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The Versatile Juttis

By Anuradha Turner

Comfy, stylish, and fun—what’s not to love about Juttis. Know all about the traditional footwear right here.

From being an art that most local craftsmen used to master to the perfect muse for the haute couture today, Juttis have made an effortless transition into the new age. Worn with pride, Juttis keep reinventing themselves.

The Ultimate Style Statement

From the people in the Mughal era to today’s college kids, Juttis have been the ultimate style statement for every generation. They are high on comfort and are available in vibrant colours, making it popular with every age group and every occasion.

“Juttis for me symbolize a bright fusion of traditionalism and modernity, thanks to their practicality as well as their heavily embroidered look. The top of the juttis is usually made in textile materials such as raw silk, velvet or cotton to give the richness. Regardless of the occasion, the footwear creates a big style statement with its unique appeal, heavy embroidery and lively colours”, says Nidhi Bhandari, fashion and shoe designer, owner of Nidhi Bhandari Couture.

You can never go wrong with Juttis. No matter how bright and quirky, they never look gaudy or shiny. This is because unlike normal shoes, which are a product of bulk manufacturing, Juttis are still a traditional handmade product.

The Making and Re-making

Usually made of fine leather and delicately embroidered with threads or beads, Juttis (also known as Mojaris) embodies the best in slip-on in styles. Made by skilled artisans, especially in Punjab, these ethnic shoes were popularly worn during the Mughal Era. Rich golden threads and colourful beads were used to craft exquisite motifs in order to impart a royal touch to these juttis, made from different shades of leather.

“Originally, juttis were made from pure leather and was adorned with the embroidered fabric on top. We have modernized this traditional classic by creating flat leather sole plus the insole, and then designing the embroidered upper on the top of the shoe. This not only makes the process efficient, but also helps retain the handmade look” adds Bhandari, who offers an eclectic collection of designer Juttis in Pune.

A lot of shoe designer are reinventing Juttis by retaining the base and experimenting with new pop designs at the top, which appeals youngsters.

“In a nutshell, the idea behind reviving the Juttis was to have the best of two worlds. We consciously wanted to marry the old world, traditional charm of the jutti with the chaos and relevance of pop culture to make it relevant for the current generation”, says Laksheeta Govil Mehra, owner of the online designer juttis store Fizzy Goblet.

Juttis are not overlooked in the world of online shopping. There are already popular websites that specialize especially in designer juttis. Keeping the younger generation in mind, the designs are quirky, peppy and retain the tradition of Juttis. What’s more! The new age designers are also committed to fixing all the little flaws that one might experience while wearing a jutti!

“The biggest differentiating factor would be the cushioned sole that has been paid special attention to. The jutti traditionally has an image of being hard and uncomfortable. At Fizzy Goblet, we have taken special care to eliminate this discomfort. This has been appreciated by our customers” says Mehra.

Trend & Style Tips

Women can show off juttis in bright bold colours which are an eternal classic. Almost every colour combination works, hence, there is no fear. Just experiment.

The best way to team up your juttis is with jeans, especially if you doing all the running around during a wedding. A simple ensemble like a nice white top with a pair of blue jeans along with a pair of fabulous and vibrant juttis will turn the eyeballs on you.

While taking the traditional approach with Indian kurtas and salwar suits, always bear in mind that for your shoes to stand out, team them up with simple and minimalist prints and patterns.

Denims, florals... go mix and match, for example wearing the quirkily designed juttis with western apparel. Try to blur the gap between traditional and contemporary.

Juttis can also be teamed up with tea skirts. Tea length skirts are trending big time in weddings now and Juttis actually pair up well with them.
Inputs taken by Nidhi Bhandari and Laksheeta Govil Mehra

The Best Places to Shop for Juttis

Amritsar : The city of Golden Temple, Amritsar has one of the largest range of juttis. Most importantly, it is the experience of buying juttis that makes Amritsar so special. Apart from a visit to the Golden Temple, you can enjoy some local kulcha naan and lassi too! So, If you are looking for some amazing local artistic juttis that are low in price as well, a trip to Amritsar is totally worth it!

Jaipur or Udaipur: Jaipur and Udaipur have some amazing local artisans, offering jodhpuri style Mojaris. The basic difference between a mojari and jutti is that mojaris are normally made from camel leather and have pointed sole on the upper side. Juttis normally have a round shape sole on the upper side. Unlike, the juttis in Amritsar, which mostly specialize in embroidery work and flowery design, Jaipur and Udaipur offers a vibrant range in colours and patterns, influenced by Rajasthani Art work.

Online Portals: If you are tech-savvy and do not have the time and energy to visit locals cities, here is the portal which specializes in Juttis— Fizzy Goblet. This website is ideal if you are looking for something exclusive, especially for your wedding, or simply want to gift unique Juttis to someone close. Other websites like Needle Dust also specialize in designer Juttis.

Whether you are experimental when it comes to fashion or you like to play it safe, you can never go wrong with a pair of Juttis. Whether it is a simple traditional design or you choose to go with the new pop art, the colourful world of Juttis is one style statement that you just cannot miss!

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