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Kiran Bahl

Happy Mother's Day! Loyal readers, this day specifically falls on Sunday, May 10, in case you may be wondering. In honor of this important occasion, let's focus on a ladies' accessory often thought last about, sometimes even too late about in cases! The shoe. Which sandal to wear with which lengha, or which wedge to decorate which sari can be quite a decision, and can actually make or break your whole look. These quick tips won't steer you wrong, I promise.


The sandal is so versatile in this day and age that it is no wonder this type of footwear is every lady's primary choice. From 4-inch platform heels, to 3-inch stilettos, to 1-inch flip-flop look heels, they're all in style, saving one particular style. The see-through or vinyl/plastic sandal is a complete fashion DON'T. The heel itself may be this way, but the sandal itself, may NOT. This style not only looks 'cheap' and truly inexpensive, it also never flatters your foot! The sandal, too, is adjustable for any churidaar, salwar, lengha and particularly the elegant sari. Pair an abstract multi-colored sari (a piece of art!) with sky-high nude colored stilettos, or a casual churidaar outfit with short 'chappal' heels. The heeled shoe is a foundation of a shoe indeed!


Why is the wedge a new favorite in trends everywhere? Because it's comfortable. From smaller heel wedges to large, 5-inch lengths, they make walking (and balancing!) much easier, and are much more durable than their sandal counterparts. The original wedge was made of cork or straw, but oh my, how things have changed. From quilted wedge patterns to striped and floral styles, the wedge has become a NOW piece. Wear the wedge best with a churidaar or pantsuit, so it can show off better. A lengha or sari may cover up the wedge part a little too much, unless it's one with much height. If so, flaunt those pair of masterpieces with every step. Try wearing the trendy Afghani salwar, a many pleated patiala bottom with ankle cuff (or sometimes tapered), with high wedges, or pair an ethnic kurti top with jeans and a low wooden wedge - very Bohemian!


The kitten heel disappeared for a few seasons, and surprisingly, wasn't missed much. Now that they've re-entered the fashion frenzy, however, they're getting a bigger notice than ever. These dress shoes, usually peep-toed at the front, have a slender, shorter heel, usually under 2 inches. Not only is the smaller heel more comfy, it looks amazing with almost any outfit. Be cautious, however, of this style with a lengha or sari, as it could diminish your flow and length, if you're more petite.


So classic. But paired with an Indian outfit? Unheard of! Or not? Do wear pumps with your pant-style outfits, but make certain they're not the usual drab corporate neutrals (examples are black, beige, brown). Contrast your outfit with these shoes to add some zest. For example, a red pantsuit can be paired deliciously with yellow pumps. Or a turquoise salwar kameez can be matched with noticeable metallic silver ones. Right now, bold is gold, ladies. And yes, enjoy this style with any sari at all, anytime. Add a flower in your hair to polish off a retro look that's here to stay for a while.


Completely, 100 percent, a fashion DON'T. I repeat, a DON'T.

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend! E-mail us at, and we'll answer any and all your fashion dilemmas! Here's this month's Fashion Drama Question of the month:

Q: What sari gifts would you recommend to give my mother and grandmother for Mom's Day? - Arti, Brandon

A: Hi, Arti! First, I wish your mother and grandmother a wonderful Mother's Day! As for sari gifts, stick with sober, but updated neutral colors for your grandmother, such as mustard, navy blue, or camel. To add a twist of style, get a sari with light foiled or embossed work or one with a light floral pattern or striped border - its very spring! For your mother, sequins are 'in' right now, but if she's not as flash-inspired, then opt for saris with contrasting embroidery or stamped prints. A lovely hand-painted or silk-tissue gold sari would entice her, too. For spring, opt for pastel hues or vivid splashes of hot pinks, traffic-light yellow or lime green. Mom will beautifully stand out in any crowd, guaranteed.

Happy Mother's Day once again. As a mom myself, I know how much courage, patience and sacrifice it takes to be a good mom. It's tough at times, but more rewarding than ever imaginable. We appreciate every mom and thank you. And as always, remember to gro with style!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, "An Indian Boutique," 2035 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612, can be reached at (813) 843-9040 or (813) 903-8334.

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