+ Look for Less

10th Commandment: January 2

This weekend, I was standing in my closet dressed for a party and perplexed by a problem.  I apparently don’t own and pair of black closed-toe pumps.  How did this happen?

I broke a pair.  Then, I bought a few pairs to try and returned all of them.  And I guess, since I mostly wear my black boots during the winter, I just didn’t notice.  Whoops.  

This transgression must be rectified.

My checklist for black pumps is pretty straightforward: round toe, heel under 3.5″, rubber sole (ideal), small platform (optional).

Elected Official

Jimmy Choo Victory Pumps ($475)

Hill Staffer

J.CREW Miri Midheel Pump ($198)

Paid Intern

Neiman Marcus Round Toe Black Pump ($69)



  1. AB says:

    A second for the Ann Taylor Perfect Pump! I've owned several pairs in different colors and materials, but have gone through at least 3 pairs of the black patent 3″ pumps over the past few years. They are super comfortable and very durable in the patent. It's fairly easy to pick them up on sale several times throughout the year. Too bad the 50% off sale just ended.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. elz says:

    I third/fourth? LK Bennett shoes. They are SO comfy and totally worth it. Just a note, I followed Belle's link on the Jimmy Choos and Bluefly is having a sale today, plus a discount for $40 off $200, making the Jimmy Choos right around $250.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  3. Caroline says:

    Nice to get back to the basics at the start of a new year!

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  4. Ellen says:

    These are in between the Hill Staffer and Elected Official level but anything LK Bennett fits the bill. I'm a huge fan of their shilo style. You can buy the locally at Bloomingdales and Nordstroms. There are no stores nearby and the shipping is high from their website.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  5. ChinaRette says:

    Black closed-toe pumps are my workhorse shoe. I'm looking for a second pair to rotate with the Nine West pair I have now.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  6. https://closetconfections.com says:

    You know, I realized the same thing just a short while ago. I'm in desperate need of a pair of basic black pumps. Those Jimmy Choos are divine, btw.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  7. Noelle says:

    ChinaRette, are Nine West pumps comfortable? I'm thinking about buying a pair and would love an opinion on comfort/walkability. Thanks!

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  8. Dallas says:

    LKBennett's what Duchess of Cambridge wears for all her official events — she has the sledge pump in many colors. They're supposed to be really comfortable and sturdy, which makes sense that she would wear them.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  9. Terri says:

    ChinaRette – I have four pair of te nine west pumps in nude, red and two pair of black (one patten and one matte). They fit great beause the placement of the heel is not on the very back of the shoe and the toe is a little rounded. It's all about how they fit your feet, but for me they fit great and for the price cannot be beat.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  10. ChinaRette says:

    Noelle, Terri's points are right on track. The shape of the shoe is very similar to this JCREW pump, but at less than half the price. The toe box is slightly rounded but not overly so, the heel fits at a good spot and feels very stable. I used to live in China and made my standing subway commute with significant walking in these heels. They were a little stiff at first, but I just put pads in the shoe. Now they're quite comfortable to wear all day.

    If it makes any difference, I have wide feet and usually the high-end designer shoes (like Jimmy Choo) are too narrow. The Nine Wests work much better even though they are a “normal” width size.

    I'm interested in LKBennetts, but the price point is still a little high for my non-profit salary. Plus, I prefer no platform on most of my work heels. I might try them for nude-for-me-heels to wear with sundresses on my own time.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  11. ChinaRette says:

    Terri, the fact that you have so many pairs makes me just want to double up on mine instead of buying a different brand, Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it…right? ­čÖé

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  12. Amy says:

    I bought a pair of the black “perfect pumps” from Ann Taylor last year on a work trip and they are hands-down the best shoe I've worn in terms of style and comfort; they've well made and the 3 inch heel is manageable for standing all day. I recently bought a second pair to replace the old one. They are generally in the Hill Staffer price point, close to the JCrew ones ($178), but AT has frequent sales that brought my second pair down to $90 recently. Definitely check it out!

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  13. Cassandra says:

    Etienne Aigner's Yelle pumps are near perfect. I'm not a heel girl at all, but I have black and nude pairs that I love. Best part? They're super cheap — $45 or less a pair.

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  14. Ellen says:

    ChinaRette, not all LK Bennetts have platforms. The sledge, which the Duchess of Cambridge wears does. I tried those on and while they were comfortable they were a little too high for me. They have other styles that are lower and without the platform that I could walk miles in and I'm not a good heel wearer! They are pricey but you can sometimes get deals. I've done the best at Bloomies. They go on sale when they have friends and family. Also, if you see a shoe on sale on their website, call around to their US stores to see if they have them in stock and will send them to you. It is MUCH cheaper than having them shipped from the UK!

    January 2, 2013/Reply
  15. Nicole says:

    Thirding the Ann Taylor perfect pumps! Both in the regular, and “kitten” heel heights, it's an absolutely perfect shoe to run around town in!

    January 3, 2013/Reply
  16. Donna says:

    The BEST basic black closed toe with heel shoe I have ever owned (in over 20 years of corporate life) are the Antonio Melani “Beauty” loafers! They can be found for less then $50, have a thicker heel for more comfort and stability, and they are a nice height. Plus, being loafers, they are warm in the winter. They are not trendy, but have a classic look that I really like especially when I have to go to a meeting that calls for “not trendy” (read: all men, all old).

    When I first bought them, my criteria was “comfortable, good height, professional looking but not too trendy, and walkable for an airport for business travel”. The sales gal told me that flight attendants wear these shoes, and I don't know if that is true, but I can definitely see how these would be perfect for that job. I personally can't believe some flight attendants have to wear heels-seems dangerous and unstable, but if they they can handle that, they can handle my workday and business travel!!

    January 3, 2013/Reply
  17. Jen says:

    Extra Petite has a great video (somewhere) on her blog about the Ann Taylor perfect pumps. I've always wanted to try them.

    January 5, 2013/Reply