Chic Review: Get spoilt for shoes at Heel & Buckle

Chic Review: Get spoilt for shoes at Heel & Buckle

About Heel & Buckle
Heel & Buckle is a multi-brand shoe store featuring four brands: Alessandro and Rad Russel for men, Pazzion and Paco Gil for women. In Mumbai, the store’s at the Palladium, Lower Parel.

Heel & Buckle Store image 2

So what are these brands?
As the names would suggest, the brands housed at Heel & Buckle design premium pairs of shoes, high on style and quality (and thus not so easy on the pocket either, but more on that later).

First impression
The store looks neat! For a change, I didn’t get drowned in a sea of shoes. The shoes weren’t forced together like foot soldiers in battle, but grouped into mini-shoe stations with pairs of a specific theme displayed together. And because there aren’t hundreds of pairs overwhelming you, you’d end up carefully looking at each style, enjoying what you see (and therefore, more likely you’ll buy shoes from them).

Heel & Buckle womens shoes

Shoes in store
There are pumps, flats, stilettoes, embellished shoes for women, with formal, lace-up shoes, brogues and slip-ons for men. While most of the shoes I saw were meant for special and formal ocassions, parties and the like, you’d get a few pairs of everyday shoes too. BTW, there are also bags for men and women, along with belts and guys’ shoe accessories.

So what was good?
Most women’s styles were pretty, smart or elegant, but not too different from what I’d already seen at other brands. I liked some of the bejewelled shoes at the store and fell in love with a gold pair that I was very tempted to add to my trousseau! But overall I wasn’t too impressed with the women’s range, and found it a bit underwhelming given the prices.

Heel & Buckle shoes

And what was awesome?
But let’s talk about men’s shoes now, because they drew my breath away. The exquisite leather, the finishing and the colour options were excellent, and I felt that finally there were shoe options for men that weren’t too boring, and not too casual or teenage-y either. And while there were several colours and styles, they were “safe “enough that most non-experimental Indian men would be willing to try.

Heel & Buckle mens shoes

What about prices?
Most pairs of shoes were Rs 6000 and above, and I the prices could up to Rs 20,000 plus. Yes, these prices would be a stretch for plenty of folks, but there are shoes, and then there are shoes. IMHO, the better pairs at the store would be worth the price, especially the men’s shoes.

How does Heel & Buckle compare to other shoe brands?
Heel & Buckle is not like any other shoe store, as you may have guessed already. So comparing it with shoe brands in India like Charles & Keith or Aldo would be unfair. In terms of prices, Heel & Buckle shoes are closer to Steve Madden, though definitely higher.

So what are their best shoes?
Choose a smart versatile pair from the fabulous men’s range. Or look for an embellished style in the women’s range.

Heel & Buckle mens shoes

More on the decor
There are some very personal creative touches to the decor that makes you give you a warm feeling. The little shoe tree at the entrance was adorable (see below). And then, there was a vintage typewriter and other such things that added some personality to the store!

Heel & Buckle decor

Heel & Buckle decor

Should you shop at Heel & Buckle?
Absolutely yes for men’s shoes (if you’ve got the budget). If you’re a woman shoeholic, you’re spoilt for choice anyways. It would be best to buy a one-of-a-kind pair that would be the key piece in your ensemble or an investment for seasons to come.

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 2)

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 2)

In my earlier post, I shared some carefully-selected clothes that “shone”, especially those with metallic finishes. Today it’s all about the accessories!

Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough metallic-finish accessories, but there are some glittering patent-finish and croc-textured options that put gold to shame. Here are my picks:

Bags

Metallic bag from Calvin Klein Jeans (love the texture!)

CKJ metallic bag AW 12

Croc shopper from French Connection

FC Camden Croc Zip Shopper Bag

Bag from Steve Madden

Steve Madden BPANDORA_FUSCHIA

Shoes

Metallic finish slip-ons and heels can dress up any outfit!

Vanilla Moon

504-MINK-BRONCE-METTALIC

Charles & Keith

Charles & Keith silver shoes

 

Steve Madden

Steve Madden SUTTTLE_DUSTY-GOLD

 

Jewellery

Pendant from Myra- The New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers

Myra's the New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers (1)

Bangles from Toniq

Toniq-9923 (1500 x 1000)

Bonus: Makeup that shines!

Maybelline hyperglossy eye liner

Maybelline hyperglossy liner

Body pigment powder from Inglot

body pigment powder 17 Rs. 800

Chic List: 5 things that should not be on sale (because everyone’s wearing them already)

Chic List: 5 things that should not be on sale (because everyone’s wearing them already)

Almost every fashion brand in the country worth its salt is on sale as you read this (see list below). Sales are an easy way for brands to get rid of old stock and for shoppers to buy stuff they don’t really need, but think they want.

Meanwhile there are some things that should never go on sale, mainly because they are almost everywhere and selling them cheap would lead to everyone wearing the same clothes or accessories. And as I wrote earlier, who wants a nation of fashion clones?

So here’s my list of five things that should never go on sale.

Angry Birds tshirts

Every day I pass by a couple stores in my neighbourhood that have proudly displayed Angry Birds tees, shorts and briefs in their window display.:-P And a young shopper at Zara was wearing such a tshirt as well. While I’m addicted to the game, I’d really be pushing fashion boundaries by wearing the cute birds. And so would everyone else. No one ever wore a Monopoly or Ludo tshirt, or did they?

21072011036

Oversized / statement pearl necklaces

True, pearls are classic accessories. But I’m talking of the long necklaces with larger-than-usual pearls that every other woman seems to own. They come in different colours, sizes and strand lengths, but essentially they’re the same.

Quilted bags

Chanel’s quilted bags are not really Chanel’s anymore. They belong to almost every accessory brand and woman across the world. At the mall recently, the only good bags I came across were quilted, but in different styles. And while I don’t regret buying a rose red Mango quilted bag last year, I think it’s time to stop buying it and move on to other textures. (BTW, I had recommended quilted bags as early as 2010, so it’s time to kiss them goodbye).

Below: Bag from Charles & Keith

Charles Keith quilted bag

Polo tshirt with horse

In late 2010, the guys who wore the Ralph Lauren polo tshirt with the Big Pony symbol on the left and back were smart and suave. In 2011, every Rahul, Raj and Rohan was wearing a spin-off. And some women donned those tees too. If those tshirts are on sale somewhere, stay away from it. Please!

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Polo tshirt

Fit flops

Every woman who wears a fit flop swears by it. And yes, they’re comfy, cute and stylish (especially the ones with baubles and other trimmings). Unfortunately, my love for them faded when I saw all five women in a group wearing them. Sorry, fit flops weren’t supposed to be part of the uniform.

BTW, if you’re still interested in knowing what’s on sale, here’s a quick look at some brands offering discounts right now:

  • Zara
  • Mango
  • Promod
  • Charles & Keith
  • Tresmode
  • Pepe Jeans
  • AND
  • Chemistry
  • Latin Quarters

What fashion item do you think should not go on sale?

Chic Trend: Are loafers the new “it” shoes?

Chic Trend: Are loafers the new “it” shoes?

I last saw men and women wearing loafers in the last 1980s, or maybe the early 1990s. The most common ones I remember seeing were brown with little tassles. And then, those shoes disappeared.

But now, they’re in almost every good shoe store in town. I was extremely sceptical about them, but they seem to be THE SHOES for the season. Here’s why:

Reason 1: They are comfy. I’m not used to “closed” shoes being a Mumbai gal, so I wasn’t sure if I would be comfy in them. I tried on this pair at Tresmode, and they were super comfy. In fact, they seemed tailormade for my feet. 🙂

Below: Newbuck loafers from Tresmode (for women)

Tresmode loafers

Reason 2: This season, loafers (also called “slip-ons”) are available in a mindboggling range of styles and colours for both men and women. Loafers can be simple slip-on shoes, with minimum or no detailing or it could have a fancy buckle or faux laces.

Below: Mockk from Steve Madden (for women)

MOCKK loafers- Steve Madden

Reason 3: You can wear them almost everywhere! I wear my Charles & Keith loafers to movies, meetings, dinners and to run errands.

Below: Loafers from Charles & Keith (for women)

Charles & Keith loafers

Reason 4: They are great for both cold and warm weather. While I wouldn’t recommend loafers for summer, I don’t find them making my feet too sweaty in the current Mumbai weather. In Delhi recently, I wore my loafers with socks.

Below: Loafers from Carlton London (f0r men), available on BeStylish.com

Carlton-London-loafers-men

Reason 5: Loafers are chic! End of discussion! 😉

Do you have your pair of loafers yet?

Chic Alert: It’s sales season again!

It’s July, and it’s time for bargain hunting at the monsoon sales in almost every store across India. So break your piggybank, demand a salary/ pocket money hike, and hit the mall like there’s no tomorrow.

For our shopaholics’ convenience, here’s a list of fashion stores/ brands on sale. Print it out, mark your preferences and carry it with you to the mall. Tick off your list as you dole out the cash.

Clothes (stand-alone brands/ designers)

  1. AND
  2. Global Desi
  3. Anita Dongre
  4. Ranna Gill
  5. Globus: 40% off
  6. Ed Hardy: Up to 50% off
  7. Zara
  8. H&A
  9. Chemistry: up to 50% off
  10.   Promod: up to 50% off
  11.   Latin Quarters: up to 60% off
  12. French Connection: flat 30% off for men, up to 50% off for women

Lingerie

  1. La Senza: up to 50% off

Accessories

  1. Nine West: 40-60% off
  2. Charles & Keith: up to 30% off
  3. Reebok: Flat 40% off
  4. Citywalk: 50% off

reebok sale

Multi-brand/ designer stores

  1. Mogra: up to 80% off
  2. Re: up to 70% off
  3. Ensemble: up to 70% off; from July 7-9, 2011

Jeans/ casual wear

  1. Lee: up to 50% off
  2. Pepe Jeans: up to 60% off
  3. Levi’s

Beauty (Special Offer)

b:blunt’s Monsoon Manicure Madness: every new customer gets a complimentary manicure. Existing customers can recommend a friend and get a free mani.

Have a great shopping weekend!