Here's A Rough Guide To Street Shopping In The Confusing Sarojini Lanes
The stories of all the stylish merchandise acquired at Sarojini Nagar aren’t just propagated urban legend; you just need to know where to go, and you will most definitely head back home with bags full of treasures. You would be able to get some pretty, branded outfits that will, of course, be trendy and very reasonable. Oh, a jewellery hoarder? You'll be sorted too. We’re telling you our favourite spots in the market—you’re welcome.
The Export Gallis
The two long lanes that effectively house every runway and high street trend, copied, exported and hung there in all their rejected glory to be pounced upon by some such chic-seeker.
Just a tip: The sizing on the garments are almost never accurate, so the only way to ascertain size is to hold two pieces against each other and then against yourself. If it still eludes you, the option of a quick fix at the darzi is always there.
The Leather Export Shops
Avoid the bag stalls and shoe shops, as the designs aren’t appealing, and the quality is abysmal. Instead, head to the three leather shops, which stock export surplus from ASOS, Zara, Bershka, Topshop and every other premium high-street shoe label. From ballets, tasseled loafers, booties, to riding boots and skyscraper wedges, the designs are super chic, and the quality is as impeccable as the retail stock.
Watch out for wear and tear on whatever you’re about to purchase. Always point out the defect (whether minimal or obvious) to the shopkeeper, and use it to extricate an additional discount.
The Archway With The Graffitti
For the best stock of dress tops and blouses. The vendors here are as up-to-date with the reigning fashions, and know their peplum from their palazzos just as much as any hipster blogger worth their Lomo camera.
The flimsy, polythene bags in which the shopkeepers wrap the clothes becomes extremely inconvenient to handle if you make lots of purchases, and also tend to tear apart rather quickly, so we suggest you carry a spacious jhola.
The Vintage Part
Located at the very end of the second export galli (right next to the store that sells punk T-shirts and Homer Simpson boxers) it is full of delightful odds, ends, bags, boxes, metal lamps, Accessorize clutches and impeccable leather bags that somehow didn’t manage to make their way into the retail showroom. Our best buy: An AllSaints Suede hobo, bought for INR 1,500.
Keep in mind the standard rule of shopping at Sarojini: Never pay more than INR 250 for any basic garment; INR 100–150 should be the usual price for tops.
The Fifty Rupee Piles
It involves a lot of effort, but scrounge through the fifty-rupee piles for basics such as striped T-shirts, polo necks, and camisoles.
The best time to visit Sarojini Nagar is on weekdays, between 12pm-4pm to be specific. It's closed on Monday, though.
The first of the caverns is located around the peepul tree (a highly conspicuous landmark, better known as the Kwic Bite lane) and two other adjacent caves in the interior of the other lane (next to Soft & Sleek, the shoe shop).
Keep an eye out for any landmarks (be it the hoardings or the fruit-juicewalla—make a mental note!) so that you may return there.
(with inputs from Iva Dixit)
Our Quick Tips
- Make sure to bargain. Of course, it's a MUST! There are a lot of products that are even priced thrice its original rate so, that is where the concept of smart shopping applies.
- Always check your clothes (size, holes, cuts).
- There are barely any ATMs in the vicinity so, carry enough cash.
- The market is shut on Mondays and super-crowded on weekends. So, try and visit between Tuesday-Friday to find the best stuff.
- The closest metro station is Sarojini Nagar station located on the pink line.