I don’t know about all of you leggy lovelies, but for me, finding good-fitting clothes isn’t the hardest part of shopping. It’s finding the shoes. If I spend a day trawling the shops, I can usually expect to find at least one dress that fits me, be it one from a specialist tall range or a surprisingly long length number from a regular (oompa loompa) store.
The same cannot be said for shoes. Aside from those rare, heaven-sent moments of sheer delight when Barratts (yes, I might have gone a bit far with the term heaven-sent when referring to Barratts) has a pair of reasonable-ish size 9 courts in stock, I am far from guaranteed to find what I’m looking for on the highstreet. Nor am I always bowled over by the choice on the internet either.
Currently, shoe-shopping when you have plus-size feet is rarely about having those “Oh-my-goodness-I-NEED-those-incredible-shoes” moments and more about having the somewhat less exhilarating “Those-plain-coloured-courts-will-do” experiences. Frequently for me, this means finding the shoes first and building the outfit around them. As All the Tall things reader Alison says: “It’s backwards for tall girls – anyone else buys the dress first!” Booooo!
Last night I switched on my computer in the hope of finding some reasonably priced, mid-heel shoes for my friend’s wedding. The colour was more or less irrelevant (although I did decide that the orange peeptoes from Next might present a greater challenge when seeking out a dress). So with my list of demands not exactly up to Mariah Carey standard, you’d think I’d be ok.
Three frustrating hours later, and I was still looking. My bemused husband (he really ought to be used to my shopping-induced tantrums by now…) kept pulling pairs of shoes out of my wardrobe… “You’ve got millions of shoes… why on earth do you need to buy anymore?”
And the answer? For one massive, 6ft tall reason… Heels. I only seem to possess ballet flats or utter sky-scrapers. The word Moderation has never really formed a part of my vocabulary. And there’s something about a wedding, with its gazillion photographs (including the big group line-ups… oh those bloody line-ups), that makes me want to stick out a little less than usual. At my friend’s wedding 2 years ago, I wore sky-high gladiator heels and an equally ostentatious hat (I blooming LOVE a hat). As fun, magical and wonderful as the day felt, the pictures that followed were a little bit less thrilling. See if you can spot me in this photo…
…Oh yes, there I am.
So for my friend Jo’s wedding in a couple of weeks, I’ve been on the search for some mid-height heels. And a slightly flatter hat.
Naturally, the gorgeous bride in the photo (my lovely and now pregnant friend Sophie) insisted that I hadn’t ruined any of her wedding photos by wearing my ridiculous footwear. And Lordy Lordy, please don’t think this means that I’m no longer an advocate of heels. Heels still do blooming rock.
We just need to give the bride her moment in the spotlight. See?
So mid-heel it is. I’m not talking flats. Doesn’t even have to be kittens. Just a pair that don’t require planning permission from the church. And ones that will be comfortable for all-night dancing.
Anyway… back to last night’s hunt. Eventually I did find a pair of cream, mid-heel peeptoes in a size 9 in Dorothy Perkins. They’re not spectacular or achingly cool. But they’re a bit pretty. And they’ll do.
Cream Peeptoe Mid Court Shoes, Dorothy Perkins £28
I also took the liberty of purchasing four other pairs in different colours and similar styles just in case these didn’t work out. (A back up plan is always essential when I’m buying shoes).
But what about the hat? As Samantha Cameron discovered — after being criticised by the post-Royal Wedding press — one simply cannot forget the hat.
Hat, Accessorize, Was £35, now £17.50
Luckily Accessorize has a sale on, and while popping in there at lunchtime today, I discovered this little cream head-turner that should go perfectly. It’s still got the wow factor, but I shouldn’t be crashing into quite as many door frames this time.
So I’ve merely added about six inches in total, rather than a full foot. And now I’m ready to choose the dress! MUCH more fun…