(Note to German readers/Vorwort an deutsche Leser: Diesen Bericht habe ich in Englisch gelassen, weil meine Favoriten kein Deutsch verstehen! Wenn man die jeweilige Muttersprache nicht spricht, ist Englisch die Kommunikationssprache. Bitte um Einsicht.)
Now to the actual report.....
The first time I saw a woman dressed in the salwar kameez, it immediately struck me as being the prettiest, most elegant, yet comfortable-looking fashion I have ever seen!
Meanwhile, decades later, thanks to eBay and the Internet, I, now living in Germany, am able to purchase the salwar kameez in the widest array of colors, patterns and materials from India and Pakistan at an affordable price without having to travel!
Due to the Bollywood craze in Germany, it is becoming easier in the city I live in to purchase the salwar kameez. However, the quality and selection of the suits being sold is nowhere near that of what can be purchased via eBay auctions or in eBay shops.
It took me quite awhile to get to know who is out there selling, and what quality material and tailoring is being offered. It has been a process, but one which has been an adventure, and lots of fun.
Today I have my favorite sellers. As with anything, I had to weed out the good from the bad. I must add, what did not work for me, might just work for someone else. Tastes and styles are very different. And sometimes it is a question of luck. But if I have been unlucky several times in a row, well, I can only give a seller so many chances....
I don't know about you, but whenever I make a purchase, I do not want to have to rely on being lucky to get the actual item as described and shown in the photograph, and have it fit!
Meanwhile after testing many different sellers, I have narrowed the selection down to a few with whom customer satisfaction and fairness is the rule and doing business with them is not like playing a game of Russian roulette!
Originally I had two of my favorite sellers listed here, one in India and one in Pakistan. However, due to the fact that the 3rd shipment in a row from both sellers(!) was not made to my measurement specifications, I had to delete that link. Unfortunately, that is how it truly is. Mistakes do happen, and actually it is quite common. There are no 100% guarantees doing business long distance.
A certain amount of trial and error with various sellers was necessary before I was able to get the fit and find the quality I like. Those who prefer their clothes on the loose or baggy side will probably not have any problems. On line you will find many forms and/or formulas for getting your correct measurements.
However, I like my kameez to be on the somewhat fitted side, so a lot of experimenting was necessary. Sometimes the suits would not turn out as I expected, partially due to error on my part, or to error on the part of the seller. If the error was mine, I simply owned up to it and chalked it up to valuable experience. Most honorable sellers offer a 100% refund if the error was theirs.
An imporant note: no matter who I dealt with, although the sellers will tell you you can have any design you want, it is better to stay away from Western fashion style requests. The tailors in India and Pakistan do beautiful work with their own traditional styles. Perhaps I was simply unlucky, but because it repeatedly did not work out for me, I now try to stick to the salwar or churidar styles. As for the styling of the kameez, I leave the decision up to the tailor. That always works out best, and the results are so very worth that little element of surprise.
At a later date I would like to pass on my experience in greater detail to prospective buyers on how to get the fit you like--the first time around!
Will gladly reply to any email requests.
I can only encourage you to give the salwar kameez a try. You won't regret it.