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Jennifer Obiuwevbi: So You Have this “Razz” Dress Too?

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BellaNaija Style Stock Photo - BellaNaija - December 2015_001 A few weeks ago, I made the long overdue decision to buy some new clothes. I’m not exactly the shopping type, but when I saw a photo from 2 years ago wearing a top I had said I would get rid off, but still own, I decided buying some new things wouldn’t hurt.

So I went shopping. I must confess, I was pretty pleased with what I bought…until my friend Seyi called one of the dresses ‘razz’. “So you’ve joined the 5 million girls in Lagos that have this dress? You want to be number five million and one abi? Why did you waste your money? This dress is razz now!

The dress in question was a stunning red high-low dress – you know, one of those dresses with a short hemline in front and a longer one at the back. Everyone has this dress, and I decided I wanted to own one too. I had no idea it was now ‘razz’.

I looked at the dress and looked back at her, all the while thinking – “Why is it ‘razz’?” It’s not a piece from an exclusive collection. And almost every designer I know has one version of this dress. So what’s the problem?

Some minutes later Seyi leaves my room, and as I am putting the dress up in my closet, I’m still wondering why she called it ‘razz’. Is it because, in her words, 5 million Lagos girls have it? Or maybe it’s because it’s no longer trendy? Perhaps it’s the fact that you’ll find it in every shape, colour and fabric in stores under the bridge in Ikeja.

Is it the same with hair? Why are synthetic weaves seen as ‘razz’ but braids aren’t. After all, braids have been in circulation since I can remember and every year people still get their hair braided. Is it because braids are a classic look like wearing a white shirt?

I felt a post brewing so I asked a few of my girlfriends and colleagues, and came to the conclusion that pieces & trends can become ‘razz’ due to a few reasons;

1. The people that wear the piece
A few people expressed that trends can become ‘razz’ when a certain type of person wears it. It could be someone who isn’t as rich or as popular as you, and their status automatically diminishes the price of the item. For example, if Agbani Darego rocked a top that was quite expensive to buy, and a regular everyday girl rocked the same top, because she’s not a celebrity, it would automatically tell on Agbani’s fashion status and her decision to buy the top.

I once heard that some celebrities only shop from expensive designers to reduce the likelihood of running into someone else with the same piece. I understand that celebrities might feel the need to stand out because a lot of eyes are on them, but I also think fashion is made for everyone. If you like it, wear it, no matter who else is wearing it with you.

I once showed up at an event wearing the same dress as another guest. It could have been awkward for both of us, but instead we took selfies together, laughed over it and other guests did too. They even started calling us twins, although it did start to get annoying after a few hours. I digress – my point is I think it only becomes a problem when you make it one.

2. Where you buy the piece
This one is specially from Seyi. She thinks every item that isn’t bought on the island is ‘razz’. To her, location is very important, and she would not be caught dead shopping at Allen/Opebi or Ikeja. And the funny thing is, a few of my friends agreed.

Their argument is – you’re most likely going to get great pieces, that are not available just anywhere, on the island. This is because retailers on the island have more money to shop abroad or have their clothes made professionally. In other words, rich people who sell clothes on the island will provide expensive pieces that are rare because of their pricing. The smaller the number people that can afford the pieces and wear them, the lesser the chance of that piece being popular and then ‘razz’.

3. The variations of the piece available
We all know that really popular trends get serious makeovers. And sometimes those makeovers don’t end well.

Take the infamous Rihanna hairstyle – the shut up & drive/umbrella pixie cut. After that video dropped everyone wanted to copy Rihanna’s new bad girl look, and after some time, hair stylists started creating new variations to keep up with their customer’s needs.

We started seeing the hairstyle in various colours & shapes and the look got our of hand really fast. Soon enough, everyone started to call it ‘razz’, and just like the plague, people started avoiding the look until it faded away.

When I heard this point I had to bring up braids again. I cannot begin to count the variations of braids out there –  from jumbo braids & marley braids to million braids & twists, you don’t see people leaving the trend alone. Are braids that embedded in our culture that we have refused to let it go? What makes it different from the Rihanna look?

4. The pricing
Everyone I asked brought this point up. They say, if a piece is too cheap, then that automatically mean it’s ‘razz’. I know someone who has sworn off shopping in Ikeja, because she thinks the fact that the pieces are cheap means everyone will have them, and they would be made with cheap fabrics.

Does cheap equal razz? Or does it boil down to how expensive making the piece was?

5. When the trend is over
You remember how I said my friend called my dress ‘razz’? Well, one reason she gave as to why she called it ‘razz’ was because the trend was no longer hot. It’s like someone just opening a Facebook page today. She was like “where were you when people were wearing it? If you wear it now, you would look like you’re not on trend. And that can be bad”. I didn’t even want to know what she meant by that.

If a piece is no longer trending, does that really mean you can’t wear it anymore? And what if you wear it? It’s not like the world is going to implode. Would the worst case scenario be people calling what you’re wearing or even you ‘razz’?

I’m sure you all have your ideas of what makes a trend razz and I definitely want to hear them. Share them below – what are your thoughts?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/PhotographerLondon

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

41 Comments

  1. JADE

    December 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    My thoughts are that you need to change friends and fast too! what sort of shallow thinking is this????

    • Ada Nnewi

      December 11, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      Same thing I thought

    • www.thelmathinks,com

      December 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Hia. Just this small things and she needs to change friends fast? Some people sha…

    • nena

      December 11, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Calm down, close friends talk like that to each other, kind of like teasing eachother

    • T

      December 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      as in…very shallow and narrow minded

  2. Chic

    December 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    For those who listen to what so-called “opinionated in every-one’s matter” kind of people. I won’t even give you that chance to run your mouth around me. Just mind your business, and keep your nose off mine!!!!!

  3. deedee

    December 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    insecurity issues.. you wear clothes to look good and not cos A celebrity wore this so you should cut your hand to wear it, or if it has reign and pass meaning its not worth wearing again, except its a hideous outfit that just needs to be out of fashion, like dem flourescent neon leggings , but then again people who like sparkly clothes might like them. Bottom line is wear what you like, what suits you and not based on cos its trendy or cos WhoshotJohn is rocking or has rocked it..
    Be content

    • bae

      December 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      @deedee you forgot to mention that also buy what you can afford. Some expensive pieces can also look ‘razz’. I also see some on Instagram and I’m like realliiii?! Haba! Why naa?!
      What matters most is how you carry yourself.. Rock a t-shirt from under bridge Ikeja that costs 500 box and a pair of jeans you will look well as long as you carry yasef well.

  4. whocares

    December 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    all these criteria for razzness. If you notice Jennifer it is based on their perception of what people think as opposed to what they themselves think. That is not the way to drive fashion forward or even think at all. Who cares about the location you buy a cloth from, or the price or trend?. I shop wherever I want., including charity shops. I have found some good clothes there and I even go looking for decent charity shops to buy things from. I also wear whatever I want (within the ambit of reasonableness of course. lol) The other day I sent my friend a message how I left my house in an ankara scarf, jogging bottoms, faux fur jacket and combat boots (all colours rioting of course). LMAOO. just to the salon ni o. To some people I looked mental (see the looks I received at the salon) although within my area, so many hippies so I fit right in. lool. I embrace every style and variation of fashion. So all these rules I do not understand. If I had to though, Razz for me is synonymous with tacky dressing of any kind, and I am very liberal but you will know the type of tacky I refer to when you see it. I also hate leopard prints and cotton material. That is my personal bias and I have been known to dismiss nice clothes because they are made of cotton (you know those cheap cotton materials) besides that I am pretty laid back as to appreciating fashion. However, If you wear tights or leggings (those cotton leggings that show camel toe) and you nack t-shirt on top, I will call you razz. TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS and I do not need to see your camel toe! (lool. yes, I am still on my soapbox)

  5. Olayemi

    December 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Better change your friends before they ruin you.

  6. Olu

    December 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    fake ass people. …
    …and yet we want things to get better in our dear country.

  7. Abimbola

    December 11, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Clothes are made to be worn. I don’t understand the reasoning of being razz or not razz . This is the kind of thinking that fuels our excessive consumerism culture.we buy things we don’t need and things we can re-use instead of buying.There’s a lot of bandwagon effect in Nigeria. I just think we should find what suits us individually. Cut your clothe according to your fabric.
    Personally ,I buy clothes for the lowest prices possible even second hand and I dress really well:) #ifidosaysomyself

  8. Great Lady

    December 11, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    You need to change your friends ASAP. You guys are obviously not on the same page.

  9. www.thelmathinks,com

    December 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I think I stopped caring about “razz” in secondary school. Provided my clothes, hair and other apparel are of good quality or decent at the very least then i’m good to go. Meanwhile I need me a couple of those dresses! They’re everywhere as you’ve said yet I just can’t seem to find one for myself. It’s always a case of the front being way too short for me or something.

  10. smh

    December 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Can’t say it’s shocking that people are as shallow as your “friend”. People that place such importance on trivialities are pitiful. What is wrong with shopping on the mainland??!!! Most old money people live on the mainland or once had homes there so not sure why there is this equation of mediocrity to that side of Lagos. Not all stores on the Island stock quality products. Some shop owners buy inferior goods, display them attractively and fool supposed smart shoppers like your shallow friend into paying exorbitant prices for the same goods people like her were avoiding purchasing in “low class mainland”. I shop at Primark as well as Reiss, French Connection etc. You simply buy what you like. It’s really not that serious. Your possessions shouldn’t be a determinant of your self worth.
    P.S. Apologies…I know it’s long.

    • Bolu

      December 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      “Your possessions shouldn’t be a determinant of your self worth” Gbam!

  11. Teris

    December 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    IMO some of ur points tie-back to one thing — which u got kind of wrong.
    an item that goes razz is typically caused by the item becoming available to a “razz person” OR to someone with a poor put-it-together sense.

    usually, this is caused by a drop in the price (affordability) or availability of poor imitations of the original.
    believe me, if u found a clean boutique which stocked unique pieces in Mushin enh, worst case scenario is that u will pay the seller t.fare to lug the goods to ur home.

    the bit about out of fashion merely tags u a behind-the-times person. or conservative or something but not razz.
    a clean, responsible look worn well can never be razz. quite the opposite.

  12. mrs chidukane

    December 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Jennifer don vex! Nne don’t mind those people. Wear what you like as long as it looks good on you and the trend isn’t too dated so you don’t look old school. I don’t miss shopping at Island market when I’m in Lagos oh. Most of the clothes I’ve bought there for cheap have good quality and I haven’t seen them anywhere else.

  13. tamunotonye

    December 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    As long as it looks good on me, don’t care what anyone thinks.

  14. Tina

    December 11, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Your friends are small girls which suggests that you must be a small girl too because you are actually putting thought to what they thinj

  15. FATRON

    December 11, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    And who says, the so called” island boutique” could even be selling some stuffs from Kantagora*wink* yes keh.
    So you see its not about the location its about the personality, your carriage.
    So go tell your friends that travel from Akute to buy cloth on the island ,that, they might be wrong afterall.

    • Tosin

      December 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      10Q o.
      i know myself.

  16. Jojo

    December 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I love the shock on people’s faces when I tell them what they thought was human hair is actually synthetic hair,infact I also include the price sef bottom line is my self confidence is infectious ooo if you like shop at the moon me I go rock my yaba outfit like Kim kardashian people won’t tell the difference! I cannot live above my means because of anybody ooo There are kids and bills to pay bikonu

    • ATL's finest

      December 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      @ Jojo lol I wish I could like your comment 10x. This sound just like me; Folks go ahead & buy all the designers in the world and still turn out a HOT mess. As long as I’m looking great and I’m comfy in my own skin ( as ALWAYS), I’m good.

    • Tosin

      December 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      why’d you have to bring her into this? #mean

  17. Miss T

    December 11, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    well, i am particularly this concerned about my hair not clothes lol, i love me a good hair that get people saying ‘LOVELY HAIR’ all the time lol, i don’t really care abt clothes jare, so long it looks gud on me nobody’s opinion counts.

  18. fixnigeriaseries

    December 11, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    It’s a bit unnerving – the fixation on price and location from which clothes are purchased in the article. The whole point of fashion is about creativity – at least to me. I usually enjoy the way individuality comes through in outfit choices – I mean who remembers those teen mag sections on “What are you wearing” and the answer would be a scarf from Chanel, a skirt from a charity shop, blah blah, and the mixture of these fashion pieces from diverse sources would come together to bring a great-looking ensemble. When everyone wants to look like a Chanel doll or a Prada puppet, what’s the beauty in that? Besides, if you are not buoyant will you go naked? Please nobody needs that kind of pressure to always shop pricey – that’s what leads young girls into stupid aristo runs. Go for what you think looks pretty and is appropriate to your body type, mix and match and let your personal uniqueness come through if you want to – fashion is a healthy way to encourage your creative juices and get you into the mood to think of out-of-the-box ideas to spark your personal productivity.

    • Angel

      December 11, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      @fixnigeriaseries, you said it all ?

  19. Jojo

    December 11, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    @ATL thanks Jare leave all these designers especially naija so called designers I jump una pass ooo una no go count me join una maga tufiakwa!!! Shout out to my tailor chinyere that can recreat anything I dream of for far less

  20. Laila

    December 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Really, your persona should announce itself before your clothes. If uve got a great personality, people will generally forgive even a bad faux pas, but will not judge you by your clothes. If ure a stereotype crowd blender, then yes, your clothes will define you.

  21. Tosin

    December 11, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    i have one razz dress that i can’t wait to rock for Christmas ,
    k’Olorun d’emi si (may God preserve our lives till then)
    you know this shine-shine bobo form-fitting dress, my own now has different colours like Jamaican flag. i just had to have it.

  22. Cece

    December 11, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Its sad because women who live abroad with super good jobs or businesses earning a lot of money in pounds dont behave like Lagos or shall i say Nigar girls.

    I have even heard that Kate Middleton wore a certain blazer from Zara,U.K which she may have decided to buy from a designer instead. We all know a lot of chicks shop in Zara,right?
    But this is a Royal classy Princess who couldnt care less about someone else on the street wearing it, how much more those fake gals in Lagos. And Kate Middleton is even higher in rank than any celebrity here.

    In another example, there is UK Store Primark which sells cheap items and there is nothing wrong with picking something from there and combining it with what’s seen as an expensive item from another store.

    In summary, a lot of Nigar girls are not real to themselves. Thank God im not one of them

    • Belema

      December 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      You made your point and it was very logical until you said “Its sad because women who live abroad with super good jobs or businesses earning a lot of money in pounds dont behave like Lagos or shall i say Nigar girls.”; that part of your comment was very stupid. Excuse you, they’re also many girls are women in Nigeria who make just as much, or even MUCH MORE than people in the UK and the U.S. I honestly didn’t get the pint you were trying to make with that part. ????

    • Belema

      December 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      Many girls and women*

    • abi

      December 11, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      You missed the point completely. I for one, work with young women who earn upwards of £60k who do not judge themselves or any one else based on where they shop. These ladies have very expensive but understated wardrobes but will be quick to compliment someone with good taste regardless of their price tag or the location of their shop of choice. My friend can spend thousands of pounds on a handbag and yet we chat extensively about fashion all the time even though all my handbags don’t come up to £1k.
      I can wear a peplum dress in london and no one cares but in Nigeria an educated person will associate it with my social status. Smh.
      I wonder if fashion chains can ever work in Nigeria. The different branches would have to stock different items based on location? We need help.

  23. daisy

    December 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    This write up is so funny and shallow.
    I have a shop in balogun, logos island and I buy from the UK, US and Turkey. Same places and shops your island boutiques buy from.
    I just think your friends have overrated themselves.
    There are so many times you can get good and unique things if you are patient to actually search for it.

    Do you know boutique owners patronise us in Balogun market too? So forget about all these island boutique shenanigans.

  24. deb

    December 11, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    There was one day I was interviewing this struggling guy to help me draft a safety policy for and oil and gas company, I lived in alausa then, &during the course of our discussion, he said”i don’t really come to the mainland I usually do all my stuffs on the island”&i rolled my eyes &told him so if you are called from saki to come make money u will say no, well I dint give the job to him. BTW there are lovely shops on Opebi, allen& toyin&in all these shops the cheapest dress I have bought is 25k. There are some other shops that you pay in $$$. So I wonder, the island hype. As far as I am concerned if you don’t live in ikoyi, then don’t pose.

  25. ziti

    December 11, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Is this kind of living not to stressful? Isn’t daily living challenging enough, you now add more pressure on yourself to always look/behave/be seen a certain way… why not spend time/energy/money on fun, memorable things? (well what do I know, maybe image consciousness is fun to them).
    The end of the matter: to each her own. Which reminds me…what interesting thing shall I do this weekend? Thank God it’s weekend yippie!!

  26. Bev

    December 12, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Here in America, shops do promos, ,clearance sales where people get things at cheaper prices. Black Friday sales give people opportunities to buy things cheaply, so buying cheap is not razz. What even is sef? Why are you buying it if ýou didn’t see it on somebody. Abeg. Last black Friday sales, me and my friends bought Aldo products cheaply and so many other people too, so razz, go chill for corner. Your friends are fickle minded.

  27. sally

    December 13, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Sm of d Island boutiques shop @ balogun 2….der waz a dress I saw @ a boutique on d island @ 25K but later saw d same dress @ 15K on d mainland….mind u it waz not d Aliexpress version cos it was exactly d same quality….d Island guy was complain about d rent dey pay wch waz y cloths cost more on d Island

  28. Ephi

    December 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Elitism and “class” in Nigeria will be our undoing , I shake my head.

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