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Fashion Street for cheap cotton ready-mades

April 7, 2007

Last week we went shopping at Fashion Street, a row of around 250-350 shops on Mahatma Gandhi road. This place is a tourist attraction of sorts as it is known for its reasonably priced cotton ready-mades. But it was disappointing.

I mean, everyone knows that the name may be Fashion Street but its not hi-fashion, but a few years ago one could pick up some decent stuff here. It was a place to slum it out actually, hunt for some gems in the plethora of cottons. This time I picked out some night clothes. Nice pajama and tops.

You get all sorts of clothes here, ranging from long and short T-shirts, trousers, shirts to childrens’ clothes. But the variety that you get at Bandra and Hill Road is missing. In fact I think Hill Road is the best place to shop if one wants good cotton ready-mades. Fashion Street has remained what it is only in name. But people still throng the place. Gets difficult to walk there at times.

One has to bargain like crazy. Bring down the prices at least by one third or maybe even half. Generally one can pick up a pyjama and top for around Rs 120/- or so. But if you buy more than one, you could get it even for Rs 80/-. If you buy just a shirt it could be around the same price…it depends on one’s luck actually…how far late it is on that day, whether its a week-day (fewer customers) or if there is some sort of defect in the piece. That is a must. Checking for defects.

A few days ago the cops conducted a raid on this place. Sure, the hawkers here are licensed, but they have permission to sell within a 1 x1.5 meter area, and some have a 1.5 x 3 meter area. Many shop owners had violated these rules by making extensions. Basically the idea is to make this place look ‘neat and organised.’ The idea is to beautify Fashion Street. All thats fine, but its time they improved the quality and provided more variety to shoppers.

There is parking right in front of the shops. To reach Fashion Street, you take the left after the Parsi Tower of Silence, if you are coming from Churchgate station.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2007 4:02 pm

    One of my favorite must visit place in Mumbai if time permits. I like wander around the area. I enjoy negotiate with the smart street sellers. And then buy book from the streets near the fountain.

    BTW what is the cheapest price one should ask while negotiating with these sellers? I am happy if get 60-70% discount on asking price. Last time when I visited FS some two years back, they said now they do not negotiate, but many of them did.

    Please carry on your virtual tours of Mumbai , first marine drive and now FS πŸ™‚ Thanks.

  2. April 7, 2007 7:05 pm

    Thanks JV.
    Actually nowadays they have upped their minimum, and generally do not go below Rs 50/- or Rs 70/-.
    Actually a lot depends on the quality. Some stuff is old and you can negotiate better. Ditto for defective stuff. But they tend to reduce prices if you buy 2-3 things.
    These guys are smart, they immediately realise if you are not from Mumbai. But you can safely name a price and walk away…and then you will know if they will call you back. And in any case you can get something like that a few shops down the line so I tend to do this. Its a good test. I say I will come back later…that leaves me a way out if I don’t happen to get that exact same thing.

  3. April 7, 2007 10:55 pm

    Nita – I love to bargain, the exchanges can be quite the dance! Unfortunately, here in Canada, bargaining for clothing is usually out, although at times one can get “deals” for defective clothing, at some considerable negotiation. I like it that you have clothing flying from trees down a long street-scape in Mumbai; you are fortunate in having the kind of weather that is friendly to that flavour of customer/vendor interaction. Thanks so much for providing these glimpses of your world – gives me lot of food for thought! πŸ™‚

  4. April 8, 2007 9:34 am

    Thanks for tips. Many years ago, when I was naive, they could sense my confusion and could tell I am not from mumbai. But after wandering in many such markets I have learnt that , if you are not in hurry, take a stroll around the market, observe change in the fashion, see latest popular style, ask only once for your favorite item in many stalls , you will discover the bottom price they are ready to offer. Then while returing from the other end of the stalls pick up your item.

    I know most of women know this, but for me it is like challange but many times I end up fooling myself, but I enjoy it. πŸ™‚


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