When the weather gets hot, “must-have” fashion tends to get even hotter. While men are thinking about sporting their short sleeve dress shirts, women are getting excited about breaking out their peep-toe pumps. Last year, this phenomenon became known among women lawyers as “Peep-Toe Gate.” Will you grab a ticket to the peep show and dare to wear this controversial piece of couture during court appearances or at the office this summer?

During the summer of 2010, law bloggers ranging from The Careerist’s Viva Chen, to Corporette’s Kat Griffin, to Above the Law’s David Lat, all weighed in on the appropriateness of peep-toe pumps for women lawyers. The general consensus seemed to be that while closed-toe shoes are preferred, peep-toe pumps are proper for the office. Wearing the fashionable footwear for court appearances, on the other hand, may be a bit too provocative, depending on who you ask.

Of course, if you think that wearing peep-toes may be questionable, it’s best to stick with the age-old adage — when in doubt, don’t wear it out. That being said, if you are still considering baring toe cleavage this summer in your peep-toe pumps, please try to follow these important rules.

1. Skip the pantyhose when wearing peep-toe pumps

Wearing peep-toes is a way to express your keen fashion sense. Why ruin the image with a pantyhose seam running across your toes? That just looks tacky. For some lawyers, though, hosiery is simply a must. This is why toeless pantyhose was invented. Toeless pantyhose will allow you to maintain the professional status quo, while still highlighting your inner fashionista.

2. Make sure to plan for a pedicure

If you plan to wear peep-toes, getting a pedicure beforehand is key. Peep-toe pumps are made to show off your toes, and there is nothing worse than showing off toes that are poorly groomed. Wearing peep-toes without taking care of your toes is a surefire way to quickly downgrade your look from fashionable to unprofessional. If you don’t have the time to pamper yourself with a pedicure, you can easily fake a pedicure at home.

At the end of the day, if your overall appearance is tasteful and professional, wearing peep-toe pumps may not be as controversial as our fellow women lawyers have made the look out to be. After all, women tend to be each other’s own worst critics in terms of professional fashion. Maybe if we stop being so judgmental, we’ll have time to focus on more pressing issues that affect women lawyers.

So ladies, will you dare to wear peep-toe pumps this summer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jadaciuk/3713424125/)