Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fancy Footwear for Big Feet

You'll probably remember my list of tips for finding hats that fit larger heads. Well, this is the same basic deal, but with the opposite end of the body.

I have fairly large feet for a woman: size ten and a half wide, to be precise. As a result, it can occasionally be hard to find shoes that go well with my alternative fashion leanings. I don't really trust shoes that I can't try on, so Taobao and Bodyline are flat out. My only option, then, is to look for alternatives.

Where to Shop

Pleaser: I have two pairs of boots from Pleaser, and I cannot say enough about them. They are both Victorian style boots and fit beautifully. They are also incredibly comfortable.

Vintage: This is touch and go. However, I always check vintage shoes. You never know what you will find. I have a beautiful pair of ivory vintage granny boots that are labeled as a size eight but perfectly fit my size eleven feet.

Dance Shoes: Ever heard of character shoes? I was in show choir during my teenage years, and character shoes were a staple on that sparkly stage. Now, they're my go-to shoes when I can't find a new pair of Mary Janes that I like. While they usually only come in a few colors (tan and black, with more available if you're lucky), character shoes are an option that goes beautifully with Lolita and will never go out of style. Mary Janes are going to be the cheaper option, but the T-strap shoes are also gorgeous.

Regular Shoe Stores: If you are looking for certain styles (Mary Jane shoes, oxfords), you can actually find shoes that are perfectly appropriate for lolita when you're in a regular old shoe store. They are more available in the winter for some reason, so spring clearance sales are going to be your friends.

What to Look For

Style: As I mentioned before, Mary Janes and oxfords are much easier to find. Flats and wedges are also styles that you'll be able to find a number of options for.

Color: Choose colors that will go with as much as possible in your wardrobe. If you wear a lot of sweet, then your favorite color will probably be the way to go. I wear a lot of classic and a touch of gothic, so black, brown and ivory are the best colors for my collection.

Simplicity: The simpler the shoes, the easier they are to modify or add other things to. So, if you're stuck and unable to find something fancy right away, go with something simple and modify! Simplicity also keep shoes from going out of style as quickly, meaning once you've found a pair that fits you can keep wearing them for a good long time.

Alternatives to Fancy Footwear

So you can't find frilly shoes that fit your feet. Take a deep breath. It's okay.

Alter the shoes yourself: There are a number of tutorials floating around online on how to customize shoes. Over on her blog, kayzeekay has a tutorial on turning plain ballet flats into mock tea parties (though I'd recommend getting flats in the color you want if at all possible). Ceci Kierk has a tutorial for turning plain Mary Janes into T-straps with bows.

Shoe clips: Oh, shoe clips. I love shoe clips. I've written before about shoe clips. They are the greatest vintage thing that I have ever discovered, and certainly the most useful for lolita. You actually have plenty of options here. You can buy vintage shoe clips online, you can use flatter clip on earrings to add glitz, or you can make your own shoe clips for a totally custom look.

Do you have any shoe shopping tips for Lolitas or other frilly folk?

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