Uber-conservative offices are generally closed-toe year-round, but if you have a more relaxed dress code and can toss in a little toe here or there, here are some things to consider when shopping for and styling peep-toe pumps for the office.
- Peep a little, peep a lot. Even among peep-toes, there is a lot of variation, from a tiny cut-out vee to an entire exposed toe-area. Try a few styles on to see what you're most comfortable with. The more conservative your office is, the smaller your peeping area should be.
- Coverage. Keep the rest of the shoe more conservative in coverage. I recommend saving the peep-toe d'orsays or slingbacks for events rather than office wear. Peep-toes in open lace (unlined), crochet, or other open fabrics are also not for the office.
- Color. I'm a big fan of working color into your work wardrobe, and shoes are no exception. Keep the look balanced by pulling a single color from the rest of your outfit into your shoes, or by accenting an otherwise neutral outfit with a pop. Leave the ultra bright neons at home unless you're in a very creative environment.
- Embellishments. Add a little pizzazz to an office shoe through texture or try something with a little embellishment (buckles, bows or cut-outs are pretty easy to find). A mary jane, t-strap or ankle strap are also fun spins on a classic peep-toe pump.
- Perfect the pedi. A messy or unkept pedicure can make even the chicest peep-toe look bad. There's not need to go out and spend money on regular pedicures (unless you're into that kind of thing), just make sure your nails are clean and clipped. If you do go with a color, make sure it is office appropriate—you have a little more leeway on your toes than your fingers, especially in summer, but don't go totally crazy.
- Wear with...anything. Peep-toes are pretty versatile in the office. They look chic with a knee-length dress (any shorter and it can look like too much skin) or with a pair of floor-skimming pants (or some skinnies on Casual Friday).
Are peep-toes part of your summer shoe collection? How do you keep them office appropriate?