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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

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A Rant on Aishwarya Rai Bacchhan August 11, 2009

Aishwarya Rai had a pretty face. And once upon a time she had an attitude to go with it. Remember the (Lehar) Pepsi ad with Aamir Khan?

aish28

Then she won Miss World. And we Indians were doomed forever. We had to watch her wear one atrocity after another.

The lady has spent over two decades in the film and fashion industries. And yet she has no sense of style or dressing! Every year she goes to spoil what little image there is of India at the Cannes. And this year too. Though of course, one can say she has improved over the years but if this is her pace of improvement, she will have to wait till she’s 100 to catch upto the international ladies.

Aishwarya Rai Bacchhan in Cannes

Aishwarya Rai Bacchhan in Cannes 09

After so much money, effort, time, how can someone look like that? And this is her ‘best photo’. Why oh why does she wear these shoulderless things? Why oh dear god why does she not have a fashion stylist after so many years in the film/ fashion business? Why dear lord, do we all have to promote her as ‘Indian Face’ to the world across?! No wonder Freida Pinto was such a hit. Anyone after seeing this woman year after year as ‘India’s face to the World’ would think Indians are hopeless. Freida gave them a glimmer of hope. And she was loved. Did you notice the sagging flesh under the arms? The plastic face and the .. *sighs*

No wonder Aishwarya did not want Sonam Kapoor to go to Cannes. After innumerable years she does not have the confidence to allow another woman of lesser experience and certainly no international name and fame to walk after her. And then, Sonam has effortless style and elegance.

Sonam Kapoor

Sonam Kapoor

Sonam Kapoor

Sonam Kapoor

Sigh. And yet in India she is still fawned over. I have never understood her dress sense. From the days of Jeans (oops was it Genes?) to Jodha Akhbar. There are ladies who can carry off bling and lots of jewellery. She, IMHO, is not one of them.

But someone, anyone, keep her hands off those dresses. I can predict her choice of clothes:

1. A Gown, preferably with a trail. Not a short dress.

2. Off-shouldered, sweetheart style, never sleeves.

3. Lots of lace, layers, net, if possible starting from below her hips. And sparkle if possible.

4. Colour: White or fluoroscent Pink or virulent green. Nowadays even black is not safe. But thats better.

Ahem

Ahem

The clutches she carries are no better. In fact, she is the prime example of how money cant buy you style.

But at least, she wears decent shoes. Not the best, but decent. And she does not fall in 5-6 inch heels. Unlike her newer counterparts in Bollywood. Thats the most positive I can say for the lady – she can wear high heels and match the colours to her outfits, and walk comfortably in them.

That, however, does not make any difference to her Net Score. Shes still a FAIL.

(I have used all her so-called ‘good’ photographs in this post.)

This post was written by me ages ago when the media deluge on Mrs ARB was just too much to bear. However, my opinion on her clothing remains unchanged – media glare or not!

[As mentioned, the views expressed here are my own personal opinions, and though I encourage comments, please bear in mind that my approving them has nothing to do with my approving your thoughts or actions.  If I find something particularly distasteful, I will remove it when I am able to.]