October 18, 2011 1:07 PM   Subscribe

I have to be in a wedding this week and I really don't feel like dealing with the new request about having to wear heels. And I look like a WIDE LOAD in this stupid dress I have to wear. Help me calm down.

First, I should mention I am 5'8" size 10/12 and size 8.5-9 shoe. I have long arms and legs.
And I need to wear this dress in black with kiwi trim.

1. I was told an hour ago that I will need to wear heels. "Height and heel shape is not important. Just color: Black"
I hate heels. I have worn (1") heels for a total of a half hour in my entire life.
Does anyone have tips on how to walk in the friggin things?
What "style" of heel do you think would go with this dress?
Do you think I can get away with wedge/platform shoes?
Bonus if anyone knows of brands/styles that are cheap and comfortable and can be purchased locally (bigshoebox store). I won't have time to buy online and try to play the shoe-size game.

I checked with my whopping three female friends and they all have smaller feet. So borrowing is out of the question.

other kinda-issue:

2. I have a wide waist and this dress amplifies that by 60,000. Is there anything I can do about this? Any tricks? Like wearing some sort of accessory? I know that most people will be looking at the bride, but I'd still like to look good. Will heels actually help this problem? Maybe make it worse?

posted by KogeLiz to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (72 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
And I need to wear this dress in black with kiwi trim.

Women are soooo mean to each other. Wow.

Help me calm down.

Dude, you're doing a good thing for whoever is making you attend in this situation. I think you just have to "grin and bear it" for that person.

You seem like the person who does a lot for her loved ones, and someone is just kinda expecting you to do this. If thats the case...maybe after all this is over, you can THEN talk to that person and get what you need to feel "whole" again.

Good luck, dude....and you so get to drink at the wedding.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:14 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Platforms will just make you look clumpy. A wedge heeled pump might work.

Flats won't make you look better. The angle of the heel makes the dress work better. I'd make the ribbon belt sit below your natural waist just a bit, so you're not cut in half.

Or check out Zappos--you can get fast shipping.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:15 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well, if you buy from Zappos, they pay shipping BOTH WAYS, so you could just buy in multiple sizes and return what doesn't work.

I know a lot of people are all about it being the "bride's day", but I personally would get back in touch with her and say, "I have worn low heels for a total of half an hour in my entire life. I really don't think I can walk in them. How about ballet wedges?" (though I suspect if you wore black ballet wedges, she wouldn't even notice.)

Information about what she expects from you really should have come weeks ago. She's this late with it not because she's trying to be tyrannical, but because she assumes everyone who wears dresses ever owns a pair of black heels. And at 5'8", there's probably little reason to give you a height boost.
posted by endless_forms at 1:15 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Tie the sash higher up (at your natural waste-ish)? Wear shoes with a small wide-ish heel for sure. There's no reason to have to torture yourself.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:16 PM on October 18, 2011 [12 favorites]

Is that sash sewn on? That'd be the first thing I'd think about moving around. Can you turn it into a faux empire waist by sewing the sash higher up, thereby minimizing the boxiness of your body shape?

I don't see an issue with wedge shoes, provided the shoe is sufficiently dressy. Just no to the platforms.
posted by LN at 1:16 PM on October 18, 2011

Jesus, black and kiwi? That's just not nice.

What about removing that sash somehow and getting a large black belt to cinch in your waist?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:17 PM on October 18, 2011

I just finished standing in my first wedding. I don't do heels very well.

It's really not so bad. Just try to find something low, and I found that if the back is supported well (like not slingback) it helped a lot with comfort. The walking you'll be doing is really slow anyway, it's probably a good idea to practice your speed anyway. I think I went down the aisle too fast. I generally look like an idiot in heels but I walked so slow that it wasn't an issue.

I probably had to stand in the shoes for an hour at a time. The ceremony only took a half hour, pictures were mostly standing around waiting, and I wore flats to the reception.
posted by sarae at 1:18 PM on October 18, 2011

1. Get low black heels. (no platform!) Wear during ceremony.
2. Change into comfy black ballerina flats for reception.
posted by HopperFan at 1:18 PM on October 18, 2011 [30 favorites]

If I were in your position, I'd be insistent about the heel thing. "I don't know how to walk in heels and am likely to fall over on the other wedding party members." In my case, it would be true.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:19 PM on October 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

Hey, I was a reluctant bridesmaid in the past and looking back I kind of regret my (secretly) crabby ways. And I think the dress is pretty!! (and I am not a 'wedding' person). Just wear 1inch heels, buy them at payless- I have worn $15 shoes (the same ones) to the past 4 weddings I've been in. Good luck. Get drunk (but not too drunk) and have fun.
posted by bquarters at 1:19 PM on October 18, 2011 [5 favorites]

Yeah, move the ribbon thingy up to your natural waist if you can.
The shoe mandate says: Height and heel shape is not important.
so I would totally interpret that as meaning "flats are ok!"
posted by travertina at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, and regarding the dress -- not to be your mom, but stand up straight. Straighter. Shoulders back and down. Carrying a bouquet helps with this. If there are several other women attending, you are guaranteed to look good in comparison to their posture -- most people slump.

Can you put on a little black bolero/shrug to lengthen the line of the dress and minimize that horizontal line the strapless gives you?
posted by endless_forms at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

A kitten heel can be your best friend. Although they are small heels, they have a classic look that makes them feel dressy. No platforms, no wedges with this dress.

An example: this Calvin Klein from Zappo's, which you can get at Off-Broadway for half of what Zappo's is charging.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2011 [5 favorites]

Try searching for kitten heels - they're heels, technically, but usually an inch or less and you shouldn't have major issues walking in them. If you have DSW in your area, just go and try some things on. They should have a pretty large selection of black heels.

I'm a big fan of Nine West (do you have an outlet near you?) - they're usually affordable and also comfortable. I wear heels about 90% of the time, I'd say, and really it's not a problem at all to walk in them. I'd bet a lot of your issue with heels is that you haven't had the patience to find some that are well made and comfortable. For that reason, I would steer clear of places like Target and Payless - some of my most hellish shoe experiences have come from trying to go cheap on heels.

As for the dress, well, you have my sympathy. I was once a bridesmaid in a strapless dress that was the exact color of my pasty skin. I actually cried over it between the wedding and reception. but! I survived, and I'm sure not one person at that wedding remembers how I looked in that dress. Try to have fun and focus on making the day great for your friend.
posted by something something at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2011

Ugh, I share your pain - I cannot walk in heels to save my life. My approach in your situation would probably be to go with a pair of dressy flat shoes (or a wedge, if I could find some I felt comfortable in) and just deal with the fallout. It sounds like you have no time to get accustomed to wearing heels - especially given the last-minute nature of this request - and if it were me, I would look a whole lot better in the bridal party wearing dressy shoes I could walk in rather than tottering down the aisle in heels I loathed and didn't trust. Your friend/relative will still be just as married whether you are standing there in heels or not.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:21 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

You are likely being much harder on yourself that you need to be. At 5'8", a 10/12 is not a wide load! And black is fairly slimming to reference a cliche. The kiwi green will hardly register - it's not a big feature of that dress.

If you can walk in a wedge, I think you can manage a heel. It's about the angle of your foot and what that does to your balance, not what's holding you at that unnatural angle.

At 6 feet tall, I totally get the point about not being used to wearing heels. I don't wear them either. But if I agreed to be in a wedding, I'd just do it. Look at a kitten heel. They are short and easy to balance on, but still look heelish.
posted by cecic at 1:21 PM on October 18, 2011 [8 favorites]

What is your shoe budget? and are sandals acceptable? and what sort of stores do you have available to you? do you have wide feet? do you hate your ankles?

with that dress, a low heel will be just fine, I'd go for something like more of a kitten heel, or basically anything that looks like a slightly glorified flat.

In general, the wider the heel the more steady you will feel. and you should be able to get away with something that looks like this sucker.

If you hate your ankles, DO NOT GET anything strappy.

With regards to feeling your waist magnified, wear the waist sash at your natural waist (so not as pictured), and that will give you a bit of an hourglass shape. wear panty-hose or shape wear to smooth everything out- buldges under satin (ie panty lines anything cutting into you) are twice as obvious. You could also carry around a light shawl for after the ceremony if you feel the need to "hide". It won't be too obvious- you can just play it off as being cold. knowing that you have a "security" blanket available could help set you at ease.

Unless otherwise specified, i'd avoid heavy necklaces- don't want to accidentely get someone angry. However I'd go wild with some killer earrings in black, silver, whatever you love. Maybe something like this style. Awesome Earrings drawy attention to your face, and give you a conversation starter.

Also, it's a wedding. HAVE FUN! bring a spare set of flats/flipflops for later in the evening and enjoy the party!
posted by larthegreat at 1:22 PM on October 18, 2011

You might buy a "waist cincher" which is basically a corset that just covers you from the top of your hips to just under the breast, and it will probably pull you in about an inch or two, but it might show under the dress. If you decide to go buy one, take the dress with you to try it on. I have one I bought for $20, so no need to spend a lot on it.

I wouldn't go with a wedge or platform heel with that dress. Try for a medium heel size: delicate enough to suit the dress, but sturdy enough to be wearable and to be in proportion with your figure. I'd suggest kitten heels.

And hey, getting stuck in some expensive dress you can never wear again is a rite of passage for a young North American woman. It could be worse — my sister got stuck with a dress of irridescent blue chiffon over crepe that made her look for all the world like she was trussed up in saran wrap. She used it as a Halloween costume later.
posted by orange swan at 1:24 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know the pain of not wanting to do something like this, but let me assure you when it's all over you'll feel that you did the right thing.

In the photo you'll note that the model is wearing quite the chunky heel. If I (butch lesbian quite a bit bigger than you) HAD to do the same I'd be on the look out for something quite similar, but in black.

Zappos shoes a few options: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Just a few (in your size) to get you going.
posted by FlamingBore at 1:25 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm reading that email to say that flats are fine, it just hasn't occurred to the bride that wedding shoes aren't automatically high heels. Some women use heels as just an alternative word for shoes. Likewise, "heels" definitely does not exclude wedges, and I would say they are explicitly included by the "height and shape does not matter" clause.

If you don't feel like it's ok to wear flats, I recommend you find something with a wide heel like a wedge. Don't wear kitten heels, they are just low stilettos with a tiny point that wobbles and sinks into grass, I have turned my weak ankles wearing them several times.
posted by crabintheocean at 1:25 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Wow. That is not a pretty dress on anyone over a size six. Also hard if you have over a size b cup, and blessed with hips (is there really a bow? Really? Why not just put a measuring tape around your hips?), because together that makes the dress highlight all the wrong spots.

I think wedges would be lovely, and consider some back up flats after the ceremony. Larger earrings to make people look at your face. A shawl to cover the shoulders is a possibility.

In terms of walking, excellent posture will be your friend in heels, activate your core, stay slightly on your toes, keep your shoulders back, and when walking, take smaller steps, and find a point on the wall to focus on to keep your head up. Slouching and strapless dresses are not a good combo.

And you are a very, very good friend. She sooooo owes you.
posted by anitanita at 1:25 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you check out the photo of the back of the dress, it looks like the sash is stitched in, separating at the back zipper, so it's not just one length of fabric. Unless you have a super long torso, it should hit at the hip like it's supposed to, and should help draw attention away from your waist.

An additional note on heels - I'm six feet tall and a size 18. I work in IT, like you. Heels (hells!) and me do not mix. Trust me when I tell you that a couple of hours for the ceremony and pics is do-able.

On preview - yes, bring a wrap/shawl, you're going to need it later.
posted by HopperFan at 1:26 PM on October 18, 2011

I think kitten heels, while low, are very pointy and hard to walk in. I would go for a mary jane-style low, wide heel like these Softspots or these Danskos. (These are expensive because they're at Zappos. You can find similar styles at Ross, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx for much less.)

Even if you're a lifelong heel-avoider, I swear you can walk in a wide, low heel in a mary jane, which will stay on your foot while you walk.

I would also suggest going to a Naturalizer store in a mall and telling them that you're not comfortable in heels but you have to wear them. They'll have options for you.
posted by purpleclover at 1:28 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

I am a total klutz but I am short with stubby legs so I like to have some heel. And I have to stand a lot sometimes at work in dress clothes.
I love my Anne Klein AK iflex line shoes - they are Anne Klein's comfort line - and they have saved my life. My favorite current pair (purchased at DSW last month) are chunky square heeled mary janes. they are cute and I ccan freaking run in them.
Good luck!
posted by pointystick at 1:28 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Wedges would be great. I don't think you should just wear flats anyway or plead a special case -- no, no no. Also for general smoothness -- try Spanx or a waist cincher as mentioned -- not because you're a "wide load" (sounds like you're fine anyway) but those garments definitely make everyone look a little more pulled together and smoothed out. Or something. There's a reason everyone oohs and aahs over the Mad Men ladies in their outfits.
posted by sweetkid at 1:29 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

wedges are easier to walk in, and easier on the feet, so go for those if you can. I think the dress isn't bad, though I wouldn't try moving the sash. Black is a slimming colour, so it's best to keep any part of you that you want to recede as dark as possoble. the sash around the hips is going to accentuate them, which is good. Do you have a good strapless bra to go under the dress? maximizing the bustline will also help. The more your bust and hips stand out, the thinner your waist will appear, and the more lovely hourglass shape you will have. If you are willimng to spend the money on it, you could consider taking the dress with you to a fancy underwear shop, and get the staff to help fit you with a bra and some shapewear to go under the dress. If you get them properly fitted, they should be comfortable. They will probably be pricey, though. If you think that you'll need to wear formalwear again in the next few years it may be a good investment, though. Good luck, I'm sure that you'll look lovely.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:31 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nthing cute wedges! So much easier to walk in. I will never wear pointy ouchy heels ever again.

Here's a cute one here.
posted by mochapickle at 1:33 PM on October 18, 2011

The sash at your natural waist will draw the eye towards that--that's why below the waist is more flattering. Sparkly earrings will draw the eye to your face, trusting she hasn't made you all wear some weird headdress thingie.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:33 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm 4 feet 11 inches tall. At the wedding where I was a bridesmaid, I was informed that I could not wear heels so I wouldn't "upstage" the bride, whatever that means. Guess how many of the bridesmaids followed that rule? One. Me. I looked ridiculous next to all the other, normally sized bridesmaids, who all had on 3 inch heels.

Just wear flats quietly and only bring it up to apologize if the bride makes a thing of it. She won't.
posted by k8lin at 1:35 PM on October 18, 2011 [5 favorites]

That ribbon thing is sewn in some spots and can't really move that much. Its does a little, though. I have no idea how to sew and don't have the money/time to bring it somewhere. The stupid ribbon thing doesn't seem to be in the right spot for my body.

The dress is very fitted, so I think wearing stuff under it would probably show through.

I actually like the black dress with kiwi accent. i probably wouldve picked the same color scheme.
Anything was better than the last two bridesmaid colors - orange and royal blue.

Also, I just realized when I said "platform" I guess I meant wedge.

I told her that I would end up throwing heels across the gardens. But she and the others said it "wasn't that bad" and to get short heels. Another girl stated she had to return her shoes that she bought because they weren't heels.
posted by KogeLiz at 1:36 PM on October 18, 2011

1. Get low black heels. Wear during ceremony.
2. Change into comfy black ballerina flats for reception.

[Or any other comfortable, relatively dressy, flat black shoes.]

Seriously, they probably want you in heels for the ceremony and pictures. After that, be comfortable! (Definitely bring the extra shoes instead of opting for barefoot. Don't forget them!)
posted by Glinn at 1:38 PM on October 18, 2011

Here's another 1-inch wedge that should be easy to walk in even for a novice heels-wearer -- low wedges feel fairly close to walking in flats.
posted by scody at 1:38 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was a bridesmaid recently and had to wear wedges. I never wear anything other than sneakers or boots. I also had to walk through sand. I didn't fall. It might have been a miracle, but the wedges weren't hard to walk in compared to 1" heels, which are like stilletos to me.
posted by backwords at 1:39 PM on October 18, 2011

fwiw, I bet your local dry cleaner could move your waist ribbon in about 5 minutes and it would cost $10. I'd do that.

I'd also be inclined to just wear ballet flats, but if you do get some low heels, if you can afford it, get high quality ones. The cheaper the shoes the more they hurt and harder they are to walk in, ime. If you have time, I've found ones that will do at the thrift store. I give them a new coat of shoe polish and viola! But you can't count on finding them in time.

As a busty person, I'd probably get some rat tail cord or something and add spaghetti straps to the dress (for the safety of everyone involved..)
posted by small_ruminant at 1:42 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, Nine Wests are pretty but are only for skinny feet. I have normal feet, from going barefooted/flip-flopped so often. Nine Wests are not for me.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:44 PM on October 18, 2011

I'm a klutz, too. The more you can practice wearing the heels, the better.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:45 PM on October 18, 2011

I can't advise on the style of shoe because I love ridiculously high heels. But I have some advice for how to walk in them.

When my now-13-year-old daughters feet grew to be the same size as mine, I let her try on my heels. I noticed she was 'clomping', as she walked the heel and toe were hitting the ground at the same time. I told her that the heel won't break, she needs to walk in the same way as with bare feet - the heel hits the ground first and then the toe. Once she understood that and trusted that the heel wouldn't snap off, she got it. (Not that I let her wear my 5 inch stilettos out of the house, but when I do, she'll be able to walk in them.)

When you try on the shoes, don't just take 2 steps forward, then 2 steps back. Walk up and down the aisle a few times, practicing the heel/toe thing.

If you can walk in 1 inch heels, you can walk in 2 inch heels. Just find the right style with a thicker heel as others have suggested above, not kitten or narrow heels.

Why do brides choose bridesmaid dresses that look great on models but don't flatter normal-shaped women? That's either mean or thoughtless - I hope your friend falls into the latter category. I do love that dress though, and remember confidence is everything. If you feel good, you look good.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:45 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Just wear whatever black shoes you want. Honestly, it's a wedding, not a photo shoot. (It is often useful to have a pair of low black heels -- kitten heels are good, or wedges if you're klutzy like I am -- but a wedding ceremony in 5 days is not the time to wear heels for the first time.)

Wearing a slimming corset thing shouldn't show through the dress -- they're designed to look natural.
posted by jeather at 1:50 PM on October 18, 2011

Since zappos does free shipping both ways, he's a few shoes from there I'd recommend:


It sucks that you have this requirement, but there are black heels you can buy that are comfy.
posted by juniperesque at 1:50 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Wow, forcing you to wear black at her wedding. She must really disapprove of her own marriage. Tsk.

If heel height is not important, you should be able to manage in a one-inch heel and not feel much difference. The style of shoe and heel depends on the size of your bones. (Please note that by "the size of your bones" I mean the size of your bones; some people take this as a euphemism for "fat", which is not what I mean.) To determine this, look at your wrists and your ankles. Smallish? Largeish?

If small, you want to avoid looking too spindly, which means no open-backed shoes. Heels should be more slender than chunky. No big embellishments or bows on the toebox. Lean more towards a tapered toebox as well.

If large, then the opposite. Wedges/platforms good (for appearance that is; very very bad for your feet as you don't go through the foot when you take a step). Honkin' great bows/embellishments, yes please. You get the idea.

Closed toes are seasonal and ceremonial. If the wedding stretches into the evening, get a fabric rather than a leather shoe. In fact, get a fabric shoe anyway, because you don't want them to look like everyday shoes. White, black, grey, metallic, or dark brown would go with a black dress.

Is she expecting you to go into the ceremony with bare shoulders? Tsk. You must remedy this immediately with a delicate-knit white wrap cardigan, wide at the neckline, that cinches nice and snug around your waist. The white will counteract the black and make you look not like a lady psychopath who struck out at the funeral she was attending for the purpose of hitting on the widower and decided to try her luck at this wedding instead.
posted by tel3path at 1:57 PM on October 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

Unfortunately I think that all of the heels junipereque linked to other than maybe the clark's are too heavy for the dress or just not dressy enough.

Peep toe wedge
Similar, Michael Kors
A more embellished option

the peep toe helps I think. Seriously, load up the card with as many pairs as you want from Zappos, keep the keepers, return the rest.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:59 PM on October 18, 2011

For walking: think about shifting your hips forward while you walk. Helps you stand up straighter and shift the weight toward the right part of your foot.

Pep talk: however bad you look in that dress, you cannot possibly look as bad as every single one of the bridesmaids at the wedding i went to a month ago. I'm pretty sure some of them were super hot, but they all looked like they were wearing ill-fitting trash sacks. I didn't notice a single one of them during the reception, which makes me think they all put on some kind of much more flattering cover-up so they'd feel comfortable the rest of the night. I recommend you do the same.
posted by juliapangolin at 1:59 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I had your dress in front of me I bet I could move your ribbon in about ten minutes flat. It has tiny, almost invisible loops coming out of the seams holding it on, right? Those can be snipped off and moved really quickly. Take it to the nearest tailor or dry cleaner.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:06 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'll n-th the suggestion for WIDE heels. The narrower the point that you stand on, the more unsteady you feel, especially as the heel heightens; if you have a nice 1" base (note that this can be a heel that looks wide from the back but narrow from the side) then you'll feel much more balanced laterally and that helps a ton. I disagree with the kitten heels suggestion because those are often quite pointy on the bottom and so may not help you feel secure in walking if your wobbliness comes from feeling like you are in danger of twisting your ankle sideways.

In terms of feeling "wide," with your size and height I doubt it's something anyone else would register as wide. However, if you're self-conscious about it, I highly recommend buying the $20 fake-Spanx at Target that run from thigh to just under the boobs. I've never had this "show" under even really tightly-fitting dresses, and it does something magical to the waist by smoothing and re-distributing the belly. Avoid any sort of "control top" underwear or pantyhose that end at the waist, as the real discomfort with shaping garments is almost always pinching where the fabric rolls at the waist. I mean, I wouldn't want to wear my fake-Spanx every day but for a few hours at a wedding, it's comfortable enough that I don't particularly notice it and I do think it makes a pretty big difference in how my waist looks in fitted dresses.
posted by iminurmefi at 2:07 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

> I told her that I would end up throwing heels across the gardens. But she and the others said it "wasn't that bad"

With respect to your friends, I'm here to say: you don't have to wear heels if you don't want to. You just don't. I've been manipulated into buying heels a few times in my life by heel-wearing pals who told me it "wasn't that bad". For me, it is that bad. For me, a night in heels is a recipe for agony, misery, and eventually, bare feet. You may be luckier than I, in which case: try some kitten heels or low wedges. If you really want to fulfill the letter of the bride's instruction, you could get a pair of comfy mary-janes with chunky one inch heel. But if you have any concerns about foot pain, please feel free to wear a pair of nice flats (or, at the very least, take some to wear for post-ceremony dancing). Bride or no bride, no one can force you to wear painful shoes.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:10 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just popping in to say I am a sneaker and ballet flat wearer 99.99% of the time, so my feet are very sensitive to even the slightest discomfort, and I cannot walk right in pumps to save my life. But on the few occasions recently that I've needed to wear a heel, the wedges that Ideefixe recommends at Target have served me really well (I have the model from last year, which is a slightly different looking toe, but it's basically the exact same shoe). They are actually easy to walk in and they don't make me want to cry from pain. Wear them around the house a little bit to break them in and then after the ceremony change into some comfortable black ballet flats pronto.
posted by hegemone at 2:20 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think you're over blowing this. A 1" heel is nothing, most winter boots have a one inch heel and half the running shoes on the market do too. Can you walk in LL Bean Maine boots? They have a one inch heel. Just go to a local store and find some cheap black low heels that are wide enough in the forefoot that they won't hurt your toes. Done.
posted by fshgrl at 2:22 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Personally, I wouldn't do it. It's too much to ask.

But if you're gamer than I am, the only pair of heels I'm even remotely able to wear are similar to these. I think the key is that they have a short, wide heel which is offset towards the arch a little bit for additional stability. For reasons I can't hope to explain, the fact that they are a little higher than kitten heels makes them actually more stable.
posted by yarly at 2:28 PM on October 18, 2011

I agree with everyone who says you're probably being too hard on yourself. It's not the worst dress I've seen ;) The advice to wear a kitten heel is really good. Get a smooth body shaper, and hold that bouquet in front of you, stand up straight, smile, and remember, the attention will only be on you momentarily, everyone's looking at the bride. Then after the pictures and the ceremony, change into comfy ballerina flats and a nice shawl, relax and have fun :)

Be sure to wear your shoes around the house so you know if they're slippy, so you can fix that. (I think those no-slip bathtub stickons would work?).
posted by lemniskate at 2:33 PM on October 18, 2011

Weddings are short, and all you do is walk slow and stand there. The bride will be way too preoccupied to notice that you've changed into flats for the reception.
posted by desjardins at 2:35 PM on October 18, 2011

I am also unable to walk in heels, but this summer I happened across two pairs of Franco Sarto wedge-heeled sandals (heel was smallish, maybe 2") at DSW, and lo!, I could run up and down stairs in them, I could walk through grass in them, I could do anything I can normally do in flats in them!!

Zappos has a few styles of black Franco Sarto wedges available - take a look.
posted by jabes at 2:47 PM on October 18, 2011

Heels will elongate your figure and make you look slimmer. They also add a nice shape to your legs. If you've worn a 1-inch before, go with a 2-inch heel max. It won't be much harder to walk in. Just make sure they're comfortable, and practice.

Also, a black dress is probably the best color -- it is slimming.

For the sash, if you can, snip where it's sewn on and (if it's possible) tie it further up. Right under the bust line.
posted by DoubleLune at 3:10 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Whatever you decide--just show up in them. There's no need to get prior approval if you're not asked to.

Your other alternative is to gracefully bow out of the ceremony. "Our friendship means too much to me to argue over shoes. I can't walk in heels--its not just that I don't prefer it--i don't think you want a linebacker preceding you down the aisle. I will come as close as I can, while still being graceful, or I can step away and support you with the rest of your guests. "
posted by vitabellosi at 3:16 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Get some spanx and calm down. I'm sure you look fine. That's a pretty universally flattering dress. You probably just aren't used to seeing yourself in something like it. A low heel for the ceremony really won't kill you. Order a few different pairs from zappos or endless, pick the most comfortable, return the rest free of charge. Change for the ceremony.
posted by whoaali at 3:32 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh and heels make you look thinner so that's one positive you can tell yourself.
posted by whoaali at 3:33 PM on October 18, 2011

I'm a heels hater, too. When I have had to wear heels, I get them at Aerosoles—they tend to be cushier than heels from other places. And yes, yes, yes, bring a comfy pair of shoes for once the ceremony is over.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:36 PM on October 18, 2011

Give the bride a call and very sweetly ask her if there is anything she needs help with, that you understand how crazy this week is for her. Then tell her that you were thinking about the heels and you feel that it will be more 'uniform' if you wear flats, since you are taller than the other bridesmaids and you don't want the pictures to look funny. If she freaks, then buy the heals and wear them with a smile. Bring flats for the reception if the heel is uncomfortable, but - heels do make any size woman look better.

As far as your size and that dress, you are going to look fantastic, because size 10/12 means you have curves. Make sure you have a great support bra, avoid carbonated beverages the day of and have a shawl or shrug handy for later in the day when it starts getting cooler and you get tired of the groomsmen staring at your cleavage. :) I would avoid spanx at all cost because unless you are used to them, you will not be comfortable.
posted by myselfasme at 3:48 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding peep toe wedges. Also, take some time to hold the bouquet in front of you at different heights and see what's the most flattering for you. Then smile and walk slowly!
posted by snickerdoodle at 3:55 PM on October 18, 2011

You're going to be fine. I really don't think the dress is that bad. As for the heals kitten heals can be really uncomfortable, its better to look for something with a wider base. A 1" heal you probably won't even notice.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 3:56 PM on October 18, 2011

Seconding ocherdraco. If you don't wear heels, buy some comfortable shoes that are typically worn by older women or women on their feet all day. Aerosoles are good. So are Easy Spirit. If you want something low, try this. It's got a nice, broad, supportive heel and it's not too high. This would offer a more classic pump look, but I'd bet it would still work for you.

Both Easy Spirit and Aerosoles (or even Clarks) tend to have a bit more support and padding in them than your typical younger, trendier brand (Nine West, etc.).

Seriously, just go shop where the old ladies and people who care less about style shop.
posted by sardonyx at 3:59 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hey, you can rock strapless, shoes are going to be the easy part.

You want a strong supportive base regardless of the height of the heel. I'd advise against kitten heels because I've always found them wobbly. Make sure you test your shoes out on different floors, even low heels can be deceptively slippery on the wrong surface.

Since you're in the market for less expensive alternatives, remember shoe inserts are your friend. They've made Target & Payless shoes a realistic last minute option for me in just these kinds of situations.

Because it's a wedding, everyone has strong opinions on what's appropriate. But neither of you want you uncomfortable or stumbling down the aisle, so I would interpret heel to mean dressy. Do you have a DSW nearby? I found 100+ options on this page.

These are some of my favorites.

Good luck and have fun!

omg shoes
posted by Space Kitty at 4:14 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

If it were me, I'd quietly buy whatever shoes I wanted - black, and with what I felt was a manageable heel, and just not mention it to the bride. If she is looking at your feet when she walks down the aisle I'd be veeeery surprised. I think people tend to get caught up in hyperfocus on what are really not the most important details with these things when on the actual day of, they aren't likely to notice or think about them at all.
posted by bunderful at 4:23 PM on October 18, 2011

One thing. If you decide on a wedge or a platform wedge (something like the first shoe Space Kitty suggested) be sure you can actually bend your foot in them to walk.

In my career I've spent a lot of time in business wear walking conventions and trade show floors. I'm always in heels for that part of the job, so I'm used to walking in heels. I've worn out dress shoes from walking so much in them.

I bought a pair of wedges similar to those mentioned above and they're just so stiff. They don't bend and they don't flex. As a result I can barely walk in them. I find I have to clop like a horse or other animal with hooves. There is no roll from the heel to the toe or from the toe to the heel. I loose any ability to at all graceful in them. And don't even get me started about going up stairs in those shoes.

So while those types of shoes are nice, some of them can be problematic. If you decide that's what you want, walk around in them, then walk around in a more traditional heel, just to see if there is a difference in the way you walk.
posted by sardonyx at 4:24 PM on October 18, 2011

5'8" and a size 12? You sound terrific. I like the dress, but can understand how you feel about buying an expensive dress that you may not like, let alone love.

Sofft brand is usually comfortable, constructed to fit real feet.
nearly flat
Almost flats
Low pump
Low, looks comfy pump
dr. scholl's? really?
Aerosoles are comfortable
I searched DSW, and Famous Footwear, but I recommend you get a pair of really cute flats or even adorable flip-flops for the reception, and then go to Payless, or another cheap shoe store, and get something low and comfortable. Or, show up in very dressy, adorable black flats and tell them you didn't want to be too tall in photos.

If you're worried about your waist, get a pair of spanx, which is a very stretchy not-quite-a-girdle, which would also help smooth the lines under that satin. I think you're going to look stunning. you could post pics
posted by theora55 at 4:26 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

These and These Anne Klein very low black slingback heels from Amazon are comfortable and inexpensive, too. Zappos is great, but they can be expensive (I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on heels for a wedding if I never wore heels).

Walking! These shoes, again, are really low, so you should not have a problem. But in general, when you aren't used to wearing heels, there's a tendency to try to balance on your toes when you first put them on. That's what makes you wobble, putting all your weight on your toes and making your ankles twist all over the place, and that messes up your balance, so you can't walk straight and now you think OMG I can't wear heels.

So, first make sure when you put on your shoes to press your heels down firmly and stand up straight. Wiggle your toes (yes, seriously) to remind you not to clench them.

Okay, now, pretend you are a model on a runway. Yes, seriously (your long legs will look lovely in heels!). Those shoes are not torture devices. They are just an extension of your leg. You are not bunching up your toes and twisting your ankle! So what are you doing? You are swinging your leg from your hip in one smooth motion. Your hip, not your knee.

There. That's the key to effortlessly walking in heels!

If you want to get fancy, you can even do a fancy pivot turn! Here's how: Which is your dominant foot? If you don't know, just take a few steps; the dominant one is the one you always step off first with. Get comfortable just striding confidently for a little bit in your shoes. Now, as you stride, you are going to half-stop by planting your dominant foot down and bringing your back leg forward like you are going to keep walking. But instead, just put down the ball of your dominant foot and swivel on the balls of both feet. You turn, you let your heels down and Ta Da!
posted by misha at 7:58 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dancing shoes
I have a pair similar to these with a peep toe that I got at Naturalizer about 9 or 10 years ago. I don't wear them often (or any heels-- I'm also 5'8") but when I do I can leave them on all night if I have to. The ankle strap makes them really easy to move in. And yeah, I changed into sparkly slippers for the reception at my *own* wedding.

And spanx are awesome.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 8:01 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am going to go against the trend here and say no to wedges. What will help this dress look best is a pair of fairly high (I am talking three inches here) black pumps.

Wear that for the ceremony, then feel free to change into lower heels or dancing shoes or ballet flats.

Seriously, pumps. Standing in them for half an hour won't be too bad, and they will help you stand straight, as well.

And yes, spanx all the way.
posted by copperbleu at 1:07 AM on October 19, 2011

Ok, First with your measurements there, you are probably hot, so freakin quit with the wide load thing.

Second, you absolutely want to wear something under that dress, they are made for "foundation garments". My favorite thing to wear underneath something like that is a full strapless support slip that hits about mid thigh. What you don't want to create is bumps, lumps, or rolls anywhere near your waist, so I would be a very careful about Spanx. If you wear them (under your slip!) make sure they come up above your waist.

The dress looks like it has some structure to give you a bit of a waist even if you aren't built that way, see how it flares a bit after the sash and bodice? You can also create the impression of a smaller waist by wearing a bit of padding in your chest, some of those support slips come with removable padding. Even though I'm a small D cup, I wear a little padding in that kind of outfit, it gives some definition which is sorely needed with most strapless bras.

Oh I didn't mention, those slips can be dead sexy if you happen to have naked fun time with someone after that dress comes off.

Simple Design
A little bit of boning, more definition (ie more restrictive)

Third, you are on the tall side so I wouldn't worry about wearing a heel if you don't want too. However, even a little heel is going to make the "look" come together a little better and also make your look long and lean.

Tips for walking in heels? Put most of your weight on the ball of your foot and your toes, don't rely on the heel part to be stable. Its really not bad once you work on it tiny bit.

You are going to look great and have fun. Seriously. Its like a costume party, just roll with it. I think the dress is pretty cute and you can take off the crinoline and sash off later
posted by stormygrey at 6:43 AM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Favouriting for the title which cracked me up. Don't do kitten heels, I find them very hard to walk in and I wear nothing but 4+ inch heels.

The thing about heels is that they do elongate your silhouette.

Try a bunch of different ones of the kinds recommended above and see what feels best, but know that even if you feel all wrong in heels, you don't look as bad as you feel, because in that dress you will almost certainly look better in heels than in flats.
posted by Dragonness at 8:13 AM on October 19, 2011

Thank you all for the tips.

The undergarmet stuff will be something I'll try to purchase once I get down there. I didn't even think of anything like that and thought it would be bulky. So thanks for the advice on that.

As I mentioned, I don't have time for Zappos, because the wedding is in three days and I will be traveling to the wedding for one of the days.

I think I'm going to go with a chunkier heel. I don't really like the look of that kitten heel.
I can walk in high shoes - like big wedged shoes or platforms, etc. it's the little stick heels that i cannot walk in no matter what height. They seem slippery and unsteady. Plus this is going to be outside. Everyone else can get stuck in the grass. not me.

10/12 means you have curves

no... thats kinda the problem. I have some chest and some ass but small hips and no waist. The whole family is like that no matter if they're a size 2 or 22.

Alright. Well. I feel a little bit better even if it means having to spend a bunch more money for this crap that I'll never use again!
posted by KogeLiz at 9:49 AM on October 19, 2011

Or should I say, a big waist that is pretty much the size of my hips.
posted by KogeLiz at 9:51 AM on October 19, 2011

I think I'm going to go with a chunkier heel. I don't really like the look of that kitten heel.
I can walk in high shoes - like big wedged shoes or platforms, etc. it's the little stick heels that i cannot walk in no matter what height. They seem slippery and unsteady. Plus this is going to be outside. Everyone else can get stuck in the grass. not me.

I think this sounds like a great plan! And have fun!
posted by sweetkid at 10:10 AM on October 19, 2011

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