Rules for wearing sandals to work

Q. Now that spring is here, can I wear sandals to work?

A. The rules vary from office to office, so it’s important to look to your coworkers, and more importantly, your boss, before deciding if sandals are appropriate for the office. In general, sandals are a big no-no in a corporate office, stylish sandals are typically ok for a casual or creative office, and flip flops and gladiator sandals are generally not appropriate. Here’s a breakdown of some of this season’s top shoe styles and whether they can be worn to work or not.

Peep Toe Pump

A peep toe pump is typically appropriate for all but the most corporate of offices. If you’re unsure if a peep toe is acceptable, then opt for a closed toe pump in a pretty spring-worthy color instead.

Slingback Pump

Slingbacks are making a comeback and offer the perfect compromise between a pump and a sandal, with no toe exposure. This style is appropriate for virtually every office.

Heeled Sandal

A tasteful heeled sandal that isn’t too sexy or strappy is appropriate for many offices, especially a casual or creative work place. We suggest looking to your superiors before opting for this type of shoe.

Wedge Sandal

A wedge sandal typically follows the same office rules as the heeled sandal, unless your wedge is an espadrille, raffia or cork wedge, then see below.

Espadrille or Cork Wedge

Espadrilles and cork wedges tend to have a breezy, summery look to them and are best left for casual offices only.

Flat Sandal

There are many types of flat sandals with varying degrees of acceptance at work. A simple elegant pair like the one shown here can be worn to a casual or creative office, while a very bare sandal or casual gladiator-type sandal is often too casual for work. Use your best judgment here, and if still unsure, save them for the weekend.

Flip Flops

Flip flops, or any other shoe you would wear to the beach, is never appropriate for work (unless you’re a lifeguard!)

And remember, if you do choose to wear sandals to work, be sure your toes are properly pedicured!

For more spring shoe ideas, check out 20 perfect work shoes.

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