We all have love/hate relationships with our clothes, and travel only heightens the emotions. We forget to pack something, or we need something unexpectedly, or we just want to see what Mumbai has to offer that our own city may not. That's why 10Best compiles a list of the best clothing stores in town. From independent boutiques to upscale chains, we tell you where to find terrific basics and quality fashions that will get you through any clothing crisis. Popular possibilities? Bombay Electric and Courtyard.
Rainbow colours abound at this fabulous emporium just north of Kala Ghoda. Hand-woven, block-printed and embroidered fabrics are stitched into shirts, dresses, shawls, kurtas (long Indian shirts) and salwar kameez (shirt and trouser combinations for women). The store sprawls over three floors - menswear is downstairs, children's clothes are on the mezzanine floor and ladies' wear and stylish bedspreads and other items for the home are upstairs. (022-2262-6539)
Mumbai designer Ritu Kumar was responsible for the revival of interest in traditional costume by the mainstream fashion world in India. Her boutique in the Phoenix Mills mall is mobbed by design-conscious Mumbaikers searching for this season's must-haves. Ritu's designs feature sumptuous fabrics and rich embroidery and adornments. If you buy only one piece of Indian fashion wear, make it a Ritu Kumar. (022-6666-9901)
All the international haute couture labels have stores in Mumbai, but Louis Vuitton tops the pile. A Louis Vuitton purse or handbag is a status symbol around the world, and Mumbai is no exception. Leatherwear with the LV monogram is sold only through Louis Vuitton shops, and the store in the Taj Mahal Palace arcade carries a full stock of bags, cases, shoes and accessories. (022-6664-4134)
Mumbai is the home of Indian fashion and Tarun Tahiliani is one of its brightest lights. This is the designer who created the wedding dress for Jemima and Imran Khan. His exclusive boutique in Colaba features some truly eye-catching designs. The blouses, shirts, trousers, kurtas and dresses are lavishly decorated — big names from Bollywood come here for party wear and even wedding gowns. (022-2287-0895)
Set in an eye-catching industrial space in the old port neighbourhood, Ensemble showcases the designs of Indian designers like Tarun Tahiliani and Manish Malhotra. Come here for dresses, jackets, shirts and salwar kameez dripping with sequins, embroidery and gems. Almost everything is for women and many items are one-offs, so take your time browsing the long racks of clothes. There are regular special events for collections from big name designers. (022-2287-2882)
A chichi new boutique in a stylishly converted colonial building close to Colaba seafront. True to its name, Bombay Electric feels electrifyingly contemporary. The ladies' clothes here are all from famous Indian designers, and there are numerous one-offs and rare collectables. Doll up your outfit with some of their avant-garde jewellery or a pair of embroidered, sequined sneakers. (022-2287-6276)
A concept store in the most modern sense of the word, Bollywood Mischief is a fashion boutique by day and a lounge bar by night, complete with cocktails and record-spinning DJs. There are clothes here from Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Nandita Mahtani, Manish Arora and Rohit Bal, crossing the boundary between traditional costume and modern haute couture. The boutique even has its own range of evening wear and designer jewellery. (022-2645-3351)
Reid & Taylor
Founded in Scotland in 1837, Reid & Taylor is India's premier tailoring brand. They produce a full range of fabrics from wool, cotton, silk and cashmere, and their on-site tailors can produce a fitted, tailored suit in around five days. Set aside an hour or so on Monday to sort through the fabrics and discuss the fit with the house tailor and you can pick up the suit at the end of the week. (022-2204-2630)
This stylishly converted warehouse building on Colaba waterfront contains some of Mumbai's most stylish boutiques. Bring your platinum card and browse the latest designs from Narendra Kumar, Ashish Soni, Suneet Varma and Rohit Bal. There are fashions here for men and women. The shops are arranged around a pretty courtyard garden — it's a genuinely relaxing place to shop.