The Bridesmaid of Butchness

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

My sister has asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. As I am of the handsome butch variety of bridesmaid (think young k.d. lang or female Leo DiCaprio) I will be wearing trousers, while the other bridesmaids will wear skirts. This presents a problem though. What kind of shoes to wear underneath? They must be white. The trousers are periwinkle blue taffeta, flat-front, with a split ankle.I’d rather not have a very tall heel or overly feminine, but I need something which will look tasteful.

This question it is most difficult indeed. On the one of the hands, it is the opinion of the Manolo that if the person agrees to be the bridesmaid, that person is, to the great extent, in the hands of the bride with regard to whatever crazy costume the bride she decides to inflict upon her attendants. Yet on the other of the hands, the sister of the Manolo’s internet friend, the bride, she has consented to allow her bridesmaids the chance to chose something suitable to their individual styles.

This being the case, the style in question is indeed the one most difficult to satisfy and yet maintain the suitability for the occasion of festiveness. As the Manolo he considered this, he could only think of the following criteria: that the shoe it should be straight forward and plainspoken, like this friend of the Manolo, handsome but not “mannish”, yet with enough of the style to make both the friend and her sister happy. Below are three shoes that, although different from each other, are perhaps appropriate

To the mind of the Manolo, this shoe from the Franco Sarto, it is both simple, elegant, and handsome.
Franco Sarto - Pulse (Latte Opaco Calf) - Women's   Manolo Likes!  Click!

This shoe from the Hugo Boss, with the kitten heel and the pointed toe is suitable for the wedding, yet the fact that it is the variation of the loafer keeps it from being girlish. (It is also on the sale, almost 50% off the regular price.)
BOSS Hugo Boss - 92125 (White) - Women's   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Finally, if the friend of the Manolo she is not afraid of the slightly taller heel, or the open toes, this shoes from the Sesto Meucci has a strength of line that is most pleasing.
Sesto Meucci - Petra (Creta) - Women's   Manolo Likes!  Click!

24 Responses to “The Bridesmaid of Butchness”

  1. Penny June 25, 2005 at 4:35 pm #

    The Manolo, he knows there are really all kinds of beauty and is not merely paying the lip service. The bridesmaid will look stunning – and look like herself.

  2. sarah June 25, 2005 at 7:50 pm #

    i am in awe. what brilliant suggestions.

  3. Anonymous June 26, 2005 at 1:21 am #

    periwinkle blue taffeta pants…

    I’m so sorry…

  4. Gypsie June 26, 2005 at 1:23 am #

    All the shoe examples look too casual to me.

  5. Gypsie June 26, 2005 at 3:21 am #

    The shoe examples look too casual in my opinion.

  6. the butch bridesmaid June 26, 2005 at 3:59 am #

    Manolo, your examples look just exactly right. I will try the Franco Sartos. Thank you!

  7. cris June 26, 2005 at 10:04 am #

    The Cris celebrates manolo’s gracious and informative reply. However, the Cris wonders why the butch bridesmaid wants to upstage her sister on this particular day. Will the best man be wearing a skirt?
    Why not a pair of Doc Martens, really get the point across? Butchy sis seems more interested in making a statement than honoring her sister’s happiness.

  8. The Scarlett June 26, 2005 at 1:11 pm #

    In The Scarlett’s humble opinion, the suggested shoes seem too casual.

    My suggestion would be the Bouquets Jeanette or the Bouquest Lynnea.

  9. Manolo the Shoeblogger June 26, 2005 at 1:57 pm #

    The Manolo he must disagree with the Cris.

    If the bride she did not want to let her sister wear the periwinkle pants she would have said so. It is the experience of the Manolo that few brides are so reticent about expressing their desires as to allow the bridesmaids to dictate their own garb.

    In the stead, to the mind of the Manolo, the willingness of the bride to allow her butchy sister to wear the pants shows a praiseworthy closeness, and an understanding of who her sister is.

  10. Elizabeth June 26, 2005 at 2:33 pm #

    It’s sad to see such an inapropriate and narrowminded response from Cris. The sister clearly is in a quandry – she wants to honor her sister’s wedding while retaining her own sense of self. Hard to do when bridesmaid wear is so rigidly gender-specific. That said, there seemed to be no contention between the bride and the sister over the sister’s attire. Indeed, the sister is not in a tux (I’ve never known a tux to have periwinkle blue taffeta pants), but rather sounds like she coordinates with the rest of the wedding party. It’s depressing to see someone react so viciously over a pair of pants.

  11. Tia Nieve June 26, 2005 at 2:36 pm #

    The Tia Nieve applauds the sister of the Butch Bridesmaid for being so accommodating, and applauds the Butch Bridesmaid for agreeing to participate in her sister’s wedding. That said, Tia likes the kitten-heeled shoes best, and despite the fact that is it a little casual, if the periwinkle trousers break across the instep properly, the kitten heel and the pointed toe will appear dressy.

    The Butch Bridesmaid will be able to add a shoe to her wardrobe that will be appropriate for the next social of the ice cream or party of the garden organized by the Butch Bridesmaid’s circle of friends. The shoes of the Doc Martens are not the only look appropriate for the ladies of the butchiness.

  12. Manolo the Shoeblogger June 26, 2005 at 2:47 pm #

    The Manolo he would not have used the word “vicious” to describe the words of the Cris. Indeed, he took nothing from her comments but that she is the strong defender of the wedding traditions and the prerogatives of the bride.

    In the general, he is in agreement with the Cris that the wedding it is about the bride and the groom, although he would remind the grooms and the brides (especially some of the brides) that the wedding it is also about the families, and so he applauds the bride who considers the reasonable needs of her family, even if the “traditions” they must be modified.

  13. Tia Nieve June 26, 2005 at 3:17 pm #

    Ah, Manolo, truly you are a reasonable person who sees the best side of everyone. That is why the Tia enjoys Manolo’s blog so very much!

  14. Elvira June 26, 2005 at 3:50 pm #

    The Elvira admires the closeness of the sisters and would like to commend the bride for her good sense. The weddings of the cookie-cutter bridesmaids in identical dresses, they are not as interesting as the weddings in which the bride allows for some of the individuality to show through in their garments. As the Manolo points out so rightly, the wedding, it is for the families, and this includes the butch bridesmaid.

  15. cris June 26, 2005 at 6:17 pm #

    The Cris, he (surprise!) appreciates all of the above remarks, perhaps having read too much into the issue. He compliments the bride on her reasonableness and ability to accomodate her sister. If, indeed, all the parties involved are content with the arrangement, nothing except the shoes in question ought to have been remarked upon. He apologizes for having offered offense.
    The Cris, he casts a wary eye on his email box, in anticipation of the returns of the day.

  16. marlo_girl June 27, 2005 at 8:18 am #

    the franco sartos (a favourite of the marlo_girl’s mommy) are sublime. i would have to disagree with scarlett’s selections. too… um… blech.

  17. jackie June 27, 2005 at 2:20 pm #

    not to doubt the findings of the manolo (the franco sarto is indeed fabulous), but i feel compelled to point out one other option, which is perhaps the tiniest bit more formal. i think this pollini shoe is not only beautiful, but is also not too girly while still being very dressy:
    http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/3991184/c/14.html

  18. Tania June 27, 2005 at 3:00 pm #

    The Tania, so recently herself a bride, is laughing inside at the controversy in the comments, because she knows from much experience that the garb of bridesmaids is a mine-ridden battlefield, fraught with terror for the chosen. Cheers to Butch Bridesmaid and Butch Bridesmaid’s Bride Sister! And cheers to the Manolo, for the handsome shoes here recommended.

  19. willow June 27, 2005 at 8:04 pm #

    The Butch Bridesmaid, she made a most excellent choice going with the Sarto of the Franco. Those they are the most elegant. The bridesmaid she is sure to look absolutely stunning.

  20. Miss Nell June 28, 2005 at 12:13 am #

    The Miss Nell, she also having been the bride less than one year, applauds the Bridesmaid and also the Bride. Myself having had several attendants, some femme and some butch and some in between, gave the attendants the swatch of the fabric and told them to buy the dress and the shoes of the color given.

    All attendants looked most stunning accompanying myself the bride. Applause was had by all.

  21. Tia Nieve June 28, 2005 at 11:43 am #

    Tia Nieve says to the Cris, how pleasant it is for the Tia to hear the Cris come back and discuss the matter like a reasonable person. This courtesy is sorely lacking in most parts of the sphere of the blog. It is the Manolo who has set the tone of graciousness that makes it possible for internet friends to talk as civilized human beings.

    The Tia Nieve invites the Cris to sit by her and she will pour the Cris another cup of tea.

  22. the butch bridesmaid June 29, 2005 at 12:52 pm #

    I received the white backless-loafers today.

    If Leo DiCaprio was rescued from the Island and decided to live on a yacht for a while, this is what he would wear.

    They’re pretty swanky. and they fit.

    Thank you Manolo.

    They do “thwok” a bit though, since they’re backless. Fortunately I just learned I can get some toupee tape and all will be well.

  23. Canadian Headhunter July 1, 2005 at 9:07 am #

    This was a great exchange. To me it raised the question: maybe the presence of a mannish bridesmaid suggests that a bride and groom need not be limited to attendants of their own gender, period. They could each have their own “attendants” or “supporters”. The resulting arrangements will on the whole resemble the traditional scheme fairly closely but be more readily elastic when necessary.

  24. WoodstockGurl July 28, 2005 at 12:19 pm #

    Thank you all for such a courteous and genteel discussion. To answer Canadian Headhunter, some of us are opting for a traditional wedding in a non-traditional style – that is, my son will be standing with me on my side of the gathering. He could easily stand with the other men on my fiance’s side, but since he belongs to me first, we felt he belongs on the left. He’s also walking me down the aisle since my father is no longer with us. And, as expected, it’s raising eyebrows already. How did we get so entrenched in traditions and expectations that we can’t allow for some individuality? By the way, my matron of honor will be wearing pants. Wonder how she feels about the Sesto Meuccis?