Wearing Open-Toed Shoes With a Business Suit

High Heel Shoes Over White Background
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While constructing your work wardrobe, you might have wondered whether open-toed shoes are okay to wear with a business suit. Generally, they're not. In most business situations and corporate environments sandals, open-toed (and open-heel) shoes are not considered professional. This also goes for many types of heeled shoes that may be considered too dressy, sexy, or otherwise overstated.

Wearing Open-Toed Shoes to Meetings

You can very likely find many shoe-sale sites and fashionistas who will disagree for their own reasons, but when it comes to certain business functions, formal business rules apply especially when interacting with clients, attending important business meetings, or simply even trying to make a good impression and get ahead. Here's a good rule of thumb: If the occasion matters to your image—go conservative and follow the rules of formal or business dress.

There's no argument that open-toed shoes paired with a business suit actually can look great together. You might feel also the urge to question who sets the rules for proper business attire, but if you want to show that you are educated in matters of proper or traditional business protocol, which includes business attire, skip the open-toed shoes and opt for more formal business footwear to match the occasion.

When Your Colleagues Wear Sandals to Work

Even though someone else at work does something, it does not make it right for you as well. Your sandal-wearing co-worker might suffer consequences that you don't see or know about, such as not being taken seriously enough to be considered for a promotion.

The one exception is if your office has a less-formal or even informal dress code, This means that everyone dresses more casually than the typical workplace, and it specifically supports casual dress and footwear. In this case, put on your favorite strappy sandals! If you are required to wear a suit to work, though, resist the urge to mix those casual shoes with your more formal look.

Wearing Open-Toed Shoes for a Job Interview

Dress for an interview in a way that shows your respect for the company and the job, and avoid going casual for a job interview unless you've been explicitly instructed to do so. It may seem that standing out during an interview is a good thing and in many cases, this is true. However, it's best to stand out because you are the ideal candidate for the job—more qualified than others, or simply a better fit for a team environment, rather than because of your freshly manicured toes.

Whether or not the interview is for a summer internship, entry-level clerical position or a managerial position does not matter. If you are interviewing in a corporate office-type of environment, it's important to dress the part. By adhering to the standard and widely practiced ​dress codes consider acceptable for office attire, you show that you are serious about the job, the company and that you will fit into a corporate environment.

Your Shoes Shouldn't Be What Stands Out

In the grand scheme of things, as long as your shoes are not making a loud "look at me!" statement, you're probably okay. But imagine what you'd you think if you saw someone running along the beach in high heels—that they were out of place, or trying to call attention to themselves.

If your shoes are what stands out most when people see you, they might be distracted from your valuable work-related traits, which means that you are definitely not putting your best foot forward when it comes to stepping out with your workplace image.