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Indian women crossover to western wear



Indian women are taking to western wear like never before. This trend is increasingly catching up both in big cities and small towns. The catalyst for change are features like, comfort, utility and ease.

Western wear, gaining popularity

A Te
chnopak study on trends in apparel market in India had pointed out as more and more women are leaving the comfort of their homes and stepping into the corporate world, the demand for western wear is increasing. “With increasing women in the workforce, and the growing economic independence of women, the demand for women’s western wear is at an all-time high, thanks to which women’s western wear is emerging a clear winner in the women’s wear market. This trend is expected to continue as more women enter into the workforce or aspire to follow the lifestyle of working women,” said the study.

A clear trend is being witnessed among working women taking to dresses and western formal wear in a big way. Similarly, women in metros and mini metros are ditching traditional saris and salmar kameez and moving towards dresses, formal suits, and business attire. Nilakshi Soin, Head Marketing, Elle Fashion explains the transition, “Women in India increasingly want to dress like their global counterparts. Today, all strata of women from metros to small towns and across all age groups are freely taking to western wear.”

Another reason is the changing socio-economic norms and western influence in the society. As Rahul Mehta, Managing Director, 109° F says, “Changing socio-economic factors, increasing aspirations and exposure to international fashions along with the influence of Bollywood, which often dictates what many women would like to wear. Exposure to styles and trends build the desire, and changing social norms facilitate the conversion of aspiration to actual action.” Multiple factors contribute towards the growth of the western wear segment.

Globalization, exposure to international trends through different sources such as internet and electronic media, growing retail sector are aiding the segment grow. Latest trends, innovation in style and designs and visual merchandising are some of the growth drivers for this segment. Increasing fashion consciousness among women coupled with western influence has helped the segment evolve into a lucrative market. This opens up a big opportunity for brand play with several international brands stepping in which has helped in boosting the segment.

Elaborating further, Nidhi Gupta, Head India, BYSI says, “Women are becoming aware about the influx of international brands to India. They are ready to pay a price for fashion that is comfortable, in vogue and of international standards. Women especially from the metros are more likely to spend.”

Future Outlook

The future of women’s western wear is bright. So far, western wear for women was restricted to the metros. However, it’s spreading to remote location like villages. Besides western wear brands are in a crossover mode adding a local touch to their portfolio, many are catching up with emerging Indo-western trend.

Elle Fashion