4 months ago

Men's fashion prioritises comfort over tradition to beat the Eid heat

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With Eid-ul-Fitr falling in mid-April, the holidays coincide with some of the year's hottest days. Consequently, men are seeking out attires that combine style with comfort to beat the heat, and retailers are filling their shelves with clothing suitable for the warm weather.

A survey of prominent shopping destinations in the capital, such as Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, Aziz Super Market in Shahbagh, and various markets in Mirpur, reveal that both buyers and sellers are leaning towards cotton garments amid the sweltering weather.

At Aziz Super Market, Arafat Rahman was spotted eyeing a cotton Punjabi at Bird's Eye. He expressed his preference for cotton due to the heat. Previously, he had purchased T-shirts from the Infinity brand in Mirpur-1 and another local brand called Nawar in Dhanmondi.

Arafat said that his Eid shopping was spread out this year, buying items from different stores as his schedule allowed. However, he noted a significant increase in clothing prices. A Punjabi he purchased last year for Tk 1,400 is now priced at Tk 2,000.

"The local brands have introduced appealing designs this season, but the prices are exorbitant. The same goes for three-piece outfits, which have jumped from Tk 2,500-Tk 3,000 in previous years to Tk 4,000-Tk 4,500 now."

Rabbi Khandkar Nadeem, the floor in-charge at 'Umbrella' in Bashundhara shopping mall, highlighted the outlet's new Punjabi designs for Eid. "Eid sales predominantly revolve around our Punjabi collection, attracting buyers of all ages. We also offer Hawaiian shirts and T-shirts," he said.

To cater to diverse customer preferences, 'Rise' has introduced a range of formal pants, shirts, Punjabi-pajamas, T-shirts, short-sleeve shirts, and polo shirts.

Emon Hossain, a salesman at 'Rise', highlighted the varied tastes among Eid shoppers. "Every customer has their unique preferences during Eid. We aim to provide options that cater to everyone's needs."

Moazzem Hossain outlined his shopping strategy as he browsed the store's Eid collection. "I'm here to buy shirts and trousers since they're versatile for any occasion. I tend to avoid Punjabis as they require more care and maintenance."

Rabiul Islam, a merchant specialising in Lebanese fashion, observed a shift towards cotton fabrics and white garments this season due to the heat.

"With Eid approaching, there's a noticeable preference for Punjabis, but younger customers are gravitating towards T-shirts. We're stocking lighter cotton garments to combat the heat. Unlike previous Eids where vibrant colors were popular, this time white is the preferred choice because Eid is in the summer."

His store features a range of Punjabis, with prices varying from Tk 1,000 to Tk 15,000.

Faran Hossain, manager of 'Selai Ghar', said their Punjabis are competitively priced this year.

"Our collection includes printed and embroidered Punjabis, priced between Tk 2,890 and Tk 3,290. We aim to offer quality at a lower price, but sales are not as high as expected. Prices have gone up by Tk 700-800 since last year, putting off some customers."

This Eid, the local brand 'Deshi Dosh' is presenting a variety of men's attire, including Punjabis, fatuas, shirts, t-shirts, and polo shirts.

Ten top local fashion brands -- Anjans, Kay Kraft, Banglar Mela, Rang Bangladesh, Sadakalo, Bibiana, Nipun, Deshal, Probortona and Srishti -- are collectively marketing their products under the umbrella of Deshi Dosh.

Masud Rana, the manager at the Bashundhara branch of Deshi Dosh, said, "We've incorporated the four elements of nature -- fire, water, earth, and air -- into our designs through screen printing, block printing, embroidery, handwork, and rigging."

"For each special occasion, we focus on a unique theme. This Eid is no exception. While all our items are popular, Punjabis, especially those in father-son matching sets, are our top sellers," he added.

Rashekhur Rahman, who works at a private firm, visited Bashundhara to buy an Eid Punjabi after purchasing clothes for his wife and children. He noted that Punjabi prices have risen by about Tk 1,000.

"Punjabis are a must-have for Eid. I've bought them for my father, father-in-law, and son. Given the heat, I'm opting for cotton Punjabis, along with a t-shirt for the summer," he said.

Nazrul Islam, owner of Stylish Point in Shah Ali Plaza in Mirpur-10, pointed to an increased focus on Punjabis with sequin work this Eid.

"People are looking for elegant Punjabis. We've introduced exclusive fabrics that are comfortable in the heat. However, there's less demand for heavy work due to higher prices. Customers prefer lighter designs."

He mentioned that Punjabis priced at Tk 1,200 last year are now selling for Tk 1,500, leading to a decrease in customer turnout.

Masud Rana emphasised the importance of 'good quality' clothing at reasonable prices, especially considering budget constraints. "We have to balance our expenses, but given the heat, I chose cotton. And since Eid is a festive occasion, Punjabis are a perfect fit," he stated.

Sohan Ahmed Iqbal, branch manager of 'Chandrabindu', said, "Our Punjabi designs remain consistent, but we've made slight changes to the work and fabric."

Imran Hossain was checking out the fashion houses in Mirpur-1. As ever, he bought a Punjabi for Eid, he said.

Noor Islam typically opts for a Punjabi each Eid but chose a T-shirt this time. "T-shirts are more comfortable, and with the heat during Eid and the need to move around a lot, relaxed clothing is preferable," he said.

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