Miss Shoes – Shoes you almost Missed

Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

Clarks Shoes Available in India: Go Buy! November 13, 2014

I mentioned Clarks entering into a Joint Venture with Future Group India in October 2009. Well, finally we can see the results of it!

clarks

I recently bought FOUR pairs of Clarks shoes from the Future Group outlet in Mumbai. I am a happy woman! 🙂

B

Brand Factory regularly stores Clarks shoes for men, and now it has finally started storing shoes for women as well. Such a relief!!  I never understood why a store would not keep stuff for women, when it is a known fact that women shop for themselves as well, and shoes are a definite soft corner for women.
On the other hand, it is difficult to understand this pairing. Brand Factory is an outlet for discount clothes and shoes, and these shoes are not at discounts usually. Perhaps I missed out – maybe they do have small discount values attached.

I have also seen Clarks shoes at other retail outlets. This is a VERY good sign. I saw them at Lifestyle Stores and Pantaloons as well. Pantaloons being a Future Group store, this makes immense sense.

lifestylepantaloons

As I mentioned before, Clarks continues to be available at Metro shoes and Central outlets.

However, the best part is their availability on the Clarks website. There is now a dedicated India website from where one can order shoes, that too at a discount offer running at the moment. So run!

I like Clarks shoes as I have written earlier. I find them sturdy and very well balanced. Their designs however can be a little clunky. The biggest barrier to purchase of a Clarks shoe is its price.

I recommend you go ahead and check out a  pair! I will post about my purchases on the blog 🙂

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This post is not sponsored in any way. The views represented here are purely my own, through delight of owning the shoes.

 

Strappy Black Sandals – my go-to party shoes! August 10, 2013

It is always nice to wear heels. However, with driving for more than 3 hours a day and incessant rains, it has been a chore to wear shoes that need buckling at the ankles, or have heels that can slip on wet streets.

The other day when we went out for dinner with family, I thought it was the perfect time to bring out my strappy black heels. Hubby was driving, and we were going to a restaurant which meant – no walking through rainy puddles!

They take me about four inches further away from the ground, and make me feel oh-so-happy. There is something about a delicate pencil heel that can make your back straighter, your stride longer and your smile wider. 🙂

Strappy Black High heeled Sandal

Strappy Black High heeled Sandal

I bought this pair a while ago from Catwalk, and considering the delicate nature of Catwalk shoes, have worn them sporadically.

The black colour ensures it matches most clothes, especially skinny jeans – the silhouette it provides is very sleek. There should be one such shoe in every girls wardrobe. A staple which can be worn with almost any colour, can match almost any occasion, and is feminine.

The criss-cross pattern of the straps makes this very feminine, and the gold/metallic loops on the side save it from being too black.

The material is a soft suede, with bits of elastic near the ankle which helps me slip on the shoe fast despite its steep angle due to the heel and the many straps.

This design per se is pretty standard, but there is a specific pair made for every girl out there. This is mine.

strappy heels 1The shoe is super comfortable notwithstanding the pencil heel. It is very well balanced, and the straps hold my feet in place perfectly. There is an ankle buckle, which is a little difficult to tie by oneself. The buckle is a small delicate thing, and the strap is as wide as the buckle. This makes it a little difficult to put it through the buckle keyhole, especially for someone with long fingernails. In my opinion they could have put a simple faux buckle, but then this is a small point, and probably makes the shoe more stable.

Strappy high heeled black sandal with open buckle

Strappy high heeled black sandal with open buckle

All said and done, they are a definite plus to my shoe wardrobe, and a very comfortable pair!

 

Update: Clarks Shoes (Mumbai) Available Again! November 23, 2011

This weekend I was walking through one of the malls in Mumbai, and to my surprise, I saw a section devoted to Clark’s shoes! I have raved about their comfort earlier and I almost bought one. But then, I had recently bought something similar from Catwalk and resisted. Unfortunately, most of the designs were a tad old – unchanged since when I last saw them. Though I still liked their fit.

FlashbackI had loved shoes by Clarks. However, for whatever reason, their primary shop in Mumbai closed down and some other Clarks shops were perennially shuttered down. I lost hope of seeing them in Mumbai. Then, there was news that they will tie up with a well known retail brand for the Indian market. Then all was quiet. Then, I see this outlet!

On further inspection and questioning of the sales staff, I have news for you!

Clarks in India is now available through all Lifestyle department store retail outlets, in their shoe section (you cant see it online yet).This is a chain by the ‘Landmark’ group, the one that owns those awesome book stores, and not only the Future group as the press release mentioned . As I saw, they are also available at select Metro shoes outlets and some Central outlets. Hmm, Clarks has been doing a lot of homework behind the scenes!

What is consistent with their press release, is their intention to be present in the market in 2011. It is the end of 2011, but the year is as per plan.

The prices have come down since my last visit. What once used to cost INR 4,000 is now available for INR 1,999. A factor of the Lifestyle’s costing system? I care not! However, I don’t know what the cost of newer designs will be.

The (High Streeet Phoenix) Pheonix Mills, Lower Parel showroom is also apparently back, though at a different shop number. I have not yet physically checked it out. You can find out the store nearest to you across India using this store locator.

Which is also something I need to mention – Clarks finally has an Indian website. It was not there earlier. This, I hope is a tip towards their seriousness of being in this growing, shoe-hungry market. Yippee!

All I know is, Clarks is available once more, and I hope they bring in newer, better designs!

(psst – their website promises well – check out women’s designs here)

 

Casual Shoes for Men: Office Wear June 22, 2010

Weekends are casual wear in office. The one day men in offices revert to jeans. Since shorts are not allowed in a formal office environment. Most men to severely lack in the imagination department. For them formals mean black or brown trousers and casuals mean jeans. This post is for such men. Especially. (for the rest with some fashion sense, its for you as well! And for women suffering from fashion loss thanks to being with fashion deprived men)

Man in Casual Wear

Man in Casual Wear

Why only jeans qualify as informals, is something I havent deciphered. Especially since all clothing companies try so hard to educate them about: linens, khakis, cords, canvases. And of course, for the more experimental, trousers in innovative cuts, including (yes, I will say it) the Jodhpurs (see image on left).

Coming to shoes, the other fallacy I have noticed is the simple bifurcation in Men’s minds about shoes:
a) Formal shoes: Black, Brown
b) Casual shoes: Sports shoes (sneakers)

While formal shoes are experimented upon to some extent, with laced, slip-ons and even innovative leathers, its the casual shoes that take a beating.

There is nothing worse than the sight of men in office, wearing jeans coupled with black, formal shoes. No, jeans coupled with floaters and socks come a close second, but black formal shoes definitely win. (It is so horrible, even Google doesnt store an image!)

So what can be worn as casual shoes in office?
Well, the standard sports shoes and floaters are there. However, sports shoes all the time are boring. They may be comfortable, but be truthful. Do you really always want to wear sports shoes? Also, it gives the impression you have only 2 pair of shoes – one for office and one for running. Not Good.
As for floaters, they are not a feasible option in formal offices, which promote ‘Friday Dressing’. And I despise them anyway. Sorry.

In such a case, I offer to our dear fashion deprived men, the quaint, old-fashioned product, universally known versatile shoes known as ‘Loafers‘.

Men's Loafers - Louis Vuitton

Men's Loafers - Louis Vuitton

Loafers are typically slip-on shoes, with a mocassin construction. Traditionally made from leather, loafers are slip-on shoes that resemble a moccasin on top, but have a wide and fairly flat heel. They can sometimes be worn for formal wear, but a pair can be owned, which scream casual. No man can go wrong with loafers – they are as masculine as they come, no matter the colour.

Loafers with Show Bows

Loafers with Show Bows

Loafers are best in brown, white, or even black (and sometimes deep wine red). They can be soft leather, with stitches showing on the sides, have tassles (like cowboy shoes) or metal decorations (as popularised by Gucci)

Tassled Loafers_Gucci

Tassled Loafers_Gucci

Dress loafers are those which are more moccasin-like, with deeper cuts, but they look more formal.

If however, our fashion deprived men find it difficult to identify loafers, the famous suede shoes can be a substitute that can be considered by them.

Blue Suede Mens shoes

Blue Suede Mens shoes

Suede Mens shoes

Suede Mens shoes

Suede shoes in light brown, less heels, with or without laces, can work wonders as casual wear.

Suede Boots

Suede Boots

Boots are another option, though they may not be perfect for office all the time, they can look very good with jeans, especially when the correct pair is worn. Boots dont always have to be high, ankle length boots do just as well. Suede boots can be wonderful as casual wear, if worn with the right pair of jeans.

athletic inspired shoes

Athletic Inspired Shoes

For those, whoever, who do not want to venture into loafers, mocassins, suede shoes and boots, ‘athletic inspired shoes’ are an option! These are a mix of boots and sneakers, while being actually shoes. They can be just upto the ankle, and are usually in the garb of mountain climbing shoes.

Athletic Inspired Woodlands

Athletic Inspired Woodlands

Some of the best places to buy casual shoes for men in India:

– Rockport: A great option for long lasting shoes, especially if you are loathe to buy leather since they have a good collection of non-leather. Rockports are always sturdy, long lasting, comfortable and yet quite stylish.

– Woodlands: They offer some of the best athletic inspired shoes in India.

– Regal Shoes

– Mochi Shoes

– Clarks Shoes

– Levis Shoes

– Inc 5

– Chain stores like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Westside, etc.

So, considering there is a last working day for the week, every single week of your working life, I suggest to all my male readers – go ahead and get some casual wear shoes. C’mon! I a sure you are tired of wearing the same old shoes all the time! At least if you are not ready to get rid of those jeans every weekend, get a pair of shoes that make those jeans look good 🙂

Happy Shopping! Here’s to more Stylish Men at workplace!

 

Clarks and Future Group JV for India October 21, 2009

In October 2005 when Clarks first entered India, they had grand plans. As per this press release, they planned opening about 300 stores by 2006. It does not take an in-depth study to know that this did not happen.

In the light of this failure to expand, it is heartening to note that Clarks has entered into a joint venture with Future Group, India.

Future Group is an extremely successful retail group controlling impressive retail chains like Pantaloons and Big Bazaar, shopping malls like City Center, clothing brands like John Miller, and even consumer finance and insurance under Future Money.

The JV plan seems to be to roll out the brand in 2011. So there is still a wait before the shoes are available more easily in the country. They plan to make it a premier international footwear label. From the press release it seems like the design range will increase, and more ladies sandals will be available. Also, the manufacturing might be outsourced to some local names.

“There are some excellent manufacturers in India making this product and we are excited about working with them”

-Andrew Martland, Head International BD, Clarks

However, I just hope that the original designs remain along with new ones, and the strict quality specifications and customer care practice of the footwear company dont change much when launched by the Indian-UK JV.

 

Dressing Casual (Delhi Vs Mumbai), Shoes for Short skirts September 30, 2009

Yesterday, while switching channels on TV I chanced upon an interview of Sonam Kapoor talking about ‘dressing up’ in Delhi. I agree. While Bombay takes the charm out of going out, in Delhi every outing is a definite occasion. I agree that it is really comforting to go out wearing whatever you want, but really! If you are out partying, might as well dress up that way, right? Otherwise whats the point of going to an expensive place?

Casual yet dressed

Casual yet dressed

So while in Mumbai one can walk into any pub/disco/eatery in flip flops and torn jeans, no makeup or jewellery, in Delhi, it is nice to see men and women put in some effort while going out. I would have thought it human instinct (but then I guess that is a little lacking in Mumbai) to want to make a one-off ‘going-out’ an occasion to warrant a little more dressing up than going to the store. Albeit, in Mumbai the ‘going to the store’ look is also crafted carefully.

However, what is important and needed is a look that makes you look dressed up, yet not too casual. Something that makes you perfect for an evening out with a few friends while not looking like you stepped out of home wearing what you wore last night, or that you spent hours dressing up.

If you are one of those people who want to dress up but don’t really know what to wear so you fit in seamlessly with either of the crowds, I would suggest wear anything you want to, dress up as you want to, and don the right pair of shoes.

Rihanna in short skirt

Rihanna in short skirt

It is depressing to see the number of women in Mumbai who wear really chic skirts and have obviously spent time on their face and hair, and then wear a pair of flip flops. The end result is so casual, I wonder why they even put in the effort for the hair and face. Short skirts and flat chappals is not a combination I would suggest, unless you want to roam around home after a tiring evening.

So, many Indian women are placed in a quandary when it comes to footwear to go alongwith short skirts. The last thing they want to wear is something that will make them look slutty, but the last thing I would suggest in lieu of that is bedroom slipper lookalikes which make them look like they have been lounging around home. (Its Ok if you are on the beach, but most times its not the beach).

So, what do they wear?

Platforms and gladiators with skirts

Platforms and gladiators with skirts

Shoes for Short Skirts – Casual Dressing Style

Here comes in the importance of sandals. Remember those footwear one used to wear as kids? With a little heel, yet not too high? Well, for adults they make the same thing, only more suave. Of course, one can go ahead with the Indian impulse and wear something strappy, but I prefer blockier designs.

Block heeled shoe with short skirt

Block heeled shoe with short skirt

Sandals basically give the foot around an inch of height from the ground (at max) and come in various designs. If you want to make it a little more dressy than plain old sandals, kitten heels fit best. They keep the delicate feminity of the look, while emphasizing what short skirts are meant to.

Kitten heels

Kitten heels look classy

Sandals can be covered or open toed. Block heeled or pencil, plain slip-on with a strap holding down toes only, or ballerina styles or even gladiators. For a casual evening out, I would suggest a heel type that makes it comfortable for you to walk around as much as you want – platforms (cork heeled look great), wedge or square heels usually fit this bill. Pencil heels automatically increase the oomph quotient of the attire, especially slingbacks.

Short platforms with Skirt

Short platforms with Skirt

Now to the top of the shoe – ballerina styles and open toes look good, but again they become a tad more evening-ish than say, something with a buckle near the ankle and a strap covering the toes.  Practical, yet stylish without becoming dressy or slutty.

Sneakers with Short Skirt

Sneakers with Denim Short Skirt

If of a sporty kind, the personality then screams sports shoes, with ankle-length socks.  Nude shoes are also OK. This is one of the few things allowed to women and extremely well dressed men who know what they are doing.

So there you have it. A tutorial of how not to get totally ‘just-out-of-home-as-I-was’ look everytime you are out. Yet, not going the whole hog and look like you are off to a glamorous evening affair.

Shoes may not be noticed by men, but they can make or break an outfit. The right shoe can make a simple dress look glamorous, just by virtue of the being on your feet. Shoes force the way you walk and your body posture. I would say, stay away from flip flops as far as possible – they can make you waddle. And no one is allowed to waddle!

Me traveling all over in comfy shoes and skirt

Me traveling all over in comfy shoes and skirt

Confident in short skirt and heels

Confident in short skirt and heels

So try and get shoes that improve how your legs look. A little heel will help your calves look better, so if you have stocky legs, try not to go for the sneaker look. Flat shoes are great for slender women with long legs, not the usual Indian figure. But if you must wear flats, try to make them covered ballerina style shoes or stylish sandals rather than flip flops.

So go out, this festive season grab yourself some neutral, convenient sandals which you can wear anywhere you want to!

Me in Skirt and Kitten Heels

Me in Skirt and Kitten Heels

Suggested shops:

High budget:

  1. Clarks
  2. Nine West
  3. Charles & Keith
  4. Catwalk

Medium – Low Budget:

  1. Bata (perfect for the casual yet trendy look!)
  2. Shoe shops in malls like Pantaloons, Westside, Lifestyle
  3. Metro/ Regal/ Mochi
  4. Khadims/ Liberty (if you really don’t find anything elsewhere)

One thing I however ask you to stay away from are extremely chunky black sandals. They will steal the look away from your entire outfit, and truly speaking look a little dowdy. Skin coloured and light coloured sandals look best. Preferably if the sole is either leather or rubber-plastic.

Indian Sandals

Indian Sandals also look good for a casual look

PS – if you want to look glam, I suggest a pair of boots(!) or even stilettoes. Try those ankle length shoes with care – they can make you look short AND your legs calf-less. And like mentioned, flip flops are ultra-casual, but if you want a casual look, I would still suggest ones with a little heel, like Indian Sandals.

Short skirt and Boots

Short skirt and Boots

 

Know your Shoes, Buy them Online July 16, 2009

Dont worry, this post is not just Gyaan (information), there will be some links where you can buy shoes. Though I will focus more on the intent of the blog and then give you the links!

I feel it is important to know your shoes before you go buy any pair. Sure, I usually buy shoes when I am out and I like something in the window. Infact, that is how one buys the best pairs of shoes. But what I am talking about here is knowing. Knowing that it is monsoons and you need monsoon shoes, or knowing that office wear shoes are required and getting a suitable pair, and so on.

Apart from knowing which shoe to buy, its important to know what shoe goes where. When out to buy shoes for formal day wear, it does not do to buy gold stilettoes (and then wear them at work)! When in school and college it really does not make much of a difference what shoe one wears. However, enter the corporate world, and our needs change. Gone are the days when wearing flip-flops was a statement. Suddenly they show how lackadaisical you are. And no, not even in an IT office will it be OK to appear in green flip-flops. No matter if you got them from Gucci.

Thus I think it is important to know what you are buying. Information is never harmful and always useful. Once you know that Clarks can provide you good daily, regular wear shoes, you know what to buy in a Clarks showroom. When you know that monsoons are here, you should go ahead and get some rain loving shoes. But what use is a Leather Boot in the Indian Summer? None. Why not, in that case, wait till you can wear it, and get better designs of the season! This does not mean you should avoid an incredible sale, but means prioritising. Knowing that the boots will lie in the closet till winters.

This blog is mainly for that purpose. I tell you what to buy, where to buy it from, and how good it is. I you want cheap monsoon sandals, Ill let you know the best place for them, for as many places in India as I can. You want luxury shoes? I know the place for you! If you know something, feel free to share with me.

I sometimes also talk about my shoe collection. It has managed to impress everyone I know, but I dont get the big deal. So I have some shoes. They wear out! Shoes are like wine. All beautifuil, tantalising and nice in a bottle, yet perishable and oh-so irreplaceable! I have gone through more shoes in shorter time than any of my friends have. Nowadays, thankfully, it seems my feet behave better with them and so they last longer. But in this manner I have experienced many designs and comforts of brands, non-brands, heels, flats, slip ons, buckles, – name it and I have worn it.

I want to share this knowledge, the experience, and the joy of shoes. Shoes dont come cheap. They are an investment and like any other investment, I wouldnt like to see it go waste. Hence, I suggest you go ahead and read some of the posts here (and if you find anything else this good on the Net, that too – Im not lacking in self praise 😉 and then decide.

Shoes are an integral part of ones dress. Men may not notice them and their intricacies on women. But we women know that a shoe can make or break an outfit. When it comes to men wearing shoues though, they too take a lot of care of what they wear. And they too, should think before donning the nearest available pair.

Enough on the gyaan. Today I will let you know some online portals for getting good Indian sandals (also called slippers or slip-ons).

Shoes, especially Indian shoes are best bought physically. I do not really recommend online purchasing for Indian Shoes. By going to the shop, testing it out and then purchasing it is the best way to ensure a good buy. This is because not only is their fit very important to the user, the leather feel is also important. Again, the sizes of the shoe sold is not very standardised in India. Though with Jutis and Chappals a centimeter here and there does not harm too much, it is till best to wear shoes of the correct size, always, to avoid any foot related problems.

However, since many viewers of the website may not be placed close to an Indian outlet, I am listing below some places where Jutis/ Chappals can be purchased online. (Please note that I have no tie-ups with any of the sites, their services are their own responsibility and I am only making it easier for you to reach some sites which look decent. I do not own any responsibility regarding their actions.)

That should get you started! If you want more information, leads or infact anything at all, comments are open.

Meanwhile, choose your footwear with care, and look great!