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! 🙂

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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.

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Charles & Keith – Awful Service! June 4, 2012

I bought a pretty black and copper Charles & Keith shoe in January last year.  I really liked it, and it was part of my wedding trousseau. Though I usually get Clarks, Nine West, Aldo, etc., this time I liked the C&K design and decided to buy it. In fact, I bought two of them. The other one was a gift.

However, I only got one ocassion where it matched my clothing, and wore it in November 2011, to a cousins wedding party.

Within one evening, the heel tip came off!, and I had to make do with walking around with a clanging sound from one foot.

The moment I returned to Mumbai, India, I went to the shop and sent the shoe for heel tip repair. This was December. Today, it is May 2012, and I still dont have the shoe with me. I have physically gone to look for the shoe at least 4 times, and yet, there is no sign of the shoe!! FIVE months and no response yet?!

I will not be surprised if they have lost it. And are not admitting it. I am so irritated! Not because they have misplaced a perfectly decent shoe that I wanted to wear a few times in the past months, but also because I held it dear since it was part of my trousseau!

I have sent them an email, and I hope they will come back with an actionable. I hope they do, and I will update here if I get a response.

I am, however, very disappointed with the quality of C&K shoes, as well as their servicing. If you cant keep customers you have, you dont deserve more.

 

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 Shoes, India July 6, 2009

A few years ago I spotted the first Clarks showroom in India – right beside a tiny but elegant Jockey showroom. Curious, I moved in. There were exactly 4 designs for women, and perhaps 5 for men. Each of them was lovely.  The walls were decorated with blow-ups of women’s feet clad in those same shoes, and somewhere it mentioned ‘Clarks Shoes, London’.

Discreetly placed was a banner stating a 30% discount on 1 of the designs. Excited I picked up the shoe, tried it out and fell in love. It was then that I finally flipped it over to check out the price. Rs 4000 (appx) after discount of 30%!! I slipped out of the shop.

Cut to today. There are Clarks showrooms in almost every self respecting city in India (I think). And my favourite by far is the one in Pheonix Mills, Mumbai. Though it looks bare in the first glance, it is good enough. Large, spacious, with nice sales men and good shoes, and a perpetual sale.

The designs of Clarks shoes are not extremely cutting edge Chic. They are not Jimmy Choo or Gucci, nor do they try to be. However, they are mostly leather, and some rubber based. and they are extremely comfortable.

Designs

The designs can to the undiscerning eye look almost dowdy. However, slip them on your foot before making the declaration. These shoes look extremely elegant on a foot, somehow. Ranging from the flats, to block heels, to kitten heels and even longer heels (of around 1-2 inches), they are made in such a way that they suit most feet and the overall effect is to enhance your leg – the requisite of a shoe – rather than just look showy.

Balance

I think it is extremely important for a shoe to be well balanced. So that if you are walking long distances, or over uneven turf, you don’t twist your foot. Also, it should not be uncomfortable to stand for a long time in your shoes. Clarks shoes fit the criteria. The heels however tall, are very well balanced and placed at the correct location at the heel – the curvature of the shoe usually ensures that your foot rests comfortably no matter how long you stand/ walk.

Comfort

Thanks to the well balanced heel, half the comfort problem is solved. And then there is the material of the shoe. None of them, insofar as I know, bite. No matter how new the leather. And the shoe soles are usually a little padded, so it feels comfortable and absorbs the shock while walking.

Style

Like mentioned in Design, the shoes are not cutting edge stylish, but are exactly what you want to wear on a daily basis. They are muted yet elegant and a great way to show off your style quotient. It would be very difficult to pick up a pair and make a Big Mistake in your shoe choice. The heel turns out well, and the overall shoe is well made – with attention to detail.  So the shoe always looks great. Good craftsmanship shows.

Price

Like mentioned in my opening lines, the prices can be a little steep for an average worker bee. However, like I mentioned, the Phoenix Mill shop has a perpetual discount and certain designs are always available at pretty reasonable (though 4 number) rates. They are definitely worth it.

After Sales Service

Is great. I tend to rough use my shoes a lot. And after months of rough usage, finally one of my pairs started sporting an opening in the seam along my toe, where the sole met the top. So I took the shoe to the shop. Immediately, without a murmur or demand for the purchase slip, they took it, promising a mended shoe in a week. And lo and behold. After a week, I had me shoe back in stellar condition, freshly polished and buffed, and not a mark in sight. Only the sole surface gave away the usage it had undergone in my foot – no longer the pristine cream of new shoes.

Durability

They last for ages. If they have lasted more than one year on my feet, in Mumbai, through rain, puddles, rocks and goodness knows what else, without a single scratch on the sole as well as on the surface,  I think they are extremely durable.

Overall

They are one of my fall-back pairs. My daily wear comfort shoes, that always look great. They have only select designs in India but the designs are all pretty good in nice colours. The price can be selected as per your wallet, and though the lowest end is also in thousands, I feel it is worth it. Being pure leather, with a very nice sole – both inside the shoe and outside, they are extremely durable. Like I mentioned earlier, they are stylish yet understated and elegant. And they scream the worth they are. It is rare to get shoes of this good quality, comfort and style in India, and in case you think it is too much to spend on a shoe, think of the after sales service. Though the company can look at reducing their MRPs on some designs rather than having a round the year discount on them, as long as it works for them and I get them at reasonable rates, Im OK.

I would say, Id like to see more Clarks shoe stores in India. Wait. I think there are enough. I don’t want everyone to sport the same shoes as me, now do I?

But I cant repeat enough, I think the shoes are totally worth it!

PS – For my male readers – Clarks has some very good designs for men as well, though size might be an issue. And this stands true for women as well. Essentially catering to the UK population who are bigger in size than Indians, the shoes here tend to be available in bigger sizes than the average shoe store.

They also stock handbags and other leather stuff – but not too many of these things.