Miss Shoes – Shoes you almost Missed

Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

Jutis – for Rainy season…& Breach Candy July 19, 2013

It has started raining in Mumbai. Let me amend that sentence.

It has been raining in Mumbai since before Summer ended, and there is copious amounts of water pouring from the sky at any given time of the day except when I leave for office. *breaths in*. Which makes me sad.

I have not had a single rainy day off. Never in school, and not in office. Such is life.

However, I do have bright, zany, shiny footwear to repel those evil puddles and light up these working days!

Now, the Indian Juti is an awesome footwear. It is ballerina type, and it cut low on the sides, showcasing more of the foot that the more famous ballet slippers. Plus, the jutis have a lot of intricate design and handwork done on them. Traditionally from northern India, the term literally means ‘shoe‘ in feminine (as in, Juta is masculine and used to denote more heavy type of footwear. Men have Jutis as well)

juti 2 Juti pic

However, traditionally, the Juti is made of leather. This makes it a little uncomfortable in the initial days when you are breaking it in, and also makes it a difficult footwear for all those rainy days.

Which, when you are living in a city like Mumbai or Calcutta ( Kolkata) is 10 months out of the 12 (figurative). The sad part of which is the damage they wreak on leather footwear through the myriad potholes filled with water.

Now, I don’t know if you have heard of this place in South Mumbai called ‘Breach Candy‘. It is next to the sea, and is a narrow uphill road. Its remarkable feature is the plethora of shoe shops on either side of the road!

Shoes! Everywhere! And oh! so many. I love the place.

MBMapBreachCandyEDIT

So when in June my mother came down for a visit, I made my way there with her, for not only is it about a lot of shoe shops, it is also a nice quaint neighborhood where one can spend a lot of time doing nothing. Oh! and it has a number of coffee shops and bakeries. What more can you ask for eh?

Walking around Breach Candy, it is almost impossible not to buy shoes. And, in one of the shops as we went in, I spotted these bright blue jutis.

I put them on, only to realize they were made of rubber! Not a bit of canvas or leather near these things! How delightful! Waterproof Jutis!

Mu Jutis

They have a base color of black, with colored thread embroidery all over it – in blue, orange and silver. The piping of the shoe is silver as well. Imatches very well with jeans, and also any salwar or churidar. They are super comfortable to walk, with enough friction at the base.

Since then, I have paired this pair with jeans a number of times, not only on weekends, but also to my ultra professional office (on Fridays) and had pleasing results. Whenever I need to step out of the car and access that shop, through a puddle, these shoes cause me no worry.

By virtue of being made of rubber, they dont get too wet, and they dry pretty soon. Also, after being wet so many times, they still look as good as new!

These are now my favorite go-to shoes for Fridays and weekends, when its raining.

my waterproof juti

 

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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.

 

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’.