The moment you step into the milieu that is known as Lajpat Nagar Central Market, you are captivated by colours. The tiny shops housed in the lanes and bylanes of the market, with their endless variety in traditional women wear, are a sea of colours.
From the habitual red, blue, green and yellow to the more savvy pastels of peach and mauve, from the dramatic firozi to the elegant white, the market has them all. Almost all the shops stock up on salwar kurtas, duppatas, skirts and blouses in a variety of textures.
Cotton rules the roost, with an array of prints, textures and styles. Pick a short trendy kurti to go with your jeans or choose from an endless collection of long kurtas. If you are not one to mix and match, go for the cotton sets which start as low as Rs 200. Nylon kurtas, with their zero maintenance feature are also found in plenty.
For a special occasion or party wear, pick kurtas in silk, crepe, satin and georgette. They are richly done, sequinned and you can often strike a good bargain. Also, check out smaller, non-branded shops that sell Lucknowi chikan kurtas. The hand-embroidered kurtas that cost the earth in branded shops can often be bought for half the price here.
But if you must go for a brand, Westside and W are two big names with great collections. As for the accessories, all you have to do is match your clothes to the kind of jewellery you want to wear.
From funky college wear to bridal jewellery, you will get them all. To put the right foot forward, choose from sandals, stilletoes, slip-ins, Jaipuri jutis and a few others. Throw in a belt or two, a trendy handbag, a bracelet and your wardrobe is ready.
If all the walking and haggling makes you tired you have the bantawallas to ensure you stay cool and refreshed. You must also try the famous kala khatta chuski. Another quaint fixture are the Tibetan ladies that sell freshly-steamed vegetable and chicken momos — prepared right in front of you in cane basket contraptions.
The way to bag the best deals is to explore the market and browse through the shops for a while before going on a spending spree. Chances are, the same article you have chosen is selling for even less just a few yards away!