Accessories: If The Shoe Fits
Maybe you’re a no-frills kind of gal, but chances are at the very least you need to wear some shoes. If you dare to be so bold, you might even wear jewelery. Goodness, you could even have *gasp* a purse. Oh the humanity!
Accessories are a great and easy way to punch up your look. You can go for the things that match your dress to really accent it’s detailing, or you can choose pieces that spice it up. They can define your whole look and really shape the vibe you want to give off for the day. From the traditional to the eccentric, what you do is up to you. Since choosing accessories is really personal and so dependent on your own style, I can’t really say much about how to choose them (other than to say stay in your budget and try them all on together!), but I can give you some ideas on where to conduct your hunt for the perfect ones!
For me, it was all about the shoes. I was set on having blue shoes. I don’t mean powder blue or tiffany blue (you know, reasonable blues), I wanted an in-your-face sapphire blue. As blue as it gets. And bling. Blue and bling. I was not going to settle. Since they’re under a floor length dress, I don’t need to worry about it being overly obnoxious, but just obnoxious enough that when they peek out everyone goes “WOW! Those are BLUE!” After an initial look at my usual shoe hangouts, it looked like I was in a pickle. Despite the *ahem* interesting shoes out there, it appeared that a blue that intense was not something that was readily out there, so I started looking for alternatives.
I don’t usually order shoes from online because my feet are for some reason hard to fit, however that’s the route I turned. At the recommendation of some friends, I started stalking Endless, Zappos, and 6pm for shoes. If you’ve never checked them out before, I highly recommend giving them a shot. You can search with a variety of parameters to really find your perfect shoe, and they update with new items almost daily. Endless and Zappos also have really generous return policies: free returns in 365 days of your purchase as long as they’re in new condition. This was incredibly helpful for me while I was searching for my shoes. I would order a group of shoes at a time (in a couple of sizes because of the aforementioned hard to fit feet), try them on and walk around the house for a while to test them out, pick a favorite to keep and send the rest back. I’d check the sites once a week (at least) to check for new shoes, and if I found any I’d start the cycle all over again, always keeping my favorite pair until I found the perfect ones!
If you still can’t find quite what you’re looking for, you can always try dyeing your shoes. You can’t dye just any ole shoes, but you can find retailers that sell shoes specifically made for this. Most bridal shops that sell shoes have a good number available in dyeable silk. My Glass Slipper (and it’s sister sites) is a pretty common recommendation for an online source. The biggest brands are Dyeables and Coloriffics, but you can always find other ones. Just be sure the shoes you are going to dye are actually labeled as “dyeable silk”. Not just any old white shoe will do.
Do not attempt to dye the shoes yourself. Always enlist the help of a professional service. The above mentioned websites will dye shoes, as will most bridal shops that offer the shoes (or they’ll be able to recommend a place to go). If you are attempting to color match, be aware that the colors look vastly different on different materials and in different lights, so an exact match will be next to impossible. Your feet will be far enough away from most other colored items that you likely won’t notice any difference in a practical setting. The biggest thing to be aware of with dyed shoes is that they are prone to bleeding if they get wet. You can minimize this effect by spray a protectant like Scotch Guard on the shoes when you first get them, though they still won’t be completely run proof. The largest complaint is that the color rubs off on your feet over the course of the day, but it washes off easily. Some brides have mentioned having the shoes rub off slightly on dress edge.
Regardless of how you go about choosing your shoe, make a habit of wearing them around the house (when you’re not doing anything that could potentially lead to ruining them anyway). It’s a great way to not just break them in a bit, but to also make sure you can actually wear them as long as you’ll need to. If you have some fit issues, try some of the gel inserts in either the toe area (if you’re having sliding issues) or at the back of the heel (if the shoe slips a little). They have some great ones at DSW. If you’re afraid of blisters, Dr. Scholl’s Rub Relief stick (not the foam roll!) is awesome, and it doesn’t leave any marks on your shoes.
Some people like to switch shoes for the reception. If that’s you, be careful. When you get your dress hemmed, you’ll be getting it hemmed at the length it needs to be for the ceremony. That means if you’re shifting from a tall heel to a flat, you’re going to have your dress dragging on the ground for the entire reception. A bustle won’t fix that. A small step down won’t be as big of a deal, so if you’re switching from a low heel to a flat, or even a tall heel to a less tall heel, the problem won’t be as bad, but if you’re going from 3 1/2″ heels to ballet flats, you’re going to have some difficulties. Take that into account when making your shoe choices!
Please, please, please, as the bride don’t go barefoot at the reception. Even if you put on Old Navy flip-flops, don’t do the “ditch the shoes” thing.
Who would have thought I could say THAT much about shoes?! I’ll do posts later about jewelry and any other special accessories I can think of. If you have any requests, let me know!
What do your dream shoes look like?