These Boutiques In Town Offer The Best Of Designer, Quirky & Lifestyle Merch
Though Chennai is saree shopping central, it is no stranger to offering the works of upcoming and established designers (there is local represent too) from across the country via its larger-than-life boutiques. Whether you are looking for embroidered blouses and elegant gowns to quirky jewellery and ikat sarees, you are going to find what you are looking for at these boutiques.
Outfit shopping not your jam? Then some of these boutiques offer quirky merch such as accessories and home decor. Plus, most of these boutiques are housed in gorgeous properties — from heritage bungalows to former warehouses and come with their own cafes too!
A Chennai favourite, Upstairs at Amethyst (quite literally upstairs, above the lovely café) is where you go for some retail therapy. Looking for Masaba’s quirky prints, Raw Mango’s classic Chanderis or Anavila’s khadi sarees? Find them all under one roof, right here! They even have the Blouse Room where you can get blouses tailored to your taste. What was once a warehouse has been magically transformed into a stunning space thanks to owner Kiran Rao and the boutiques cafe space downstairs is a green haven and comes with proper Colonial club vibes.
Find classy, breezy dresses here at Anokhi, exclusively available at Chamiers (the folks at Amethyst run this boutique too). Anokhi is popular for having revived prints using hand blocks carved from wood — so come here for a lovely combination of traditional-meets-contemporary styles. The Gift Shop also offers bangles and other trinkets to pair with your outfit. You will find plenty of up and coming designers’ work showcased here. Plus, bags, shoes and jewellery. And Bangalore-based home decor store The Purple Turtles has set up its shop there as well. Psst, we’re in love with their custom lighting! The cafe upstairs is straight out of Pinterest and is worth a visit after a bout of shopping.
If you love quirk just as much as we do, drop by Maal Gaadi in Bessy for its funky collections that truly stand out from the crowd. Made in India, expect at least 85 brands on board including Nida Mahmood’s fun, contemporary designs, loud, pop and colourful prints from Quirkbox and Bollywood endorsed statement jewellery by Eesha Zaveri. We’re thinking of getting our quirk on by buying stylishly geeky glasses with translucent frames from Rosvin Bugs, and pairing it with a street style casual dress from OTF and teal slip-on sliders from Chalk Studios.
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Looking for easy, breezy dresses that look and feel good? Check out Tamara boutique in T Nagar for off-shoulder blouses, shirt dresses, colourful leheriya outfits and more! This curated lifestyle storehouses designs by small-scale brands and have at least 30 designers on board. Expect funky shirt and cape dresses to traditional anarkali sets and sarees with Kalamkari prints. So you’re sorted for every occasion — whether it’s a sangeet or even just a day out.
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If you’re looking for handcrafted, natural fabrics that are woven into a lovely modern silhouette, you’ve come to the right place. The peeps at Brass Tacks host occasional pop-up shows and sales through the year so stock up on khadi dhoti pants, linen jumpsuits, boxy phirans, and more at their Alwarpet store. We’re currently loving their Kalga Pants, said to be inspired by the beautiful village of Kalga in the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh — they look so stylish and so comfy!
You’ll love the ethnic wear collection here at Collage on Greams Road and want to pick off everything from their racks. Find black floral embroidered crop tops and mint green jackets, straight cut salwars, and shimmer sarees. They also offer crushed tunics and embroidered dresses to feed your western wear obsession.
With stores not just in Chennai, but in Bangalore as well (there’s one coming up in Delhi soon), Evoluzione showcases popular desi labels such as Tarun Tahiliani, Abraham & Thakore, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Arora, and Manish Malhotra — just to name a few. So if you’re looking for some of the best of the biggies in the fashion world, find them here. They also feature upcoming designers like Abhijeet Khanna, Anuj Sharma, and Manish Gupta. You even get high-end home décor and accessories here. Do follow them as they regularly host shows and previews where you can interact with the designers.
Looking for gorgeous sarees — breezy cottons or embellished traditional Kanjivarams? Drop by Kanakavalli that houses everything from sarees to jewellery. Oh, and did we mention it resides in a gorgeous heritage mansion in Chetpet called Kingsley (that is a restored family home) that you just won’t want to leave? They even have the Blouse Studio where you can gawk at the finest silks, tussores, and cottons, embellished with hand block prints, beautiful weaves, and motifs, brocades and figured kalamakaris. One of our favourites for sure!