Of all the things that girls give two hoots about, the most critical of all remains clothes. Wherever they go, however they go and whoever they go with, the first thing that pokes every lady- what the hell is she going to wear! Gone are the days when everybody had a gallon of drool seeing those gigantic flashy malls- people were practically selling their kidneys to buy a hairpin from that God- awful brand with the brightest shop in the mall. Anybody can afford decent clothes today- not shopaholicism but yes we can manage to look just about fine even if we are not loaded with Babur’s treasury.
The most essential tool is the knowledge of all the right places to shop in the city! I have spent 22 years in Delhi- I am all of 22 but I can proudly boast that I know where all the best markets in Delhi are. I will do a great social service by enlightening you all about all these wonderful places that are the closest to being the shopper’s paradise in Delhi at least.
1. Greater Kailash, M- Block Market
Well this is one good place where you can get amazing sun dresses and bright trappings. There are two tiny shops sandwiched between showrooms and you will have to look out with utmost sincerity. There are also lovely Giovanni and Esprit showrooms- you can always pick a good pair of denims from Esprit- one should always spend graciously on a good pair of denims. Delco is another shop which is loved by many for its casual range of footwear.
2. Sarojini Nagar
This is one of my most favourite places on planet Earth and it has some of the best clothes in hiding. All you need is a little desperation in your eyes and hope in your heart and you can get the best global brands at dirt cheap prices. The only issue is time- you need to have more of it to be able to search for stuff better. The market has everything- short dresses, hot pants, flannel shirts, jackets, blazers, cotton shirts, t- shirts, loose pants, shoes, skirts, flip flops, bags- name it. The creamiest shops include the two dungeon shops (no you won’t get raped), a leather shop and a couple of shops in those narrow cross over alleys. This one leather shop has some of the classiest shoes and sandals. I always used to spend a lot on footwear. I stuck to Woodland, Clarks, Aldo, Steve Madden and sometimes Accessorize. But this one tiny shop in Sarojini has the best quality leather on the most chic designs. I got a pair of grey Eskimo boots, a pair of rich brown cap-toe oxfords and a pair of fuschia closed thong sandals. I can literally go on and on about this place but word limits!
3. Paharganj Market
This is place is a little shady so be careful and make sure you go during the daytime, preferably accompanied by someone. But the trinkets and accessories this place has to offer- are the most antique and beautiful and they are really cheap! You can easily find exquisite stone studded rings and pendants here. But kindly do not expect yourselves to be treated like Miss Hilton by some over imposing salesman, you will have to know what you need and also know how to find it. If you like are anklet person, who loves antique jewellery or statement stone studded stuff- this is where exactly you need to be. Bonus for me is this amazing book shop that has a really fine collection of some of the books that you would never be able to find elsewhere. I brought “Holy Madness” by Adam Zamoyski from this place and it is by far the best historical account of the American Revolution, Romanticism and the period of enlightenment. Sorry I am one annoying bibliophile!
4. Delhi Haat, INA
This is one place that can never lose its charm. The best place to be for embroidered bags, kolhapuris, printed and embroidered duppattas, leather bags, handicrafts etc. The thatched roof shops shall always remain equally gorgeous for me and I can possibly never get over the cotton and raw silk kurtas available here. Delhi haat is a cultural hotspot that has different state’s craft specialities and hast kalaas being showcased every month. I have seen the most gorgeous Dastkari, block prints, Kalamkari, Ikat, Phulkari work here. This place is strictly a no miss!
5. Dariba Kalan, Katra Neel- Chandni Chowk
For all of you who are absolutely smitten by silver jewellery, Dariba Kalan market in Chandni Chowk is going to be a treat for you. This place gave me some of the prettiest anklets, earrings and chains. Do not get worked up by the chaotic vibe here- this messed up hustle is what sets Chandni Chowk apart from all the other markets. Katra Neel on the other hand, is home to the best suit and sari fabrics- you can pick both- regular pastels and heavy bling material here.
6. Khan Market
This is again one of the places I truly love and it has the best jewellery and books to offer- which practically makes it drool worthy for me. Bahri Sons book shop is worth dying for. The charming old man seated atop is well versed with the best literature and having a conversation with him is a genuine delight. Also, two shops, one in the front row and the other packed in a corner, offer the best neckpieces and earrings.
7. Tibetan Market
This starry lane is located s few steps from Janpath and it has good junk jewellery and house decor items. You can buy beautiful bangles and neckpieces from here. It is not like a typical market but it is just a lane full of bright shops!
These are the places I bomb every time I want to indulge in retail therapy but I have to blatantly admit that certain brands can never be outshone or replaced- FabIndia, Accesorize, Forever 21, Aldo, People Tree, Vero Moda, La Senza, Hidesign and Marks & Spencer’s being my favourite. I think you can never buy a good pair of denims, a raw silk kurta or a leather tote from any flea market. That does not mean you always splurge but know where to go when. Happy smart-shopping Ladies!