There was always a charm to going to the market as a happy horde, with the needs of every member listed out. Shopping for clothes was particularly time-consuming, in the heyday of shopping centres like Eastern Plaza and Alpana Plaza, as one would have to try endless pieces to get the right size! Parents used to make all the sartorial decisions, and the young ones had to go along with it. Many families would shop only before the festivals, so bulk-buying was encouraged to be done for the year! Those times are now gone and shopping methods of the masses have evolved dramatically, with in-store buying gone the way of the dodo. This change is not limited to the urban landscape either, and permeated to the villages as well, and not just for clothes, as jewellery, home decor and even shoes can be ordered online for home delivery.
There is a wide network of online stores that deliver items nationwide, which brings us to-- what is your preferred mode of shopping?
There is a clear divide here between those who shop in-store, and the mall die-hards who get a high just being there. Online shopping is quick, and convenient, but nothing apparently beats getting the feel of the item in the shop. “At times, when I need an outfit that doesn't require much thought or will be worn casually, I just go online and pick something. Most stores deliver at home and the returns policies are good. More often than not, I prefer to pop over to Gawsia or Chandni Chowk for a custom outfit,” says Zaara, a private university student.
However, this brings us to the ubiquity factor. Online store stuff is ubiquitous, so scoring something unique goes out the window. Sonia, a stay-at-home mom of a toddler says, “I shop online these days, not by choice, but due to necessity, and there is very little variety, and you almost always bump into someone who's wearing the same. But I do make a point of visiting my tailor and embroiderer at Priyangon whenever possible.”
Online shopping is thriving, and e-commerce is definitely the future of shopping, but still the custom-tailored group seems to be larger. Rohim master, a Chandni Chawk tailor, says business is booming as clients want their clothes to have a dose of individuality. “New designs come out every month. Earlier we used to have design catalogues as the only source of ideas, but now, customers bring pictures from Facebook and want those replicated.” Hubs like Gawsia, Chandni Chawk and Priyangon are buzzing with women rushing to get matching embellishments or embroidery on their chosen fabric.
This seems to conclude the debate— no matter how easy and time-saving online shopping is, when the fashion-conscious truly want something, they prefer custom-made, and often.
This week at Star Lifestyle, we are zero-ing on online shopping, check out this week's SHOP SPECIAL for our review of Glued Together, an online jewellery store for you next unique jewellery needs to accessorise with your clothes brought online!