Shoesday: Four mid-heel styles to toe the office dress code

Last week professional services firm, PwC, was in the news regarding an incident (back in December 2015) when  a woman was sent home without-pay for not wearing high heels. It seems that a uniform was provided to both male and female staff but that the women had to accessorise with 2″ to 4″ heels while the men were allowed to wear flats. The archaic ruling was made by Portico, the agency contracted by PwC to provide temporary receptionists.

Does your workplace have a dresscode that requires employees (or specifically women) to wear high heels? It seems that Portico assumed that where one of its clients specified a “formal corporate” dresscode, that this would mean heels for women. The agency has since changed its policy and now allows female colleagues to wear “plain flat shoes”.

As an auditor I did some work for clients in manufacturing and when I was out on site – it was required that we wore flat, closed-toe shoes for Occupational, Health & Safety reasons. It always fascinated me however that in corporate head office, it was de rigeur (if not formal policy) for women to wear heels. Yes, I love heels and how they make an outfit look extra fabulous but they are not my footwear of choice in the event of a fire evacuation. Also as a fan of the zombie TV genre, specifically, Walking Dead – have you ever noticed that none of the female zombies are ever wearing high heels!?

Regular BusiChics will know that I each Tuesday I feature a new shoe style for work; often times they are heels but there also some flats, boots  and even the odd sneaker-for-the-commute in the mix. Personally I think that you should be allowed to wear the style of shoe that you enjoy and are comfortable in. This week I thought I’d look at a few mid-heels heights. Sometimes a flat can be “too flat” – I find I need a bit of a heel so that I don’t feel like I’m just “slapping” around the place? Do you get this feeling too? So here are a few mid-heel heights that provide a bit of elevation and support.

How to wear mid-heel heights at work

  • Wear as normal, with your work clothes. Note however that some tweaking of work clothes might be required i.e. full-length trousers that might be too long if you had them tailored to work with a higher heel.
  • As a shorter person, I like to try and look taller. When wearing a mid-heel, I’ll opt for a darker shoe and wear with opaque stockings to create the illusion of a longer leg. Now you know my secret.
  • Other variations to try:
    • Formal: blazer + blouse + cropped tailored pant + smart mid-heel and polished belt and earrings
    • Contemporary Business Wear: knit top + culottes + mid-heel and if you’re feeling fancy try adding the moment’s IT bag, the bum bag aka belt bag
    • Smart casual: shirt dress + opaque stockings + mid-heel and fab earrings or lippy
bared footwear magpie black and white

The “Magpie” at Bared Footwear – I’m also holding out for the “furry” variation on this heeled loafer that is coming soon.

The legendary Ferragamo "Vara" pump. Did you know that the ruby red slippers worn in the Wizard of Oz were made by Ferragamo? Mid heels for the win!

On the investment end of things: The legendary Ferragamo “Vara” pump. Did you know that the ruby red slippers worn in the Wizard of Oz were made by Ferragamo? Mid heels for the win!


Your standard office pump in a mid-heel height, this one is the “Dawson” pump made by Bettye by Bettye Muller and available at Nordstrom,


Bared footwear turkey GLOSSY BLUE FRINGED LOAFER

On sale now: I have a pair of these “Turkey” loafers by Bared Footwear in this glossy blue colour way which also comes in metallic bronze and a more conservative all-black.


If you like this post, you might also like to watch this video about the former model who is releasing a range of mid-heel shoes.

“You want to be a powerful woman 24/7 so why not wear comfortable shoes that give you that?”

How important is heel height to you? Is there a mandatory style at your work? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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