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Military wear is cool now

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FEEL LIKE A SOLDIER: The ware on display at one of the stores near Russel Market in Bangalore. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar
FEEL LIKE A SOLDIER: The ware on display at one of the stores near Russel Market in Bangalore. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Deepika Arwind

From cargos to rucksacks, all are available on Army Street

Bangalore: In the labyrinths of the Shivajinagar market, each street has come to have a character of its own. One such street — Army Street — as the name suggests, specialises in gear for the armed forces and the police among others.

However, it seems that as military wear has become part of mainstream fashion, the buyers are becoming more and more varied.

Nadeem Sait, who runs Hind Stores, a set of two shops opposite each other, says: “We now see that more people from the field of security are buying from us. Every week trekkers and people shooting advertisements have begun to come to us.”

The most popular items among trekkers are shoes and boots, multipurpose belts and rucksacks. Hinges and ropes for mountaineering gear get sold very quickly.

Hind Stores, one of four or five stores that deal in such gear, has been around for 70 years now.

Mr. Sait says that he has seen the store deal with only customers from the military, who buy government-issue caps and jackets, to general buyers who now buy the same things without the monograms and writings.

“We have 10 to 15 customers a day, out of which about 10 are people from security, two or three from the military and at least one customer every day who is a trekker or buying our things to make a style statement.”

Trekking boots

Prashant, 27, an enthusiastic trekker, is a regular customer at Army Stores, right around the corner from Hind Stores. He buys a pair of trekking boots every year and camouflage pants before he takes off with his friends for his annual trek. “It is sturdy, reliable stuff and you cannot go wrong with buying it here,” he says. “Buying the same things from somewhere else, it’s more expensive and there is a chance it won’t last very long,” he adds.

He is probably right. All of the things that these stores are commissioned to sell are made of material that will last two or three years, Mr. Sait assures you. “Sometimes, when people want cargo pants and rucksacks for advertisements, they come here. They are mostly people from Bangalore who know about this place from their friends or relatives who used to buy things from here,” he adds.

Whether it is word of mouth or a defence connection within the family, Army Street can always be sure that apart from their regular customers, their stock of all things military will attract more people.

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