I always promise myself that next year I will not wait until the last minute.  But it is mid-October and here I am again:  Navratri, Diwali AND my daughter’s birthday are all within the next 6 weeks and no one in our family has anything to wear.

I consider myself quite resourceful, but right I now I am feeling defeated. I have been to the local Little India in Los Angeles, I have tried calling shops and shopping online with other Indian boutiques in the US (and even the UK), and I have been to all the sites that pop-up on Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Nothing, nowhere, nada, zero…

Here is the story:

My Son:  Easy, one would think.  The boy just wants a simple cotton kurta set that won’t itch at the neck.
Local Stores: nothing in a pure cotton. Actually, nothing even in a pure and simple silk. They are all polyester with heavy work.
Online US Sites:  Last year I ordered 2 outifts for him from a site whose name I will not disclose. They were advertised as silk and as a size 6.  They were neither silk (they were a very visible polyester) nor able to fit a 6-year-old (they were way too big).  I could not return them.
Online Indian Sites:  Found! Simple cotton ones with light thread embroidery.  But I ordered them 4 weeks ago from a place in Kerala and they are not here yet. Not sure if they will get here in time.

My Daughter:  She likes the longer cholis and again wants something easy to wear.
Local LA Stores:  Forget it. Not a single store carried anything remotely suitable for 3 or 4-year-olds.
Online US Sites:  Again, nothing. And after the disaster with my son’s kurta, I am hesitant to buy things online.
Online Indian Sites:  I contacted some stores in India, but they take 4-6 weeks to get here!  In any case, the styles out there are just mini-adult versions. Nothing whimsical, special, or made with kids in mind.

Ergo, I will be doing what I did last year:  rushing to the tailor to have him stitch somethings from fabric I give him.  So Mr. Tailor on Pioneer Boulevard, I will be seeing you this evening. It will be costing me way too much in money and time, but at this point I am left with no other option.

Why is simple, tasteful Indian clothing for kids so hard to find?  I cannot wait for the Rayil Kids clothing line to debut.

image via Bing images


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11 Responses to “Desperately Seeking a Lehenga”

  1. varsha Says:

    I feel for you. I wish you lived in the bay area. I have a bunch of my daughters clothes which are barely used sitting in storage bins that I would have gladly given you!

  2. Palak Says:

    I agree– the most cost effective way is to trade clothes! We are in the same situation– all our birthdays, anniversary, Diwali, Christmas, Navratri, Dhanteras, new years etc fall in the same few months. I’m already stressed!

  3. rosa Says:

    Ugh! I know your pain on ordering something “silk” just to find out it is actually polyester!! It is so wrong for the stores to advertise it as silk. Funny too the store I ordered from had separate “art silk” stuff, which I knew to be fake.. but seems the “silk” was fake too :( Now I’m stuck with 3 polyester sarees!

  4. Aruna Says:

    The kurtas were a really gross polyester too – not even a nice kind. It was definitely money down the drain.
    And thanks for the offer to borrow. Though there is something to be said for the tradition of clothes being new on birthdays and major festivals.

  5. Pasam Says:

    I’m not sure about the shipping time frame, but there are soo many Indian boutiques on Facebook these days….. They have really pretty clothes, Oh and BTW there are lot of people selling Indian dresses in Bay area theses days… I’m sure there are peopl like that in LA too..

    My few cents..

  6. SPB Says:

    For your daughter why not try this Laguna Beach based business –

    For your son –
    Kurtas –

    Or try the Govindas gift shop – they almost always have cotton and silk children’s kurtas. And usually cotton girls lehengas.

  7. SPB Says:

    sorry – link for address for Govinda’s –

  8. Vandana Says:

    Hi, As a mom living outside India, I can empathise. Especially the polysters with itchy heavy work masquerading as silk!

    Online shopping is catching on in India, and they deliver real quick if the address is in India. Your best bet would be to maybe order it and have it delivered to a family member back home, and then they can send it over to you.

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