January 3, 2014

Ask RF: Under Construction

As we sail into 2014 we are marking the beginning of the new year with a brand new series  -- Ask RF. Email us your fashion conundrums and we will, like year round elves, do our level best to help.

Dear RF,
I’ve recently started to spend a lot of time on construction sites for my job (I’m a field engineer), and the first thing you learn while on site is SAFETY FIRST! I’ve got a hard hat that I take with me, but it didn’t take me long to find out that ballet flats aren’t the most ideal footwear for dodging nails, climbing ladders and tromping through dirt.  After a fruitless Google search for “female engineer wardrobe”, I asked my colleagues (all men in their late 40’s to early 50’s) what I should purchase.  Now, I know fashion isn’t the #1 priority in my field, but the general consensus of “$50 steel-toes from Wal-Mart” wasn’t the response I was hoping for.  Is there anything out there that 1) has a thick enough sole that a rogue nail won’t land me in the hospital for tetanus boosters; 2) is comfy enough to stand up to 10-12 hour days; and 3) looks utilitarian enough that it doesn’t open me up to “engineer Barbie” jokes, but still fashionable enough that I might be able to integrate them into my wardrobe?
- Amanda

Dear Amanda,
First of all, congratulations on your new position! We totally empathize with your need to be fashionable but stable on rocky ground. Your question reminded us of our days in Japan when we would get invited to hike up Mount Misen in Miyajima and realized that we only owned cute (but flimsy) flats and a couple fun heels. We opted for flats but they were dusty and dingy by the end of it, and while our Japanese sisters were somehow able to ascend the mountain in platform pin-up heels, we yearned for a shoe that would be stylish but sturdy.

Fortunately, we think have discovered some rugged options that you will be able to seamlessly incorporate when you're off the job. Make sure to protect your shoes from the elements at your workplace with a shoe protector spray and we hope you'll be stomping proudly in your new shoes! 
xoxo RF

If you have a fashion query of your own, send us a message at remotelyfashion@gmail.com with the title "Ask RF"!


  1. These are all great shoes, but none of them are actual safety footwear. On a construction site, I think Amanda's employers are more worried about her feet being crushed than her shoes getting dusty. If she likes the Dr. Martens look, the 1925 and the 1919 styles both have steel toes. There's also a 7" and 11" Steel Toe Engineer boot from Chippewa that isn't totally offensive -- and if she wears larger than a size 8 women's she should look at more of the Chippewa boots, because they start with a men's 6 which fits about a men's 8.

  2. Thanks for your comment! We will make sure Amanda checks out these styles. Why so anonymous??


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