Your designer pals have in-house production units, your mum’s Chandni Chowk darzis have all moved away, and the best sari blouses in the city are worn by politicians who never ever tell. So we asked (read: bribed, pestered and stalked) Delhi’s style mavens into showing us the needles in the haystack. Here’s bpb’s guide to Delhi’s best ladies’ tailors. You’re welcome.
Designer Alterations: Zahid Ali
Operating out of a tiny space in Sainik Farms, Zahid Ali Masterji makes his rounds of the city every Sunday and delivers excellent tailoring for Western and Indian wear. He’s especially recommended for his punctuality, and alters designer clothing – he’s worked on at least one Ralph Lauren jacket we know of – to perfection. Call 9871650912.
Date-Night Dresses: Naz Apparels
50 Dates In Delhi blogger Ameya Nagarajan gets breezy maxi dresses and form-fitting sari blouses from her tailors on MG Road, who are great at enhancing the samples you give them to copy. Main Market, D-2, Vasant Kunj. Call 01126134546.
Replica Rajahs: Zebaish Tailoring
Nizamuddin West’s legendary darzi comes recommended for practically everything a woman can wear, and is prized by Delhi’s best-dressed journalists. 20, Niz West market. Call 9891944603.
The “Utsav” Tailor: Keshav Ram
Saved in many phonebooks as the tailor-master from Utsav Saris, this tailor will come home, source material and sew both dresses and Indian outfits. His super-cute maternity clothes are a special reason to call him. Good news? Call 9810274059.
For Bag Ladies: Mr Battu
Mr Battu will design any sort of bag you might want, and is also good at repairs and bag care. He also makes wallets, belts and other leather accessories. Wazir Nagar, Street 3, Kotla Mubarakpur. Call 01124642223 or 9716982387.
Peter Pants: Pappu Masterji
Masterji may just make you the best pair of trousers you’ll wear in Delhi. Call 9971715317.
The Khan Quartet: Grovers; Delhi Cloth House; Bombay Tailors; Haryana Handloom House
Grover Cloth House: A central Delhi by-word for menswear, Grover’s also make trousers, suits and jackets for women with the same attention to cut and fit that has distinguished their work for male clientele. 47A, Khan Market, call 01124642051.
Delhi Cloth House: Sanjayji’s men’s style clothes (trousers and jackets) are cherished by lawyer-journalist and fashion blogger Avantika Mehta, who warned us that he takes ages to answer his phone (true) and two weeks to deliver on clothes. We’ve also heard, however, that DCH can deliver very quickly on orders, especially if you’re in a hurry to leave town. Is that why certain barrel-chested politicians get their kurta-pyjamas made here? 66-B, Khan Market, call 9810600137.
Bombay Tailors: Known for menswear, a little-known secret here is a tailor who will make well-fitted ladies’ trousers if he is given a sample. 49B, Prithviraj Market, call 01124619546.
Haryana Handloom House: The ace of the pack, our favourite artist aunt gets blouses to match her fabulous handwoven saris here. The Masterji is also a favourite of Harper’s Bazaar’s fashion director Edward Lalrempuia, who says they make superb jackets for women. 59B, Khan Market, call 01124647298.
Note: You’ll pay the price of the real estate at all these places. Unlike at some bars in the neighbourhood, though, their quality is assured.
For Blouses: Eve’s; Manisha; Karuna; Winrose; Rekha; Kritika Kalaan; Sunita Kalra; Siddhi; Nagma Fashions; Nilam Soni
Eve’s Tailors: We were ready to scratch Delhi’s most famous darzi off our list after an indifferent fitting, but 100% of our friends insist they’re the place to go when you need a good finish and a range of design options. Plus that “mother-in-law blouse” (with velcro-fastened straps to cover up its sexy stringiness when judgey maajis are in the house) isn’t made anywhere else. M-57, second floor, GK 1 main market, call 01146597408.
Manisha: A super-chic friend goes all the way from central Delhi to Vasant Enclave for this designer, who can do justice even to the flattest of chests. Call 910561350.
Karuna: Karuna couriers work to loyal customers who’ve moved out of the NCR but are hooked to her perfect fits. Cross the border (and fall). Call 9971311246 for appointments.
Winrose: This old-school establishment will make the best-fitted simple blouses in the Alaknanda area, or Even Greater Kailash as we like to call it. 107, Tulsi Tower, Alaknanda Shopping Complex or call 01126037760.
Rekha: This Patel Nagar blouse tailor comes recommended by multiple generations of West Delhi fashionistas. Call 9871124243.
Kritika Kalaan: Her clients are loyal to this Defence Colony designer for both her efficiency and her patience. She specialises in Indian wear and can do full trousseaux. Call 9811650816 for appointments.
Mr Khan of Nagma Fashion: This Uday Park tailor has a good eye for silhouettes. “He once took about twenty microscopic measurements for a boxy, structured sari blouse I wanted, and it turned out exactly the way I’d hoped,” says Elle editor Simran Bhalla. Call 9891544985. Closed Fridays.
Sunita Kalra: Def Col’s famous custom tailoring boutique, Feelings, is widely recommended for bling festive wear and sari blouses, but also universally cautioned for rush jobs in shaadi season. 32, Flyover Market, Defence Colony. Call 01129814672.
Siddhi: A gorgeous, complex ikat blouse we spotted on a friend was the work of Neeru at Siddhi in Gautam Nagar, who also does other kinds of Indian clothes. Call 01126567265 or 9811079783.
Nilam Soni: Publisher Priya Kapoor gets her sari blouses made by this Friends Colony (West) designer whose work comes at a hefty but justified price. Call 9899202543 for appointments.
Shankar Market Shakedown: Mehfooz, La Mode, Fashion House
Mehfooz Tailors: They’ve been around for nearly a century and the name (Urdu for “secure”) is warranted. Their fits for Indian women’s wear are flawless. Designer Anand Bhushan says they are “the only tailors I have found in Delhi who can get a fit right in one go!” Stall 42, Shankar Market, Connaught Circus, call 01123413119.
Fashion House: Run by Rekha, Fashion House comes recommended for being able to source nearly any kind of material, coming up with good ideas for cuts and fits, and great stitching. Pastry chef Kishi Arora also says to pay special attention to the chaatwala just outside, who does great sabudana and chawal golgappas. 67-68, Shankar Market. Call Rekha on 9810555058 and Masterji on 9810424285.
La Mode: Novelist and former bpb Delhi editor Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan gets all her r on-point dresses and skirts here. 41 Shankar Market, call 01123413651.
Alterations and Fitting: Guys and Dolls
M-block GK1’s other famous mainstay, G&D’s tailors come with a slew of recommendations for alterations and general fitting work, including that of Anand Bhushan, even though he warns that they may seem overpriced. Ground floor, M-27, GK1, call 9811659898 or 01129234592.
New Boyfriend: Pappu Masterji of Hauz Khas
Found near the NIFT Delhi campus, this Masterji is Vogue stylist Aradhana Baruah’s favourite; he makes her many front-open buttoned maxi dresses and is the best with boyfriend shirts, whose tricky length and waist issues he gets spot-on. Call him before you meet, since he’s always on the move. 9891309732.
Expat Faves: Mr Singh and Kuku Arora
Mr Singh: He works with the Canadian High Commission but will come home to tailor all kinds of Western wear, and also makes good children’s clothes. Call 9818652287.
Kuku Arora: Loved for his dressmaking skills, he works out of a studio in Saidulajab but only meets on appointment. Call 9811138280.
For Jersey Girls: Mukesh Masterji
Mukeshji does Western wear for a large foreign clientele, and is noted for his excellent cutting and stitching in jersey material. Will come home. Call 9811422664.
For Tiny (And Large) Dancers: Kisan Tailor
An older generation of dancers and theatre performers had costumes made by Chandni Chowk tailors, but as that tradition wound down, Kisan and his father took over. They now make dance and theatre costumes for many performing artists in the city, including Kuchipudi outfits for the Raja and Radha Reddy dance troupe. Call 7827004507.
Wedding Wear: Mallika Mathur
The city’s go-to shaadi designer may seem like the last person you want to call when everyone else you know in south Delhi is wearing her outfits, but she’s converted even the skeptics we know. Call 01141749910 for an appointment.
Here Comes The Broid: Arpita Kapur
Also in Panchsheel, Arpita designs and makes Indian clothes. Her specialty, and special interest, is embroidery. Call 9810638886.
Suit Boot Sarkar: Anish Tahim
This well-known men’s tailor does “very good women’s jackets too,” says one of Delhi’s most stylish sari-wearers, arts curator Himanshu Verma. New Prominent Tailors, K 25, Connaught Place, opposite Plaza Cinema, or call 23418655.
Back to Basics: MK Tailors
MK Tailors at Moti Bagh is all about location, location, location: this close to the city’s bureaucrats, they’re literally power dressers. Visit for all your basics: kurtas, tops, and blouses, says Shreya Manocha, assistant designer at Sailex. Shop no 31, Moti Bagh 1 market, or call 01124102826.
Just about Everything: Tofiq Masterji
Tofiq Master will commit to making anything you want overnight, and deliver. His forte is anarkalis, but he will even dye your curtains at a pinch. Kotla Mubarakpur market, call 9911589918.
Bon Homie: Lal Mohammad
An expert in both Indian and Western clothing, Lal Mohammad Master will make you a whole wardrobe if you like. He’s the soul of efficiency and comes home to fit and to deliver. Call 8130206252.
I Have Sindh: Poonam
Poonam’s alterations and tailoring are great, especially if she’s making a pre-cut salwar kameez. She’s very good at making Pakistani-style suits, so maybe you won’t have to fill out forms in triplicate at the High Commission to get your next gharara. At Siya, near Slice of Italy, Shahpur Jat. Call 9560916915 or 9990224915.
When In Lajpat: Alka
Alka at Fashionet in Lajpat Nagar is an excellent finisher and embroiderer. You should visit her with a style in mind, however. Call 9711289070.
Denim: Wow Jeans
Mohan Singh Place is Delhi’s blue heart, but of its tailors, designers and retailers – all with nothing but jeans on offer – Wow stands out for the quality and ranges of their patches, rivets, and other doo-dabs. A good number to pocket. 70, Mohan Singh Place, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, CP. Call 01123340771 or 9873192044.
Trousseaux: Shakil Master
Our fashion-forward friend who’s getting married in New Moti Bagh this summer has been calling Shakil Master, who will come home and make all kinds of Indian wear, bridal included, and deliver in time. Call 9911860868.
Contributions by Aarthi Rajan, Abhilasha Ojha; Ameya Nagarajan, Ambika Muttoo, Anand Bhushan, Aparna Jain, Aradhana Baruah, Avantika Mehta, Bhuvi Gupta, Chiki Sarkar, Chinki Sinha, Edward Lalrempuia, Himanshu Verma, Jayati Sanan, Kishi Arora, Malati Shah, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, Meher Varma, Naintara Maya Oberoi, Nandini Gandhi, Pakshalika Jayaprakash, Priya Kapoor, Shloka Vaidialingam, Simran Bhalla, Shreya Manocha, Sohiny Das, Sonal Shah, Vedica Kant, Viseshika Sharma, Yamini Lohia.