Let’s Get Some Shoes: Wedding Crisis Edition #12849546923
I’d start off by calling you “Oh wise and wonderful, all-knowing Amalah” because that’s what I usually see on your website, but that’s really not my style, so I’ll try this. HELP ME!!
I ordered shoes to go with a dress for my cocktail party wedding reception. I ended up returning the dress, but I found another one that I am going to wear that matches them perfectly, so there you go. All is well, right? No, not right. I went to have the dress tailored today, and after wearing the shoes for 15 minutes to turn in a tiny circle to have the hem pinned, I could barely walk back to my office. So, I need new shoes and they MUST be comfortable. Suggestions?
The dress is this one.
And the shoes from hell are these.
Seeing that I have now passed the 90 day return window at BlueFly.com, I’d like to keep the costs down, since I’m the proud owner of $135 closet decorations. I know that very little of them is going to show, but I’m OCD in that they must match my dress. You know, in case I fall down drunk and people are all, “OMG – her shoes don’t match her dress” rather than “OMG – check out the drunk bride. Bwahahahahahahaha.”
Sign me something cute and creative….I’m cute, but not the least bit creative!
Oh Stuart Weitzman! Why? Why did you let this poor bride down with uncomfortable shoes? That’s not like you, Stuart. Is everything ok at home? Are you getting enough sleep?
Well. Since buying shoes online can be a little dicey, even under the best of circumstances, I’m going to really really encourage you to shop for shoes in person this time. I’m not sure where you live — is there a DSW within a reasonable distance? what about Nordstrom Rack or Filene’s Basement? can you run right out to a nice department store and hit the clearance rack where all the pretty holiday party shoes now reside?
You’ve got the right eye for style and color — you just need to find something similar that fits better. Maybe something with fewer straps, since they’ve been the pinchy downfall of the best of us.
But if you’re really deer-in-the-headlights panicked, let’s take a look at what we can find online. Note that you should probably order SEVERAL pairs and try them on PROMPTLY. Return the rejects promptly. I like Bluefly’s returns since you can schedule a pickup right from your front door using DHL.com, but Zappo’s has that sweet free overnight shipping. (Zappo’s also has the perk of user reviews and ratings that let you know when a particular style runs small or large or narrow or whatever. You’ll notice that a very similar shoe to your Pair From Hell was overwhelmingly dinged with “Felt Narrower Than Marked.”)
These Calvin Kleins are really similar to my own party shoes, which were totally comfortable, if possibly a half-size larger than I needed. (I got the very last pair at FIlene’s, though, so I couldn’t be that picky.) They ARE very high, but not pinchy in the slightest, and very kind to me and my very high arch.
While these Coloriffics lack a nice snobby brand name, I ADORE d’Orsays (no ankle straps to cut and pinch!) and kind of dig how the twisty detail would match the bodice of your dress. But this could possibly be too matchy-matchy, even for your OCD. But for the price, there’s no harm in tossing them in your cart as an option.
Here’s a similar style by Kenneth Cole — in a shorter heel, too, for more comfort.
I didn’t really see anything at Bluefly that jumped out at me — just a lot of super-strappy shoes that will probably hurt just as much as the pair you’re stuck with.
Another thing to keep in mind if you opt to shop online: if you’re going to spend a chunk of money on strappy shoes, TRY to find leather ones. I was going to suggest buying a shoe form and sloooowly stretching the straps out, until I read the fine print and saw that dang, the straps are fabric. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to wear strappy fabric shoes. Unless they were custom-made for your feet, one of those straps is going to dig a tiny bit somewhere until the end of time, because they just don’t give like leather. It’s harder to do on a budget (check out the price jump on a pair of LEATHER strappy Stuart Weitzmans), but if you really, really need comfort, you might just have to suck it up. (Maybe put the other pair on eBay or on your company’s For Sale board?)
And lastly: KNOW YOUR FOOT and all its quirks. Got a high arch? Just stay away from anything that involves straps or bling across the high part of your foot. On the wide side? Pay close attention to the user ratings. Super-narrow foot? Remember that without any adjustable buckles or straps, your foot will be sliding and slipping all over the place. And going up a half-size doesn’t always translate into “more comfortable.” (I know so many women who do this! All the time! And then they’re wobbling around on too-big shoes, increasing the risk of blisters AND falling down after hitting the champagne when that extra half-size in the toe meets the carpet and you do that awkward trip-thing and then turn and accusingly glare at the floor.)
Amy, who spent YEARS insisting she was a size 7.5 and tripped on a lot of carpets before realizing that she was actually just a 7.