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I spend most Saturdays at E Street, shops, boutiques in the vicinity and the malls, picking up on new collections, updated stock and any retail trends that I may otherwise have missed during the week. Most of the time I end up at Dolmen Mall because the near-perfect air conditioning and the fact that it’s an umbrella for most big brands makes it a one-stop solution, as clichéd as it may sound.

This Saturday I was on the look out for good fashion and great bargains, a combination that was once tough but, thanks to the ready to wear revolution, has become very possible. You see, lawn may be the fabric of the moment but most unstitched designer lawn joras retail for over 6000 each at least; when you add the tailoring it takes one outfit to an upward of 8,000 rupees. Too steep to build an entire wardrobe upon. So, accessible and affordable options? Here’s my verdict…


Sapphire (featured image, above) has become the hottest favourite for most women and most of them make a beeline for it whenever they’re in the mall to shop for clothes. I have personally purchased 4 Sapphire tunics in the last ten days – all under 3000 each – and have to say that the prints, the styles and most significantly, the fabric is delightful. Unfortunately, I bought them when I didn’t have the Dolmen Card and so couldn’t avail a further 20% on my loot, which would have made it more of a steal! But back to Sapphire, this new collection is quite delightful and refreshed stock keeps coming in so there’s always something to buy.


How many ways would it take to express how much I love Generation ever since Khadijah Rehman stepped in and turned it around, and since The Dot that Went for a Walk made a runway debut, putting Generation back on the map and how! The store is well stocked with sartorial goodies that would excite any true fashionista looking for ways to express her individuality. It does allow women a little individuality, especially if you start pairing the unique and diverse tops with the range of shalwars and pants available. I bought a phenomenal printed voile kurta for PKR 2999 and had my eye on several more that I may be back for.

Generation is very experimental when it comes to styles and silhouettes.



Sana Safinaz has just recently added more racks to their store, which may appear a little busy at first sight but it was obviously making shoppers very happy for offering more variety. Again, the variety of tunics was delightful and affordable. I loved the off white kimono jackets retailing for a little under 5000 as well as the printed kurtas that the brand is now famous for. I have to say that sometimes there is unnecessary embroidery that adds fuss and price to a tunic but then that just gives some value addition for everyone; I know women who wouldn’t spend a penny on a kurta unless it had some extra embroidery!


These baggy, square tunics are ideal if you’re tall and slim.



There were at least 100 women inside Khaadi this Saturday afternoon (although I went early to avoid the mad rush) and understandably so. No where other than Khaadi (and Sapphire, tbh) would I find a gorgeous kurta for every day wear for under 2000! Here at Khaadi the colours were vivid and contemporary and there was something for everyone. Khaadi has picked up its game and it’s a joy to just browse through this mega store, in which the Home Department is my absolute favourite. I bought one of the delightful 2000 rupee kurtas and left a happy camper, also because my new Dolmen Card (I have one now) gave me a further discount! How absolutely cool is that?


Khaadi has something for everyone and at 2000 these tunics are a steal.



Relatively sedate and definitely more sophisticated than most ready to wear available, Koel by Nurjehan Bilgrami is a delight for craft lovers. The delicate hand block printed kurtas have the rustic and organic feel that you need when days get busy and your clothes need to give you some Zen. Koel is predictable but then it’s a comfort zone that you must indulge in and own at least one new kurta every summer, preferable in a gentle white. The best thing is that most tunics are priced at under 5000 and if you can’t find your fit, then there are fabric options to select from. Paired with a churidar and khussas, Koel is your go-to ethnic option.


Koel has an ethos that stands out and everyone should own at least one of these understated beauties.


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