Bye bye Bata

The other day I went to Bata shoes to pick up summer sandals for the Bean. You know, good old Bata. We all grew up wearing their Bubblegummers and blue and white rubber chappals. All I got was a bunch of pink (why? why? why?) sandals that were delicate and girly with crocheted strawberries hanging off them. Very nice for a girly tea party but they did nothing for my little hurricane of a daughter who romps around in the dust with the best of them.

And oh that isn’t the end, the other lot of available sandals had heels. This is no biggie. I’ve seen sandals for 3-4 year olds with heels before. But not in Bata. I was horrified. Where is the average parent supposed to go for affordable open sandals in summer? Are we stuck with crocs for life? Smelly, plastic crocs that need to be washed every second day? Gah.

Thankfully I am not alone in this thinking. Here’s another piece by this gentleman on the CNN site. I’m so done with only finding trashy wear for little girls. Why exactly are we tarting them up in high heels and sparkly outfits?

My solution is to dress the Bean in tee shirts and shorts. And the poor girl does often want to wear dresses but I rarely find anything that I find suitable for her. And no, don’t direct me to Mothercare. It’s not economical and I don’t want my daughter dressed in shades of pink, looking just like the girl next door who also shops there. So we’re down to getting little smocked summer dresses and rummaging around Sarojini Nagar for the nicer clothes.


51 thoughts on “Bye bye Bata

  1. Lillipaut has decent sandals for little girls for everyday wear. But, recently wanted formal white sandals for the child and had to go to Mothercare after scouting in every footwear shop in town. Like you said they were all miniature versions of Bollywood creations – in bot footwear and clothes.

    And oh you could get in touch with me for custom-made cute and sensible frocks – will get them made at the NGO.

      • I am forever buying frocks from there for my various nieces. I am just never sure of the Bean’s size. Now I am and I am back in Gurgaon next week. Let me know your specifications and I will be happy to get them for you. 🙂

          • I agree…Chennai has some pretty good economical options. Stocked up on loads of simple cotton dresses for my girl from Flora during my last visit. Where is Poonam BTW? Never heard of it. And R, thanks for bringign up VTI..I remember seeing cute stuff there during my pre-baby days. Its now on my must-shop list during my next Chennai visit!!!
            And anyone knows of such shops in Bangalore too? All I find here are overpriced stuff that my daughter outgrows in 3 months 😦

            • In Bangalore, try Safina Plaza. There are a number of exhibitions that are on there and I’ve seen some really good frocks on sale. Also, some of the smaller shops on Comm street (don’t remember the names).

  2. coincidence.. i went to bubble gummers yday too.. and guess what? Bata has finally started giving us quality again , but at exorbitant prices! Bye bye bata it is..

  3. It was the same feeling I had when I went to shop for my daughter at Bata. You can check out Liberty, they have nice flat strap sandals in shades other than pink. Also, Sarojini seems to be the best bet for us Delhiites when it comes to non-branded kiddie clothes.

  4. Lilliput has some really cute and sensible ones I see that has already been suggested…. kitten too there are many outlets in Blore great shoes they have apart from stocking those extremely highly priced crocs

    and as far as dresses last time I went to westside blore it had very pretty dress at affordable rates, also have u tried export surplus places, there are lot in blore I am sure there will be more in delhi

  5. God bless sarojini nagar market, and all export reject clothes available for around Rs.150 . Amidst the trashy, barbie pink clothes you find white, yellow, green cottons with pleats, pretty prints and pockets(so damn essential for kids who stuff them with stones and empty shells of poor departed snails).

    Keep visiting bata, action shoes, you will eventually find something that weathers the scampering feet of our little girls. Kittens and lilliput, i find too delicate and expensive most of the times.

    Next time you meet my girl could you tell her that shorts are more girly than frocks? A girly girl needs to show off the bumps and bruises on her knees not the twirl of a frill!!!

    • Lilliput and Kittens is fairly sturday Sur. Mine run like they are racing the wind and the footwear is able to take it without too much trouble. But yeah they are pricey – do tell where you get decent sturdy stuff that dont cost the Earth.

      And loved the last line. You are a lovely mommy to have.

      • Finding sturdy, inexpensive footwear is a constant battle. But i manage with action/bata for the rough and tough footwear.

        Please tell my child what a sensible mommy i am. she thinks i am anti-pretty because i keep dressing her up in shorts.

        • of course you are anti-pretty. :p
          i love my sarees and salwar suits and the rare dresses and skirts that i wear. i never look as nice in jeans. kids get their messages from us though, so i see why the bean wants dresses – she sees that i never wear jeans for a formal occasion/ party. so there is no way on earth i can convince her that shorts are pretty. they’re cute. they’re convenient. but they’re not pretty. on the other hand a child like sanah can make sack cloth look pretty

          • Sigh. She hearts pink. She loves frills. And asks me to put on some kajal and/or ear rings when I got out.

            I won round one with my mum. I would win round two with the child if kind folk would support me -TMM, hope my frown has got you quacking in your shoes.

            • they end up being exactly the opposite of us mothers dont they?
              and never fear, I am quaking. Even quacking if you wish :p

  6. FabIndia has some nice dresses as well. If you ever go to Jaipur, their flagship store there has adorable clothes for girls too.

  7. Hi MM,
    Long time lurker here..You should try Beebay at DT megamall,Gurgaon. They have the cutest summer dresses in variety of colors, quite unlike the glittery/lacy/ruched/diamond studded junk at most of the shops..


  8. Come to Bata Bangalore- i usually find really nice sensible shoes and sandals in cloth and canvas here in beige and navy blue and so on

  9. Go to Calcutta. Seriously, I got a couple of super soft nice kurtas and frocks for R plus noticed a lot of sturdy footwear available on the street 🙂

  10. Ask your parents to get some especially with it being spring/summer here, and the sale season having started.You get decent sturdy play clothes that can go through a lot of washes. Same with footwear.

    • ah yes. they will get tons of clothes. last time they bought a suitcase and some 60 kilos only for the kids *rolls eyes* but I am nervous about buying shoes without trying them on.

  11. There is an all-covering shoe from Bata which comes in red, navy blue, and pink. They have it in several sizes, there’s even one for my 2 yr old girl. Flat and really no-fuss. Maybe you shud buy those.

    I think I spotted Artnavy’s younger girl with the same shoes on her blog. Chk it out.

  12. Now you’ve done it…almost managed to convince me not to reproduce. Difficult to get sweet,innocent, pretty, pretty dresses? The desire to dress up a little girl makes up 99% of my pro-baby arguments. My mum learned how to sew and made my dad spend half his paycheck on a fancy sewing machine because even back when I was a wee baby(yeah,that long ago) the lovely dresses she coveted for me cost a bomb, so she tells me. Sigh 😦

    • they’re okay for adults i think. but with kids i find the plastic gets smelly in summer and i feel that they don’t give enough support to the feet. you know, i like the straps that buckle feet in and make it easy to run around. else you’re right… very low maintenance.

  13. i love it how you’ve become so adept at not showing the kids’ faces and still creating super pix 🙂

  14. MM,

    Like others have suggested – come to Blore! There are plenty of ‘common’ shops for clothes and shoes and really affordable. And at the rate these kids grow – I prefer those too…

    And I always feel sad that I dont have a daughter to dress her up pretty – I will take you everywhere and even shop for the bean – come come!!

  15. I usually get decent clothes at Westside or Lifestyle for Nikki and they’re nowhere as expensive as Mothercare. She outgrows her shoes every other week and mangles the ones she doesn’t so shoes I just pick up anywhere I get. Thankfully the Bata here is still stocking the old fashioned stuff.

  16. Thanks for all the suggestions guys. As usual you all have been brilliant. I think my point really is, that we shouldn’t have to try so hard to get some regular clothes. Why is it such a challenge to dress our kids neatly, non-fussy and non-branded?

  17. Try Lilliput or Juniors. They have nice summer sandals and their pseudo-crocs are affordable and good.

    Also try kittens. They are available in Lifestyle and they also have exculsive kitten stores.

  18. hey miss the bata days for sure…but dealing with the present…the arjun marg market (gurgaon) has many shops which sell export surplus at reasonable prices

  19. and here i thought i am the only one banging my head for this. however, i have picked up boys sandals for my daughter, and ofcourse i am going to keep aside those lovely liliput sandals of my son for her to use afterwards.

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