Pump it Up

Zara Woman shoes VIA

Classic. Black. Pumps. 

A staple that should be in every broad's closet. And one that is worth every penny - once your find the perfect pair. I received a recent email from a fellow broad who is looking to update said staple...

Dear Classy Broad,

If you and your classy self were to buy a new pair of black heels, what route would you go? I have a basic pair of pumps that kind of look like this:
photo c/o Zappos
  but they are beat up and I need something new. I'd like something versatile that I can wear to weddings, with jeans, etc. I have a hard time with black because I feel like they are a bit boring and I thought about doing patent but do you feel that is a good choice? Your insight and expertise would be much appreciated.


Pondering over Pumps....

Let me start with saying that black does not, and should not, be boring. With the way pumps are these days, you should focus first on the cut (think shape of the shoe, toe cleavage) and second on the texture (leather, suede, patent, oh my!). As far as patent leather goes, it can look wintry, but if the style is more of a cutout or open style, it could work across the seasons. I would't worry a whole lot about closed toe or peep toe - I personally believe either work all year round. Even in the heat of summer, if you're attending something that requires an LBD or more formal dress, your black pumps are going to work regardless. On the flip side, if you're wearing a cute summery dress, you're not going into your closet for your black pumps anyway. 
Exhibit 1: Boring? Since when is this sexy cut and snakeskin boring?
I love this shoe.  A bit of a splurge, but remember this is a staple.
Dina Sure Pumps, Alice + Olivia c/o ShopBop


Another fun idea is going with cutouts. This pump will work for many seasons, since the toe is covered but the cutouts make them appropriate for warmer months as well.
Gaia Pump by Via Spiga, c/o Nordstrom

More Cutout to Lace options. You'd be surprised how much these styles go with; don't be afraid to mix textures or patterns! You can wear a patterned top with these shoes.
These would look awesome with anything from an LBD to a pair of cuffed boyfriend jeans.
Pina Pump, VC Signature Pump c/o Nordstrom 

Limit the Black. 

Wearing black pumps doesn't mean your entire foot must be covered.
I love mesh or other sheer fabrics that open up the shoe and show off the foot.
This option would work anytime of year. And who doesn't love a sexy ankle strap?
Cynthia Pump, BCBGeneration c/o Nordstrom

Add another color.

You'd be surprised how much mileage you'd get from a much a black and nude choice. 
Keeping the front of the shoe black will still give the look you want. 
Heliette by Aldo (again, Piperlime)

Mix Textures. 
If the whole shoe is black, add definition with one that mixes textures,
like shimmer and suede.
Izzie Pump, BCBGeneration c/o Nordstrom

Or classic leather and patent leather. 
Wrenn Pump, Anne Klein (via Piperlime)

Back to Classic

So you really meant you wanted a simple, classic pump? Well, alright. Here we go.

When selecting classic pumps, I prefer something in between a pointed and round toe. Sharp pointed toes look great with pants but can be harsh with dresses. Round toes can look sweet with dresses but with some pants, can give that short-footed look. No thanks. Somewhere in between is the answer. 
Pompadour by Charles David

I love this classic style.
And, the above looks scarily similar to a certain Manolo Blahnik version.
If you can't splurge, go for the Pact Pump, Charles by Charles David c/o Nordstrom

Keep the classic option fun with interesting shapes along the side, a V at the toes for some toe cleave, or both. 

So, my broad, I hope your ponder is over. Or that you at least now have some direction.  Remember that the above are just ideas and if you're looking for a bargain there are tons of brands emulating the look of high end designer shoes. Using specific search terms like "cutout", "ankle strap", "cap toe" or "d'orsay", will help get you where you want to be. 

Happy Shopping!