Miss Shoes – Shoes you almost Missed

Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

Shiny Indian Party Shoes/ Slippers April 19, 2012

Over the last year I have been attending a number of family functions. Across IndiaCalcutta, Delhi and Mumbai. Thats a lot of locations for a lot of family gatherings. These have ranged from full blown weddings to smaller-key dinners or festivals.
Now, while for a wedding it is mandatory to have a shiny slipper, or at least one that matches your ornaments (read red, gold or silver), for a family dinner or small festival like Rakhi, the footwear has to match your clothes. Which is to say, they have to be smart, a little shiny to respect that its an ocassion, but cant be over the top. In comparison it is easier to buy a pair of crystal studded footwear for the shaadi!

Wearing a plain sandal of course can be a recourse, but one that will put you on the lower rungs of family fashion. Especially in Punjabi families.

Here, I struck gold. And Im quite smug about it. I found a perfect pair of slip-ons while browsing through the shoe-shops of Colaba (Mumbai) with my poor tired husband. I liked them. He asked me if I needed them. (I vehemently nodded yes) He asked if we can sit somewhere and eat after that. (I vehemently nodded again) He bought them. Joy!

My Every Occasion Shiny Indian Slippers

The Heel

These slip ons have a small heel. THis is very important. A very high heel is invonvenient when you have to stand around for ages, or walk through roads that are less than perfect. The last thing that I want to do is stumble and fall, or be tired when it is my maiden visit to meet relatives. A flat shoe looks less than perfect, because then, somehow, the churidars look shorter, the saris look inelegant, and well… in general the look seems incomplete.
Thus enters short heels. This awesome slipper has a heel of an inch. Perfect!

Style of Shoe

This slipper is not just a slipper. A typical Indian slipper is backless, with the straps ending under the arch of the foot, and divided in front through the thumb and the rest of the fingers. Though a decent enough design, it is rather common, and tends to slip out as well. Also, the shoe glory ends with just the front bit of the shoe.
This particular slip on is more like a slingback. The back is elasticized, making it easy to slip it on while also ensuring the foot doesnt slip out. The design also, therefore extends for most of the shoe, except for the back of the ankle where the elastic resides.

Indian Slipper Shoe for Formal Evenings

The design

The shoe has a leather base, self embossed with flowers, so that when I take it off, it still looks pretty. The top of the shoe is decorated with sequins, beads and a large-ish crystal. The sequiins are a dull copper colour, and therefore even when they are ‘sequins’ they look understated. Especially in combination with the muted off-white beads. The crystal in the center is. in-silo, rather large. However, stuck between all those beads and crystal its kind of hidden, and adds that pop of ‘Look Im a party wear shoe!’ look to it. The whole look it ‘party’ but at the same time, the colours are versatile enough to be worn in any combination. This looks good with my green, blue, red and of course black clothes.
The toes remain fully uncovered in this shoe, and as a result this gives me ample opportunity to show off any nailpolish or toe-rings I might want to sport. With most of the foot visible, mehendi, if applied is also visible for display. Of course, since the ankle is free, wearing a payal is possible, though I havent yet worn it.

This shoe has also been of help in recent times for office wear. It is muted enough to be worn with staid, work-suitable ethnic wear, and often I wear it with my cchuridars to bring in an aspect of colour into otherwise dull surroundings.

Shiny Indian Slipper Shoe

In short,this is become my go-to footwear for any occasion which involves being a little dressed up, in ethnic wear.
I would suggest you go out and get something like this soon, I promise you it will remove the headache of wondering ‘which shoe will match this suit best’.

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Monsoon Shoe Shopping in India July 2, 2009

Its monsoon time! Well, almost. In Mumbai, India it has finally started raining, however the rest of the country awaits at the edge of drought. Perhaps what will bring the rains in, is getting ready for them. Nothing makes it rain like going out for a long day trip in your best clothes and leather shoes while your rain gear and shoes rest at home.

The first step, however, to the rain calling is getting the rain wear to wait at home for you.  The essentials are very simple – an umbrella (or raincoat) and shoes.  For days when I expect to be out on the streets for longer times, I usually combine a raincoat with an umbrella – makes it easy to manouver and not get wet in the torrential downpours. But the one thing that remains crucial is Shoes.

You see, when walking in the rain, the one thing that is bound to get thoroughly drenched is your footwear. Throughout the year, no one really cares much about water resistant footwear. Its leather, and suede, and silk etc as far as footwear is concerned. And then come the monsoons spoiling some of your best pairs.

To avoid such a scenario, many companies (like Bata) promote their rubber based shoes.  These dont spoil on getting wet, and neither do they take too long to dry. So they are perfect! However, they really lack comfort and style. I mean, OK so they are rainwear. But that does not have to make them ugly, right?

Crocs are a good option for the rains as well. They are essentially rubber, and they do make some sort of style statement. Comfortable? Not for long runs, and their grip is also so-so, so they wont slip from your foot when both are wet with rain water and puddles. But, if you want a quick fix and really colourful options with holes on top, Crocs are your freinds.

However, you cannot really wear Crocs to office. Bata might still suffice, but imagine blue crocs in a traditional office with strict formal wear code? No.

In such cases, many people carry a pair of shoes, and wear their multi-purpose floaters. Floaters, ugly as they are, are convenient. And though the velcro portion may not dry as fast, at least the contact to skin is at minimum.  And then there are rubber floaters to take care of that. Of course, some floaters are not as ugly, but getting such a pair in India may prove difficult.

However, what I recommend for my Indian ladies, is a shopping stint with a tight budget on Linking Road, Bandra and Colaba Causeway. The flavour of the season are flat ballerina style peep-toes, in all colours imaginable – starting from canary yellow, patent black, ink blue,  shocking pink, blood red to skin tones. They are plastic all over and guarantee a slip-free walk through all water-covered surfaces. They also come for as cheap as INR200 a pair!

I would say go Invest! The only fly in the ointment are the available sizes – there is only a medium size available and if you have large feet (like me) it might be difficult for you to find a pair in your favorite colour.  The largest they seemed to have was Size 38.

However, fret not. In such a scenario where your fair feet do not fit daintily into these petite creations, there are sandals. These are flat again (to cater to the monsoons) with elastic at the back to hold in your foot and a broad band over your toes. The broad band is nice – transparent with three stripes of different colours and a fake buckle. The overall look is quite nice and I would post a photograph if I had one on me. These too are totally plastic, colourful, pretty sturdy and perfect for the monsoons.

Both these shoes are sedate enough for office and trendy enough for evening outs – it will be your choice of colours which will determine where to wear them. Also, they are sure to last you the season, which is more than what you could want from these colourful cheap funwear.

While you are out getting shoes, it might not hurt to buy a colourful umbrella as well. Colaba is crowded with umbrella sellers of every variety, ranging from below Rs.100 to as high as you want.  They are quite the compliment to your rainy weather shoes.

You can also wear your Gladiators in monsoons as they have all the attributes needed for rainy days – flat, good grip, hold feet in place. But just make sure they are not your leather gladiators. Then they are bound to be ruined!

So go ahead, mae a spash! Choose vibrant colours, fun plastic, or branded stuff, but be prepared for monsoons! I promise the rains will follow soon enough!

PS – In Calcutta, you can try Metro Plaza near Ravindra Sarovar – they have some shops with really good shoe collections, including rain freindly wear. And shoes in Kolkata will be cheaper than in Mumbai. Also a must – check-out place for shoes is AC Market (Ravindra Sarovar) as well as New Market, Esplanade!

PPS – Delhi shoppers! Make your way to GK II asap! And Janpath and Sarojini Nagar market (Sarojini more than Janpath) are sure to have you shopping to your hearts’ delight!!