A visitor taken to colleges across this city will be taken in by the trendy wardrobe of students. A closer look, however, reveals that the fashionable dresses and accessories are not expensive 'branded' items. They are picked up from the shops that dot the lanes and by-lanes around the main shopping complexes around the city.
Scores of youngsters in this tech hub feel that's one way to beat the recession and still be trendy, as there has been a dip in their pocket money.
The dresses and accessories are readily available and are funky.
Be it Bangalore's very own flea market, popular Commercial Street, Brigade Road or MG Road, shopping streets across the city are filled with shoppers. Right from clothes, chunky jewellery, bags to shoes, buyers are lapping up everything.
"Till a few months back, I was a loyal customer of brands like Lee Cooper, Mango and Fab India, as far as buying clothes was concerned. But, due to the economic slowdown and my father being a businessman, my pocket money was cut. So, these days I am hunting and buying clothes from the streets of Bangalore," college student Monica Singh told IANS.
"These days I can hardly save money to spend on brands to buy my clothes and accessories. My pocket money has been drastically chopped, as both my parents are employed in the IT industry and they too have endured cuts in their pay packages. Thus, I am settling for affordable clothes from the city's streets," said Nandita Mohan, another college-goer.
But changing their preferences from shopping in swanky malls to the city's streets does not mean that the young are compromising on their "style quotient".
"We have some of the funkiest clothes for youngsters. Be it tops, T-shirts or jeans, we have everything to offer. In fact, we have the best of fashion available at affordable prices. That is why we are inundated by shoppers every day," smiled Yousuf Khan, a shopkeeper in Brigade Road.
"I take a lot of care while picking my clothes. So what if I am getting fashionable clothes at an affordable price? I make it a point to buy trendy clothes," said Arjun Pai, another teenager.
Experts believe that over time, the street fashion sense of Bangalore has improved. The brands have made the young more style conscious and the street shoppers more aware.
Popular fashion designer Prasad Bidappa said that it was not wrong to buy clothes from the streets as long as the youth did not make a fashion faux pas.
"Fashionable means being comfortable and trendy. There is nothing wrong in buying affordable clothes from the streets. But, buyers should be aware about the latest trends and avoid making any mistakes," Bidappa told IANS.
The city has been the worst hit by the global economic slowdown as the IT and BPO sectors are the two primary industries in Bangalore. Till both the sectors steady themselves, the woes of Bangalore are unlikely to end.
Forty percent of India's IT and BPO professionals work in the city.
An estimated 10 percent of the city's eight million people are employed in the IT and BPO sectors.