Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm Officially a Two Shoe Bride

So I broke down and bought another pair of possible wedding shoes on Friday. I was doing ok, I bought my original pair back in October (for full price, $70+, oh yes they were on sale for $29 less than 6 weeks later. THANKS, Bandolino), and I've held out til now. That's something to be proud of, right?

I have my first dress "fitting" in three weeks. It's not really a fitting, I bought my dress on consignment and off the rack, but I do need to get the train bustled. I also need to make the final call on whether I have to get it hemmed. Boo. The dress is 4 layers of filmy organza type fabric, which I'm pretty sure will mean $$ if it has to be hemmed. The heel on the original shoe is about 2.5 inches. When I went home last time, I took the shoes with me and tried them on with the dress. I'm 5' 6" and in the shoes the skirt almost skims the ground almost. As in, if I look down that's enough to make the shirt brush the floor. Since the wedding ceremony is outside I was getting a little nervous that maybe I need a little more height. I originally hoped to wear flats to maximize the height difference between the me and Mr. Fairfax, but even when I'm in three inch heels, the man's got some height on me. the And since I love to shoe shop these reasons were more than enough to justify getting back in the bridal shoe scouting game.

I originally wanted colored shoes. I went from wanting blue to red to settling on brown (the color of the bm's dresses). This time, knowing how hard it was to find something just right in a color and knowing the the height was really the important aspect, I opened up and started looking at traditional bridal shoes and dyeables again.

I saw these on the J Crew Final Sale, and I literally had them in my cart and almost hit "purchase" SO many times. I couldn't justify it though since the shoes would still be around $78 with shipping even if I could get them on an extra 20% off day. I wasn't 100% sold on the t-strap style (it's cute in theory, but what if I hated it?) and the shoes are NOT returnable (that tricky "Final Sale"). I didn't see much of market for the style on eBay leading me to believe, if I got them and hated them, I'd be stuck and out a lot of money.

I also cruised around to Payless again to see if anymore of the Lela Rose shoes had been released. Payless started doing the partnership with high end designers (just like Target!) sometime in the last year and the latest collection is a line of bridal shoes by Lela Rose.

Well, I was in luck. The Lela Rose bridal shoes are out AND the dyeable line is now available. Niiiice. All four shoes are super cute, and they come in two versions: 1) the normal Payless version made of that synthetic matte patent leather type stuff and costing around $25 2) a satin dyeable version for around $45 and that includes the dying costs from what I can tell. My friends, this is a STEAL. You can find them under the "Special Occasion Shoes" and the "Designers for Payless" sections on the Payless website. Information about the satin dyeables can be found on the Unforgettable Moments website.

Yes, yes, this was all online, so I still needed to see them in person. Fortunately, there is a Payless around the corner from my place of employment, so I was able to check them out over my lunch break. Best part ever? They have a t-strap shoe very similar to the J Crew shoe!

I should really have a flow chart to explain this, but my first plan was to try on the t-strap style at Payless and if I liked it, order the J Crew t-strap shoe. Once I got to the store and confirmed the shoes are all cute in person and met my standards I decided to buy the $25 version and if the heel is high enough with my dress (the specs say the heel is 3.5 inches), return for the nicer satin dyeable version. Once I got them home and wore them around the house for a few minutes, I though, heck, these are fine! The synthetic looks nice and you can't even tell it's matte patent leather unless they're two inches form your face. And everyone keeps telling, no one is going to see my shoes anyway (I'm still skeptical of this). Why pay $45 for the white satin shoe when I'm happy with the $25 one?

So in case you were wondering, I can happily confirm, these shoes are pretty sweet. They are quite attractive, reasonably comfortable (actually have a decent bit of padding under the ball of the foot), and the price is seriously right. Lela Rose even added the very sweet bridal touch of a pale blue liner in the shoes. So if you were wondering, go for it! I'm really happy with mine so far!

FYI-They have a few samples of the satin shoes in the stores, but you basically try on the $25 in the store, look at the color palette if you want your shoes dyed and then place your order. The $25 ones aren't bright bright whit, but they aren't off white either. My dress is a "diamond white." Basically you only know it's not true white when you put it next to something that is. The colors will probably be a teeny bit different, but I'm willing to live with that.

Honestly, as much as I was SO determined to have colored shoes and make a little statement with my shoe choice, I just love my white shoes. There's just something extra special and bridal about them. Much like the moment they put the veil on you at the bridal shop, and you really feel like a real bride for the first time, that's kind of how I feel when I put on my white shoes. :)

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