What to Wear IV: Shoes for a Navy Bridesmaid Dress?
Dear Amy –
I have a shoe problem! It begins with this bridesmaid dress. WTF, yes? But wait, there’s more! It’s in NAVY and pink. Ugh. NAVY!! The real problem is what sort of shoe do I wear with a chiffony navy dress, complete with pink piping? The thing is I would really hate to buy navy heels. Because when would I ever wear navy party shoes again? There’s no way I could ever wear the dress again and I’ll be damned if I shell out money for a pair of shoes that I will only wear once! The thought of buying shoes KNOWING that I will probably never wear them again just breaks my soul!
I love me some high heels and my boyfriend is tall, so no parameters on heel height. And the bride has been gracious enough to let us choose our own shoes. I am willing to invest in a lovely pair of cross-occasion-functioning party shoes. And a pretty pair of shoes can keep me in happy spirits until I can at least get to the champagne at the reception!
What’s a girl to do?? I appreciate your help, fashion master Amy…
Navy Know Nothing
Ugh, yeah. Navy. It’s stymied the best of us, my friend. You have to get the shade *just so* or it looks wrong and random OR overly matchy-match-matched, which is its own form of wrong. And that’s way too much stress for a bridal shoe that you know you will never wear again.
And pink shoes would be entirely too precious. Preshus! Moving on.
So, I would look beyond the colors of the dress for a pairing.Think jewelry, flowers, your handbag? Any silver going on there? Silver is a great match for blue, and high-heeled silver sandals will go with plenty of other party outfits. I’m not a fan of super-shiny metallic shoes, so I’m picturing something fairly simple — maybe strappy like this to continue with the piping detail, or something understated like this or this.
Your other option (and I cannot believe I’m about to suggest this) is…well. Dyeable shoes. Shut up! I know! But listen. Some of them are not completely hideous, AND you can re-dye them. So you get a cute pair in a style you like, get them dyed navy, wear them once and then get them re-dyed black. Plenty of bridal shops can do this for you, or you can do it through a variety of websites, or even do it yourself with some satin shoe dye to save some money. (Every website I found recommended Dylon dye, but I think its only sold in the UK.)
The bridal shop is your best bet, since they can tell you what fabrics can be re-dyed (silk, I believe, can only be dyed once, but I could be making this completely up) and what shade of navy will best be covered up with black dye later. I’m not sure this will necessarily save you money in the long run — you can get the shoes for under $100 usually, and the dying will cost $12 to $25. A great pair of silver shoes would still be my top pick, but if those won’t work for whatever reason (or there’s another bridesmaid out there who was NOT given such nice freedom re: footwear and is stuck with a hideous pair of custom-dyed teal pumps), check out the bridal section for something you’d ultimately like to have in black.Published December 11, 2007. Last updated September 7, 2017.