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Ask Belle: Cognac Pumps

Hello Belle,

While we’re on the hunt for shoes, I have been looking all over without luck for a cognac (or similar shade of brown leather) pump with a 3″ or less heel for fall.  Any suggestions, or am I looking for something that’s completely not in style?  I’m hoping to spend between $75 and $125.

Thank you! DL

Cognac is a great alternative for women who don’t want to wear flesh-toned pumps in the fall.  The color pairs well with most neutrals (grey can be iffy), and doesn’t have the summery feel that lighter browns can sometimes have.

LCX2FA6_mxPour la Victoire Iliah Pump ($78)

This heel is a great option.  It also comes in a 4″ heel for those who prefer it.  If the metallic tip doesn’t strike your fancy, I did find a few more options.

Audrey Brooks has an ankle-strap pump with a great look and a rich color.  Corso Como offers a basic, pointed-toe pump, but I like the color on these Anne Klein pumps better.  I also like the lattice front on these Steve Madden pumps.

Not crazy about cognac?  Tortoise-shell is always a nice option for fall.  I like these inexpensive Merona pumps, and these pricier Stuart Weitzman pumps.

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  1. Liz says:

    If you’re in the market for a cognac flat, I just bought these from Brooks Brothers:,default,pd.html?dwvar_WF00322_Color=BRWN&contentpos=2&cgid=0378

    August 7, 2014/Reply
  2. Stephanie says:

    FYI, 6pm has a lot of Stuart Weitzman on sale. I got two pairs of the low heeled Poco pump for $170 each, which I’ve been looking at for awhile but couldn’t justify at $350.

    August 7, 2014/Reply
  3. AnnaDear says:

    These are my favorite: Ralph Lauren Zabrina in Polo Tan

    August 7, 2014/Reply
    • AnnaDear says:

      But the heel is 3 3/4 inch, so higher than what DL requested. Whoops.

      August 7, 2014/Reply
  4. jerseygirl says:

    Hi Belle
    I’m a new reader and am pretty impressed by your insight and awareness from fashion, to social commentary, and beyond! So I was a bit surprised/bummed by your characterization of cognac as an alternative to flesh tone. Did you not consider that it is flesh toned for many women, for many of your readers of color? I’ve been looking for an affordable, comfortable, chic cognac pump for the longest. The other day I got sorta lucky getting a cognac flat from Banana Republic for grad school but still haven’t found a similarly-hued pump I’m happy with.

    I hope you can rethink your perspective on this. I and other women of deeper skin tones want to be considered equally, and when we are considered, we don’t want to be considered “alternatives.” It’s about time Belle 🙂

    August 7, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      No offense was meant. While I know that there are woman who read this blog who have darker skin tones, I wasn’t thinking of cognac pumps as flesh-toned because of all of the red tones that are in most of the cognac colors out there. I was thinking of flesh tones as being more matte with yellow and blue undertones, not the rich reds you find in most cognac colors. Are there probably cognacs that aren’t as red and do work as flesh-tones? Sure, but please don’t think that I just flippantly threw that out there, I did take a minute to think about it, and figured that the red would probably not make the best skin tone match for the majority of readers regardless of their skin color.

      August 7, 2014/Reply
      • eHa says:

        I had wanted to thank you for doing a round up of cognac pumps for fall. I find that that often is a good nude for me color.

        August 16, 2014/Reply
  5. kat says: currently has fantastic cognac Cole Baan Nike air pumps for less than $200, gorgeous and great heel height!

    August 8, 2014/Reply