

Help! I can’t stand to wear heels every day and unfortunately I’ve taken to wearing black ballet flats to work every day. It does not look good. So basic black dress shoes…..except they have to be comfortable AND super-professional! Oh, and somewhat affordable…

Ah, the black shoe. Footwear’s equivalent to the Little Black Dress. Everyone woman should one at least one pair.

Let’s start with the flats first. I have one pair of black flats that I have worn to death. They’re actually kind of gross right now and probably something I should throw away if I plan to continue handing out shoe advice.

Just because they’re flat, does not mean they need to be boring. Black flats can be just as cute as red, green or pink with the right details. However, flats usually have very little to  no support so if your job requires a lot of time on your feet, it’s important to remember a few things:

Buy leather. Why? It breathes. With warm weather upon us you most likely will be wearing your shoes with bare feet. There’s no way around it, bare feet and shoes make a stinky foot. But you can lessen the odor by going with leather. They also hold up better to wear and tear and the occasional rain shower.

Also, look into additional shoe padding. Any insert for the foot care aisle at CVS will do. You want to be as comfortable as you can while on your feet.

Indigo by Clarks, $69.

This is an ideal work flat. Leather upper, teeny bit of a heel, just enough to give a little foot support and they’re made by Clarks, who are known for their comfort and durability.

D-Luxe by Dollhouse, $60.

Love the little chain detail. Instantly dresses up work attire and can just as easily be worn with jeans.

And of course, if you don’t wear leather, there are plenty of adorable options in synthetic materials. You just might want to add some odor eaters as they will NOT breathe.

Now on to the dress shoes. According to Jenn, they need to be comfortable, super professional, not heels and affordable. Here we go…

With work shoes, I really want to stress that a focus on quality is important. You’re going to wear them a lot. It’s not like car-to-bar heels that you just want to look good, comfort aside. While I am totally a fan of super affordable shoes, I also suggest looking at high quality, slightly higher price as an investment. If you wear an $80 shoe four times a week, you’re really getting your money’s worth.

Back to your question…

I’m going to assume that since you need SUPER professional shoes, your office doesn’t approve of open toe. It’s sad, but often true.

Isaac Mizrahi for Target, $29.99.

I know it’s a heel, but it’s a low-ish heel — good for a long day — and the little buckles make it just unique enough.

Nadine Wedge Pump by Ralph Lauren, $108.95.

Pricey, yes. But high-quality and a gorgeous, sophisticated shoe. We’ll put this one at the very top of the “affordable” scale, yes?

Caesar Wedge Pump by Jessica Simpson, on sale at for $52.47.

Another wedge, good for comfort and super cute.

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