Monday, April 13, 2009

13. The tailor's shop

One thing I love about living here is the clothing! Saris for fancy occasions (everyday wear for nationals), salwar kameez suits for days when I want to make sure I am traditionally and culturally appropriate and then kurtis with jeans/pants for casual days.

Every piece of clothing here is so colorful, and you can have everything made to fit you (hey, I love's not easy to find clothes that fit this 4'8" frame). These are some pics I took today when we visited one of our favorite tailor's shop. He has made me salwar suits, hemmed my jeans, put darts in tops and made kurtis for me. The tailor is excellent at what he does and can make just about anything you want if you show him a picture.

The process of picking out your clothes is quite fun but can be a little overwhelming. When you enter the shop, you tell the store worker what you are looking for...a ready-made salwar kameez suit, salwar kameez material or material to have a kurti made. He then directs you to that area of the shop. It often looks like this:

Then, you start trying to find the perfect material for you! This is hard because, as you can see, there is a lot to choose from. To help, you can tell him what material you want: cotton, synthetic, soft cotton, a blend, etc. Then you can begin to weed out by color, telling him you don't want orange or that you are looking for something that is pink, for example.

He then begins to show you material you like or that he thinks you will like. If you are buying a salwar suit, you need to make sure that you like all three pieces of material and that those three pieces match. The material for the pant (salwars) and the scarf (dupatta) should be about the same and the top (kameez) should compliment and coordinate. I say should on purpose.

Once you find your perfect material, the tailor takes your measurements, you leave it there for a few days and then come back to pick-up your custom-made suit. It should cost you less than $10 if you are a fairly thrifty shopper like us. Here is the tailor altering a shirt he made me. Notice the manual sewing machine...better in case there are power cuts.

I have this plan to go buy a lot of beautiful fabric (not hard here) and have a few dresses and maybe even a pant suit made before I head back Stateside. I have full confidence that whatever he makes will look like I got it at JCrew or the Gap!

Thanks for visiting.

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