If you’re all about the mermaid dress silhouette—hugging the hips and flaring below the knees, we commend your style. But one thing that gets a little tricky is choosing the right shoes. Not only do you need to worry about your personal taste and comfort level, but you’ll need to match the style of the dress to avoid looking a little bit off.
Statement shoes and something with a peep toe will provide the most bang for your buck. Mermaid dresses tend to restrict movement, only revealing the toes of your shoes anyway. Luckily for many, this restriction can work in your favor, leaving you to choose whatever shoe you want to wear. Consider flats, pumps, block heels, and much more but more importantly consider what your shoe goal is—height, style, comfort, etc.
What to Consider when Choosing Shoes
There are two big decisions to make when it comes to picking out shoes to pair with your mermaid dress. First, what styles will work best with your dress? And, second, what shoe height are you looking for?
Type of Dress (structured or unstructured)
All mermaid dresses can be broken down into two categories. First, a structured mermaid dress provides the iconic mermaid silhouette with highly restrictive contouring to accentuate curves. These gowns are perfect for creating the appearance of curves in straight, slender, athletic type ladies.
While your movement is a bit restricted, this is actually a good thing because your shoes are less likely to be seen under you dress. That means that you can wear something comfortable—like flats, sneakers even. If you want a heel, consider a platform heel to provide more stability and comfort.
The second type of dress is called an unstructured mermaid style. It has the same basic shape, but is much less fitted with less of a difference between the fit and flare. You’ll likely want to go with a pair of heels for an unstructured dress. We recommend either platform heels or stilettos.
Next, you’ll want to consider what shoe height you want. If you’re already tall you may be more comfortable in flats than risking the chance of towering over everyone. But for all the shorter ladies, heels are likely a must-have on the shoe list. Now that you know what pairs with your dress and what height you’re looking for, it’s just a matter of details.
Shoes are one of those things that many women can’t have enough of. And for good reason—there are thousands of great styles. A great pair of shoes can be a nod to personal style or the perfect accessory for a great outfit. When it comes to styling a mermaid dress, you have options.
For ladies that have a love affair with their shoe closet, statement shoes are the obvious choice. We love the idea of something surprising poking out from under the hem like full-glitter in a shade of turquoise or bright yellow patent leather. Your dress is full of character and detail, but that doesn’t mean that you need to skimp on the shoes. The only rule that applies here is to keep the season in mind. You can wear strappy, opened toe shoes in the middle of the winter if you want—but that snow might be cold.
Statement shoes typically feature something noticeable like a bold color or pattern, intricate embellishments, jewels, or glitter. As long as you love your shoes, there is really no wrong answer. For many brides, an extraordinary pair of statement shoes is the perfect surprise at the reception.
One of the perks of wearing a mermaid dress is that many styles are fairly restrictive in movement and that means your shoes probably won’t show. Take the opportunity to skip on the toe-cramping heels and opt for a comfy pair of flats. You can still keep things elegant in case a toe peeks out. Consider a strappy or sparkly sandal.
Pointed Toe Heels
Again, because the only part of the shoe that might see any daylight is just the tip—embrace that with pointy toe heels. These come in different heel heights—even flats. Plus, if you’re wearing pointed toe shoes, you don’t have to get a pedicure. These can work well with both types of mermaid gowns.
For height and comfort, go with the best of both worlds—wedges. You’ll have plenty of surface area to distribute weight for comfort you can wear all night long. Wedges are the perfect solution for any lady that wants to look a little taller. These work best for structured gowns. When it comes to wedges, higher heels feel more formal while lower heels feel more casual.
Strappy Block Heels
For unstructured gowns that have a little more movement, a pair of strappy block heels can be a good way to add a little detail. Give your gown a little pop of color and something unexpected with a brightly colored floral pattern heel. Keep in mind that a wide base and low height will make the most comfortable shoe.
Classic pumps are an always-in-style look. They’re the perfect choice for ladies who aren’t that into strappy, open-toe looks. Platform heels are an excellent choice for wider feet and they don’t require a pedicure! Keep in mind that more height means less comfort. Try to stay with a height of three inches or less.
Final Thoughts on the Best Shoes to Wear with a Mermaid Dress
Your shoes can be as big of a decision as your gown. The thing to remember is that mermaid dresses actually offer a lot of leeway to wear exactly what you want. There is no pressure to find the perfect shoe like there is with shorter dresses and other hemlines. While mermaid gowns can be structured or unstructured—both offer a lot less movement and therefore a lot less shoe exposure. Everything from flats to pumps is acceptable.