For women, footwear is just as important as clothes, jewelry and make-up. Shoes might be a practical necessity, but they are also a huge part of fashion trends. Designers have created all types of fashionable footwear for each season and every year brings in new trends and fabulous styles. Of course, women’s footwear has been around for millennia and for almost the same amount of time, has been used as an accessory as well as a utility item. Thus there are as many traditional and ethnic women’s footwear options as there are new and trendy designs. For many women, footwear shopping is much more enjoyable than clothes shopping because with shoes, there is minimal hassle about fitting and sizes. This, combined with the infinite amount of variety, makes women’s footwear the most appealing category of fashion for many women.
Footwear is usually categorized on the basis of shape, color, design and the occasion for which it is intended. For daily wear, many prefer to go with cheap women’s footwear made of affordable and durable materials like wood, plastic and rubber, which can be used and reused without a problem. For more formal or fancy occasions, leather (either real or faux) and suede are frequently used. Often wood or plastic may also be used for formal women’s footwear but to make it more formal, they are covered with some type of textile such as felt, velvet, silk, jute, khadi etc.
The two most popular types of women’s footwear from India would probably be jutis and mojaris. They have a unique closed-toe shape with a slight point and are typically made of leather only. Both are crafted by artisans and craftsmen from rural areas who have inherited the skills and knowledge of leather crafting from their ancestors. This is why for many people good quality leather shoes are synonymous with India. However, it is not just the good quality of the leather and the expert stitching that distinguishes this type of footwear. They also come decorated with many different designs and embellishments which add a unique ethnic beauty to their look. Either the leather is directly studded with beads, bells or crystal designs, or the leather is covered with a thick embroidered cloth with colorful and intricate patterns. Another popular type of Indian shoe is the Kolhapuri chappal, which comes with a toe-ring design. Most Indian shoes tend to have very little heels, even when they are quite ornate to look at, and can therefore be worn for daily wear as well as formal occasions.
Indian women’s footwear includes a wide variety of options today, besides the traditional shoes. Many Indian designs have been adapted into the basic open toed ‘sandal’ design which can be seen around the world. Many sandals today are India inspired, showing unique ethnic designs, patterns and colors, while still having a bit of heel. The sandals can be designed in a variety of ways but in ethnic women’s footwear, the toe-ring and v-shape designs seem to be the most popular. In terms of colors and designs, brightly colored shoes with multi-colored stones or beads embellishment are extremely popular for parties. These usually have very ethnic-inspired designs of peacocks, fruits, trees and flowers. Alternatively, they may be metallic toned with glittering gold, silver or bronze designs.
Styling it Right with Women’s Footwear
Women’s footwear is crucial to achieving the right look anywhere, whether it is in movies, television shows and music videos, or the red carpet, fashion magazines and high fashion run ways. The most fashionable look can be ruined because of mismatched footwear while the most ordinary look can be elevated with a pair of fabulous sandals. There are so many different options in women’s footwear, both ethnic and western, that women have a plethora of choices to browse before creating the perfect look.
For casual or day to day dressing, women can opt for cheap women’s footwear that suits their level of comfort. Indian shoes like jutis and mojaris are always a good investment because though they might be slightly expensive because of their high quality, they are very durable and versatile. They can be matched up with Indian kurtis, kurtas and salwar kameez as well as tunics, tops and skirts, depending on the colors on the outfit and the style of embellishments on the shoes. The most formal and ornate varieties are often worn by women as bridal shoes with lehenga cholis and sarees.
On the other hand, for parties and other special events where glamorous dressing is a must, a pair of metallic high heel sandals can add just the right element of glitz and elegance to the outfit.