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Baby's day out

There was a time when the city did not cater to even a reasonably fair selection of clothing for kids. Today the scene has changed significantly for the better, as VIDHU MARY JOHN discovers. From little frilly frocks to designer labels, the choice is yours.


PLANNING THE next shopping `expedition' for your children? Wondering at what point your vision of clothing your kids in the `proper' attire will meet up with their demanding ideas? Plotting out the easiest way to go about it? To most, shopping for kids is a challenge at best.... a headache at the worst! But it need not be the torturous experience you are expecting any more. The important thing is to psyche yourself into looking at it as a fun-filled, exciting adventure! (No matter how pessimistic you are). It would also help if you could come up with at least vague ideas as to what your kid(s) are looking for! This way you can resign yourself to the inevitable of giving into their demands or talk them around to looking at it from your point of view! It's also very important to know where to go looking for the stuff of your dreams.

Each person's need differ, and people have their own preferences. As Ms. Vishala, a resident of Fort Kochi says, "I prefer to do shopping for the kids in my family in Ernakulam, even though I do occasionally shop in Mattancherry and Thoppumpady. I've found that there is more choice and variety to be found in the shops at Ernakulam."


But, Kochi has definitely come a long way- in the shopping arena for kids.

While it has always been a Mecca for shoppers, it is only in the past few years that attention has been paid to kids as specialised customers, with well-defined needs and preferences.


With the dawn of this realisation, some of the reputed retailers have branched out into entire sections catering to infants and adolescents. And here is where quality meets customers exacting demands! Of course, every where you turn the city affords glimpses of tiny frilly dresses, some shot through with silver or gold, pint-sized pants that bears witness to the influence of Hindi film heroes- a kaleidoscope of colour and movement. Whether one strolls through the M.G road or the Broadway, Palarivattom, or Kaloor, or even suburbs like Thoppumpady and Cherlai in Mattancherry, theses are the sights that meet your eye. Clothes in every possible hue and design imaginable!! But for those who prefer and seek out the guarantee of reputed show rooms, Kochi is second to none in the choice of the `right' store.

While Parthas provides a mix and match range of clothing for kids, other choices for shopping are Li'l Jose, Seematti Kids Studio, Jean Shack, Twinkle and Dewdrops (for a more exclusive choice) to name just a few. The kids section at Jayalakshmi , entirely devoted to fulfilling a child's wildest imagination, not only has an appealing décor but also a range that will satisfy the most exacting taste, within budgetary constraints.


Contrary to popular belief, these mega retailers do provide quality attire for children between the ages of 2-12 (sizes 18-34 approximately), at affordable prices.

For instance smart `n' cute cotton dresses, and tops for little girls cost Rs. 150 onwards and Rs. 110-200, respectively, calf length skirts and tops for age group 8-12 about Rs. 300 or so and A-line frocks Rs. 650 etc. The hottest selling design seem to be salwars with short `kurtas' also known as Parallels, exquisitely embroidered and dauntingly formal, can be had for Rs 900 or so.


For the boys too the choice is unlimited with Jeans and Cargo pants costing Rs500-600 or less, cotton T-shirts for Rs. 250-Rs. 450, shirts for Rs 190 and trendy suit consisting of a shirt, vest and pants (the `cool' look!!) for just Rs 750 or so. The little man's formals would cost you around Rs 400 and above, Blazers Rs 500, while Sherwani Suits are sold for a whopping Rs1000-2000.

Clothes emblazoned with your children's favourite cartoon characters are available ... so don't forget to check them out. Satin night clothes are also available, if it strikes yours or your child's fancy for Rs 230.And incidentally, the brands that are doing well among the kids are Ruff Kids and Gini and Joney .


Parents look for different things when they go shopping for their kids. For some comfort is the primary factor, for others it is style. Still others (most) keep a sharp lookout for the price tags. Like Ms. Cecily Sebastian, mother of two puts it "I believe in dressing my kids according to the weather and of course within a budget. For the oppressing heat that we experiencing these days, its definitely cool, summery clothes that is called for".

But whatever challenge Mom and Dad throw at this mini-metro, it is more than capable of fulfilling. Be it a supermarket like Maharaja's, the big and small retailers ... or the pavement stores!! So.... Rearing to set of on your `adventure'? Check out what this city has to offer. You sure will not be disappointed!

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