It’s time for women in Washington to abandon the flat shoes we wear to work

Gibson is a fashion stylist who has participated in the event for the past four years. She was the only fashion stylist from D.C. that year. This year, she was the only one from…

It’s time for women in Washington to abandon the flat shoes we wear to work

Gibson is a fashion stylist who has participated in the event for the past four years. She was the only fashion stylist from D.C. that year. This year, she was the only one from Maryland. She said a lot of people don’t realize they can wear mules to work because it’s a misconception.

“In DC, we wear flats all the time,” she said. “So in terms of how many people do you think are comfortable in mules? Not enough.”

In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in January, only 21 percent of office workers surveyed said they wore mules to work in 2016.

Tall mules are considered a “work-appropriate” shoe for women, because they’re “a more structured shoe that elevates your profile and makes you look taller,” Ken Downing, fashion director at Neiman Marcus, told Reuters. But skinny mules, also called “torkys,” are a bridge dress shoe for men.

In Gibson’s opinion, they can be found in the Northwest because the stores carry “cool mules,” as she put it. She said stores like Tie Shop and Baker Man have mules in the $100-range, and Vince Camuto mules are $60-$80.

Clothing is another footwear consideration. A custom-made dress or tuxedo that matches a woman’s mules or boots could tie the whole outfit together. But when that looks too complicated, a dress shoe in a basic black or brown (possibly with a tuxedo belt) can be a perfect match, Gibson said. It also depends on the worker, she said.

“We don’t have too many people who can get to the dress before the cutoffs are on,” she said. “Like a customer who just bought a dress and needs to find something to go with it.”

If a customer does walk into a store with a morning suit and flats, two “custom” shoes can look very “technical and modern,” Gibson said. For the consumer, it’s about looking good.

“Everyone wants to look good at work,” she said. “Everyone. Especially me.”

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