T Nagar has great shopping, especially at Pondy Bazaar and in the Panagal Park area. Many of Kanchipuram's finest silks turn up in Chennai, and the streets around Panagal Park are filled with silk shops; this is where you buy your sari.
Nungambakkam’s shady Khader Nawaz Khan Rd is a lovely lane of increasingly upmarket designer boutiques, cafes and galleries.
Even as Chennai expands relentlessly to the south, west and north, George Town, the local settlement that grew up near British Fort St George, remains the city's wholesale centre. Many of its narrow streets are entirely devoted to selling one particular product, as they have been for hundreds of years – jewellery on NSC Bose Rd, paper goods in Anderson St. Even if you aren't buying, wander the mazelike streets to see Indian life flowing seamlessly from the past into the present.