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South Africans got style and variety

Over the last week, I took the liberty of visiting some of the malls within Johannesburg. When one is coming from Zimbabwe, the options are significantly overwhelming.

Fashion and Beauty with Heather R

For starters, they have a plethora of shopping malls, so what you do not find at one, you may go and look for elsewhere, although I realised that chain stores do not stock the same merchandise in different malls.

Sometimes what you find at one mall, you will not be able to find anywhere else, so if you see something that you like, you better buy it.

Their malls have embraced local as well as international brands and stores, such as Cotton On, Mango, Zara and Top Shop. When it comes to shopping options, South Africa is anything but limited. This explains why its citizens are able to use their dressing as a means of self-expression.

Whatever they require for self-expression, they can find.
Trend followers have access to trends as soon as they come out. The stores are teaming with the latest trends and mannequins clad in them draw you into the stores.

There are also vintage stores around the city, so you can purchase some fashion antiques.

And the promotions! Something Zimbabwe should really look at imitating soon are the, “buy 1 get 1 free”, “buy 3 for the price of 2” promotions and the relocation, end of range or end of season sales. You are guaranteed to find something good on sale. I just loved it. They also offer airtime promotions when you recharge your phone. These kind of things make your rand go further.

There are less expensive, but good quality alternatives to designer trends, where we have the Chinese alternative to designer brands. You can look good for less and be assured that your clothes will not come apart at the seams during their first wash.

In Zimbabwe, price conversions from US dollars to rand, of everyday items like toiletries is heart-wrenching because a good number of them are overpriced.

In South Africa, it is interesting how one is slightly hesitant to spend when they see the price initially. For example, I needed to buy a Clinique bar soap for R185 and I remember being quoted US$25 when I was at home.

Initially, I thought “gosh, that’s a lot” but after a quick mental conversion I realised that it costs less in rand. I must say that the favourable rate is extremely beneficial and I am loving it, while of course South Africa is not, but like they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

For once the price conversion is positive because in Zimbabwe, you think thrice before spending anything. You ask yourself whether you know anyone coming down soon or when next you will be able to go down south. At times however, neither of these are a possibility, so you just have to buy, with your eyes closed.

I love what the women in South Africa do with their hair. They are either proudly African with their natural hair blown out or twisted or braided in the most fascinating and creative hairstyles or they can look like they are aspiring to be an African American video girl with the weaves, artificial nails, eyelash extensions and made up faces.

Johannesburg, compared to Cape Town for instance, really puts the pressure on to be fashion forward. In order to relieve yourself of the pressure, you can choose not to be a part of it at all or you can do all you can to keep up. The better alternative would be to set your own standard. Find what works for you and rock it like you are fresh off the Parisian cat walks.

I went into the mall with one of the guys I had travelled with. The following day he was wearing a slim fitting pair of shorts and plimsolls. He said he felt so out of place the other day at the mall that he decided to step it up.

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