The Power of the Pump: On How a Well Paired Pump can Dress Up Any Outfit you Own

9 07 2012

Photo: Aldo Arnoldoa Pumps

Take a look at those nude pumps (pictured above) for a second. They’re simple. No embellishments. Nothing that screams “pay attention to me!” They’re just a plain, nude, tapered-toe, leather pump with a 4.25 in heel. And yet, if you were to add those heels to any casual outfit, they would instantly turn up the volume of that outfit at least 3 notches.

Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s go through this then.

I’m lucky. I happen to work in an environment where the clothing can be pretty casual. So unless I have a meeting with some “special” external partners, my wardrobe tends to vacillate between very business casual and casual cute. What does this mean? It means that you may find me wearing a pair of red skinny jeans to work with layered tank tops, a navy blue cardigan and pearls or a cute yellow and white plaid summer dress or even a pair of black wide legged pants, tank top and a blazer.

And with every single one of those options, I can choose to either wear some flats or a pair of heels. If I choose to wear the flats (for whatever reason it may be that day), I know that my look (yes, even the black pants and blazer look) is 20 X more casual than if I wear the heels. When I wear the heels, I notice the different reactions I garner from my co-workers. Instantly, I’m more refined and more put together. I could have my signature summer bun in, but they want to pull me into a meeting to discuss or describe some kind of best practices in creating a particular manual or document.

I notice the difference and so should you. Now, I understand that not every woman is comfortable wearing high heels. I’ve had a lot of practice because I’ve been 5’1 for at least the past 15 years. But I do think that you should have at least a few options in your closet for the times when you need to instantly dress up an outfit.

You may be wondering why the pump dresses up your outfit. I think it’s for various reasons, but these first three come to mind:

A) You walk differently when you have on  a pair of heels. Your walk is straighter, which usually positions your head higher and most importantly, your stride conveys that you are one confident woman. (If your stride does not convey that, read the tips here and practice, practice, practice around your home first.) And finally, your legs look amazing in them!

B) A pump is sleeker than many of the styles out right now, such as the gladiator and platform heels. You may find a pump that has other elements in it, such as one of my favs – my reptilian pointed toe heels from Aldo, but the idea behind a pump is to convey femininity and strength at the same time. Those elements rub off onto your outfit, and now anything you have on is also conveying femininity and strength.

C) I have a mentor that calls her pumps the “pearls on her feet.” And she’s right. Just like pearls, a great pair of pumps makes an outfit look dressier because it is a dressy accessory.

For those who still doubt me, go home, try on any outfit in your closet with a pair of sandals and then a pair of heels, and look in the mirror. You’ll instantly see the power of the pump when you do.

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