Nine Pairs of Non-Boring But Classic Black Pumps
This might be shoe heresy, but when I'm putting together an outfit and start hunting for a shoe, I typically don't want something too dramatic. Usually—as in 90 percent of the time—I wouldn't want a glitter bootie or leaf-covered Manolo as my pairing, even if I could afford them.
But on the flipside, I don't want a too-basic pump or sandal either. Instead, I want a shoe that toes the line between attention-stealing and the snooze-worthy—something that's slightly, perfectly off-kilter. Essentially, I'm looking for the footwear equivalent of a solid skirt with an asymmetrical hem, or Michelle Obama's really versatile black dress.
Brooklyn Decker's pair, above, would do the trick. Next to Rihanna's understated pumps, those little criss-cross straps shoot an extra bit of voltage through her outfit: interesting, but not overwhelming. The same is true for the pair Mad Men's Jessica Paré wore for the season premiere last week. With their deep V shape at the vamp (the part that covers your upper foot), they're memorable. But not, like, too much.
I already own a pair much like Rihanna's (imagine what you'd draw on a Pictionary board if someone gave you 5 seconds for "black pump"—they're that). And maybe it seems silly to want another pair that's only slightly more detailed, but yeah, I do. I think those subtle tweaks—an extra strap, an oddly-shaped vamp, a bow, a bit of studs—make a world of difference. Which is why I'll probably be buying one of these pairs below—or something like them—soon.
If oversized bows are too feminine for you.
Slightly menswear slanted.
The detailing on the back is a "blink and you'll miss it" sort of thing, but it's definitely a little bit punk. Which is why we're not surprised Gwen Stefani designed them.
That square cut vamp would look so good with a pencil skirt.
The embossing puts them a step above more common patent pumps.
Business in the front, party in the back?
Ladylike without any frills.
Ladylike, with frills.
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