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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Dalydress: Modest Basics in Cairo's Citystars
Amidst the masses of international brands in Cairo’s Citystars mall, Egyptian brands are often overlooked. Some shoppers prefer foreign brands because they seem to be trendier and of better quality. At least, that’s what they think. Quality-wise, the best clothing should theoretically be made in Egypt since Egyptian cotton is globally praised and sought after for its excellent quality. One of the most prominent Egyptian brands right now is Dalydress. With branches all over Cairo, the Citystars branch is located in Phase 1 on the first floor near Vero Moda, Mango and Stradivarius.
Dalydress has men’s wear, women’s wear and a small kids department as well. Design-wise, it probably won’t leave you in total ecstasy; at least not for the women’s wear line. In case you ever wondered where all the long denim skirts half of the female Egyptian population wear come from, Dalydress seems to be the one to blame. You can best describe the style of clothing at Dalydress as modest, and the shop is a paradise for basics. With simple shirts and leggings starting at 100LE, this is almost a bargain considering its high quality.
Jeans start off at 380LE. The quality of the fabric is good but the jeans are cut with a fairly high waistline. Most of the dresses are basic block colours and priced at around 500LE. The fancier designs cost around 700LE.g
The brand’s bags department is surprisingly good. Starting at 250LE and reaching 1300LE, the bags are really trendy and of good quality. This reviewer found the shoe department slightly disappointing. Shoes start around 500LE and though they are well-made, the designs are a bit outdated with square noses and ruches.
Dalydress also has an in-house luxury brand called Derhy. The Derhy line has evening wear such as chic, tailored dresses and skirts. With prices starting at 1000LE, it is fairly expensive. Though there are some nice pieces in the collection, most are rather tacky to say the least. There are a lot of see-through fabrics, shiny materials and glitter. The Derhy line includes some clothing for young girls, including dresses starting at around 599LE.
The men’s department has a wide range of shirts starting at 199LE and reaching up to 600LE. T-shirts cost around 100LE, while polo shirts cost 199LE. The men’s wear designs are basic and unadventurous. Jeans start at 350LE, sneakers are available for 250LE and above, and smart leather shoes start at 700LE.
If you are looking for well-made and not extremely expensive basics, then Dalydress is the shop for you. If you want trendier clothing, then perhaps you should give Dalydress a miss.
Shopping in Cairo is becoming increasingly eclectic with international brands popping up in every corner. The latest brand to grace our city with its return is Topshop, which had previously closed down its only shop in Maadi due to the political and social instability of the past few years.
Located in Cairo Festival City, Topshop, at first glance, retains its urban high-fashion meets high street vibe. From the lights focused on the mannequins to the neon signs leading to every section of the store, you cannot help but get absorbed into the hip, dare we say, post-modern theme. The clothes also generally carry a more high-end than high-street appearance.
The staff was generally friendly, but not overly eager. They’d stop by, say hi and tell us to call for them if we need any help, but would not insist on accompanying us all throughout our visit, which was refreshingly liberating.
We immediately began scanning the women’s section to see what they had to offer and all we can say is we found a handful of items that will totally transform us into street style fashion icons. A formal powder pink jumpsuit (949LE) definitely caught our eye, as did a striped skater dress (519LE) and a cosy fluffy jumper (579 LE). The store also carries a special “petite” line, for all the smaller-sized ladies out there.
We moved on to the shoes and accessories section, where there were plenty more goodies for Cairo’s fashion-conscious to drool over. Our favourites included a small leather backpack (549LE), heeled suede boots (1349LE), a sturdy handbag (719LE) and some chic flat loafers (449LE).
The men’s line, Topman, was no disappointment either. Some of our finds there included casual sweatshirts (449LE), summery tank-tops (249LE), all kinds of fitted jeans (480LE-600LE) and an array of t-shirts (319LE). Men can accessorise too, with some knitted icecaps (129LE), as well as normal caps (280LE).
We all need some fashion advice, especially when we cannot get our significant other, friends, or mother to accompany us on our shopping trips, and so the store’s unique personal shopper service can be a life saver. For no extra charge, the store’s resident stylist can help you pick out an outfit or put one together for you from scratch.
All in all, Topshop offers a shopping experience that is one-of-a-kind. The sales personnel were helpful but not too overly-attached, and the new service they’re offering is definitely a game changer. The only downside is that many of the items carry hefty price tags – price tags that are, through experience, more than the quality and longevity in the garments offered.