Most of the clothes I got for my “jahez” (bridal trousseau) were ready-to-wear. For me, this was the way to go because 1) what you see is what you get and 2) I was only in Pakistan for one month and for those of you who have shopped in Pakistan, when you order outfits, what you have in mind is not always what you get! I did not want to get into the buying fabric separately and describing designs to a darzi (tailor), so for me, ready made was the way to go. That said, not all ready to wear boutiques are made equal, and so below I’ve listed my top 3 recommendations of where to go in Lahore.
1. Mehdi. Mehdi has a ready-to-wear boutique on MM Alam, and when my sister and I found it, it felt like a breath of fresh air. That’s because right now what’s really “in” in Lahore are outfits with big stones that, to me, look really tacky. Mehdi’s ready-to-wear collection offers something different. It’s sophisticated and elegant with outfits ranging from formal lenghas to gown style dresses. The colours are rich jewel tones, and the kaam ranges from embroidery to dabka (which is not the norm these days in Lahore!) Salman, Mehdi’s nephew or cousin (cant remember which!) works at the store and is very helpful and friendly.
Mehdi’s stuff is not inexpensive, (I got a formal lengha for 44495 RPS, $460, as well as the attached suit for 27000 RPS, $280), but to me, it’s completely worth it when you find something you love, and it fits perfectly. If you are ordering outfits and getting designs copied half your time will be spent going back and forth to Liberty either because they forgot to write down your measurements, the suit doesn’t fit right the first time, they made it with fabric you didn’t ask for, they said it would be ready but it wasn’t, etc etc…..I’m able to describe this so well because out of the 4 outfits I did get made in Liberty, something or another came up with 3 of them! Time is money when you only have a month to shop for all of your wedding stuff and so for those ladies who go back home like did I would definitely recommend going ready made when you can for the jahez outfits!
2. Fashion Pakistan Louge. Also on MM Alam, FP Lounge is host to a number of designers (Hina Khan, Warda Saleem, Umar Sayed, etc) and there is a lot of selection. Out of all the multi-label designer outlets that I visited in Lahore (Tehzeeb, PDFC, Ensemble, Labels) FP Lounge, recommended to me by my cousin who is a designer herself (Safiya Ali Malik) was by far the best – both in price and quality. I think I ended up getting 5 outfits from the store, including casual in addition to formal. What I liked about FP lounge is that they had some really unique pieces, such as designs which mixed fabrics and prints and those outfits that I got were avg price 10000 RPS. The sales people were Really friendly and they sent me a text message on my “mobile” after I shopped their – always a nice touch 🙂
3. Bareeze (for their label Chinyere). Chinyere is ready to wear label by Bareeze which offers a colorful collection – perfect for ‘dolkis’. I ended up getting two outfits from here (one orange and one mustard) and when I wore the mustard one to my own dolki (pictured in a previous post) two of my cousins there automatically said to me “this is from Chinyere, isn’t it?” When I asked how they knew, they told me that Chinyere was instantly recognizable because the quality of their kaam on their ready to wear clothes is very neat and fine (unlike alot of other places) and the designs are always tasteful. Chinyere is a must-visit in Lahore.