|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.
|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
|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 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
|Khaadi RTW trousers|
|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|
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.
|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
|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.
|Leggings at Sheep|
|Palazzos at Sheep|
They stock leggings in practically every hue and their silk palazzos are very versatile.
Price Range: Rs800 –Rs4,200
|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
|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
|Lace-edged capris at Unbeatable|
|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 trousers|
Sana Safinaz offer some of the best lawn trousers in town – although finding any in stock can be a hit-and-miss affair.
|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
|Lace Palazzos at Nishat Linen|
|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’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 leace edged pants|
|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’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
|Embroidered trousers from Ayesha Somaya|
|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 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
|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 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
|High fashion style and fit from Iman Ahmed at Body Focus|
|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
|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|
|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
|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.