I dislike going to formal events. There, I said it. I would rather be stuck in my room the whole day than spend two hours on a cocktail event or a ball. I own a few dresses but I doubt they would pass the “formal” style that most night events are asking for. So my dilemma for a few days now is where to go and get an affordable gown (because surprise surprise, I need one) that will not make me look underdressed but is not over the top too. Friends have been suggesting haraj and I have no problems with going there and wearing gowns from haraj but I don’t have enough time to go there on a weekend morning (the most favorable time they say). I also don’t have time to have someone sew me a gown. The most ideal way would be to go RTW. But where?!?
I posted the question in The Pink Tarha’s Facebook page and our dear readers were so kind to suggest malls and places. One place that caught my attention was Al Mousa Shopping Mall because it was mentioned a few times and everyone seemed to agree that it’s the place where I can get an affordable gown. Al Mousa Shopping Center is in Olaya Street, thankfully the part where there is less traffic and is not subjected to the construction that is going on in the busy street. It right across King Fahd Library. When I first saw it, I thought I’ve already been to this shopping mall but I couldn’t remember when and why exactly. Because this is the first time I am in need of a gown that is red carpet-worthy.
True enough, I already saw a few dress boutiques when me and my friend entered. I think I gawked at the details before I can even take another step. If there’s one thing that I love about dresses, it’s the details. Embroidered? Embellished with gems and stones? Adorned with lace? There are some boutiques in Al Mousa that sell expensive gowns. They go up to SR 2,000. Whoaaah! I can already buy a wedding gown at that price! Not that I’m in the process of currently buying one. Haha! You know how many dresses I can buy with SR 2,000 already?! A LOT. However, there are some beautifully embroidered and embellished ones go for SR 1,000 up. It really depends on your style and what you’re looking for. I suggest you keep your choices classy.
I was looking for an affordable gown. I only have SR 200 in my budget. I was starting to doubt my decision to go RTW because of the prices I was seeing until I stumbled upon one of the stores that has SPECIAL OFFER on their glass windows. I entered the store and that’s where my indecisiveness struck. There were so many gowns with nice cuts and colors and styles that went for SR 100 up to SR 500. The problem with me is my size but we entered one store and they have gowns in UK sizes (easier to choose!). There are so many designs to choose from! Kaloka! (Crazy!)
There are also tailors at the back of some stores that can alter the gowns. Just pay an additional SR 50 (or above depending on what needs to be done). My friend requested adjustments to her peach princess ball gown that we bought for SR 300 and she paid SR 50 for the alterations. You better take a friend with you when you go gown shopping because it’s really hard to choose on your own. A friend would point out what’s good and what doesn’t look good on you. Unless she’s also indecisive like you.
At the ground floor, I saw stores for men’s clothing. The suits go for SR 1,000 up.
Looking at the window displays reminded me why this place seemed familiar. This was one of the first few places I went to when I was new in Riyadh (ermn six years ago) because my father bought suits for his work. It’s one of those malls that are not quite forgotten but are not as crowded as they’re used to. There’s a Chinese restaurant on the second floor and a Turkish restaurant on the first. I know because all that shopping made us hungry and the shawarma from Yilmaz Restaurant was filling enough.
I didn’t found the gown I wanted during this trip to Al Mousa Shopping Mall but I bought one evening dress just in case I really couldn’t find any thing else. However, this being a popular place to shop for gowns, it’s worth a trip when you need a dress for your next event. 😉
Al Mousa Shopping Mall
Olaya Street, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia