Ahmedabad – the land of the Mahatma, the Manchester of the east – boasts of a host of motley outlets that offer ‘paisa vasool’ shopping for the astute Amdavadi who are known for their inherent judicious money-spending traits.
Shopping in Ahmedabad is not for the nimble-hearted. Besides braving the scorching heat, smart Alec rickshaw-wallas and ‘heart-in-your-mouth’ traffic snarls, one has to wear the attitude of ‘Ms. Know It All’ so that the shop ‘kaka’ will treat you to some ‘garam-thandu’ and will let you get away with some well-bargained bounty as well.
Stoles and dupattas: Located on Shivranjani crossroads, Aakar is a treasure trove of elegant stoles and dupattas. The shop offers a wide range of block-printed, ethnic dupattas and stoles in tussar silk, cotton, mul and silk-crepe. The stoles and dupattas available at Aakar are exceptional and rare. These enticing treasures are in the price range of Rs. 800 to 1500. A real steal! (Check out these genius ways to drape a dupatta.)
Ethnicwear: Cruise along the road from Shivranjani to Nehrunagar, and lo and behold! A mini Law Garden has emerged as the new street-fashion destination. Right outside the Manekbaug Bungalows are lined a plethora of mannequins displaying trendy Indianwear. (Check out these celebrities who rock their Indianwear.) With the Navratri festival just round the corner, the ethnic-ghagra cholis are quite the showstoppers on this road. Go, see and conquer! Begin with less than half price and see how the haggling will make all your wardrobe dreams come true!
Westernwear: Aashna Pandya, a college student, always heads to One Way at Nehrunagar to buy reasonably priced tank tops, jeggings and shorts. (Here are 4 ways to wear harem pants to college.) Some other shops that sell westernwear at discounted rates are Pick and Wear at Mansi Crossroads and @ Sale near Ambawadi. These shops are popular amongst the college-going crowd and the frequent festival sales keep college students flocking for more!
Photo credit: eatexploreshop.blogspot.com
Ghagra-cholis: Rani no Hajiro and Manek Chowk, which is a shopper’s paradise by day and a foodie’s delight by night, are replete with a wide range of backless and low-cut cholis that have brocade, leheriya (click here to know what it is) and jamevar patches collaged into the front and back embellished with mirrors and potlis. The solid coloured printed crushed cotton ghagras paired with bandhini dupattas can be bought at unbelievably discounted rates from here. (Read all about Gujarat’s contribution to fashion here.)
Shoes: A trip to Paldi can never be complete without shoe shopping! The footwear collection at Karnavati Pagarkha would disgrace Jayalalita’s galoshes! Some designs are a rip-off of upscale Mochi ka Juta and Metro but they are certainly worthy of a pretty woman’s feet. From the lower hundreds to the upper thousands, a straight face and a firm voice will work wonders in amassing an impressive booty. Shital Sheladia a fashion-conscious homemaker residing in a posh residential community, never fails to make the 15-kilometre trip to Paldi to splurge on her foot fantasies. (Here are some gorgeous shoes and bags every party girl must own.)
Accessories and clothes: Braving the dust and grime in a rickety auto is ‘paisa vasool’ when one makes a trip to Pankornaka and Ratanpole. The quaint shops dotting the by-lanes are a haven for the penny-wise shopper. It is a pleasure to find exclusive fabrics, clothes and imitation jewellery (here’s how to care for it) in these modest stores. Up-market boutique owners make a beeline for this treasure trove of fabrics, laces, buttons, fancy sequins, jewellery, headgear and shawls to create exclusive designs for Amdavadi fashionistas.