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Pumps: An office favourite that also works in the street

A classic pair of pump shoes are always a style winner! These heels can be as simple or as extravagant as you like. If you're starting to build a wardrobe, though, it's a good idea to begin with simple black pumps. Pick up a pair in classic leather, or go patent for a shiny finish. There are also vegan alternatives available, if you'd rather avoid animal products. You can choose from a rounded, pointed, or square toe; all three styles are extremely versatile, and rarely go out of fashion. These basic pumps are ideal for wearing to the office, but can also be dressed down for a look that's casual but sophisticated.

How to wear pumps painlessly

New to walking in heels? In that case, you don't want to start with stilettos! Look for a slightly wider heel, which will make it easier to balance. If you experience pain in the balls of your feet as the day goes on, then you're better off looking for a pair of these shoes with a slight platform; this will provide more support to this delicate area. You could achieve the same effect by lining your pump shoes with insole gel pads, which will cushion and support you. Some women find that their pumps tend to slip off their feet; to avoid this, look for a pair that are held in place with a strap. This could be Mary Jane-style, across the front or, for a more sophisticated twist, a slingback strap that crosses the heel of your foot.

Top styling tips for pump shoes

If you're wearing black heels, don't pair them with opaque black tights: The two will blend together, which isn't a good look. Instead, go for sheer tights, lace tights, or, for a bold look, choose something colourful! In summer, bare legs are fine, although you might want to add shoe liners to your pumps to stay fresh. You can also wear these with trousers. Make sure that your hem hits at the sweet spot, with the toes of your shoe just peeking out underneath. It's common to wear pump shoes to the office. If you want to dress them down, keep the rest of the outfit super casual. A great look mixes denim with these sharp, dressy shoes. Wear a pair of relaxed, boyfriend or mom jeans, and turn up the hems into big cuffs that hit just above your ankle.