Pale cambric material sprinkled with bright pink flowers, blue polka dots on off-white shades of poplin kurtha and light weight Kota sarees. With the sultry weather here to stay, it is time to take all those comfy cotton clothes out from the wardrobe. Or, go on a shopping spree like P. Meenakshi.

“Light pink, blue and pastel shades are my pick for the summer. I am planning to buy six sets and they will last for a year,” said the banker, who left office early on Thursday to shop for salwar materials on Cotton Street, near Pantheon Road.

Textile showrooms, roadside vendors and entrepreneurs are gearing up for the summer season. Kalpa Druma has unveiled its new range of clothes and home linen. Pastel colours rule the fashion chart this season in most stores.

On Pantheon Road, famous for its reasonably priced cotton materials, the salesmen are getting ready to meet the demand. With the yarn prices increasing, the average price per metre of the cotton material has gone up by Rs.20. However, one would be spoilt for choices. “We generally sell materials and leave the mix 'n match task to the customers during other times of the year. But when the summer demand picks up, we keep ready many sets for the benefit of the customers. This also helps us to cater to more customers,” says a shopkeeper. The row of 63 stalls on Cotton Street is waiting for the school examinations to get over as that would mean more customers coming from morning. In summer, the average daily sale of the shops is Rs.5,000, they say.

Co-optex will soon be launching its ‘Special Summer Collection Sarees', with tie and dye cotton saris from Chinnalampatti and Dindigul areas as new attraction.

But, do new promotions and footfalls translate into more sales? “We certainly do more quantity in summers but the value would more or less be the same. Festivals are better as people spend more,” says Lakshmi Devi, Managing Partner, Kalpadruma.

Brisk business

This is also the time of the year when several women, most of them homemakers, who source and sell dress materials, including door-to-door sales, do brisk business. One such entrepreneur Vani Komarraju says the competition is this segment is growing. “I participated in an exhibition at Anna University recently and sold dress materials worth Rs.10,000 in four days,” she says, adding that price and quality make a big difference.

Some companies offer relaxation in dress code during the summer months. Infosys, for instance, exempts employees from wearing tie. Other such as J. Shilpa, a student of Satyabama University, shopping at FabIndia, recall “When I studied in the north, we had different uniform for summer and winter. We may not have schools here doing the same, but summer for me is about cotton.”

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

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