work shoes to cover your toes

In a lunch meeting.   Eating on the floor.  (Therapists.)  Look down.  Ashy, flaky, stinky skin peeling off.  Falling through holes in sandals.  Three inches from my PB&J.  Open-toed shoe.  Rue the day.

Oh friends, this legit happened, which boggles my mind because open-toed shoes are strictly forbidden in a hospital.  Sigh, does no one else care?  When dressing for work in a business casual environment, cute shoes are key to feeling somewhat pulled together and feminine, especially when the rest of the ensemble may be less than inspired (ie, khakis, a shirt, and a scarf).  I am not even going to suggest heels because I know for those of us on our feet, crawling around on the floor, lifting people from chair to chair, and using instruments like saws and scissors, the thought of wearing heels to work sounds as appealing as picking up Charlie’s excrement.  Yet there are still plenty of options without resorting to orthopedic clogs.

{Why wait for the weekend?  Rock sparkles for work with these glitter espadrilles.}

{I love the color, quilting, and tassels.  Plus, don’t these quilted skimmers look super comfortable?}

{I can’t get enough of loafers, especially in a perfect neutral color with a slot for pennies!  It’s like a much more chic version of my elementary school patent penny loafers sans the uniform.}

{If you’re like me and tend to shy away from animal prints, leopard flats are the perfect way to incorporate some flash in an otherwise toned down outfit.}

{Are you getting tired of my obsession with these Tory Burch loafers?  Well, I’m sorry, but the metallic pair just went on sale.  What a lovely way to shine.}

 {I know some of y’all like to sport more of a sneaker, so why not try these strappy flats which combine a polished flat with a walking shoe vibe?}

{$40 for these adorable ballet flats?  I’ll take one in every color, please.}

Remember, work shoes can be bright, printed, and the focus of an outfit.  Just remember to cover those toes (and heels!) and save the sandals for the weekend.   Need more business casual wardrobe ideas?  Click here for weekday outfit inspiration and here for casual Friday ideas, all topped off with a pair of très cute flats.

*Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win free Stella & Dot jewelry!*


  1. alexandriamarie1 says:

    Loving the glitter espadrilles!! I have a pair of animal print flats with a very slight 1/4 inch wedge similar to the ones you posted and I love them for work. Great for dressing up a pair of jeans on casual Friday or for pairing with a pair of ankle cut slacks.

  2. Margaret says:

    The shoes you selected are cute, but I don’t think they’re more work appropriate than open-toed numbers you mentioned. Yes, they’re closed toed, but if I had a therapist (especially if I was a parent) who wore shoes with sparkles, I would dismiss her as some fashioned-obsessed teenager. If a therapist is dealing with my kid’s well-being, he or she better be dressed as seriously as possible.

  3. Gosh, I could not disagree more. I would assess the competence of my child’s therapist by his or her knowledge, education, and ability to help my child rather than his or her penchant for animal print. Of course, dress codes are crucial, but do therapists (or anyone, for that matter) really have to dress frumpily to be taken seriously? Yikes. I am ordering those glitter espadrilles tout de suite!

  4. Margaret says:

    Alexandra, I didn’t equate serious with frumpy. I am not advocating pleated Dockers. I am, however, arguing that clothing choice says a lot about a person, and, in the context of a hospital or clinic, a therapist can still maintain his or her personality without compromising his or her professionalism. To me, glittery Toms or leopard-print flats should be reserved for your happy hour, not when you’re dealing with clients who you are billing $100 an hour (or more) for your services.

    Yes, the marker of a good therapist *should* be intelligence and education. And that intelligence and education must be applied to judgment on all matters, from clinical diagnoses to professional presentation. Whether we like it or not, people make initial judgments based on how we display ourselves via fashion choices. Clothes are a powerful thing; they’re not just all fun.

  5. I never did understand this silly rule. What exactly are closed toe shoes protecting us from? Dropped needles? Blood or chemical splatters? I would argue that most of these expose enough skin that we are no safer in them than we would be in peep toe shoes or stylish sandals.

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