The growing specter of inflation in Pakistan is causing concern and anxiety for people from all walks of life. No one appears to be shielded from the relentless wave of inflation, which is not limited to just petrol prices; it is profoundly affecting the entire economic landscape of the country.
As the government imposes yet another burden of inflation on the public, some individuals find themselves grappling with the need to augment their income, while others struggle to make ends meet in their households. The relentless surge in living costs has even compelled some to forgo education and seek labor at an early age, illustrating the severe challenges inflation poses.
In this era of skyrocketing prices, managing a household has become an increasingly daunting task, and it is no longer an endeavor solely entrusted to a single individual. The pervasive impact of inflation is leaving virtually no one untouched.
The consequences of inflation are felt keenly by women and girls who have a penchant for fashion, as their passion for stylish attire is now compromised by the surge in prices. Creating new outfits has become a cherished hobby for many girls, serving as a source of confidence and self-expression. However, the escalating costs of fashion have taken their toll, and young women can no longer indulge in their sartorial desires as they once did.
One such fashion enthusiast, Nida Shah from Nowshera, laments the impact of inflation on her beloved pastime. Nida reveals that she used to dedicate her days and nights to her passion, meticulously curating an extensive wardrobe featuring outfits in every imaginable color and style. She would eagerly save screenshots of new designs, eagerly anticipating the day they would materialize as a part of her collection.
Nida’s passion for clothing was so profound that she even sought employment to fund her hobby. However, inflation has made it increasingly challenging to sustain her fashion-forward lifestyle. While Nida is employed in the teaching profession and has limited household responsibilities, she notes that her wardrobe no longer boasts the variety it once did. What used to be a budget that allowed her to create three or four outfits now barely suffices for one.
Another individual, Lubna Aftab, echoes these sentiments, observing that while inflation has surged, there hasn’t been a significant shift in clothing purchases. People continue to buy clothing in much the same manner as before. However, Lubna acknowledges that sales have taken on a newfound importance as individuals eagerly await the opportunity to purchase clothing and shoes at reduced prices that align with their budgets.
Worries about rising inflation are prompting individuals to rethink their clothing habits. Lubna, hailing from Wah Cantt, notes that, previously, a suit would typically only be worn once. However, the relentless increase in prices has led people to wear suits on multiple occasions, even when they may prefer not to do so. The exorbitant costs associated with buying a new suit for every function, along with the expense of coordinating shoes and jewelry, have become increasingly prohibitive.
Laila Ashfaq, a schoolteacher from Nowshera, emphasizes that clothing isn’t just a hobby for her; it’s a necessity. Her profession necessitates regular wear and tear on her clothing, and she emphasizes that although there is a proliferation of brands and clothing sales, the quality often leaves much to be desired. As a result, she frequently finds herself needing to replace her wardrobe items.
Laila employs a strategy of buying summer clothing during winter sales and vice versa, which offers some savings. Nevertheless, she conveys the heartache of witnessing even sale prices rise steeply, compounding the challenges faced by those who find solace and self-expression in the world of fashion.