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Style on the cheap

Flea market shopping needn’t mean the teen look. Get a more grown-up wardrobe at steal-away prices, says Kirti Mehta.

fashion-and-trends Updated: Sep 12, 2008, 18:38 IST
Kirti Mehta
Kirti Mehta
Hindustan Times

On Sunday afternoons, corporate types in Delhi undergo a transformation — they shed their starched shirts and impeccably creased trousers and go shopping in flea markets, looking for floral pyjamas, beaded jholas, kolapuri chappals, hats, dresses, jackets and what not.

When it comes to finding style on the cheap — not just college student style, but smart casuals that will see you through a few smokin’ parties and attract envious queries of ‘where did you find this?’ — nothing beats Sarojini Nagar, Paharganj and Janpath. Even people who don’t live in Delhi know this. To find the really, really good stuff, however, you need to look harder than the average flea-market junkie. HT City takes you through an insider’s trail of shopping. Here are the numbers that you should learn by heart when heading to any one of these markets.

Sarojini Nagar
Located in south Delhi, the place is famous for its export surplus goods. It began life as a local shopping area for the Sarojini Nagar Government Colony, but has now become a happy hunting ground for cash-strapped fashionistas. The real action here is in the small street side shops filled with heaps of trendy clothes, all to be had for a couple of hundreds or less.
Shop No. 89: For sexy shorts and tops for Rs 100-250.
Shop No. 97: Many regulars call it “the cave shop”. It is famous for its trendy dresses by high street brands like MNG (Mango) and FCUK — yes, the real thing — for Rs 200-400.
Soft and Sleek: This is your one stop-shop for funky shoes. The bright neon-coloured shoes and bags hung on the racks will make you want to empty you wallet. All the flats are for Rs 695 and all the heels for Rs 995.
Shop No. 198: The market’s best tee shop, where you’ll get T-shirts from graphic designs to digital prints for Rs 75-150. They sell dresses, too, and you can cut the price by about 70 per cent if you bargain right.

Janpath has now become slightly more expensive than it once was, and the clothes seem rather more homogenous than the mind-blowing variety one saw earlier, but prices are still rock-bottom compared to those in the showrooms of adjacent Connaught Place. A good place to hunt for junk and silver jewellery and mojris.
Shop No. 4: You’ll find some of the most affordable shoes here - most pairs cost Rs 100-200. If they don’t have just the right one for you, sift through the many options of chappals and jootis (Rs 100-700) in the neighbouring stalls.
Shop No. 12 and 17: These two are famous for their shorts and tops (Rs 350-500). The occasional exotic dress may cost up to Rs 1,000.
Shop No. 2: Opposite Pratap Flowers is yet another place for wonderful dresses. They have brands like
J Crew and Banana Republic, all for Rs 200-400. Haggling might leave you money for another top, but don’t push your luck too hard, as these shopkeepers get annoyed rather quickly.

Known as a hippies’ paradise, this place is a must-visit for those planning a trip to Goa or Manali. The best buys here are the bright neon pyjamas, keffiyehs and silver and junk jewllery at very low prices. Also, with the days cooling down, you might want to look up the leather garment shops.
Shop No. 1077: For that biker look, visit this place. Wide leather belts and leather pants can buy you the look for
Rs 1,000-2,000.
Shop No. 1048: For beaded jewellery and a retro look. The shop, named Aman Export, opens to a huge room filled with bright, metallic and wooden jewellery with prices ranging from Rs 75-150 for neckpieces and bangles for Rs 35-75. The garments, too, are funky here.
Shop No. 1020: Psychedelic pyjamas or dhoti pants cost Rs 150 here. For a more sophisticated choice go to Miska.
Shop No. 1010: Has racks full of Lee Cooper, Mango and Reiss garments. A dress here can cost Rs 200-500 and a top Rs 150-350.
Shop No. 1046: Here you get Roman sandals and funky jootis. Prices are Rs 250-450 for pure leather jootis and chappals. Roman sandals come for Rs 1,000-2,000, depending on the length.

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