Bargain Brags

Fashion for me is a state of mind. You could be dressed in the fanciest of clothes and look like a misfit if you can’t carry it off. On the other hand you could be dressed in an ensemble that has been picked off the sidewalk and look like a million bucks. So the key to looking good and feeling great does not lie in the price tag, it lies in how you wear, what you wear.

While some people are obsessed with brands and will not settle for anything less than something that costs one tenth of their father’s pay checks. Other’s will roam the streets and pick up outfits that cost less than a square meal at the local Udipi joint. Call me silly but  I think an obsession with brands is foolish when you can get great style for less than half the price.

If you have the money, flaunt it, but if you don’t, there are ways to look stylish. You only have to know where to go and how to bargain your way to great looking styles. Below listed are a few markets in the country that are a must visit for every shopaholic that has a limited credit limit. You cannot use your credit cards here, so daddy will be happy. However make sure you have your purse filled with small bills of hundreds, fifties and tens to get the best price.

Mumbai, Delhi and Goa are great places to shop. Of course if you know the right places. Mumbai and Delhi have their share of malls and high streets that are reserved for those with large pockets. However if you want to get your hands on some cheap but great looking styles, these malls are one place you should not step foot in.

Mumbai – Colaba Causeway – If you are from Mumbai, there is no chance that you do not know about this place. Home to the coolest cafes in the city, Colaba causeway is bustling with tourist activity be it day or night. But that’s not what this busy street is known for. What it is famous for is its bargain brags. You can find anything from cool summer wear to perfumes to designer knock off handbags at really enviable prices.

The street is crowded but it’s a treat to walk through. Stalls flank the busy pavement and the men and women sell their ware with a come one come all attitude. From kurta’s too cool tee’s to handbags that look like they’ve been crafted from a maharani’s bed sheet you can get what you want. The place is ideal for those who are free spirited and like the bohemian way of life. So if you have a few hundreds in your pocket and want to shop a lot…this is one place you have to visit.

Mumbai – Hill Road
– Tucked sneakily away in the suburbs of Mumbai it was a well kept secret for a few years. But with the television industry receiving a boom and young men and women crowding residential areas close by…this place has become shopper’s paradise indeed.

The format at hill road is a little different. Here you will find a number of stores that sell cheap clothes. They’re mostly of the export surplus variety and you will really have to hunt to find something you like. But let me tell you, every moment spent here is worth your time and money. Stalls line the roads and often a traffic jam makes up for the backdrop. It’s not the most peaceful place to shop, but if you are looking to stay stylish for less, then you have to take an auto to Hill road as soon as you can.

Delhi – Janpath – Located at a stone’s throw distance from Cannaught Place, this street indeed marks Delhi as the fashion capital for those who believe in great style for less. I believe Janpath is the first milestone in fashion. And the country follows and emulates its style. From hippie bags, to hippie harem pants to summer wear that can help you bear the sweltering heat, this street is a Mecca for college goers.

Goa – Flea Market – Over the years the flea market has changed and how….it was once dominated by the ‘firangis’ who came in an set up shop there to sponsor their stay in this beautiful paradise. Now 25% of the stalls are taken up by Rajasthani artisans that make a living there by selling beautiful pillow covers, bags, bed sheets and a variety of jewelry to local and foreigners alike. The Flea market at Anjuna is a must visit for anyone who visits Goa. Not meant for those who are overtly brand conscious but a treat for those who like staying cool.

These were just a few places in the country that are a must visit for those who like staying stylish. You will be amazed at what you can find at these places as the styles are trendy and often you can learn more about what’s in as compared to the magazines you buy off the signals. A lot of fashion publications today have started identifying these streets and draw inspiration from their merchandise to dress their models.

So next time you are in Goa, Mumbai or Delhi make sure your travel bag has some space. Because you are going to be tempted to collect the clothes, jewelry and various other knick knacks and take them home.

Sunaina Wadhwa

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