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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Pakistan Shopping: The ultimate guide to the best ready-to-wear pants, palazzos and shalwars

Ayesha Somaya embroidered formal trousers
With shorter shirts, worked pants are coming into their own - this pretty pair by Ayesha Somaya are available at theit store

If you’re serious about fashion, you have to love the shift away from three-piece joras. Once the retail sector realized that customers would buy just kurtas, they stopped bothering with complete suits and it’s actually great not to get lumbered with a matching shalwar and slapdash tie’n’dye dupatta. While it’s a relief to escape the tyranny of the matchy-matchy three-piece, shopping off-the-rack has become a bit of a challenge.

Pakistani pret trousers, ready to wear trousers, chooridars, palazzos
Clockwise from top: Thredz, Sheep, Sania Maskatiya and Ego


Just about everybody sells tops and kurtas but finding the perfect pants and shalwars isn’t easy. For those don’t have time to resort to a darzi, here’s a rundown of the best RTW pants, palazzos and shalwars in town.

1.    Sania Maskatiya

Pakistani pret trousers, ready to wear trousers, chooridars, palazzos
Beautifully cut printed silk trousers at Sania Maskatiya

Simply the best selection of styles and fabrics – and not as pricey as you might expect.  One of the few stores in town to offer ready-made pure silk trousers – including plain, neutral colours and the oh-so-fashionable, wear-with-everything monochrome prints.

Sania Maskatiya's store silk trousers
Sania Maskatiya's store will alter trousers for that perfect fit

Sania Maskatiya also offers a great range of well-cut cotton trousers, palazzos and izaars. The best bit? They offer sizes from extra-small to extra-large and are happy to do alterations.

Price Range: Rs2,500 – Rs6,500

2.    Khaadi

Khaadi RTW trousers
Khaadi RTW trousers
Khaadi embroidered tights - designer pret Pakistan
Just about everyone has Khaadi embroidered tights in their wardrobe


Khaadi has become just about everyone’s go-to store for pret daywear. Affordable, stylish and well made, Khaadi’s pret is unmatched. They have a huge selection of lowers including tights, palazzos and cotton straight pants. Their trademark embroidered tights are a perennial favourite but their printed palazzos and denim jeggings are also worth checking out.

Price Range: Rs900 – Rs1200

3.    Nida Azwer

Formal trousers at Nida Azwer - designer pret Pakistan
Formal trousers at Nida Azwer

Nida Azwer offers an excellent range of formal silk trousers, cigarette pants and palazzos. These are available in a range of sizes and the store is happy to make alterations.

Formal trousers at Nida Azwer - designer pret Pakistan
From the runway to the rack - these Nida Azwer trousers featured at fashion week
As well as silk trousers in neutral colours, they have a great selection of versatile block printed and embroidered trousers - a must-have staple for any fashion-lover’s wardrobe.

Price Range: Rs2,800 –Rs8,000

4.    Sheep

Sheep Trousers - designer pret Pakistan
Sheep's trousers are known for their great fit
Sheep stocks an absolutely enormous range of lowers, ranging from tights to straight pants to culottes to printed palazzos.  The pants fit brilliantly and have western style cuts, with buttons, pockets and zips so they can be worn with short tops as well as kurtas.

Sheep Trousers - designer pret Pakistan
Leggings at Sheep
Sheep Trousers - designer pret Pakistan
Palazzos at Sheep

They stock leggings in practically every hue and their silk palazzos are very versatile.

Price Range: Rs800 –Rs4,200


5.    Ego

Ego ready to wear trousers Pakistan
Ego's neutral hued trousers are hugely popular

Ego stocks well-cut, neutral cotton pants in a variety of sizes. Their trousers are very popular, so finding your size can sometimes be a bit of an issue.

Price Range: Rs1,400 –Rs1,600


6.    Chinyere

Chinyere designer clothing ready to wear trousers Pakistan
Chinyere stocks both cotton and silk trousers

Chinyere is another of the few stores to offer RTW pure silk trousers. They also offer cotton trousers in a variety of styles and sizes, including straight pants and palazzos.

Price Range: Rs850 –Rs2,990


7.    Unbeatable

Lace-edged capris at Unbeatable
Lace-edged capris at Unbeatable

Ready to wear trousers at Unbeatable - Pakistani designer wear
Unbeatable stocks great high street versions of fashion week trends - like these embroidered trousers

Unbeatable has a limited, but excellent selection of trousers – currently featuring a lot of capris. Their embroidered and lace-edged capris are perfect for adding a formal touch to an outfit.

Price Range: Rs1,500 –Rs3,500


8.    Sana Safinaz

Sana Safinaz Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Sana Safinaz trousers
Sana Safinaz offer some of the best lawn trousers in town – although finding any in stock can be a hit-and-miss affair.

Sana Safinaz Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Finding stock at Sana Safinaz can be an issue because their trousers are so popular

Their hugely popular trousers seem to fly out of the store the minute they hit the racks. They also offer leggings and striped cotton lycra trousers.

Price Range: Rs790 –Rs3,970

9.    Nishat Linen

Nishat Linen Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Lace Palazzos at Nishat Linen
Nishat Linen Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Nishat Linen stocks a massive range of lowers

Nishat Linen is rapidly becoming a high street giant. They offer a massive selection of affordable pret and their selection of lowers is breathtaking. I spotted everything from lace palazzos to cotton jersey shalwars, and everything in between. Straight pants in a wide variety of colours, jeggings, linen culottes and more besides.

Price Range: Rs800 –Rs2,500


10.    Gul Ahmed

Gul Ahmed Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Gul Ahmed's cotton trousers are perfect daywear
Gul Ahmed’s collection of cotton and lawn trousers is a perfect capsule of versatile straight pants in white, off-white, beige and black.

Gul Ahmed Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Gul Ahmed leace edged pants
Gul Ahmed Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Embroidered cotton trousers at Gul Ahmed

They have lace-edged and embroidered pants as well as self-embossed trousers to add a formal feel to any cotton kurta.

Price Range: Rs990 – Rs4,500

11.    Misha Lakhani

Misha Lakhani Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Misha Lakhani's trousers are pricey but have an incredible fit

Misha Lakhani offers a very limited collection of beautifully cut trousers in versatile colours: olive, ivory, white, black, navy and baby pink. She uses an imported cotton lycra blend that gives a marvelous fit that works equally well with western and eastern wear. Be warned thought - her trousers are among the priciest in town. 

Price: Rs 10,500

12.    Ayesha Somaya

Ayesha Somaya Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Embroidered trousers from Ayesha Somaya
Ayesha Somaya Ready to wear trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Lace trousers from Ayesha Somaya
Ayesha Somaya were one of the first designers to offer just kurtas, but they have recently expanded their RTW line to include trousers. Their collection of trousers primarily features formal cigarette pants in cotton and silk. True to their design philosophy their trousers are elegant, detailed and feminine with pretty touches of lace, embroidery or cutwork. They now have a tailor at hand so alterations can be completed within a couple of hours, depending on how busy they are.

Price Range: Rs900 –Rs12,000

13.    Al Karam

Al KAram Ready to wear chooridars - Pakistani designer wear
Al Karam has one of the most comprehensive range of trousers, shalwars, palazzos and chooridars in Pakistan

Al Karam offers one of the most comprehensive selections of lowers available in Pakistan. Trousers, shalwars, palazzos, straight pants, tights, chooridars – you name it, they stock it. As well as having a mind-boggling selection of straight pants in just about every colour of the rainbow, they are practically the only high street store to offer ready-made cotton chooridars. While you can find lycra chooridars in practically every market and store, sometimes nothing beats the crisp cool look of a cotton chooridar. With a range of sizes and a variety of colours, Al Karam is the place to head.

Price Range: Rs950 –Rs1,800


14.    Mantra

Mantra Ready to wear leggings - Pakistani designer wear
Mantra's jersey leggings and palazzos are versatile

Although mainly known for their western wear, Mantra has some great options to wear with kurtas. Their flattering cotton jersey palazzos will become one of your wardrobe staples and they also have a great range of printed trousers and leggings.

Price Range: Rs1,750 –Rs3,350


15.    Q & H

Q&H Ready to wear printed trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Q & H isn't just for kids - their printed trousers are excellent


Q&H isn’t just for kids. They have some fabulous cotton jersey palazzos, printed trousers and leggings – although like Mantra their stock may not work on plus-sized bodies.

Price Range: Rs1,490 –Rs4,200


16.    Body Focus by Iman Ahmed


Body Focus trousers by Iman Ahmed - Pakistani designer wear
High fashion style and fit from Iman Ahmed at Body Focus
Body Focus trousers by Iman Ahmed - Pakistani designer wear
Body Focus trousers - well worth the price tag

You won’t find trousers by Body Focus anywhere except their signature studio but the cut and fit of their trousers is unmatched. These are the sort of trousers that you will wear season after season, and which fit well even when your weight bobs up or down a bit. Their embroidered silk pants are investment pieces and are priced accordingly.

Price Range: Rs3,000 – Rs25,000

17.    Thredz

Thredz trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Colourful and wearable - trouser by Thredz

Thredz deserves an honourable mention for some of the most colourful lowers in town. They stock some lovely screen-printed trousers in a variety of hues.

Price Range: Rs1,645 –Rs2,245


18.    Zara Shahjahan


Coco by Zara Shahjahan trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Coco by Zara Shahjahan


Formal Zara Shahjahan trousers - Pakistani designer wear
Formal trousers by Zara Shahjahan
This season Zara Shahjahan is focusing on the uber-trendy cropped trouser. She stocks both silk and cotton trousers at her flagship store. Her Coco label offers cotton and lawn trousers in wear-with-everything colours. She also sells formal trousers in silk, embellished with various styles of embroidery.

Price Range: Coco Rs1,800
                   Zara Shahjahan Rs5,000 – Rs10,000




19.    Sonya Battla


Sonya Battla harem pants - Pakistani designer wear
Harem pants by Sonya Battla

Check out Sonya Battla if you’re looking for something a little bit different. While she does stock monochrome and neutral trousers at Kaju, go to her flagship store on E street for shaded knotted skirts and block printed harem pants.

Price Range: Kaju Rs2,000 – Rs 4,000
                     Sonya Rs4,000 – Rs8,000

One final piece of advice - with trousers, fit and cut is everything. Although most stores offer a range of sizes, the cut of the trousers varies wildly. Personally I prefer a mid-rise straight trouser, but it’s worth trying several stores to find the cut that best suits your body shape.

The Wish List

Despite the range of choices available, any fashion lover worth her Jimmy Choos wants to see RTW trousers from:

1.    HSY is someone who really understands fit and cut but he only stocks trousers occasionally on a seasonal basis. It would be great to see HSY stock a RTW collection of silk and cotton trousers.

2.    Sana Safinaz do stock lawn trousers but there’s scope for formal trousers from the duo – if their supply chain can keep up with demand.

3.    Feeha Jamshed offers jumpsuits and dresses but not trousers. It’s a safe bet that designer of her caliber would cut a fabulous trouser.

4.    Shamaeel Ansari – Here’s hoping that her new flagship store offers a line of trousers and pants to complement her gorgeous draped tops and kurtas.

5.    Ayesha Farook Hashwani’s RTW fusion cuts are sublime but anyone who’s ordered an outfit from her studio knows that AFH trousers are both comfortable and flattering. Here’s hoping she starts stocking a RTW collection.

This article of mine was first published on Dawn.com. All pictures are copyrighted to Salima Feerasta, except the Ayesha Somaya shoot pictures. Please don't use them without permission.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing fashion updates! With a great number of choices in terms of category, brands and prices, customers are attracted more and more towards online stores.
    clothes shopping online

    ReplyDelete

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