For the stiletto-averse, kitten heels are the perfect solution. Usually measuring in at a mere 1 to 2 inches at the most, kitten heels tend to sit under the heel of the shoe, creating a dainty and ladylike profile that makes up for the lack of heel height. Multiple styles of kitten-heeled shoes abound, from office-appropriate to casual wear. Look to these preferred brands and stores when starting your search for the perfect pair.
Start your search with big-name department stores and shoe giants, like Macy's, DSW, and Nordstrom. Nordstrom alone carries 96 styles at press time, ranging from basic black kitten-heeled pumps from Stuart Weitzman to a pink-hued "Notice Me" pump by Poetic Licence, complete with a vintage-style brooch and blow detail at the toe. Prices range on the website from $35 to over $200 depending on style and brand. Dressy and strappy sandals, open-toed pumps, pointy-toed and round-toed options are all available.
DSW is the bargain mecca for shoe lovers; at press time, many kitten-heeled styles were available on the website, including point-toed boots with a Victorian sensibility from makers like Liz Claiborne and Anne Klein. Boots start as low as $70 and pumps are as cheap as $25. Brick and mortar stores also carry inventory not always available on the website, and vice versa. The DSW rewards program is worth joining, as you receive a gift card to the store after a certain amount spent, as well as unique codes and special offers only available to rewards holders.
Stores that specialize in mod, retro-inspired clothing are also a great source for kitten heels. Urban Outfitters, for example, carries brands you won't find in department stores and big box shoe stores. The Kimchi Blue Suede Pointy Kitten Heel, for example, is a basic suede pump with a wrapped 2.5" tapered heel available in bright red, black, or taupe. This shoe sells for only $49. The BDG Suede Kitten Heel sells for the same price and features a thicker kitten heel for more retro appeal; it's available online only in black, gray, and yellow.
Anthropologie, the more upscale and chic sister store to Urban Outfitters, also specializes in unique brands. Its Ixora Kitten Heels, by Butter, sells for $278 and features a gorgeous silk-cotton textile with bright orange bows at the toe. Anthropologie often carries several pairs of kitten heels in any given season.
For popular brands, rely on brands like Nine West, Seychelles, Bandolino, and others. These brands can be found at popular department stores like Macy's, Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom, and Carson Pirie Scott, to name a few. The Bandolino Classic Pop Pumps, for example, feature a slingback and pointy-toed basic kitten heel with fashion-forward prints like leopard-print mesh, reptile print mesh, or patent leather; it is available on sale at press time for $48.30 at Macy's. Adrienne Vittadini is another popular brand that specializes in work-appropriate footwear; at press time, several styles were available at Macy's, including the Jolie Pump, $95, featuring a cozy fall mix of herringbone and leather, and the Jeremy Pump, on sale for $49.50, with a cutout detail and bow at the toe.