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!

8 responses to “Wear to Work? Open-Toe Shoes”

  1. Stephanie Lee says:

    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…

    • bob says:

      If you or anyone else is ever on this post again, I would like to know why you feel feet are “personal”?

      There are roughly 20 billion pairs of shoes manufactured every year, with an estimated 60% of them having open toes (sandals, flip flops, peep toe heels, wedges, ect). Every human being and a large percentage of the animal kingdom have feet (obviously medical conditions and abnormalities aside). Feet are used for balance, stability, movement, transportation, action, and I am sure the list can go on and on. Shoes were originally intended for protection from the elements. So if we all have feet, we all use them every single day and everyone wears shoes, when did they become “personal? Why does a little bit of toe make the differnece between professional and slovenly? Does this mean that those who wear open toe shoes risque? Why is it “ok” to wear sandals while grocery shopping within a sea of strangers but its “impersonal” to show a small portion of your toes in an office of your closest colleages?

      I can understand why flip flops are considered too casual for the work environment, but if the only difference between a closed toe pump and a peep toe pump is a fashionably designed 1 inch hole, what makes that “gross”, “unprofessional” or “not for public”?

      To me, this notion seems incredibly outdated, sexist and damaging to society as a whole. To me, body parts should not be considered as gross or embarassing, feet or otherwise.

      Men used to think women could not be taken seriously in anything but a skirt. I don’t need to wear a skirt to be professional. I don’t need to wear closed toe shoes to be a professional. I am feminine, well educated and I am exceptionally good at my job… and I wear powersuits, colors and peep toe heels.

  2. Susan Gainen says:

    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.

  3. j says:

    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.

  4. DK says:

    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.

  5. boilerette says:

    err on the side of caution and close em up!

  6. Gina says:

    If you are in a professional environment Your toes have no business in there . You know your only wearing them for attention. I personally think a women dressed in a suit is clean and squared away. Add in the open toes shoes and it screams slut ! No open toes are not for any office , business meeting . Unless that office is the opening scene for a porno. Why do some many want to ask if open toe is appropriate its not period .

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