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Saturday, Nov 28, 2020

How to Wear Chanel Pumps and Not Look Like 'Emily in Paris'

How to Wear Chanel Pumps and Not Look Like 'Emily in Paris'

Just because they're classic doesn't mean they have to look basic.

As an accessories editor, I get the "is it worth it?" question quite often. While a valid question, I always prefer to answer it with a bit more context, since luxury means something different for everyone. I will say that with Chanel, you get what you pay for. Chanel. Even just saying it out loud, I feel fancier. The quality is indisputable and every purchase is one intended to live a long, happy life in your wardrobe.

While I could wax poetic about iconic Chanel accessories, I'm here to focus on the classic slingback two-tone pumps. These have been a cornerstone of the shoe offerings from the house since the 1950s and had a recent resurgence in Chanel's Fall 2015 collection. As the only shoe shown with every look, Lagerfeld cemented the idea that you can wear it with just about everything.

For this story, I tried out a navy and black tweed pair.



Before we go any further, I'm going to give it to you straight: at $875, these shoes are definitely an investment. Yet, I will stand by the fact that the combinations of what you can pair them with are practically limitless.

In this five-outfit lineup I'm putting forth your way, they already break down to $175 per wear. I'm no mathematician (hence, why I ended up as a fashion editor), but it's safe to say some of you may have shoes only worn once for $175 sitting in your closet. Just sayin'. Of course, maintenance is a super important factor if you want to take the plunge here. Definitely consult your local cobbler, but proper upkeep that I would recommend is rubberizing the soles if you walk a lot and weekly polishing the leather toe and heel to buff out scuffing. I don't mean to be a nag, but taking care of your shoes will drastically extend their lifetime.



Aside from being a very classic style, this version in the navy tweed fabrication is extremely versatile. For anyone who has the irrational phobia of pairing navy and black, it's time to get over it. It's an insanely chic combination.

Aside from being a very classic style, this version in the navy tweed fabrication is extremely versatile. For anyone who has the irrational phobia of pairing navy and black, it's time to get over it. It's an insanely chic combination.

The comfortable mid-heel height is ideal for daily wear. Even working from home, I felt put together and focused but also not insane for wearing these around the house. Getting dressed these days is still a challenge, especially with pumps, but I kept comfort top of mind and with a few little twists and tricks, put together easy looks for these shoes that anyone can master.

The Not-So-Basic Jeans and a Sweater


I started here because this is a look everybody can relate to. But I want to be clear about the choices made, since this simplifying this look too much can border on boring. These pegged, acid-wash, high-waisted jeans from Ulla Johnson are insanely comfortable to work at home in, but don't look too casual. I tucked in a thrifted argyle sweater from Thrilling, layered some studded belts and a silk bandana to tie it all together—wow, the power of accessories! I felt great and I think the shoes helped ground this vintage look with a bit of femininity so it didn't feel too '80s. 10/10, will wear this look again.

La Femme Flannel


Although I have a steady rotation of WFH outfits, I hadn't quite dabbled in flannel yet and well, 'tis the season. This is my fiancé's from Brooks Brothers and the black and white doesn't read too "lumberjack", especially when paired with the navy tweed of these shoes. With my recent rediscovery of stretchy headbands I unintentionally drifted into Roberta from Now and Then territory, which is honestly such a vibe. The leggings are the no-brainer base and this Hermes belt helps tie in the shoes to this look, a welcome addition to my rotation.

All Coat, All the Time


Come winter, most of what anyone on the street really sees of you is your coat, but that doesn't mean you can't embrace it as your entire look (inside tip: this is what fashion editors do during fashion week, since there aren't really places to hang your coat during shows). I imagine this is what dressing for outside dining during the winter will be like, so get your coat wardrobes ready. I paired this Tibi coat with lace tights and a vintage Chanel backpack for a double dose of luxury. The shoes made me feel super ladylike here. A zero-effort, super polished look.

Sweatpants in Public


Since everyone can't seem to get over wearing sweats, I was determined to make them into more of an "outfit". I took a cue from Princess Diana and grabbed my preppy vintage Ralph Lauren blazer from Thrilling and added a graphic tee (sidebar: if you haven't seen Queen & Slim yet, what are you waiting for??) and slipped on the sweats. I was stunned how much I liked the pumps with these. I would normally throw on a ballet flat or sneaker, but the pumps are just as easy to wear but much more unexpected. This is a perfect "meetchya half way" weekend look when you don't really want to get dressed for brunch or errands. I even like it topped off with these Chanel glasses so my eyes can take a break from contacts. I'm hooked!

Date Night but Make it Comfy


Determined to feel "hot" again, I had to dig deep. I really let comfort take over this year and in turn, let myself go. However, there is no turning back—I just can't wear something knowingly uncomfortable anymore, I know too much now. So I paired an oversized bomber jacket from Daily Paper with a go-to Saint James long sleeve tucked into a sexy, side-slit vintage Miu Miu skirt from The Real Real and of course added some Chanel-logo tights for the full effect. The low heels of the pumps made this look dressy, but not too outrageous with the side-slit. I feel like my ol' self again!

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