“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him alot.”
- Marilyn Monroe
We have talked about what kind of shoes you should never wear in the office and why you need to be able to actually walk in your shoes (some of us are just never going to be Carrie Bradshaw. I’m still getting over it) but are there shoes that could actually help your career?
Kat Griffin, founder of the fashion work blog Corporette, told The Grindstone sporting a Birkin bag at work when your 25 may not be the best strategy but a pair of Christian Louboutin heels could make a different impact. She told us;
“I think it really comes down to the paycheck. You can’t afford the $10,000 Birkin purse in one paycheck. That shows you’re depending on other people for other money. This makes you get taken less seriously. It really shows your priority questioning side. Louboutins can run for as low as $600 so you could do that with a few paychecks.”
Is it possible that a pair of Louboutins can make you look career savvy and financially responsible? Those shoes may be more magical then the ones Cinderella wore. The shoes show you want to look good and sophisticated but you aren’t going to break the bank to do it. It also shows that you can save enough to buy something on the expensive side and still manage to clothe and feed yourself, which makes you seem like you are in control of your finances. Kat further expanded on this paycheck/fashion purchase theory on her blog:
“Does it shout “I’m not here for the money” the same way a Birkin bag does? To me, a $600 pair of shoes and a $10,000 bag are in entirely different leagues. I suppose my rule would be that if you can buy it in one paycheck, it’s appropriate for any woman of any level. My guess is that Reader J can swing a $600 pair of shoes in one paycheck given that she works at a bank — my answer might be different for the unpaid intern. (But even then I see so many teenagers walking around with Louis Vuitton bags (which generally cost around $1000)…)”
Shoes can also literally help your career. Career coach Marty Nemko wrote about shoe obsession disorder being a major benefit. He said women buy conversation-starting shoes which can be a great ice breaker for networking, as long as they aren’t too weird (like Mrs. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series weird.) If they cost a lot you can talk about that and if they didn’t cost a lot you can talk about that. New research suggests that people can correctly judge 90% of a stranger’s personality just by looking at their shoes. “Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers,” according to a research paper titled “Shoes as a Source of First Impressions.” “Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear.”