The Ultimate Guide to Pumps for 2023 - Anne Klein

When it comes to women's footwear, few styles exude timeless elegance quite like a classy pair of pumps. 

These iconic shoes have been a staple in women's fashion for decades, gracing the feet of celebrities, professionals, and fashionistas alike. 

Let’s explore the world of women's pumps, from their fascinating history to the various types available today — we'll also help you style them to perfection! 

What Are Pumps?

Pumps are a type of women's footwear characterized by three distinct features:

  1. A closed back

  2. A low-cut front

  3. A high heel

Pumps are admired for their ability to elongate the legs and add an element of sophistication to any outfit. They typically have a sleek and classic design, making them suitable for a wide range of occasions, from formal events to the office and even casual outings — it all depends on the outfit you pair them with!

The History of Pumps

The concept of high-heeled shoes dates back to ancient civilizations. In ancient Egypt, around 3500 B.C. In those days, both women and men wore heels as a symbol of social status. Elevated footwear also served a practical purpose: helping to keep the wearer's feet above the hot sands of the desert.

While heels continued to evolve throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the classic pump, as we know it today, started to emerge during the early 19th century. During this era, pumps were unisex footwear and were often made with low heels. They featured a rounded toe, a closed back, and a low-cut front — just like the modern pump. These shoes were practical for both men and women, primarily as indoor shoes or for more formal occasions.

The 20th century saw pumps cement their status as a symbol of sophistication and glamor — iconic actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood, like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, frequently wore pumps both on and off-screen. Their elegance and charm helped to solidify the association between pumps and timeless style.

Today, pumps come in a wide range of styles, materials, and heel heights to suit every occasion and personal taste. While classic black and nude pumps remain wardrobe staples, designers continually experiment with colors, textures, and embellishments, allowing women to express their individuality through their choice of pumps.

Types of Pumps

As one of the most versatile footwear options on the market, there are several different styles of pumps available. 

Let’s look at four of the most common types. 


Slingback pumps are characterized by a strap that wraps around the back of the heel, leaving the heel exposed. This style combines the sophistication of pumps with a touch of playfulness — they’re suitable for both formal and semi-casual occasions.

Brooklyn Pump

The Anne Klein Brooklyn Pump — the perfect example of a stylish slingback pump that works with all of your favorite outfits. 

Get the Shoes

Peep toe

Peep toe pumps feature a small opening at the front of the shoe. This subtle detail adds a feminine touch to the classic pump design, making them ideal for cocktail parties and special events.

Vixen Dress Pumps

The flirty and feminine nature of peep toe pumps make them a must-have for your wardrobe — like these Vixen Dress Pumps, for example. 

Get the Shoes

Kitten heel

Kitten heel pumps are perfect for those who desire the elegance of high heels but prefer a lower heel height. With a typically slender and curvy heel that's around 1.5 to 2 inches in height, these pumps are comfortable and versatile, making them suitable for extended wear.

Infinity Kitten Heel

The Infinity Kitten Heel from Anne Klein gives you a fun addition to your shoe closet — it comes in three different colors, too! 

Get the Shoes


The d'Orsay style is recognized by a cutaway on either side of the shoe, revealing the arch of the foot. This design creates an illusion of longer, slimmer legs and is ideal for more formal occasions — or when you want to make a bold fashion statement.

How to Style Pumps

Knowing about the different types of pumps is one thing — understanding how to create timeless and classy outfits is another thing. 

Let’s create two different looks: An office look and a casual outfit.

For the Office

Everything starts with a classic pump in a neutral color — these Bice Dress Pumps from Anne Klein will work:

Bice Dress Pumps f

Get the Shoes

Up top, you have a few different options. You could go with fitted trousers and a blazer, or you could pair it with a dress — totally up to your preferences. 

Either way, you end up with a go-to office look for important meetings when you want to look your best. 

Casual Chic

Pumps aren’t just for formal events — they can be used to create a classic casual look! 

The Infinity Kitten Heel we mentioned above is a great start — kitten-style pumps are perfect for your casual outfits.

Infinity Kitten Heel

Get the Shoes

For this outfit, we’ll pair them with your favorite denim. Up top, we recommend opting for a blouse — it’s hard to beat the blouse and denim combo for your classy casual looks. 

Shop For Classy Pumps From Anne Klein

Looking to bolster your shoe collection?

Anne Klein’s heels collection includes all different types of pumps for any occasion, from kitten heels to dress pumps and much more.

Shop the collection today and create some all-time favorite outfits! 

Shop Our Pumps