My main problem when looking for outfits is that east London prices are too high for what the value of the outfit is, and even though the shops are catching up with Pakistani trends and designers, I still would rather not pay £700-1000 for a formal outfit (prices which I've seen!). I also found that not all shops have oufits which are up to date with trends - this isn't really an issue but my preference for this Eid was something simple and in line with Pakistani trends of a shorter kameez, which was only in a few shops near me.
My other issue was with shopping online, there is that obvious risk of not getting what you paid for, and also the worry that your outfit may not come on time. There are a few good websites where you can buy ready-to-wear, and also vendors who sell outfits but some of them were expensive or didn't have what I was looking for.
In the weeks before Eid, my sisters and I had a look around the shops for inspiration on Eid outfits, so that if we saw anything we could get it. There's quite a good variety of shops in east London and near where we live so it was quite handy for us to have a look around.
One of the first places I looked was in a local store, Ruby's House of Design Eid exhibition, where I did manage to pick up these two outfits on sale, but they were a little casual for me to wear on Eid. I did like the look of this Agha Noor kurta below, which I thought was pretty and that I thought would look nice with brocade pants. In the end I didn't go with it because the kurta alone was nearly £100 and along with trousers and a possible scarf, I thought I could get something nicer for less.
I also had a look at a new shop opening near the area, Junaid Jamshed by Janan, which carries designer cotton outfits by Junaid Jamshed. My mum has bought outfits from this label in Pakistan and loves the quality of their outfits, so we were happy to see this store opening near us. When the store opened we all went to have a good browse, and we liked what we saw but it was mostly cotton casuals, which is ideal for the summer weather, but none of us ended up with anything for Eid.
Having said that, their prices were very reasonable and we definitely will be having a look for summer outfits - they had a good range of ready-to-wear and unstitched fabric outfits which we did like.
There were also a few other new shops which opened locally a few weeks before Eid, and one of these was a shop called Nees, which had some beautiful kurtas and heavier formals. I loved some of the embroidered kurtas here which were about £30-35, while I wouldn't wear them for Eid I thought they were perfect for summer. We also liked some of the maxi dresses in this shop which ranged between £130 - £190, but didn't opt for any of them in the end.
I also spent some time looking online for outfits, as a lot of my nicer outfits from my wardrobe have been bought online. One of the nicest collections for Eid I found was this Maria B collection, which had a range of soft colours and embroidered floral designs that I loved, although they came unstitched so I would have to find a food tailor in time!. The two outfits below were on my wish-list, but unfortunately they were pre-ordered and sold out before the collection was even launched.
The other thing which I found unfair was the fact that for residents of Pakistan the outfits were a little cheaper than it was for non-residents, for them it was about £80 while for non-residents the options were around £95 - £115, which isn't a huge price difference but still a little unreasonable, especially as the price increase doesn't include shipping.
Having said that, I'm keeping an eye out for these because I thought they were lovely and look really easy to wear, and they're just the sort of designs I've been looking for.
I also really liked the Eid Collection released by Nomi Ansari - these were a lot more colourful and bolder, but I loved the styles and cuts of the outfits. This was even more difficult to find out about, as I wasn't sure whether you can buy them directly online and I didn't manage to find any vendors selling them. The main Nomi Ansari website doesn't give an option to buy outfits on their Facebook pages doesn't give up help either!
The two designs below were my favourites from the Eid collection, colourful florals which look wonderful and don't need much more to dress it up. These were pricier than the Maria B outfits but I'll be keeping an eye out for these as well!
I did manage to find other deisgner websites which were easier to navigate and buy from - I loved Sania Maskatiya's designs but they were a little too pricey for me (and the plainer designers which I could afford were too plain!), while another designer I like, Zainab Chottani's designs, were mostly lawn designs which I would need to get stitched and which I didn't have enough time for, unless I bought it from a local shop which I didn't get a chance to look at. I did like the designs on the website though and loved some of the skirts, so that's something to look at agian! A friend of mine also suggested Zaheer Abbas, who also has a better website to order from, but there wasn't much of a range to look through which didn't appeal to me.
I also had a look on online store Brand Central PK, which I have ordered from before so I was confident about getting it on time - again this was a little pricey. I've noticed that the prices have gone up since I last ordered (which was last year some time) and that there were a lot of heavy formals which were a little too heavy and expensive for me. Having said that I still keep an eye on this website for their sale items, and for the odd occasion I want to have a good browse at their new collections.
I finally got my Eid outfit from a store called Grandeur (more on this shop soon!), which is incidentally the place my mum got my Eid outfit from last Eid too! This piece is by a Pakistani label called Zainab Hasan, which also came an off-white colour, black, and tea pink shade (which slight variations on the flower embroidery) in a 3-piece jacket style.
This outfit was very reasonably priced and felt very comfortable on - Sara from the Grandeur store showed me a selection of similar jackets and embroidered kameezes that I really liked, although the jade green one stood out to me most because it looked a little different.
I'll be keeping an eye out for more designs and outfits for next Eid, and also as it is now wedding season, hopefully I'll have better luck shopping online!
Did you buy anything online? Do you have any recommendations?