Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Wardrobe Mayhem – number two

Hi, I’m getting married soon in a white, knee-length 1950s-style dress. I’d love these shoes in green to go with it, and I know they used to come in green. Any ideas on a replacement pair or where I could get …

Wed, Feb 17, 2010, 09:12


Hi, I’m getting married soon in a white, knee-length 1950s-style dress. I’d love these shoes in green to go with it, and I know they used to come in green. Any ideas on a replacement pair or where I could get them!? Preferably something not very high! Thanks!

BCBC. . . (I wish I knew your full name so that I could, in very dramatic style, say: oh Lisa, Lisa, Lisa – if your name were Lisa) I feel your pain. I have now spent roughly an hour and a half on this epic quest of yours, and I am no closer to throwing the ring of power into Mount Doom, or the sartorial equivalent. The shoes that you seek do not exist, at least not in their current guise, and so I come to you with various suggestions.

The first is, that you abandon (slightly) your current flight path and attempt to find shoe-alikes; that is, shoes that are similar, although not identical, to those you seek (which, incidentally, are patent leather, and nothing can be done with patent leather, however lovely they are). First up, Christian Louboutin (but of course):


I think we all know that these shoes are pretty nice, in a classic way; they’re a lovely green, they’re suede (which may not be that practical, but, y’know, for one’s wedding, it’s not all practicality and paper napkins), they have a platform which, though it may look a little chunky, it’s going to make them comfortable. The cons? They’re pretty high (5.5 inches, one inch of which is platform) and they are very expensive, in layman’s terms. It really depends on your budget, whether or not red is going to ruin the whole look (because those ubiquitous soles are, well, ubiquitous), and whether or not you can face the fact that you may tower over everyone else, depending on your own height. Available here, but also stocked in Brown Thomas (tel: 01-605 6666). They may not have this exact pair but, if you’re planning on spending €500-plus on a pair of shoes, they should pretty much order them in from anywhere for you.

Secondly, Carvela has a quite lovely pair of much lower, much more versatile, much more down to earth, if you’ll excuse the pun, pumps:


These are available at House of Fraser, whose website tells me they cost £95 so, adding VAT and, oh, extortionate conversion charges, they’ll probably end up somewhere around €160 here. The cons? They may not seem quite special enough for wedding attire, they’re not quite the shade of green I think you want, and you could probably wear them a lot to the office afterwards which, while practical, is never high on anyone’s wedding wishlist.

Then you have eBay, where entering the search terms “green shoes” and “courts, sandals and wedding” somehow means I saw a pair of badly-photographed Crocs (it hurts my brain that Crocs has its own website; kind of like Jedward being number one, or Cheryl staying with Ashley. . . but I digress). If you have hours, days, weeks of your time to spend trawling through terribly lit photographs of terrible shoes, you may strike it really lucky on eBay. I hear that people do, sometimes, find bargains, but I have always found it to be far more nightmarish than even TK Maxx, and I am rubbish at trawling through its archives to find good stuff.

I’m afraid that’s pretty much the end of the straightforward suggestions; green shoes are difficult to come by, and I am getting quite vexed about it, because your 1950s dress + green shoes idea is really lovely. So I would propose this: have a pair of white satin, silk or suede shoes dyed. You can do it yourself with Dylon dyes, but really, who wants to chance it? Most cobblers will dye shoes for you, and you can specify the shade and talk it through with them before you go ahead with it. You won’t be able to dye patent leather, but the shoes you’re looking for remind me of the kind of shoes Baby wears in Dirty Dancing (but not, um, gold), and so I’d suggest you try some dance stores, like Danceworld in Dublin, or even give a few London stores a call.

Dance shoes are usually comfortable, soft, come in satin, silk or suede, and will have a low enough heel so that you can dance all night, not be a giant (if you are 5ft 1in you probably don’t have that to worry about in any case), and they won’t be too expensive – so if you do happen to spill red wine or gravy (heaven forbid) on your shoes, you won’t be looking at a €600 loss. I hope that helps, and if you have any specific queries, drop me a line at rmaccabe [at] and I’ll do what I can to help you out. And congratulations on the impending nuptials!

* Do you have a question for Wardrobe Mayhem? Leave a comment below, or drop me an email!

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