One of the questions I get over and over again is where to shop in Delhi/Mumbai? I get this question mostly from girls who want to do some bridal shopping (sangeet outfits, wedding lenghas, etc.) However I think the more important question is when and how to shop? I love shopping in Delhi, but I will be honest this trip was not about shopping, and one of the reasons was the timing that I visited Delhi( this blog post and it’s imagages are based on 6 weeks in the 2009 in New Delhi). If you really want to go and get some real shopping done especially for your wedding you should visit Delhi during February, August, September, and October. Summer months (summer starts in April) are awful to shop because Delhi is so hot and it is not wedding season in Delhi . Read on….
If you are planning a trip the worst thing you can do is go for less than 3 weeks, ideally you will need 5 weeks. I know that is A LOT considering most people go for two weeks, but that is my honest advice. Take the first week to go to high end boutiques that specialize in formal Indian wear such as AZA, Ogaan, Ensemble, Carma, Samsaara, and Kimaya. These retail boutiques carry some of the famous Indian designers (with famous prices) with the latest fashions right out of India Fashion Week. If you can afford it, go ahead and buy your outfits here. If it is too pricey for you or you don’t feel it is worth the price tag continue onwards. Since you now have an idea of what is in fashion, and what the high price points are, you can at least be more aware and try to bargain. Your other options are not going to be cheap either (but will seem like a bargain compared to the high end boutiques), and most likely less stylized.
Check out places like Heritage Handloom Emporium, CTC Mall, L’affaire, and Meena Bazaar. Plan to spend at least 2 hours in each of these shops, their inventory is mass, but it is not in racks. Relax and look, you will find something! Your other options are mass market places such as shops in Karol Bagh/Chandni Chowk. I am going to be honest and tell you that when brides have showed me their findings from these shops I have never been impressed. I have had to lie or be careful with the words I choose. The reason being that these places are not run by people with a fashion mind, but with people who are there to run a business!
Look out for part 2 next week with some more advice on how to be a bride that looks like she belongs in Vogue India and not a tacky Indian drama!