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Aug 4, 2008

Kid's Dress

“Earlier, I used to shop for my daughter’s entire clothing needs at a designer-wear shop. But, now I differentiate between party wear and normal wear; and have switched to export quality hosiery clothes for home wear. With soaring prices it seems a waste to pay hundreds for something that she will outgrow in six months,” says Uma Madhavan, mother of a six-year old.
This is the damage control measure that most of the parents of growing children have resorted to, to fight the increasing demand for clothes of their children, in the face of inflation. It is true that children clothing always come expensive. Even though the amount paid for a two-an-a-half metre salwar or casual top is much less than that doled out for a child’s frock or a top, parents are left with no choice.
Says Ramya, a 30-year-old mother of a five-year-old boy who prefers designer clothes herself: “When I buy a Patiala suit for Rs. 3,000 I don’t feel the pinch, because I can wear it even for years. But, when I have to spend Rs. 1,000 for my son’s pant that will last for a few months, it is not easy.” Though it cannot be said that the price of clothes has soared to the extent of essential items, the purchasing capacity of people has definitely declined, feel shopkeepers.

R. Meena, franchisee of the children brand Gini ‘n’ Jony which caters to the age group 2 – 16, says that customers who visit her shop prefer designer wear for boys than for girls. Even among children clothing, the most expensive are the clothes for just-borns and infants. This is an area where new parents do not like to compromise on. But, in the prevailing situation they too are forced to stretch limits to give their babies the best or cut edges with fripperies.

G. Sivaraj, shop in-charge of Born Babies Little Kids that caters to the 0 – 3 age group, agrees that sales have become dull. Rashmi Arvind, mother of four-month old Sia, says she has stopped buying nappies and cotton dresses. For Chitra Ram, mother of twin daughters aged 10; everything is in multiples of two. “I compromise on home clothes like middies, skirts and cotton wear, but cannot do so with underwear and jeans,” she rues.

This smart woman has identified a tailor who creates fancy party wear tops, ghagra cholis and ‘pattu pavadais’. Soaring prices have pushed even doting parents to cut edges by reducing the quantity of clothes they buy, if not the quality. The middle class, however, are forced to compromise on both.

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