No piece of clothing should ever be nude colored.
May 9, 2016 5:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm in a wedding next month and all the bridesmaids must wear pumps or sandals or something... as long as they're nude colored. Nude colored shoes look awful to me. Help me find a pair that aren't too bad? And I can't wear heels.... but they must have heels. Sigh.

I have very pale skin and dress exclusively in black and rich jewel tones. Thus... I have never owned a nude colored pair of shoes. I also never wear heels because I trip in them. The thing is, if I wear a tiny heel, I could get away with not hemming my dress. Which would be great! So my shoes should have at least a two inch heel, preferably something like a wedge or platform or chunky heel.

Everything I've found thus far is horrific. Like this - Looks like a grandma would wear it or this basically the same color as my skin

Help! They also need to be reasonably comfortable and not too expensive since, lets face it, I will probably never wear them again.
posted by silverstatue to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For what it's worth, I like the second pair and feel like they would be easier to walk in and look younger than the first pair. I think nude shoes actually look best when they match your skin tone well--it actually lengthens your legs when you wear nude shoes. Good luck!
posted by shortyJBot at 5:20 PM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]

Also, if you are more comfortable in flats, could you get a cheap nude pair of flats at Target or borrow some, and wear the heels for the ceremony and the flats for the reception/dancing? I don't think I could tolerate heels for an entire evening, either.
posted by shortyJBot at 5:21 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Since I liked the second one you linked to, can you give us a sense of what kind of formal shoe you typically like? The color matching your skin is a plus, right? And it's a wedge...I think it's cute.

Since these are not shoes you plan to wear ever again, could you borrow a pair from someone? That way, if you have to wear a shoe you hate at least you never have to see them again. Also, it's generally not a good idea to buy second hand shoes unless they're very lightly worn, but being in someone's wedding is a huge exception to that rule, IMO (along with Halloween).
posted by Pearl928 at 5:24 PM on May 9, 2016

I agree, the second pair of shoes looks good - maybe in a matte nude instead of patent leather? Patent leather in nude or taupe looks like Silly Putty to me, but mattes or satin finishes can be nice.

Try doing a search of and/or Payless - they would have shoes for cheaper, which is nice if you don't anticipate wearing those shoes much.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:24 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have a pair of nude peep toe wedges very similar to the ones in your second link. They are my wedding shoes. I bought them in a similar situation when I was a bridesmaid and have proceeded to wear them to pretty much every wedding I've been to since. They match everything, they elongate my legs (just like shortyJBot said), and wedges are a little bit easier to walk in. In addition, if there is any outdoor component, wedges are infinitely better than a heel that can sink in soft ground.

Maybe it would help to look around on Pinterest for images of people looking chic wearing nude shoes? Because they're very much a thing and I don't know anyone who would say that all nude dress shoes are hideous fashion nightmares.
posted by telegraph at 5:27 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

BP "Roxie" Wedge in Blush

Sole Society "Laurie" Wedge in Adobe
posted by fizzyliftingdrink at 5:36 PM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]

Believe it or not, nude shoes are supposed to be a close match to your skin. Because the shoes don't contrast at all, the line of the leg seems to be longer. Also, each person can wear whatever style she wants and still be "in uniform," which wouldn't be the case with a darker or lighter shoe.

That first pair -- the toe doesn't have a graceful shape. You don't care for it, so please don't buy those!

The second pair looks pretty and practical. Even though they're wedge-heeled, they could require a little practice because the footprint is so narrow. I'm not trying to discourage you at all -- just suggesting that you walk around in them for a couple of hours before The Day.
posted by wryly at 5:37 PM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]

Do they have to be shiny? A matte finish might be less extreme.

Also, do you have some examples of shoes (of any non-sneaker kind) that you like?
posted by amtho at 5:39 PM on May 9, 2016

For some reason, I tend to find matte nude shoes less horrifyingly hideous than those glossy nude ones. Maybe because they look less like Barbie skin? In any case, you might find Sofft, Born, or Clarks to be comfortable heel choices, though they're generally pretty conservative and spendy. Classic espadrille wedges are often comfy as well, and may be appropriate for a summer wedding.

Sofft cork wedge - on sale for $49
Lands End Low Wedge Sandals - $69
Cheap espadrilles options 1, 2, 3, 4 - $15-35
2" wedge classic Spanish espadrilles - $75
posted by ourobouros at 5:40 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

YES it's the Barbie skin look that's killing me! That or like.. uncooked chicken. Honestly the styles of all these shoes are fine - it's just when they're in that color that they look bad to me.

I would say the Laurie wedge that fizzyliftingdrink linked to is the winner so far. I like that the wood wedge part provides contrast. Please keep 'em coming!
posted by silverstatue at 5:46 PM on May 9, 2016

Cole Haan wedges in the 40mm heel height.
posted by mercredi at 5:47 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I saw nude patent leather flats at Target last week for something like $17.99. That said, I bought the same pair in a different color/finish and they're not comfortable or particularly nice. But if it's a long dress, sure, why not?

I've had good luck finding event shoes at places like H&M. I just skimmed and H&M doesn't have any nude pumps, stacked heels, or wedges right now. Zara and Modcloth are other good sources of cheap cute shoes for events like this. These are about $50 and conservative while not seeming old. These strappy nude wedges are a little expensive for one wearing, but cuuuuuutttttte. These nude pumps with a bow are ADORALE and only $31, if you can put up with the high skinny heel. These stacked-heel retro oxfords are adorable and marked way down. You get the idea.
posted by Sara C. at 5:48 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love nude heels, and thanks to you, have several more to add to my wish list. Here are a few that might work:

Jeffrey Campbell - low heel, cool details
Asos - ankle strap, paler nude
Corso Como - wedge
Office - suede wedge, maybe a teensy too high
Chase and Chloe - low, nice wedge, ankle strap
Steven Laynna - nude wedge heeled sandal

You've got some options and I think you'll be able to avoid grandma skin.
posted by Marinara at 5:50 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love nude heels! And yes, they should either very closely match your skin tone or contrast a bit - something veering more toward tan can also count as "nude" in spirit.

Absolutely go with something matte though! I have these wedges and can attest that they are incredibly comfy - you won't trip in them - and they read more nude than tan. They're also pretty on trend if you give a fig about that.
posted by chestnut-haired-sunfish at 5:55 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh, and if you go the open-toe route, a nude pedicure looks really classy and clean. (Essie Topless and Barefoot is one of my favorites.)
posted by chestnut-haired-sunfish at 5:57 PM on May 9, 2016

Touch Ups "Eileen" - a sandal with minimal nude strapage and a low heel.

I have a friend who hates the word "nude" and pronounces it "newyyewwwddd" to relay her disgust. I hear that in your post!
posted by cecic at 5:58 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]

How about this or this? Inexpensive and relatively low heels.
posted by bearwife at 6:06 PM on May 9, 2016

I'm not a fan of patent leather + nude, personally. What about these Nine West kitten heels?

Can you link to the dress? That might be helpful for recommendations.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:26 PM on May 9, 2016

I'm super pale as well, and I've found that super light pink (usually called "pale blush" or something similar) reads as nude on me and doesn't look as weird as the beige-ier nudes.

I'm not saying you should buy these shoes, but this color is what I'm talking about.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:30 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Here's the dress in the Iris color.

Cecic's Touch Up Eilleen's have pulled into the lead, although I fear the heel isnt high enough.
posted by silverstatue at 6:34 PM on May 9, 2016

You don't want just shoes labelled nude, you want a color that matches your skin tone (as opposed to clashing with it). Nude is kind of a crappy name for a color anyhow, can't possibly match the variety of skin colors we humans come in.

Separately regarding shoes- if you are going to get new shoes, cheap or not, it is worth bringing blister care materials with you. Particularly if it's a type (heel) you don't wear much.

Also also, second the "wedding shoes" comment above- I bought a pair of pewter heels for a wedding, cheap because I thought I would never wear them again, wore them to several more, threw them out because I was sick of the blisters, and then ended up buying another pair last minute. So it might be worth getting a decently comfortable pair.

Oh and one more idea- how do you feel about clear shoes? If they weren't too shiny, would they be ok?
posted by nat at 6:44 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's the dress in the Iris color.

Cecic's Touch Up Eilleen's have pulled into the lead, although I fear the heel isnt high enough.

This is def the winner. I think a chunky patent chicken skin shoe would not look good with that length or the color, but the Eileen sandals are perfect.
posted by asockpuppet at 6:46 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

These Naturalizer Danya's are the same concept with a higher heel.
posted by asockpuppet at 6:48 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Get yourself to a mall! Nude is nude but you want something that you will be comfortable standing in for hours. The dress is lovely and will cover your shoe. Spend a little extra and get a nude heel that feels like butter. You will learn to love it and you will wear it again. Go to and look at the champagne colored ones, and then go to the mall and get the size that works. Macy's is always having a sale.
posted by myselfasme at 6:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe this one? The girl in the sample is also wearing a dress much the same color as the one you will be wearing.
posted by Foam Pants at 7:02 PM on May 9, 2016

I have a pair of strappy Toms wedge sandals that are "nude to me" and they are incredibly comfortable and easy for walking. I hate heels, but recommend them. Something like this
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:35 PM on May 9, 2016

The key to heels is a good fit and an ankle strap. If you're tripping in heels you may be wearing types that have pointed toes which make your feet longer than you're used to, causing minutes miscalculations in your step.

I personally find ankle strap + kitten heel to be more comfortable than a wedge, and much cuter. You might consider trying on something like this (assuming you like the look) before dismissing the idea of a non-wedge or non-chunky heel.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 7:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

You cannot wear wedges or anything with a wooden heel with that dress. It's a formal floor-length dress. Get the Eileens for sure.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:17 PM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]

Totally agree with Darling Bri. That dress is suited to something strappy and more delicate. The Eileens (or something similar, with a higher heel if you like) will suit it really well. In general I don't think a closed-toe look will work well with this dress either.
posted by chestnut-haired-sunfish at 8:26 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm here to back up schroedingersgirl on the recommendation to consider blush or the palest pink. Or at least a nude with the coolest undertones you can find. If you are quite pale with pinky or bluish tones then "nude" can make your skin look gross (like wearing the wrong color foundation) and the shoes won't have the intended "classy" skintone effect.

That dress is very pretty! Luckily you can keep the shoes simple. I agree a low-heeled semi-strappy shoe will match the vibe.
posted by kapers at 9:23 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you don't think you'll wear the shoes again, I would hit up a Marshall's or TJ Maxx. This is what I did with an upcoming wedding and I was able to score not-at-all-my-style (but what the bride wanted) shoes for around $20. Especially if the requested style is a common one (like "nude") this is a good plan because you're likely to have lots of options. My plan is to wear them for the ceremony only and then change into comfy flats that I actually like for the dancing portion of the evening. :)
posted by rainbowbrite at 6:31 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

No one is really going to see the shoes so nude/bone would be fine. I wouldn't spend a ton of dough on them.

6pm is the clearance of Zappos, and you can find some bargains, and I like their search.

Here's a nice shoe, dressy, without being dull. And it's only $25. One left in size 7 (clearance.)

This one might be okay, although the color may not work for you.

This one looks uncomfortable as HELL to me, but it's pretty.

I think getting a shoe in a fabric will make it less obnoxious to you, also it's dressier. It used to be that stores carried dyeable shoes that could be matched to clothes. They were in what my mother calls Pois de soie (Po Du Swa). So a pair of those, either plain or dyed in a nude/bone color you can live with might work as well.

Here's a pair of shoes in Ivory, which should be pretty, and I think they'd be comfortable. You'd have to hem the dress though.

Payless has a wedding shop
! (who knew?) I'd get the low wedge for the ceremony and the Flip Flops for the reception!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:44 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah, I missed the picture of the dress somehow. Agree that the Eileen is perfect
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:52 AM on May 10, 2016

A couple from Payless that might work, and they're each only $20:

Blush strappy wedges with ankle strap
Nude strappy wedge (too chicken skin-y?)
posted by jabes at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2016

You probably won't get them for under $20, but character shoes are cute and comfortable. You can get the heel as low as one and a half inches.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:02 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I ordered the Touchups Eileens! Thanks everyone!
posted by silverstatue at 4:20 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

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