Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Black Pump.

One of our friends (and a reader!) asked for our opinion of what we think is the perfect black pump.  There are many different kinds of black pumps, round-toe or pointy toe, staggeringly tall or manageable.  We'll go through our personal favorites.  

Disclaimer:  We should start by saying we are shoe addicts.  Years ago, we only dreamed of scoring a high-end designer pump on sale at Saks on the morning after Christmas.  (In fact, one year Lisa DID score the classic Campari Manolo Blanik mary-jane pumps; we have the same shoe size, so it took a lot for me not to rip them out of her hands.)  In more recent years, we've splurged a little more on wardrobe 'staples'; once we find something we LOVE, it might just be worth the designer price tag.  

A perfect black pump is a wardrobe staple.  This spring I finally splurged on getting a classic pointy toe pump - the Manolo Blahnik Newcio Pump in black leather.  
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Plain, simple, really comfortable.  I knew I wanted a pointy-toe, black leather pump with a 3 1/2" heel.  Over the course of a year, I tried on many pairs at lower price-points but kept coming back to these.  I know I will have them (and wear them) forever and they will never go out of style.  (And just FYI, my foot is wide in the front with a narrow heel - tough to find perfect-fitting shoes that won't squeeze my toes or, conversely, slip off my heel.)

But that price-point is more painful than a pair of bad stilettos to say the least.  There are other options out there.  Lisa fell in love with this pointed-toe pair Valentina pumps by J. Crew last spring.  She bought them in red and swears they are completely comfortable.  This winter, they are carrying them in a black patent (which works well for inclement weather).  With a 2 3/4" heel, they are a GREAT height that should keep your toes happy through holiday cocktail parties.

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For round-toe pumps, I have always loved the Kate Spade Karolina pumps. I have them in a black, faux croc leather.  Piperlime is showing them in a black patent this winter.  They are extremely comfortable with a 3" heel.  (They also come in a nude patent, and Bloomingdale's has them in a black grosgrain with a glitter heel.)
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A few years ago, I went on a shopping mission for a friend who needed a dress pronto.  I purchased 10 dresses, a couple of jackets, and these pumps, after I learned that she had no classic pumps.  She kept 2 (or was it 3?) dresses, a jacket and a cardigan as well as these Calvin Klein simple, classic pumps, which have a 3" heel.  She said they were really comfortable and, at $69, the price is definitely right.  They must be a great seller since they are still on the market and now come in a whopping 22 colors on Zappos!
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Finally, let's take a page from Kate Middleton's book and look at the L.K. Bennett 'Sledge' Pump.  The Duchess of Cambridge wears these day-in-and-day-out, which says something about the comfort and wearability of them.  While the heel is 4", the 1/2" platform brings you down to 3 1/2".  I have a pair of L.K. Bennett pumps from about 6 years ago that I still love and wear.  The shoes run narrow, so if you have a narrow foot, this might be a great choice for you. 
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Those are our favorites.  Hope you find a pair you like! ~ JH  

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