From earthy boho dresses, cheap-but-pretty accessories to ready-made ethnic blouses and chic leather bags, we found a street shopper’s paradise in Chennai’s Sowcarpet by-lanes. Here's a low down on what we stumbled upon and thought you’d love just as much as we did.
Jewellery. Sowcarpet is the place to be if you're really looking to hoard up on baubles without going broke. We went shopping to few of these kutti shops near the Jain temple and were truly amazed by their range. Afghani tribal jewellery, lotus-shaped jhumkas for as low as INR 40, affordable Temple Jewelry, classic glass bangles, gold antique bangles at INR 120 for half a dozen - there's enough and more for everyone here. We especially loved the vintage Kasu Peru chokers here that are available for just INR 200.
Fabrics and more fabrics - Mint Street is definitely the adda for fabrics, sarees and anything relating to Indian clothing. But we were surprised to find some really pretty millennial-style dresses as well as office wear and beachy outfits. Starting at INR 500 from Kalamkari to printed cottons, there are dresses and tunics for everyone. We also fell for the sarees at Bhagyashree. Located in the centre of Mint Street, right opposite to the Jain temple, we found some really subtle sarees with light borders starting from just INR 500 here.
In the further end of Mint Street, after Kakada Ramprasad, is a blouse paradise. The designs are both traditional and unique with prices starting at INR 500. Our fave were the cold-shoulder Gujarati and Rajasthani print blouses. We couldn’t resist picking up these colourful ones. For more readymade blouses in the city, click here.
Mint Street’s footwear and bags are worth mentioning too. We found authentic Kutch bugs, leather slings and backpacks starting at INR 500. What we loved the most were the embroidered clutches starting from just INR 200. In footwear, we were impressed by the range of mirror-work juttis, metal punk slip-ons and studded footwear. Last but not least, Mint Street has hundreds of shops with cartons of borders, stickers, fabrics and more if you’re customising your outfits and are looking for the right add-ons. All your reference images and online designs are most likely to be found in these small little shops, present at every corner. The borders we loved surfing through start from INR 100.