Tips To Shop At An Exhibition
Hyderabad has turned me into a huge exhibition enthusiast. Some of my best finds (in terms of price, quality, novelty in design, and fitting) in Indian clothing are from well-curated exhibitions. I know it takes an incredible amount of patience to browse and shop, especially if you are a picky shopper. Some of you do slide into my DMs now and then asking me how to make exhibition-shopping a little more hassle free. I’m a very quick and easy shopper, I know when I see something whether I can make it work or not. If you relate, read on. If you don’t relate, read on.
1. Be open to experiments…especially if you’re shopping with a friend whose style you like. I either pick a color or a garment type (eg: lehenga or a palazzo set) and keep an open mind about everything else. In the worst case, you won’t like the outfit but you’ll know what isn’t working for you. Best case, you’ll be happy that you tried something you wouldn’t have picked up yourself. That’s how I found the outfit I’m wearing in this post at the Chapter One Exhibition at Park Hyatt, my Holi outfit from Petals at Taj Krishna.
2. Do some homework through social media: Every exhibition has an active Instagram presence and you can legit stalk every brand/ designer showcasing. Look them up, find at least 3 brands you must check out, and 3 you’ll at least swing by. You’ll save a lot of time!
3. Stick to your budget:
- Invest only in those pieces that you wouldn’t find anywhere else
- Ask for possible customizations like less expensive fabric/ lesser embroidery
- If you’re okay with small defects your tailor and dry cleaning can fix, ask if they are selling any sample pieces
4. Note down social media handles of brands/ designers you liked: so you don’t have to buy an outfit right away - ask if you can place an order with them directly and how long it will take to reach you.
5. Start browsing through exhibitions at least 15 days (+2 days in case of alteration) before you need the outfit: (un)fortunately Hyderabad has a host of exhibitions happening year-round, which gives you enough time to check out multiple exhibitions. Unlike a few years ago when exhibitions didn’t happen so frequently, so if you liked it, you had to buy it. That’s not the case anymore, thanks to social media (point #4)
6. Bargain, but don’t be annoying: I’m not against striking a good deal, but don’t be a disruptive shopper who pesters for a discount. Some of these brands are small, independent designers who actually pay their employees fairly. If you feel like it is a well-made, quality product, just pay the premium (the opposite: if you feel like it is a cheap, knock off product, just walk away from it)
7. Go 45 minutes before closing time: if you’re not keen on buying and want to try your luck at a good deal, go towards the end of the exhibition. Brands aiming to sell all their inventory might be willing to give bigger discounts.
8. Hydrate and eat: This is especially for brides-to-be and sisters of the brides/ grooms. Wedding shopping is super hectic, and walking around all day trying clothes on can actually exhaust you. Drink a lot of water and carry fruits/ nuts to snack on and power through.