Disclaimer: this is a long post . . . about shoes. Grab a latte or duck out and save yourself while you can.
This July finds me a sweaty, red-faced bride . . . on a continued hunt for red shoes.
From the earliest stages of wedding planning, I’ve been specific about one aspect of my “vision”: that on my wedding day, I would glide (or, um, hobble. Whichever) to my fiance in a tea-length dress and red heels. When I found the perfect gown without too much trouble, I figured — naively, perhaps — that the shoes would follow suit. I’m as picky about my feet as the next woman, I’m sure, but I’m not a shoe hoarder . . . nor someone who typically has a hard time finding shoes.
These heels, friends. These elusive, wacky, unknown and mysterious red heels. I’ve shopped in-person, I’ve shopped online, I’ve prowled the dustiest corners of eBay and Amazon and DSW and, lately, Zappos — where today’s selection originates. I actually ordered one pair of red heels on clearance directly from David’s Bridal, but losing weight has meant losing weight everywhere . . . and those heels no longer fit. I tried padding them with special inserts but, even if the slack in back could be taken up, the peep-toe — though adorable! — pinches my tootsies. Big time.
Of the many aspects of the wedding day we have to finalize, finding these dumb shoes is what’s making me the cuh-raziest. I have my first dress fitting in three weeks and am under orders to have my shoes with me. Because I’m wearing a shorter dress, though, I figure I won’t have the length issue many other brides do; as someone on the petite side, I know all about garments that run too long. So as long as I have a pair of heels with me, that should be fine, right?
Eh. Don’t mind me, over here mumbling nervously to myself.
Regardless of whether I will have the shoes in question for the fitting, I need to make a decision and check this off my list. I am going batty looking for red heels, friends, and while it was a fun little hunt at first, I’m starting to get nervous and frustrated. I’ve taken to bridal message boards for recommendations; I’ve badgered friends and bloggers for the origin of their own wedding shoes. I’ve made a giant pest of myself — all in the name of heels! — and it needs to stop.
So maybe that’s where you come in.
If I wasn’t so OCD, maybe I wouldn’t be in a blind panic about shoes right now. But being
a) a woman;
b) a woman who has attended many formal events; and
c) a woman who has attended many formal events and had her feet kill her,
I’m serious about finding shoes I can actually wear. Given that I’ll be on my feet for a good six hours or more on November 10, I’m not playing around. I don’t want to be thinking about how much my feet hurt in my wedding day. Friends have recommended doing the flip-flop thing for the reception, but I’m just not down with the idea. Everyone will see my feet. No flip-flops. No going barefoot. I am toying with the idea of getting a red flat to wear in case of emergencies, but that’s another thought (and another post). I want to do this thing right.
Like so many blushing brides-to-be (do any of us actually blush?), I’ve envisioned a certain heel — maybe satin, perhaps studded with rhinestones — that remains elusive. I have an idea of this shoe, but this shoe does not seem to exist. (Or if it does, it’s way out of my budget.) As money is definitely a factor, I need to stay below $100. Because I’m a klutz and will be nervous, the heel can’t be too high. I would love a slingback, if possible, because a strap will make me feel more comfortable, and I favor satin styles rather than a leather or patent-leather look. And they must be red, natch.
After hours (hours!) of searching online and in-store, I’ve made my top three choices.
So. Since the prices are all comparable, we can go ahead and say cost is not a factor here.
So which one?
I’ll start by saying right away that shoe No. 3 is my favorite. I love the satin look, the red bow, the not-too-high heel and the peep-toe. On my epic list of “wants,” this shoe meets everything except the strap to hold it in place more securely. So what’s my hold-up? It’s very similar to the pair I already have from David’s Bridal that do not fit at all (and they’re also a size 8). Maybe that’s totally unfair prejudice against this shoe but, you know, there it is. That fear is what’s holding me back from committing.
Shoe No. 2 lights up my life for the same reasons as No. 3 but without the bow, which isn’t necessarily a problem. I like the ruching detail, and it looks like a sturdy heel that I can walk in without busting my face on tile. Don’t underestimate my ability to bust my face, friends; I somehow managed to bruise a toe against the coffee table simply by standing up Sunday. Like, I don’t even know what happened. One minute I’m walking toward the kitchen; the next I’m seething by a chair, moaning and fighting back stunned tears over a random toe injury.
These things happen.
And this brings us to Shoe No. 1. I might have gone ahead and taken the plunge with these babies except for the buckle detail. It has the strap, a sturdy base and a bow, but the heel is actually 5 inches (whoa!) and I’m not sure about a buckle with my lace-and-applique wedding dress. Will it look weird? Out of place?
Am I just totally going crazy at this point?
Because Zappos offers free shipping both ways, I’m seriously thinking about ordering my two favorite pairs, trying them out and returning the loser. I hate returning things (don’t ask why — it’s not like it’s a huge deal to go to the post office, where I practically live), so I’m coaching myself with the mantra that I will return at least one pair no matter what and not waste my money, as is usually the case.
No number of blog posts will bring me any closer to a decision until I actually get these on my feet, right?
So which two should it be? Now accepting votes. And assurances. And if you have any recommendations for other sites where I could drive myself totally nuts looking at satin uppers and widths and peep-toes, please share. Any thoughts on comfy heels or brands? Sites you love? Medicinal cures for shoe-sanity?
Send help. And diet soda.
EDITED TO ADD on 7/18: Thank you all so much for your feedback! Based on your responses, I went ahead and ordered No. 2 and No. 3 — just waiting for my shiny package to arrive. I’ll post a follow-up after I get these on my feet, and will definitely share the winner.