Photo: Endless cheap clothing stalls at Chatuchak.

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Cheap clothes shopping

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Thailand is known for its lush silks and elaborate textiles, but in Bangkok, cheap clothes abound. And while cheap once equated with not-very-fashionable, these days young Thai designers produce hip clothes that are absolutely worth seeking out. Here’s a selection of places to head if you’ve got a bag or two to fill up with the city’s affordable, fashionable threads.





But first: Be warned that clothing for both men and women in Thailand is generally made for people with no curves or folds, and who are, shall we say, on the shorter side. But you can still get lucky! A lot of tourist-oriented places now go up to larger sizes, though it’s true that these items of clothing may well have "I Heart Thailand" or cartoon elephants plastered across their fronts. Treat it as a treasure hunt though, and you may well strike gold.

If you don't think a cheap Hawaiian shirt is an essential purchase, we're not sure we can help you. Photo taken in or around Cheap clothes shopping, Bangkok, Thailand by Samantha Brown.

If you don't think a cheap Hawaiian shirt is an essential purchase, we're not sure we can help you. Photo: Samantha Brown

Know, too, that at most stores and stalls selling cheap clothing, you will not be able to try the pieces on before you buy them. Vendors will often have full-length mirrors on hand though, so you can sort-of check yourself out in your potential new garb. Do keep in mind that cheap clothes are often cheap for good reason: quality will not be that great. Check your garment for surprise sequins, inspect the hems for loose threads and unroll the sleeves of shirts to look for any stains.

If price tags are not dangling from the clothes, this means you’ll need to haggle for your purchase. As a rule of thumb, offer half of what the vendor’s starting price is, and work it upwards from there. Your position is always stronger if you’re buying multiple items. Keep it lighthearted, stay polite, and enjoy the game.

Cheap clothes at Chatuchak: Not always the most stylish. Photo taken in or around Cheap clothes shopping, Bangkok, Thailand by Samantha Brown.

Cheap clothes at Chatuchak: Not always the most stylish. Photo: Samantha Brown

So, where exactly to head? It will partly depend on where you are staying, as plenty of local markets or street stall areas will have at least some stalls selling bargain-basement-priced clothes. Ask at your guesthouse or hotel, and do try where they suggest. But then Bangkok offers some tried and true destinations that serious cheap clothes shoppers always make an effort to ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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