Wear to Work? Open-Toe Shoes

Earlier this week I had my swearing in after (finally) passing the Virginia Bar. Right before the ceremony I sent my boyfriend a picture of me in front of the Virginia State Bar seal to which he replied “I see toes!” I had worn my navy skirt suit and paired it with brown peep-toe heels, standard height. I’ve always considered peep-toe shoes to be appropriate in even the most conservative offices but I’m starting to realize not everyone might be in my camp.

I have known that my boyfriend (who also works in law) thinks that open toe shoes are inappropriate for the workplace but I always attributed it to more of a personal preference than anything else. However, when we met up with some friends later in the day I realized he was not alone in thinking that peep toe shoes were not appropriate for the office. I was pretty surprised to say the least.

I consider peep-toe shoes to be harmless. They are a standard pump with a thumb-size cutout on the toes. Personally I think they add just a touch of fun to an outfit without going overboard (or even close to crossing a line). If your feet are properly groomed then peep toe shoes, in my opinion, are as professional as a closed-toe pump. I’m also just referring to the basic peep-toe here and not every open toe shoe, the office is no place for the gladiator meets dominatrix heels that have been all over the runways the past few years.

I’m curious to know your opinion on the subject. Is the office the place for open-toe pumps and if so, where does the line get drawn? The basic peep-toe is ok but so is the simple sandal that shows most of your foot? Leave your opinion in the comments!

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  • Stephanie Lee

    I have to vote nay. Feet are personal (see: Pulp Fiction) and a flash of toe won’t help someone focus on your work.

    But whether you personally give a certain type of shoe a thumbs up or down, office attire shouldn’t be controversial, period.

    My rule is: If you have to ask the question, well, I think you know the answer…

  • http://www.passthebaton.biz/ Susan Gainen

    To peep or not to peep?

    This question has been batted around the legal profession for more than 20 years. The answer to this question and its sibling question “bare legs or not?” is best answered on a court-by-court and employer-by-employer basis.

    Lucky lawyers have someone to ask (an experienced lawyer, secretary or paralegal) before being reprimanded by judges, diss’d by senior attorneys or being the cause of community-wide raised eyebrows. (It still happens.)

    Progress has been made, though. It is much easier to wear pants today than it was when I graduated law school in 1984, when the idea of wearing a woman wearing a red suit with a skirt was cause for city-wide consternation.

  • j

    Ladies, cover your toes! It is simply gross….Open-toed, peep-toed, loud shoes are VERY unprofessional. I loathe working with ANYONE who exposes their toes at the office. Men AND women alike. It shoes arrogance and proves you care nothing for society. Get professional, cover your knees, feet and chest if you care about being respected in the work place at all.

  • DK

    I think it is perfectly ok to wear peep toe shoes, or any non-Dominatrix style of open shoe. There are hundreds of various shoe styles which are open and are considered professional. Your shoes should have no bearing on whether or not you know your Constitution. Wearing closed shoes all day and wearing nylons is not going to make my work any better.

  • boilerette

    err on the side of caution and close em up!