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Ask Belle: Office Appropriate Sandals

Dear Belle,

With summer on the horizon, I’m searching for a pair of sandals that I can wear to the office.  I work for the government, and my department has a professional dress code, but I’d like to find sandals that I can wear on casual days.  A lot of my coworkers just wear flip flops and I don’t think it looks very professional so I hope you have another suggestion.  Thanks for your blog, good luck with your move.  


First off, unless you work in a very casual office, flip-flops are not acceptable work attire.  In my opinion, there are so many stylish sandals that have a “dressier” feel that wearing the same shoes you wear to the beach or pool deck just isn’t necessary.  Here are a few shoes that would be better for casual Fridays or recess days than flip-flops:


Seychelles Strappy Flats ($80) // Braid Away Flat Sandal ($45)

Closed-toe Sandals are a great option for the office.  They cover the front part of the foot and have more substance than many sandals.  Seychelles also makes a cognac-colored sandal with a Huarache like weave for $72.  And if you want something inexpensive, Charlotte Russe makes a gladiator-style sandal with a closed front for $25.  I also like these favorite delicatessen sandals for $25.


Klub Nico Garcia Sandal ($137) // Splendid Atlanta Sandal ($98)

Peep-toe sandals with closed heels are another good option.  They have a more conservative look and when worn under pants, you can barely tell they’re not flats.  This pair from ModCloth has a cut-out floral design for a bit of whimsy.  And these Edelman Brina flats with a pointed-toe are on my favorites list for the season.

If you want a lighter shoe, but your office is so professional that you can’t swing a sandal of any kind, a slingback is a good option.  These closed-toe, suede numbers from Sole Society are really cute, as are these basic Corso Como slingbacks.  And even though I don’t usually go for bows, these Nine West peep-toe slings are pretty.

Lastly, if you’re going to wear open-toe or open-heel shoes to work this summer, you need to keep your feet in shape.  You don’t need to paint your toes if you don’t want to, but they need to be cleaned, trimmed, and filed.  The biggest thing women seem to forget when wearing shoes that show skin is keeping the callouses and dry skin off their heels.  Buy a Ped Egg and your feet can look sandal ready in a jiffy.



  1. ww says:

    So weird! I bought the ModCloth Braid Away shoes from Zara last summer. A word of warning: They didn’t last the season.

    April 22, 2014/Reply
  2. Jennifer says:

    Agree to skip the flip flops, and the Birkenstocks, which should be left on college campuses once you graduate. If you are not into nail polish, you can always get a pedicure without it (I do this in winter), or go for a nude polish that won’t show chips. I always bring my own polish for touch-ups later. Now if there is only a way to ban the men in the office from wearing thongs (on their feet) or the dreaded “mandal”.

    April 22, 2014/Reply
  3. Anna says:

    Heck no, flip flops are never okay in an office.

    April 22, 2014/Reply
  4. Joules says:

    Great post! Far too often women in my office wear relatively inappropriate summer footwear just because it’s casual. These are some great options.

    Style by Joules

    April 22, 2014/Reply
  5. DontBlameTheKids says:

    I work in a business casual federal govt office. Every summer someone wears flip flops. And every time the boss walks by, she gets a raised eyebrow. Yet she wonders why she gets crappy projects.

    April 22, 2014/Reply
  6. Tia says:

    Everyone at my office wears flip flops so I almost feel too dressed up not wearing them! (I work at an ad agency).

    April 22, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It is tough when everyone decides that something is okay for work when it’s really not. I worked in an office a long, long time ago where everyone wore t-shirts and jeans or capris. It was a bottling company, but it was still too relaxed for me.

      April 22, 2014/Reply
  7. Shelley says:

    I grew up in Huntington Beach and know better than to ever wear flip flops in an office. Maybe if I worked in a surf shop on Main Street, but that’s it. I don’t even feel comfortable wearing jeans in DC, let alone flip flops. Ugh.

    April 22, 2014/Reply
  8. Cait says:

    Another great option is this peep toe ankle strap flat from Target.

    April 22, 2014/Reply