Miss Shoes – Shoes you almost Missed

Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

90s Shoe Fashion is Back! I want to Buy these Shoes April 18, 2012

These are Shoes Im lusting after. Right Now.

1. My red ballet flats that I had forgotten about since 2010. I had forgotten them with my freind. She only just reminded me of them rececntly by bringing them to me. They are soon to be out of fashion, but I still love them. I need to wear them asap!

I will upload their picture the moment I take them.

2. These so in-fashion cork-heeled platforms that I can picture myself wearing. I just need to find the

Platform heels of Corck that scream style

right shop and price. And hope that by then its not trending on the street too often. And buying them

from Aldo or Nine West or Charles&Keith in India are not in the question. At least, not

right now. I can almost see myself mentally hum “Baji Baji

Bumbo Chiki Chiki Chiki Chikita”! in them (Remember that song?) while I walk through the elite stores of Palladium, Lower Parel looking all chic and hep.

Sunshine yellow platform Trainers

Sunshine yellow platform Trainers

Trainers with Sparkles

Platform Trainers with Bike-chic look

3. I wanted them when I was in school. I want them now. I had forgotten about them till date, but now that they are back in fashion, I dont want to miss the bus. Like last time. I still remember trying out so many of them when I was but 16, but none of them were ‘right’ for me. This time round, I want to get that pair. I know they are waiting for me somewhere!

4. This pair of white cut-out ballet shoes that I just bought. I would have purchased another in bright yellow as well if I could! that would have looked to cool with a pink dress!

Again, a picture is due, and I will upload ’em soon enough!

My Indian Kolhapuri slippers and the Ethnic toe-ring

5. A pair of ‘slippers’ that I can just casually slip into when running errands. Something like

my old Kolhapuri slippers. Something I can wear with jeans, skirts, dresses alike. Maybe Ill just go get myself some nice Kolhapuris again. I lost the left foot of my trusty pair. I mean, ONE foot! And then the next one (pictured) finally gave up. And isnt that a really cool, really traditional toe ring Im wearing? I love to wear it and act all ‘married Indian good-girl’ type. In my mind.

Brown Brogues for Women

Lovely red Brogues!

6. And as a luxury item, a good pair of brogues. Preferably brown, with a cap toe. With hints of copper or steel on it. Tasteful, of course. You see I have it visualised perfectly in my mind. Now to find something like that in real life. In a “store nearby”, which has my size, (and) in my budget. Sadly, winter came and went. And brogues never caught on in Mumbai. Or even India as far as I saw. I wonder why. They are so useful for office and casual-chic. Ive always had a brogue-alike in my closet. Something I can pull on for the days I dont want to wear heels and still want to look smart for office. For days when I want to protect my heels from the elements while going out on weekends. And now, I need them. Slowly, I think they have moved up from the luxury item I classified them under, and are turning into a necessity.

Ah! Brogues for Women!!

So there you have it. a list of shoes I would LOVE to own, right now! And wear them. Let me see how soon I can fulfill this list!


Take Care of Those Shoes! January 27, 2010

Recently a commenter, Ketan Vyas, mentioned how important it is not just to own shoes, but also to take care of them. I promised him a post on the same. And here it is!

Till a few years ago, the life of a shoe owned by me was rather short. It was not that I did not look after them, but rather more about how I wore them and walked in them. I did not treat them well, twisting them out of shape when bored. Now, of course, I am more careful.

But that did not mean my shoes were bad to look at. They just tore early because of the friction they faced. I have always maintained that Cracked, Dusty shoes look horrible. Shabby, even. That does not mean you need to take out the shoe polish and spend an hour on those precious leathers every day. Just take care of them!

There are a few simple rules that make it easier to look after your precious shoes – and feet. And no, they are not all about cleaning and polishing and shining those shoes. Some are very simple, doable activities, especially in a dusty country like India. Here is my tuppence on what you can do to increase the life of your shoes.

#1 Watch where you walk

I am the few disreputable ones who does not polish their black shoes everytime I wear them. But then, most times I dont need to. Its simple. I try and watch where I walk. Avoid puddles, roads dug up, definitely avoid cattle. The thing that I find difficult to avoid are the roads in India where the pavement is lose and there will be a sudden crater of dust – just that point where you need to step on to and enter that car/taxi/bus/shop. So you go on to next rule.

#2 If you must, walk lightly

Try not to walk with a full step and weight onto delightless items as those mentioned above. So, it rained. So, there are puddles. That does not mean one need wade over them. You can lightly jump over them to dry ground, or lightly walk to avoid the water splashing on top and spoiling more than need be.

#3 Store them well

And I cannot stress this one enough.

#3 a) A lot of dust on shoes is from shoes themselves. Keep a shoe on top of another, and its a sure fire way of ensuring dust on your pair. All the mud the sole of your shoe accumulated is now being deposited on the top of the other. So, DONT store them on top of each other.

#3 b) The other advantage of not storing them as a tower is, the shoes maintain their shape. They dont get squashed from top, lose their creases at the sides or need extra effort wearing. Good shoes dont need to be coaxed into your feet.

Keep each pair in rows, next to each other. Boots need to be kept horizontally if they are of a soft material since then they may crumple down. If the boots are of hard leather, you can keep them standing. If you have the plastic shoe-shapers, keep them inside the shoe – they will maintain the shape of the foot for the boot.

#3 c) Another source of dust on shoes is your own home. In India, dust is everywhere. Keep your shoes covered as far as possible, unless you are wearing them daily. I use a shoe closet, and for those that dont fit in, I keep the shoe boxes. The special shoes worn once in a while are in boxes which I open to take them out. This ensures that not only do they not rest on each other, but also dont accumulate dust from all over the place and look pretty.

#4 Clean shoes with dry dusting

Once in a while, while wearing the shoes, dry dust them with a brush or a soft cloth. You may not have time to polish, but even this one moment rub down of your shoe keeps the shine alive and dust away.

#5 Really Clean them

This I cannot stress enough. Once in a while, take out all your shoes. Spend a Sunday on shoes if need be. Inspect them and in case of any part that needs to be repaired, keep it aside to get it repaired. Clean the shoes with a dry duster, then polish them with a shoe polish, and then neatly rearrange their shape if they have for some reason got misshapen. For suede shoes, keep a different brush to take care of the hair/wool that can stick to them. Check the heel tips, the toes for friction marks, polish these regions as well. If the shoe has an insole that is wearing out yet the shoe itself is fine, you might want to either get rid of it or invest in a shoe insole which you can use with multiple shoes. Dr. Scholls makes them well, with many varieties – and some especially for women. Gladiators too need to be brushed and cleaned. Polish the straps, especially if they are leather. Chappals, especially Kolhapuri leather chappals also need their fair share of polish. Sports shoes also need care. Wash them regularly!

Then keep the shoes back.

This not only ensures that your shoes are well cared for,  but also makes you suddenly realise the contents of your closet. Old shoes emerge, new shoes get identified, sometimes missing pairs are found and sometimes you will realise there are shoes that can be thrown away.

A last note: many women dont wear socks. Its fine as far as women’s shoes go, but if you are wearing closed, laced up shoes of any kind, you might want to invest in socks for the well being of your feet. Even otherwise, peds, ankle length socks or stockings can be of help for the strappy shoes and saving you from undue shoe strain or even slipping them on easily.

So go ahead, spend a day with your shoes, and remember, the real secret to maintaining any of your shoes are a little regular care!


Shoes for Salwar Kameez (shalwar kameez) October 8, 2009

Patiala Salwar
Patiala Salwar

Salwar Kameez is a ubiquitous dress in India and neighboring countries. Consisting mainly of a bottom and a top, it has many variations and is often colourful. Uniquely it is something women wear and when men wear the equivalent it is called by other names (eg. kurta-pajama).

Salwar typically means a baggy pajama, a little constricted at the ankle. They can be with lots of pleats (gher), i.e. Patiala style, or much more streamlined, as worn regularly.

However, loosely the term is also used to denote churidars. Churidars are tight legging type bottoms made (usually) of cotton or similar material, with length greater than the leg. So it bunches up near the ankle. The more the cloth near the ankle, the better it is supposed to be.

A well fitting Churidar

A well fitting Churidar

So, what should one wear with this attire? The decision of shoes with salwar kameezes is pretty much second nature to those who have been seeing it since childhood, or wear it often. But to those who are new to the dress, there can be some trauma associated with the choice. So here I am, your angel in disguise (OK dispute that if you want! humph!) to help you.


Flats go very well with Salwars, as opposed to Churidars. Kolapuri chappals look very nice, as well as any Indian sandal type. Flip flop style chappals are also a good bet.  You can look at the  post on Indian sandals I had written about earlier for a pointer on the types available. You can choose any type from there.

When wearing flats with salwars, do ensure that the pajama is not too long for your leg, and does not curl up under your heel. Not only will that be a nuisance while walking, it also looks bad and spoils the show of the salwar. Afterall, the salwar looks best when it has a good fall from the waist, curtailing in the bakram of the ankle.

Kolhapuri Chappals

Kolhapuri Chappals

With churidars, flats can be worn (especially with short kurtas), it does not look as elegant. When wearing flats with churidars try and stick to jutis rather than any other type of flats. Jutis make the overall look nice and old-fashioned elegant. Kind of like what the men wear, yet also a little 1930’s type.

Stilettos / Pencil/ High heels

High heels go extremely well with any type of salwar kameez. With patiala salwars and kurtas, the high heel streamlines the figure and gives length to the silouhuette. The patiala tends to make people look shorter, so unless you are tall, a medium to high heel is recommended. A pencil thin heel makes you look more chic than a regular high heel. Platforms or wedges can also be worn.

Churidar with matching heels

Churidar with matching heels

A churidar kurta makes a person look thin and taller because of its streamlined outline. With a high heel, the posture is improved and the overall effect is that of a tall, thin, elegant person. Platforms can also be worn, but with caution as every platform shoe does not compliment all the styles of kurtas.

Medium heel sandals

For regular daily wear, medium heel sandals work best. (The type I outlined for short skirts in my earlier post). They are comfortable, while at the same time giving a slight elevtion making the legs look longer and you slimmer.

Indian Sandals

Indian Sandals

Indian chappals with the little block heel that they have work the best for this outfit at any given time. When the sandals have embellishments on the top straps, they can be worn for formal evenings out as well.

Colour Choice

Salwar kameez, as anyone knows are typically very colourful. It is typically expected that the  shoes match the oufit. If you don’t own sandals in matching colours, brown and dull bronze or gold are pretty universal. Black can be worn as well, but they stand out a little, because in most probability the dress will not have black in it. The same goes for white, though strappy cream sandals or very plain black sandals can work. Red slippers and shoes do very well, unless the dress is of a totally contrasting colour. However, unless wearing high heels, it is best to avoid the shiny shades of the colours, or patent leather. The emphasis then is on the feet rather than the overall look or outfit.

Indian chappals with gold embellishments or kolapuri chappals are pretty neutral and can be used with almost any outfit without worries. Kolapuris by virtue of their neutral brown shade make the outfit look good and very ethnic.

Style of Shoe

Like a friend of mine mentioned, Salwar Kameez essentially a feminine dress. and pretty ethnic.  The shoe chosen to be worn with it should thus either be ethnic, or feminine. I would suggest to wear open toed sandals as far as possible when wearing high heels with this outfit. The only type of closed shoes that work with salwar kameezes well are jutis. However, if you are confident that your pumps are the perfect accessory to your outfit, you can give it a try. On the safer side though, shoes with two straps (like typical Indian chappals) or a couple of horizontal straps holding your feet in, or peep-toes for your high heels work best.

So go ahead, make you salwar kameez/ churidar kurta look better than it does with the correct pair of shoes and be ready for all the complements!

Photograph source: All photos have been sourced from Google, special mention has to be made of designersalwarkameez & bollywoodbridesmaid for the pictures used.