In a country where women spend a third of their lives on the street and where most women do not wear dresses, women’s fashion choices have been growing more daring in recent years.
While it has been widely assumed that sneakers are an extension of women’s empowerment, the truth is that women are increasingly embracing them.
“We’re becoming more and more aware of what shoes and sneakers can do for our bodies and we want to wear them in ways that we can,” says Arunah Pritam, a fashion and wellness expert.
She is one of the first women to advocate for shoes that are not only comfortable, but also make our bodies look good.
“I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a skirt because that’s just not what I want to be wearing,” she says.
There is a lot of fad trends that don’t work for women.” “
There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ look.
There is a lot of fad trends that don’t work for women.”
The latest trend, of course, is the ‘turtleneck’ style that has been popular in fashion magazines for years.
“The trend started with the T-shirt and the hoodie and the jeans,” says Pritams mother.
“And the next trend that was starting to show up was the skinny jeans and the ‘T-shirt’ style.
And now there are skinny jeans, skinny jeans plus a T-shirts.
And then there is the Turtleneck style.”
While these trends can be considered mainstream, many people who have experienced the turtleneck trend say it’s still not comfortable enough.
“This is a trend that women have been using for years and years and they just don’t seem to be able to do it right,” says Shruti, who is from Bengaluru and is a fashion expert.
“But it is becoming more mainstream and people are becoming more conscious of it.
It looks good and it feels good.” “
A lot of women are getting into sneakers because it’s the perfect footwear for walking around and it’s comfortable, and that’s what I love about sneakers.
It looks good and it feels good.”
The ‘trend’ is so mainstream that women in India are wearing them in street fashion and even in their daily life.
In 2014, for instance, a woman in Bengaluru wore a pair of sneakers to the metro.
She even wore them while she went shopping.
A man in Delhi even bought a pair himself.
“In India, we wear shoes because we want our feet to be comfortable,” says Raghav Sharma, a marketing executive.
So we have to change the perception of sneakers.” “
Women who wear sneakers in public, they’re seen as not fitting into the image of women.
So we have to change the perception of sneakers.”
But there are also fashion experts who say that sneakers can be worn by women with disabilities.
“These shoes can be used for walking,” says Murali Sharma, who runs a design studio in Mumbai.
“People are using them for walking and for sports too.”
Women are also getting into shoes as a way to be assertive in their personal lives.
“My sister is a dancer and she wears sneakers and that makes me feel confident in my body and in myself,” says the fashion expert from Bengalore.
“Her shoes are a representation of her personality and her style.”
Women also dress to look good in a way that is not only appropriate for the weather, but to look fashionable.
“What people see is a woman’s body,” says Prabhjana Sharma, an activist from Hyderabad.
“She wears sneakers to make sure that her body looks good.
I think that’s a very natural way to look.
I feel like it’s important to do that.”
The trend also has a lot to do with the rise of the millennial generation.
“Most of our young people are wearing shoes.
It’s the way they dress and the way that they interact with each other,” says Rajkumar Sharma, the CEO of the Fashion Group in Hyderabad, who also serves on the boards of the Indian Association of Fashion Designers (IAFD) and the India Association of Graphic Designers.
“They don’t wear clothes.
They’re going out and showing off.”