Karachi Shopping Hot Spots
I’ve just had the most wonderful time in Karachi, Pakistan! I was there for a close family wedding and between all the wedding related stuff, all I did was shop and eat.
Now Karachi is really one of the most amazing cities in this world. It’s incredibly busy at all times, hustle and bustle everywhere. It’s a large city which seems to be expanding all the time. As for security, I can honestly say I didn’t feel unsafe at any time. Although the locals there do worry about things like pickpocketing, thankfully we had no bad experiences. The amount of police and military on the streets is reassuring.
What really stood out for me was the amount of business that takes place there. The number of shops is incredible. From malls, to street markets, Karachi has something for all budgets. When it comes to Pakistani fashion there really isn’t a better place in the world. Karachi paves the way for Eastern fashion and it’s a paradise for shopping lovers. If you’re into fashion then you’ll know the usual shops such as Khaadi, Agha Noor, Sapphire etc. Whilst those are nice shops there are so many more which are less known internationally and have different selections.
My favourite shops were:
Translating literally to ‘clothes’, Kapray is a large women’s & menswear outlet, also stocking some kids and home things. The collection is based on everyday to formal wear, the fabric is really good quality and prices are competitive. They have large, clean fitting rooms, as sizes can vary so much in Pakistan depending on the style of top, this is hugely important. The service at their large store on Shaheed-e-Millat Rd was also brilliant. It’s a massive shop which makes it easier to take your time and roam around. The other branch is in the Dolmen Mall in Clifton.
I love this shop! The designs are really different compared to shops like Junaid Jamshed and Generation. Some things I found are really overpriced but if you look there are gems to be found. Cross Stitch mainly sell party wear, again the quality of fabric stood out. Note the sizes are a tad smaller than Khaadi etc.
Another great find and less well-known abroad. Wov stocks lovely neutral shades of party wear. Their outfits are really chic and different. They sell formal wear so not any printed cottons like in all the other hundreds of shops! There is a Wov in both Dolmen Malls in Tariq Rd and Clifton.
My favourite mall was Dolmen Mall in Tariq Rd. I liked the fact that it had shops of all calibre from affordable to expensive. Although the Clifton mall was cleaner and prettier, from an outsiders point having a Debenhams and Next is really not an attraction. I want the Pakistani shops! Other than this I really liked Lucky One (Fedel B Area) as it was quiet and near where I stayed. It’s a newer mall with less stock and fewer people but a much calmer shopping experience. It has pretty much all the branded shops in the other malls but again it’s cleaner and newer. Also it has Burger Lab which is a huge plus point (food details will be in another post!)
Although the malls are great, if you want bargains then head to Qurtuba market in Bahadurabad. This indoor (no AC) market is very old and a lot of people turn their nose up at it, favouring the air-conditioned malls where shops have fixed prices. But the fabrics (wedding wear and everyday wear) you find here are phenomenal, and very cheap in comparison to ‘proper shops’.
There’s over one hundred shops in this bazaar where you can find everything you need. Mostly unstitched fabric, but ready-made garments are also available if you look around. Also if you need bottoms with all your kurthas then this is the place to come! There are shops all around Qurtaba too which are worth a quick look. Get ready to haggle here, and enjoy (?) the banter of the shopkeepers.
If you’re after costume jewellery then Tariq Centre is the place to go with numerous outlets, again no AC so tricky in the summer months. You’ll find all sorts here!
The great thing about most of these Pakistani brands is that you can buy online, and most to do international shipping!
Have you been to Karachi?