Indian culture is full of quirky, distinctive varieties of clothes and accessories which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Many absolutely unique pieces of jewelry are an integral part of Indian culture and have also achieved world-wide fame for their beauty and exquisite designs. One such traditional jewelry type from India which has, overnight, become trendy across the world is the toe ring.
Toe rings have been a part of Indian culture for many centuries. They can be dated all the way back to the Vedic times, or perhaps even earlier. They are even mentioned in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana, as being worn by Sita, the heroine of the story. In India, they are usually made of silver as gold is considered a divine material and as such is never worn below the waist. They are also worn as a set; two matching toe-rings are worn on each foot. The types of toe-rings worn today differ greatly, especially in the west, where a single toe-ring is favored more and gold as well as other metals are used to make the rings.
One of the most useful innovations in the Indian jewelry world is fitted toe rings. These are toe rings that come with an adjustable back which can be contracted or expanded to perfectly fit the toe of the wearer. This flexible design is possible because of the use of special base materials, such as aluminum, which possesses strong metallic characteristics while also being easily moldable. Though it bends as easily as plastic, it is much more durable and also has the infinitely more attractive aesthetic of a metal.
The idea of making toe rings fitted was inspired by the use of such designs for other, more mainstream accessories such as finger rings and bracelets. However, this kind of flexible fit is especially useful for toe rings as they are worn on the foot and do have a tendency to fall off. A flexible design means the wearer can ensure the ring fits perfectly and is unlikely to fly off. Additionally, there are no size restrictions with custom fit toe rings. In addition, they can also pick any design, purely on the basis of fashion and style concerns.
Types of Toe rings
There are many types of custom fitted toe rings to choose from. In India, traditionally, women as well as men wore toe rings though nowadays men only wear them on very special occasions in southern states of India like Tamil Nadu. For ceremonies and festivals, men as well as women wear multiple silver rings, often carved with intricate Indian motifs, one on each foot. At weddings, the bride’s family and close friends are often seen wearing very ornate type of toe rings, but the most ornate perfect fit toe rings would be the ones worn by the bride. These are often crusted with sparkling gems that match the opulence of the bridal outfit.
Fitted gold toe rings are quite unusual in India because of the fact that gold is not supposed to be worn below the waist in Hindu culture. However, they have become quite popular in the west where there are no such cultural restrictions. The beauty and luxurious appeal of gold cannot be denied and this has made a few Indian designers also gravitate towards fitted gold toe rings.
Toe rings in India come in many beautiful designs and shapes, from simple circlets of plain metal to elaborately carved and studded pieces. One can find western designs as well as Indian ones. For instance, an elegant cat shaped toe ring will make any foot stylishly purr; fit toe rings with animal designs have become very popular especially amongst the younger generation. Dragons, snakes and birds are some of the other designs that are frequently seen, along with the typical Indian patterns of leaves, trees and flowers.
Styling and Trends
Fitted toe rings have become extremely stylish and in-demand in recent times, especially amongst the younger generation. They are often paired with pretty Indian clothing of all types such as cotton salwar kameez, printed kurtas, georgette tunics and chiffon sarees. On a daily basis it can add a lovely yet subtle ethnic charm to any ensemble while in terms of evening-wear it can be the cinching accessory that binds an outfit together. For instance, a heavy Indian jewelry will look odd and out of place with an indo-western outfit such as a dhoti saree. Instead, certain simple yet striking pieces which are also quite traditional will create the right balance. Toe-rings are the perfect choice for such an ensemble. The type of ring can be chosen on the basis of the work on the saree: gold to pair with gold thread designs, silver to pair with silver thread designs and so on.