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24 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Eid Shopping

Maria Mohsin and Sheikh Iraj
Eid Shopping

After a month of fasting for Ramadan, Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitre by giving to charity and getting together with family and friends. Children and youths in particular look forward to wearing new clothes, shoes and accessories during the festival. New fashion trends hit the market and shoppers looking for the latest designs at affordable prices start their shopping well ahead of Eid day. The festive season is also a profitable time for designers and businesses alike.

To find out about the Eid shopping scenario and trends this year, Y&I reporters recently visited some popular shopping areas, like New Market, Gausia, Elephant Road, Shahbagh, Mouchak, Paltan, Panthapath, Dhanmondi and Mirpur, as well as different fashion houses in the capital.

Lamia Nur, a recent graduate from a private university, was window shopping at a market in Shahbagh. “I love to shop and Eid gives me the perfect opportunity to buy new things for myself and for my loved ones. This year, I wanted to start my Eid shopping a tad early, that is why I am window shopping. The prices of everything will start to go up after the first week (of Ramadan), so completing one’s Eid shopping early is a good idea. Every Eid, the shops here bring out new designs. There are many markets in Dhaka, but I like the collections they have at Aziz Super Market. Here, from jeans to panjabis, different items of clothing can be found,” she said.

These days, one can do their shopping in many ways _ browsing through local markets for hours, searching and bargaining for that perfect material or outfit, visiting brand shops or boutiques, or buying online.

Even before the start of the fasting month, most tailors declare they won’t be taking orders after the first week of Ramadan. So, for those who wish to get their clothes custom-made at cheaper price and avoid crowds, the shopping starts well ahead of Eid.  

“I am not going to buy any readymade clothes. I have a tailor who can copy almost any design that I show her from the internet. I am just going to buy some fabrics and give her directions as to how I would like my salwar-kameez suit made,” said Tamana Tina, a journalist.

Shiraj Miya, head tailor at Siko Tailors in Old Dhaka, said: “Customers started giving us orders way before Ramadan, right after Shab-e-barat.  So, we already have so many orders in hand that if we take on more, we wouldn’t be able to finish it all before Eid.”

New Market, Gausia, Mouchak, Anarkoli and Bashundhara City shopping centres were crowded with shoppers looking for fabrics or unstitched salwar-kameez sets.

Sumiya Yasmin, 17, a student of class 10, was also visiting Gausia Market with her mother and sister-in-law. “Last year, we did our Eid shopping in the middle of Ramadan and there was a lot of traffic on the road and the shops were extremely crowded. That’s why this year we have decided to complete our Eid shopping well ahead. The prices are relatively tolerable now. I have bought some fabric for myself and an aunt will make my outfit. I have also bought a pair of shoes to match my dress,” she said.

“I came here today to buy my Eid clothes. I will be getting some fabrics to make a nice outfit, which will be cheaper than buying a readymade one any boutique,” Shyuli Akhtar, another customer at Gausia Market, said. “But I will buy clothes for my children and my husband from brand shops later on. And the night before Eid, we will all go together to Elephant Road or Bashundhara City mall to buy shoes and other accessories.”  

The first and most important purchases on any Eid shopping list will be for the children. This year, ‘mini’ versions of adult fashions as well as many new trends can be seen in children’s clothing.   

For girls, frocks, skirts, coordinated tops and pants, and salwar-kameez sets are mostly in. Cotton and synthetic materials are in demand. Colourful, floral prints, with added bows, lace or sequins are in style. Layered skirts, long skirts and denim skirts are the latest in fashion wear for kids. Different styles of tops with traditional touches, paired with pants or leggings, are the most comfortable for little girls.

Boys mostly prefer T-shirts, polo shirts and panjabi for Eid. Normally, children don’t wear panjabi a lot, but for Eid, the traditional long shirt is a must. Panjabi with churidar (fitted) cotton pants or with dhuti (loincloth) is the latest fashion. T-shirts with printed cartoon or game characters and single coloured polo shirts are very popular too. Three-quarters, half or narrow pants and coloured or faded jeans are popular, too.

Popular brand shops and designer boutiques have already launched their Eid collections. Those who want unique and quality products, they will always prefer to shop at these trendy places, despite the higher prices. As there is no option for bargaining, most of the brands introduce the latest fashions online first, so many customers who visit the shops come for fittings with selected designs already in mind.  

“I always try to buy comfortable clothes for Eid and this place is the best choice as there are lots of options to choose from and I can get everything I need under one roof,” said Nowshin Sultana, who was shopping with her two children at Deshi Dosh, a group of brand shops offering locally made items, at Bashundhara City shopping mall.

Rubaya Deepa, 29, a designer and owner of Opal Fashion Wear at Jamuna Future Park, said: “As we sell clothes and accessories, I try to design my product lines in such a way that they are gorgeous, comfortable and affordable at the same time. I am trying some different styles for the dresses to make Eid more special for my customers. I am focussing on dark colours and all my dresses will be flowy for comfort.”

Now, if we try to describe the main trends this Eid, which will fall during the hot and humid monsoon, we can say lighter materials, like georgette, mesh, silk, linen and cotton are popular. Decorative pompoms, fringes and tassels on dresses, sarees, sandals, bags and jewellery are also in.  One thing seems to be common this Eid _ no matter what kind of clothes or accessories you choose to buy, no matter what type of look you plan to put on, the main fashion theme this season is ‘simple and elegant’.

This year, the kameez (long top) is back in fashion, with jamdani, kamdani or Lucknow embroidery and trendy umbrella sleeves, cut-out or off-shoulder. Paired with full skirts or different types of pants, such as palazzo, ‘sharara’ (frilled), capri, fitted or bell bottoms, and an embellished koti (vest), the traditional kameez has had a modern makeover.  

Fashionable long kurtis (tunic) and single kameez are favourites among young women and girls. Different colours, patterns, materials and embroidery are being used to make the outfits look more glamorous for Eid.

As for sarees, cotton, handloom, silk, muslin, chiffon and net (mesh) materials with embroidery, sequins or appliqué work are most popular. Fashionable blouses are paired with sarees to get a glamorous look for Eid.  

For men, shirts, panjabis (long shirts) and T-shirts are never out of fashion. “We have different kinds of outfits, from panjabis and shirts to T-shirts and jeans,” said Zakir Hossain, a sales executive at Xiaz, a clothing store at Genetic Plaza in Dhanmondi. “The prices of our products vary depending on quality and design. Our owner started this business when he was a student. We have our own factory and the owner decides the product designs. We have four showrooms in Dhaka,” he added.

M Ariful Islam, manager of a branch of Different Touch brand store in Mirpur, said: “We have 14 stores in Dhaka. Two of them are in Mirpur, one at Mirpur New Market and the other at Baghdad Shopping Complex. We have our own factory and designers. We sell different types of shirts, ranging from Tk 300 to 2,500 for people of all ages. However, young people are our best customers. We have been in this business for more than 14 years, and we have come to understand that today’s youths prefer clothes with more colours and interesting designs.”

Mohammad Sujon, 28, a recent graduate, was shopping at Price Super Market in Mirpur. “Today, there are so many shopping malls in Mirpur that we do not need to go far. Every shop is trying to outsmart each other in terms of design, quality and price. For Eid, I need to buy everything from socks and shoes to a new panjabi. Eid does not feel like a festival without shopping. Of course, my friends and I like to shop on chand raat (eve of Eid day).  When it comes to men, we prefer a new panjabi with new shoes. That being said, the way we shop for Eid has changed immensely over the past two decades.”

The latest shopping trend among young people nowadays is online shopping. Every kind of item can be found on virtual stores and most brands and popular shops have started selling online. Many entrepreneurs now even sell their products on social media, like Facebook. While normal shops usually increase their prices for Eid, many online stores offer huge discounts. Besides, many online vendors arrange pre-Eid fairs to sell their products in different city areas like Dhanmondi, Banani, and Gulshan.

“I mostly buy from online shops and they give good deals. We can get the same products like at the markets, but with less effort and cash on delivery makes it more trustworthy,” said Sama Khan, a young woman who was shopping at an online vendors’ fair at Dhanmondi.

Sanjida Mithila, a vendor who has an online shop named ‘Look and Like’ said”  “We have every product, just like a shopping mall. We also have imported items, mostly from India and Pakistan, which can’t be found in regular shops. I have a licence and business visas, so I import products as per my customer’s choice.”

Another online vendor, Nishat Tabassum, designer and owner of Sokh Fashion, said, “I only make embroidered and zardosi (metal work) dresses and most of the designs are given by the customers or designed by me. The buyers choose the designs and I place the order with a factory where they actually do the work. Sometimes, I make some dresses with new designs to show my customers and sell those samples on discount on Facebook.”     

Now, one might wonder what accessories youths are more interested in. The answer is everything, from jewellery, shoes and cosmetics, to appliances and even musical instruments. In a nutshell, the young will buy anything that they fancy and can afford.

When it come to jewellery, ‘less but heavy in look’ trend is being followed. A large pair of traditional earrings, or jhumka, worn with a necklace or a chunky ring is the trend. As it is a season of fancy sleeves, a hand full of bangles is rare now. Antique designs, meena (enamel) work and traditional silver or metal ornaments are in. Western style funky and junk jewellery are in demand, too, among the young.  Many women also buy gold ornaments for Eid and popular jewellery shops were seen crowded, too.  

Shamim Ahmed, a jeweller at Mouchak market, said, “Everyone asks for antique and traditional designs for Eid. But western style pieces are popular, too. Everyone tries to match their jewellery with their outfits.”  

For footwear, women prefer heels with their gorgeous Eid outfits. Different styles, like platforms, wedges, stilettos, kitten heels and pumps, can be seen. Prints and adornments on shoes and sandals are a new trend. As to bags, clutches or pouches with colourful embroidery, paintings and floral designs are in fashion.

These days, cosmetics and perfumes are a must on the Eid shopping list. Women are stocking up on makeup items to go with their outfits from department stores and online shops. Light, natural-looking but glamorous makeup is the look for this Eid. Matte lipsticks in light and dark shades are the most popular. Women, and men, too, like to pamper themselves with skin and hair makeovers. That is why many beauty parlours, salons and spas are offering special deals ahead of Eid.

During the Eid festival, demand for kitchen items doubles, said Zahid Hossain Khan, owner of Khan Trading that sells kitchenware and household appliances at New Market. “Today, we have more nuclear families and they all want their own separate homes. As a result, the demand for kitchen appliances grows every year. During Eid, we sell more items than we sell the rest of the year,” Khan added.  

“I live with my mother and I like to cook. Eid is a time for family gatherings. Relatives and close friends visit us for the festival. We all need to cook with love and a little more food than we usually do,” said Tamana Tina, who was buying a frying pan at the shop.

Zahid Islam, 27, is a private-service holder with a passion for photography and music. “I am here to buy a guitar for my cousin. I will present it to him for Eid. There are some old shops here that sell quality musical instruments,” he said while walking along Elephant Road near Science Lab. “I think it’s too early to start Eid shopping. But I would like to buy some new shoes and a belt. I do not like any brand in particular, I like to buy shoes that are comfortable,” he added.

There is also huge interest among youths to buy new electronic gadgets. “Today, there are many online shops and Facebook pages that sell different electronic gadgets at affordable prices. For this Eid, I have bought two smartwatches online. I got 30 percent discount and paid only Tk 750 for each and Tk 50 as delivery charge. I am going to keep one and give the other to a friend. I also have a plan to buy a new desktop computer this Eid,” said Shadowat Hossain, 30.

Nowadays, many people also buy gift items for friends and colleagues for Eid. “It is the season for shopping and I can get the latest designs and the best offers now. I am here to buy Eid gifts for my friends,” Joy Chandan Ghosh, who was shopping at New Market, said.

We can say that everyone likes to get something new to make their Eid special. The shopping knows no boundary, but people don’t mind spending a little extra to enjoy the special joy of the festival with their near and dear ones.

Photos: Courtesy,File.

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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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