An ancient mariner in the sea of shops at Abids, Silk Centre was opened in 1953, yet looks every bit as serviceable and slick as its newer neighbors. It sells men's clothing, so expect to be welcomed by bales and bales of earthy solids lining the walls when you enter. Wonder why men never progress beyond these earthy obsessions to more cheery and synthetic reds, pinks and purples! Still, if you are a man, you will probably be delighted to enter this sea of drab. And have a good time sifting through new looks and styles.
Here's the lowdown on Silk Centre: Silk is just in the name - the store has a huge variety of fabrics for men's clothing, but since men are rather immune to the subtly varying charms of most fabrics beyond pure, pre-washed, combed, mercerized cotton, the smartly dressed store salesman won't bother clarifying much beyond "imported fabric" when you ask him about them.
They have shirts, trousers, suits, sherwanis, shawls, jodhpuris, pyjamas, Jeans, T-shirts and much much more. Downstairs you get fabric for suitings, and upstairs you get fabric for shirting, and readymade garments.
While ghar ke brands such as Zodiac, Arrow, Park Avenue, Parx and Van Heusen rule the roost in shirts, Arvind, Icon, Oxford and Carlon offer shirting fabrics. And then there are Raymond, Reid and Taylor, Digjam, Siyaram and OCM for suitings.
That is not to say that the splurge-ready customer won't find his pick here. They also stock Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss and Burberry. Now these are truly imported!
Their wedding collection is where you will find striking colors, and even the "once-in-a-lifetime-for-men" spangles. I checked out a designer sherwani from Mumbai. Made again with the mysterious "imported fabric", this was a beautiful "night-sky in the provinces" black with zardosi and black beads glistening like stars. It's priced at Rs. 17,000, and I imagine it would look very becoming on any Prince Charming.
You could buy a shawl/stole with it, priced mysteriously at Rs. 1,360. This pricing is attributed to "computer work": another one of those broad, men's shop terms that can connote a million design intricacies that men can't be bothered with. This shawl is made of crushed maroon material, and comes with fine golden patterns and tassels. Teamed with the sherwani, it can make any man look like a king.
Then there is a rather tacky 3-piece designer suit with a jute waistcoat of silver gray, a black blazer, and a silver gray jute stole that's cut out to fall across the front like a waistcoat. This is priced at Rs. 7,910 and looks party-party all the way.
Silk Centre is definitely a good place to go fishing before a wedding or special occasion. The prices are:
Shirts: Rs. 400 - Rs. 3,000
Trousers: Rs. 650 - Rs. 2,000
Suits: Rs. 2,000 - Rs. 20,000
Sherwanis: Rs. 4,000 - Rs. 25,000
Tailoring: Rs. 1,500