Pumps: Sweet and Sophisticated Shoe Options

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Pumps: Best Styles and Selection From All Your Favorite Shoe Stores

About Pumps

Pumps are a classic shoe style that every girl should have at least one pair of, whether it be for work or for dressy evenings out. Also referred to as court shoes, these are low vamped shoes that don't have a fastening. They typically have a heel, although they can come in flat versions as well. Pumps are very elegant and almost aristocratic, and many of them come with girly embellishments to play up this vibe. These shoes can look demure and conservative, which is why they are often are considered a workwear staple, but they can also be dressed up to look a little bit sexier, or even dressed down with your favorite pair of jeans and a blouse.
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Pumps are a classic shoe style that every girl should have at least one pair of, whether it be for work or for dressy evenings out. Also referred to as court shoes, these are low vamped shoes that don't have a fastening. They typically have a heel, although they can come in flat versions as well. Pumps are very elegant and almost aristocratic, and many of them come with girly embellishments to play up this vibe. These shoes can look demure and conservative, which is why they are often are considered a workwear staple, but they can also be dressed up to look a little bit sexier, or even dressed down with your favorite pair of jeans and a blouse.

History

Pumps are actually inspired by gentlemen's shoes of the Regency and Victorian eras, which typically had a low, chunky heel, a low vamp, and some sort of buckle or other embellishment on the toes. They were typically considered to be eveningwear. Pumps for women became popular soon afterwards, typically with a much higher heel. Styles for pumps actually haven't changed much over the past few centuries - they are available in bolder colors and prints, as well as higher heels, but the basis of the design is much the same. Terminology for this shoe typically varies by country - in the US, pumps refer to shoes with a heel, while the non-heeled version is typically just called a 'flat'. Alternatively, the term pumps in the UK does refer to the flat version of the shoe, while the high heeled version is usually called a court shoe.

Style

Slingback

Slingback pumps are slightly different than classic pumps - instead of a full back around the bottom of the heel, they have a strap that wraps around the back. Slingbacks are typically considered to be a bit more casual than traditional pumps, and are great for summer wear. They look great with a flirty dress or even some flowy shorts and a t-shirt.

Ankle Strap

If you want a bit more support for your feet, look for a pair of pumps with ankle straps. These shoes have a circular strap that reaches around the entire ankle. They look very trendy and modern, and they look great with dresses or even a pair of cuffed trousers to show off the unique strap detailing.

Details

Metallic

Looking to add a little bit of extra glamor and edge to your outfit? Metallic pumps are the perfect accessory. You can opt for light, sweet colors like silver or rose gold, or go for a darker, almost space-inspired metallic. The combination of the conservative cut of the pump with a shiny metallic is an excellent juxtaposition.

Embellished

Embellished pumps are another fun way to spice up your outfits, particularly for work. Designers have been getting creative with their embellishments, so you can really show off your personality. A little jewel or bow peeking out from the bottom of your outfit looks sweet and fun in any environment.

Glitter

Glitter pumps are a great option for a fun night out. They are very girly and are a great way to show off your fun-loving personality. In particular, they pair perfectly with a little black dress for just a little pop of sparkle while you're out on the town.

Studded

Studded pumps have been very popular over the past several years, particularly with the advent of the Valentino Rockstuds and similar designs. Studded pumps can look very utilitarian or they can look very edgy, depending on the individual model as well as the way you style them.

Perforated

Perforated pumps are a fun, quirky take on this classic shoe. There are a variety of different types of cutouts that designers have been using, from small circular holes to larger, abstract shapes. We've also seen lots of perforated textures paired with clear materials for a very high fashion look.

Heel Height

High

High-heeled pumps are incredibly flattering, and are probably the most versatile of all heel heights. They can easily transition from work to an evening out, and they make your body look very long and lean. High heels also allow you to wear longer skirts and pants with the shoes peeking out.

Mid

Mid-heeled pumps are also quite versatile and are more comfortable for day to day wear. A mid heeled pump looks just as nice with denim as it does with a formal outfit, and are still very stable to walk in.

Low

While pumps typically do have a heel, you can still find options with low kitten heels or chunky heels if you want an option that is more comfortable and demure. Low-heeled pumps are very classic and feminine, and are much more demure than their high-heeled counterparts.

Heel Style

Stiletto

Stiletto heeled pumps are a very classic look that can work in almost any situation. Stilettos are a very easy way to turn heads, and they work well in almost any situation - they complement a formal dress or a power suit, but they can also create a nice contrast with a more laid-back outfit, like a jumpsuit.

Block

Block heeled pumps aren't quite as common as their stiletto counterparts, but they are great if you need a little bit of extra support and stability while walking around. They are very modern and fashion-forward, and are a great way to liven up a work outfit.

Kitten

Kitten heeled pumps are very feminine and give off a hint of flirtiness and charm while still being very appropriate for the office. Since these heels are relatively low, they are comfortable to walk around in and won't throw you off balance.

Material

Patent Leather

Patent leather pumps are shiny and commanding, and will make you look like the boss at work (even if you're just a secretary). The shiny look can also be quite preppy and pulled together. These are the perfect way to top off your classic skirt and blazer outfit.

Leather

Traditional leather pumps are also a very classic look - the difference between these and the patent leather is that these shoes are not shiny. If your style is a little bit more toned down, these are ideal for you. And if you're vegan or vegetarian, don't worry - a huge number of brands now make cruelty free faux leather shoes.

Satin

Satin pumps are extremely elegant, making them a top choice for evening wear. This is the perfect shoe to pair with a ball gown for a gala or other fancy event.

Suede

Suede pumps are a bit more casual than the materials previously mentioned, but they are also undeniably cool. Suede pumps are great for a semi-casual occasion like a lunch meeting or coffee date. They also have a slightly bohemian feel and will look great with a floral dress.

Velvet

Velvet pumps are another fun, slightly 70s inspired shoe that are very fashion forward. The slight sheen of the velvet catches the light perfectly for a little bit of extra drama, but the soft texture makes them very versatile. Velvet pumps are very romantic as well - you can play up this look by wearing them with a demure collared blouse or dress.

Pattern

Leopard

Leopard printed pumps are sexy and sophisticated with a dash of daring, and they give off the vibe that you are totally in control. They pair best with neutrals, like black, white, or grey, or jewel tones like burgundy, purple, and blue.

Pumps: Sweet and Sophisticated Shoe Options

Floral

Floral printed pumps are fun and feminine, and they are a great way to add some personality to an otherwise simple outfit. They tend to look best with lighter pastels, like blue and pink, so that there's not a huge contrast.

Toe Style

Pointed

Pointed toe pumps are a classic look that you'll find many designers using in their collections. Pointed toed shoes are very flattering because they elongate your feet and make your legs look longer.

Peep

Peep toe pumps are a cute style for summer, and they make an otherwise traditional shoe look a little more fun and feminine. Peep toe pumps typically reveal just a hint of the first and second toes while keeping the rest of the shoe simple - don't forget to wear nail polish to exaggerate the look.

Color

White

White pumps are a summer and spring formal wear essential. They also make a great contrast to a pair of patterned trousers or a patterned skirt.

Black

Black pumps are the most versatile of all the colors available, and they are definitely something you should have in your fashion arsenal. The best black pumps go with virtually anything and are effortlessly elegant and stylish.

Light Grey

Light grey pumps are a great neutral option if you don't want to wear black. They are particularly great for the office because they match excellently with navy, which is a popular color for suits and trousers.

Yellow (Gold)

Yellow and gold pumps are a beautiful, sunny color perfect for spring and summer. They give a bit of life and shimmer to an otherwise neutral outfit and are a great way to show off your personality.

Nude

Nude pumps are another neutral essential that any woman should have in their wardrobe. A pointed toe nude pump is one of the most flattering shoes out there - it makes your legs look miles long.

Red

Red pumps are one of the best ways to make a statement - they're bold and flashy, and they make for a fun pop of color while wearing a neutral outfit.

Sale

Looking for some cute new pumps for work, an event, or just impressing your fashionista friends? DressLikeMe has hundreds of hot brands on sale, including some of the biggest names in luxury shoe design. Check out our sale section to see which pumps are on offer today.

Brands

Luxury- Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik pumps are some of the most iconic and sought after in the world, with their simple yet timeless designs. They are available in many different finishes and with all sorts of embellishments, but what you can always count on with Manolos is their luxury look.

Christian Louboutin

Louboutin pumps are another very iconic piece that you would likely immediately recognize due to their signature red sole and sky high heels. They have become a status symbol and are still some of the best quality pumps in the world.

Affordable - Nine West

Nine West has been a very popular brand for classic pump styles for many years, and for good reason. You can find trendy options from this brand at a fraction of the price of what they would cost from a luxury company, but they still look great and feel luxurious too.

Sam Edelman

Sam Edelman has become a reliable place to get neutral pumps that are great for work, but the brand also offers some super fun models with glitter and other embellishments that are a worthy addition to your closet.

You Should Know - J. Renee

J. Renee pumps are feminine and accessible, and offer a level of comfort that you don't often get from these shoes. If you want pumps that are stylish enough to turn heads but comfy enough for long days, these are a great option.

Malone Souliers

On the other end of the spectrum, Malone Souliers makes some of the most stunning pumps on the market, with head-turning cutouts, bold neons, and clear detailing that is really innovative and pushing the envelope. While they aren't necessarily the most affordable shoes, they are a brand to keep your eye on for formal events.

Trends

One of the biggest trends that we have seen in pumps lately is pumps with a block heel or a uniquely shaped heel. These chunky pumps still have tons of sophistication, but they also add a little bit of a downtown cool to any outfit. They also are much easier on your feet on long days. Another fun trend for pumps is bright, head-turning colors and patterns - think watercolors and fun geometric prints.

Pop Culture

Pumps have been a classic formalwear favorite for many years, and celebrities and fashion influencers love them for their versatility and stylish silhouette. Many shorter celebs, like Rachel Bilson and Kristen Bell, often rock stiletto pumps to give themselves an extra bit of height. We've recently seen many celebs and Instagram stars pair their traditional pumps with casual looks, like ripped jeans and a sweater, for some interesting juxtaposition. 

Although pumps have always been a classic shoe, designers are coming up with fun new details and ways to make them even more interesting. If you don't already have a few pairs in your closet, they make a great investment because they are so flattering and versatile.

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Join the most innovative fashion community and personalize your shopping experience!

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