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7 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM

Winter Wear

Sheikh Iraj
Winter Wear

Winter is here and the weather is getting chillier. During this time of the year, we experience chilly air, and as the days pass by, the temperatures drop throughout the country. Soon enough, fog-covered streets will be a common sight. And that means it is time to gear up for winter.

In Bangladesh, people who live in the capital normally do not experience that much cold weather, compared to other parts of the country. The winter season lasts about a couple of months, but in that short period of time, we try to make the best use it. Today’s youths and children love to present themselves as fashionably as possible. Many keep track of the latest fashion trends. For fashion aficionados, winter is a wonderful time to buy winter attires and appear as trendy as possible.

There are numerous malls and brand clothing stores in Bangladesh. Nevertheless, there are some prominent shopping centres that youths just can’t resist visiting for their winter shopping. Fashion tastes differ from person to person. Some like to buy brand products, some tend to visit different shopping centres, while there are some who still prefer to get their winter suits made at their local tailor’s. This week, Y&I visited some shopping places renowned for winter clothing and spoke with some youths and vendors about the latest trends in winter fashion.

For many of us when we think of buying clothes for winter, normally an inexpensive range of products comes to mind. One can find fairly cheap clothes at places like Dhaka New Market and other shopping centres in that area. Bongo Bazaar and street markets from Bangabandhu National Stadium to Gulistan Zero Point are also popular for winter shopping.

The street shops opposite Dhaka College remain crowed throughout the year. But during winter, students and youths tend to visit the places more. There is an extended stretch of shops and one can find various collections of clothing on display, with hoards of young customers. From sweaters to sweatshirts, pullovers, jackets, jeans, ponchos, scarves, monkey caps, gloves _ everything can be found in the shops there.

M Arif Hossain, 30, a software engineer, was buying clothes from the street shops opposite Dhaka College. He told Y&I: “I like to buy winter clothes with my friends. I normally visit the street shops, where we can find jeans and hoodie jackets at cheaper price. I have visited stores of some popular brands, but their products are way too expensive sometimes. I cannot deny the fact that the brand stores offer quality products. They have every right to charge whatever they see fit for their products. I know for a fact that most of the winter clothes that we buy from places like Bongo Bazaar and Dhaka New Market are mostly surplus or rejects from our garments industry that were somehow not exported. Now, only an expert can identify the quality of the clothes. I don’t believe that in order to appear fashionable one has to buy from a posh clothing store.”

Rakib Amin, a supplier at Kolmiphul, a popular shop at Nurjahan Supermarket in Nilkhet, said: “Jackets are very popular among the youth nowadays. We have leather, wool, denim, ‘parachute’ and long-style hoodie jackets. This year, like the previous year, we are receiving positive response from the customers. Sales of winter clothing can be compared to Eid sales. As it gets colder, more people will come to buy warm clothes. Prices of the clothes vary depending on the quality, and sometimes on the customer. It’s not that we want to make profit all the time, sometimes when we see we have too much in stock, we sell at a discount rate.”

Doja Market is located near Dhaka College. Here, customers get the privilege of choosing from a variety of styles. Known for its reasonable prices, winter wear like sweaters, jackets, jumpers, sweatshirts, gloves and winter hats, for both men and women, can be found there.

M Kamal Uddin, 30, who works in the readymade garments (RMG) sector, was busy buying clothes at Doja Market. Speaking to this reporter, he shared: “I recently got married. My wife and I have come here to buy some winter clothes. Doja Market is a place where women can find the latest fashions.” His wife, Afroza Khatun, added: “I have been coming to this market ever since I was in school. This year, the salwar-kameez sets look interesting. I would like to buy a few of those and I want to get a warm jacket. I prefer coming to this place because a variety of clothes can be found here. Of course, the shops are usually very crowded and the shop owners and salespersons always try to goad the customers into buying their products.”

Like any other shopping area in Dhaka, one can see shopkeepers at Elephant Road as eager as ever to sell their wares, talking to customers and trying to help them as much as they can. Bargaining is a common sight in all the shops here.

Fazley Rabbi, a young journalist, was looking for a pair of shoes at Elephant Road. “I have come here to buy some hiking boots. When it comes to buying winter clothes, I prefer Dhaka New Market. Prices are very reasonable there and one can get many variations. Hoodies and full-sleeved shirts are available there. I also go to the shops opposite Dhaka College to buy other stuff for winter. I will buy a windbreaker jacket and mufflers to tackle the cold. But these areas are not very good for sweaters. Last year, I bought a sweater from Bashundhara mall. They have a good collection. For shoes, I don’t see any alternative to Elephant Road.”

Moly Mamun, 30, a young businesswoman has been associated with the RMG business for the last eight years. She has her own brand, with five outlets throughout Dhaka. “When it comes to winter fashion, we normally focus on women’s clothing. During winter our sales are good. Of course, we only get one month to cash in on the opportunity. In our country, winter tends to start from December. Throughout the month, people not only buy clothes for winter, but for other occasions (like weddings) as well. We import half of our winter collection from countries like China and Thailand, while the rest are made by local RMG factories according to our requirement. Most of the local brands in our country do the same thing.”

“We all know many people get married in winter, and then there is Christmas and New Year, so people normally buy different types of outfits during this time year. In the last couple of years, we have seen a change regarding customers’ demand when it comes to locally made clothes. Just a few years ago, youths, especially girls, were crazy about clothes that were imported from India and Pakistan. Today, that scenario has changed as our local designs are able to attract the attention of the young buyers. This has happened because our local designers are able to come up with trendy and stylish clothes. Right now, the youths fancy jackets and capes or ponchos for winter,” she added.

Abdul Ahmed, 30, works in a clothing store called Shohag Collection at Baghdad Shopping Complex in Mirpur. “I have been working in this shop for a year and half. We sell different types of jackets, capes kurti, jeans, blazers and hoodie jackets. Most of our products are locally made. We get our stock from Kaliganj and Keraniganj. There are a number of factories there that make winter clothing. We normally do not keep export quality winter clothes, as it requires a lot of money to buy those. Jacket prices range from Tk 1,200 to Tk 2,500 and we sell blazers priced Tk 1,500-2,000. In the last two years, business was average. Hopefully, this year we will do better,” he said.

Sharia Parvin is the owner of a clothing store at Golartake in Mirpur 1. “My husband and I have been doing this business for six months. Today’s youths like more colourful clothes and they sometimes come to us to place their orders. Western styled coats are in high demand at the moment. We import our products mostly from India. Besides, there are many factories around the country that make quality traditional winter wear like shawls and woolen sweaters. We also get some items from places like Bongo Bazaar. I study what the customers are seeking, and I also survey what is frequently in demand,” she said.

Majed Ali Bishwas has been involved in the clothing business for over a decade. He has a clothing store and also serves as a buyer of export quality products for several clients at Bongo Bazaar. “Bongo Bazaar and the shops near New Market normally sell Bangladeshi-made export quality clothes. They collect products from different RMG companies. Due to various reasons, garments factory stock lots end up in those markets. Sometimes, due to poor quality, an importer refuses to accept the ordered items, or sometimes a factory fails to deliver a consignment on time, then again garments factories make samples. Now, these surplus or rejected products are not that bad in quality, but they are cheaper in price. Some well-known local clothing stores sell them as well,” he said.  

M Ziaul Haque, 19, a student of mechanical engineering at Shyamoli Ideal Polytechnic Institute, was window shopping near the Stadium market with a couple of friends. “December through January, we experience winter in our county. I have come here because I want to buy some clothes for my older brother and myself. I also have plans to visit Bongo Bazaar soon. I want to buy a leather jacket or a blazer for this winter.”

Nahid Hasan, a student of Asian University Bangladesh, said: “Winter is here as we can feel the cold as soon as the sun goes down. I have been coming to Taltola Market at Khilgaon for the last six years. Here, I can find clothes of good brands and the prices are quite reasonable as well.”

Abdur Rahim graduated recently from Stamford University, but he has been in the clothing business for five years now. “My uncle owns a clothing store at New Market. I sometimes work there to help him out. Over the years, I have seen most of the clothing stores selling sweaters, pullovers and sweatshirts and full-sleeved T-shirts. I suggested to my uncle to try something different. I asked him to sell scarves, mufflers, winter caps, gloves, ear muffs and socks. It worked, as right now he is doing good business. He collects items for his shop from suppliers at Gulistan.”

Photos: File, Internet.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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