Should Women Wear Heels at Work?

I did wear $200 heels on my first day of work, but wow they somewhat were painful (I rarely wear them). But I did look taller and classier. It's tempting to wear flat shoes sometimes though. However, I do definitely observe a clear distinction between a girl who wears heels and a girl who wears flats.

I want a guy's perspective: Do women appear more respectful, elegant, and smarter when they wear heels at work?

I want to be memorable and always look my best to everyone I meet at work.ย 

Comments (62)

Jun 19, 2021 - 3:59pm
cyberpunk, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The ladies in our offices only wear heels at the office, not during their commute. That would make things a little bit easier.ย  I have also been told they prefer to pick days with the least amount of walking involved around the office and/or lunch or external meetings.

Personally, I like to see women in heels but also understand they may impose a health risk when worn daily/in the long run.

Jun 19, 2021 - 4:05pm
Mumbles, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 19, 2021 - 4:41pm
Corporate Raider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Appearing smart and elegant won't matter if it turns out you suck at your job...Just do good work and the "guys" will be more impressed with that lmao.ย 

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 19, 2021 - 5:34pm

Stfu cause the elegant and classy will never pick you, ugly shitย 

Jun 19, 2021 - 5:15pm
patrickb8man, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol no one cares lol. We are looking at screens and doc not your feet. As long as you are a good helpful addition to the team that matters more than heels or flats. Elegance is you. You don't need anything to be elegant. If you do you got work to do.

Jun 19, 2021 - 5:34pm
jorbanana56, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If I were 6 feet tall, I wouldn't care. But also another factor is I'm a short girl. I don't want to look like I'm 12 lol.ย 

Jun 19, 2021 - 5:40pm
famejranc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would just wear what is comfortable as long as it is professional and forget about what other people think, because this is a situation where what other people think doesn't really matter that much at all. That's my take on the situation.

Jun 19, 2021 - 5:42pm
patrickb8man, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you look like a 12 year old. Wearing high heels will now make you look more like a 12 year old trying to wear her mom's heels. Ballet flats are cute if you wanted my opinion

Jun 19, 2021 - 8:34pm
Isaiah_53_5 ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Heels make the outfit. Also, they often make a statement. Most NYC chicks have quite the collection. Many keep a pair of flats in their purse and switch it up when not in the office.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jun 22, 2021 - 12:56am
jorbanana56, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Isaiah - someone needs to be assigned the judge of my posts, and determine what is the correct objective answer based on everyone's answers.ย 

Jun 19, 2021 - 8:51pm
Isaiah_53_5 ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1. Get spiky heels

2. Assert dominance

-

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jun 19, 2021 - 9:03pm
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want to increase your sex appeal, heels in a tight skirt will do it. But, like, you're also increasing your sex appeal. That comes with the "unwelcomed" attention, too.ย 

Personally, I find the hottest look ever to be a tight miniskirt and tennis shoes. And fantasy hair colors. And a tattoo here or there. Yeah...dayum. Wait, what are we talking about?ย 

Array

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Jun 19, 2021 - 9:34pm
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I mean, if they're Asian, all the better. So yeah. :) I also really dig white trash girls, too.

Array

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 20, 2021 - 9:24am

Yea. You don't dress for yourself. You dress for us. You put makeup on for us.ย  Etc.ย 

Make your best effort to impress

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Jun 20, 2021 - 8:17pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think you need to factor in a few things when thinking about if this is worth it:

1) Which groups sit on your floor? If these groups tend to be busy then those guys are going to be staring at their screens instead of watching you walk around in heels. Conversely if it's a chiller group where you see guys with a lot of breaks waiting to turn comments or you have BO on your floor, then it may be worth it.

2) Does your group have a meal time or are you eating at your desk? If it's the former, it might be better to whip out the heels during lunch/dinner and wear shoes the rest of the time so you don't hurt your feet.

3) Does your office have a lot of parties or informal events where the team gets together? If so, you may find it better to save the heelsย for these events and just wear shoes during regular work.

Array

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Most Helpful
Jun 21, 2021 - 9:48am
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

heels do one thing - they make ass, legs, and calves look better. this could engender bigger self confidence and make you carry yourself differently, and maybe because you're taller, that could help, but as far as I can tell, it just makes the posterior look better without any functional benefit

my wife has a great backside, only wears flats to the office, and MAYBE will wear heels to a dressy wedding. I cannot recall which women in my office wear heels except for one who stomps when she walks, but she's average in terms of success

the last 3 hires on my team have all been women, and I honestly cannot recall if they wore heels during any point in the recruitment process, I did not notice. what I remember is how they spoke, were they a nice balance of humble and confident, curious, pleasant to be around, and did they hustle (follow up)

if I were advising a young female and she wanted to spruce up her appearance, I'd first address what's underneath the clothes as that's the most immediately noticeable. are you overweight? do you force a hairstyle that's not natural and it's obvious? do you have nails that are long enough to be used to give yourself a covid test? do you wear too much perfume? too much jewelry? too much makeup? are you anorexic? in short, I'd go for a minimalist approach, be in good shape and don't overdo makeup, jewelry, perfume, etc. but I'm not going to touch fashion or hairstyles as I'm woefully uneducated there

if you do all that right, and have the soft skills down (EQ), no one will give a flying fuck about your shoes. that said, if you're presenting to a team of WASPy grandpas and need to be more conservative, I'd probably have some deal heels ready to go. once you get more established in your career you can say fuck it a lot more, but I had to play the game when with clients but without clout, you may have to do this too, even if not on a daily basis

Jun 21, 2021 - 10:01am
onebagger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The women in my office wear heels often but not exclusively. They are all exceptionally well put together and exceptionally good at their jobs. I wouldn't say I think more or less of them specifically because of their heels, but I would definitely say wearing heels doesn't hurt them in any way

The main point here is that they are all very, very good at their jobs (to the point where I admire them for it) and do not dress unprofessionally. If you do good work and your outfit isn't too sexual you should be just fine to wear heels.. the key is balance - both physically and figuratively

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:25pm
ke18sb, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The catch 22 is looking like you're trying to hard if you're slogging around the analyst bullpen for 14 hours a day in heels. Wear what is comfortable and appropriate for the setting. Unless you just love heels, no need to wear them around the office. As for meetings, if you like them sure, of course you should wear them. But if you're wearing them just because you think they matter in any way, they don't.ย 

Jun 22, 2021 - 1:13am
Metaphysical, what's your opinion? Comment below:

People saying "who cares" are acting a bit ingenious.

Come on guys, let's not pretend that there is no unspoken codes in finance that cannot be completely breached. And clothing etiquette is one of them! Even more if you're in AM, WM or any IB client-facing positions.

Wear heels from time to time. I had a manager who as said, above, would commute in sneaker (fancy ones btw) but always swap for the heels.

Most of my female co-workers would come in heels twice a week at least.

(But honestly, you should rather come walking confidently in flat than come awkwardly in high heels. If you don't like them/can't walk properly in them. Then fuck it.)

Mar 4, 2022 - 9:54am
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't wear heels to work and none of the women in my team do either. My workplace used to be business casual, and most women then did not wear heels. Now that we have moved to smart casual with occasional business dress, women rarely wear heels.ย 

I think if you're looking to make an impression or really try to look great, heels might make sense, but otherwise I don't think they're necessary. I've never worn heels to work ever, other than for interviews (which made me fairly tall, I'm 5' 10", lol). But I don't think they necessarily pushed a smarter or more respectful vibe, even if they are certainly more elegant.ย 

I've only met one person in my entire life who really judged someone based on their shoes, and I'm doubtful he really believed that someone's shoes trumped their personality, what one says, one's general vibe (confident, humble, curious, etc.), etc.ย 

If anything, I'd say get a sense of what the other women at your workplace are wearing and either:

a. Try to match what they are wearing fairly closely. This is probably better for IB, where you might not want to stand out.ย 

b. Get a sense of what the women around you are wearing and try to mix your own style into what might be considered "acceptable." You'll definitely have your own style in a sense, but you won't feel like you're totally out of place.ย 

It's worth noting in my case that I work in aย veryย chill environment. People wear jeans and sneakers to work in my group even. So realistically, none of the women around me wear heels, except for maybe the women who are particularly short and wear heels very often anyway.ย 

Lastly, do try to look your best! It will make you more memorable and shows that you are dedicated to your job. But that doesn't mean you have to go crazy and that might even mean you don'tย haveย to wear heels. Maybe get a sense of what your "best" looks like and go for that.

Mar 9, 2022 - 11:33am
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

like jeans and a sweater type of thing (smart casual) vs. than more business oriented wear like work pants and a blouse and maybe a blazer (business casual)

"smart casual" is used here as opposed to just "casual" to: 1. Sound like we're more "elevated" than just regular casual, 2. Make sure people don't just come wearing leggings and a t-shirt to work everyday

  • Teller in Non-profit
Mar 4, 2022 - 10:07am

I think elegant and classy is an overall aura, not something that can be tweaked much just with heels vs. flats. Heels look great, but some are clearly uncomfortable. I've noticed some analysts wear heels that twist/bend their ankle from impact when they land each step. Looks painful tbh, so it's hard to say elegant or classy in those instances. Most important factor is still how one carries herself in a conversation, etc. What I've seen is ladies keeping several pairs in the office for various occasions - locker rooms, under the desk, where you can hide it without being too obvious. Use whatever makes sense and/or comfortable. Take heels to meetings/during the day if it makes you feel great to pair with your style that day. Then nothing against you if you switch to flats on a long day. Ultimately you can't really go wrong - just avoid >5 inch stilettosโ€ฆprobably stands out in a way you don't want to.

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Mar 4, 2022 - 10:27am
ironman32, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Should woman wear heels to work? Probably not? I feel this is the pre-cursor to should woman show cleavage at work? Depends what you want to do/how you want to represent yourself. You could make 1,000 perfect models/decks, but if someone saw a video of you pole dancing 1 time, you'd be known in the office as "the pole dancer". (fair or unfair, that's how we're judged in America at least).

Does it make someone class/elegant? I don't know what those words mean anyone. 100 years ago you were considered some kind of whore if you showed your ankle, now I go to the gym or walk around and woman are working out/buying groceries in what basically amounts to lingerie. Is that elegant and classy? To be fair, not saying I don't enjoy it, just surprises me that people actually make that choice.ย 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 4, 2022 - 2:19pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 28, 2022 - 5:56am

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