Let’s be honest, going clothing shopping is one of the most hectic tasks other than a 100m Marathon. You’re never really running but you’re almost always out of breath and overwhelmed with the amount of choices. And when you’re overwhelmed, you tend to buy unwanted items. Especially Colombo – the Fashion Capital of Sri Lanka has so many chic designer clothing stores, malls, department stores and international brands as well.

If you’re a Shopaholic who goes crazy at the sight of clothes, some stores can seriously trick you into buying unworthy dresses. If you’ve ever been fooled by a clothing store before (believe me, we all have), then it’s high time you learn the art of SHOPPING! Here’s the ultimate guide to shopping in Colombo!

Prior to setting off, here’s a set of basic shopping tips that you should adhere if you want to succeed on your shopping challenge.

Set yourself a budget first

If you’re Bill Gates, you could shop around Colombo till you’re out of cash and still have a list of items to purchase. Don’t hesitate on setting yourself a budget. So you don’t go too extravagant at the sight of fine clothing.

Set a timeframe (pick odd times)

Not every day is a shopping day. Decide a timeframe for your shopping spree. Expert advice is to avoid Sundays. Unless you’re shopping last minute for a festival or event. Odd times like weekdays are ideal for quality shopping as the stores aren’t busy and you’re not in a rush.

If you’re a picky person, go alone

Colombo can be diverse for a shopping lover. Different types of clothing for different types of people with taste in fashion from Linen to Batik to full-on Western and Indian styles. If you’re the type who gets lost in the midst of choices, we advise you to go alone. You’d make uninfluenced decisions and you can take as much time you need.

Fill up your tummy

Hungry heads make the worst decisions. Make sure you’ve fed yourself well before setting off on a shopping adventure. The best most missed out tip is eating well before setting out, that way you would make much wiser decisions. You can always try the super affordable and tasty fast-food restaurants in Colombo before or meanwhile shopping.

Let’s get to the topic now, shall we!? Colombo is, without doubt, the best shopping hub in the country for all sorts of people with different budgets. But here’s how you could master shopping in this bustling city.

Don’t trust Social Media Pages/Websites

Very few of the best shopping stores in Sri Lanka have up to date Websites like Odel, the rest is still at the beginning of the tech race. Their social media channels don’t showcase the best products and even if they do, it’s always too late when you get there.

Try Department stores

Sri Lanka has very few Department Stores. And even within those, there’s only a handful of names that would make it to any shopper’s spree. Find the best ones in Colombo that have all types of clothes like Odel, which would make your shopping experience easy and less tiring. Make sure you have a rough list of items that you want to buy, so you won’t get distracted.

Check for other places too

Quite sure most of the dresses in mediocre dress stores are imported or distributed by the same seller, so there’s a very large possibility that similar clothes are scattered around in various stores. However, the price tags would change varying to each brand reputation that’s been built.

However, this is not a case when it comes to chic-branded Sri Lankan dress stores such as Kelly Felder, GFlock and Odel where dresses are being designed and produced solely in Sri Lanka. These are high in quality and uniqueness as well. Make sure you’re in the lookout for the best while shopping.

Avoid International Brands

Sri Lanka is well known for its textile manufacturing. Duh! We produce for Victoria Secrets and some of the well-known overseas clothing brands. Why would we want to buy a product that has a double increased price tag, which may or may not has been made in Sri Lanka in the first place!

Be Patient

Patience is key for a successful shopping experience. One must not hurry unless of course you’re held between a tight timeline. Take your time and check it out well. Even if you’re excited and want to purchase something you saw at a glance, take your time, fit it on and decide whether you really need it, or would wear it. Take your time. Many of us make the mistake of buying clothes in a rush that we regret buying them later.

Fit-On is a Must

Believe me, there have been instances where we see something extremely adorable and we buy it right away without thinking twice. We are hesitant to fit it on because we fear it may not be our size and would have to let go. Expert advice is clothes can look wonderful on a perfectly slim mannequin, but on you, this is a different case.

Fitting room

At some stores in Colombo, dresses may look wonderful but once you fit on, it’ll look horrendous. This is mainly because most stores fill up their racks in clothes that have factory defects. (Apart from well-known brands of course). So if you have a doubt with the size or how it’ll look on you, go fit-it on. In the end, you may be saving some bucks over a lousy outfit.


So there you go! An expert guide to shopping in Colombo. It’s not always easy going shopping if you’re a crazy shopaholic but with these tips and tricks, you may learn to master the art of shopping after all. Do your own research on the best stores in Colombo and list down a set of items you’re planning to buy. It’s alright if you don’t have a plan at all. But a rough idea would do!

Categorized in:

Tagged in: