You can buy really lovely Mexican style clothes like cotton flowy manta here in Chapala and Ajijic. A manta is a white cotton shirt typically worn by a lot of Mexicans that resembles linen but feels a lot fresher than linen. Mantas are available in lot of new little retail clothing shops in and around Chapala and Ajijic.
I personally shop more in Guadalajara, but the choice on whether to shop in Chapala and Ajijic or in Guadalajara depends greatly on the style you’re looking for. As an example, expats will find most of the Mexican men are wearing “guayabera,” the typical Mexican lightweight button up shirts with pockets. Guayaberas look very fresh, and you can get them in any color, design and style.
There is a small-sized mall in Chapala and Ajijic, which is comparable to American-style malls. As far as clothing goes, Chapala and Ajijic are slowly but surely improving the products and brands offered. Around town, you’ll find most of everything you need. If the town doesn’t have what you need, Guadalajara is only 40 minutes away. Guadalajara is also where you’ll find shops like Costco.
Plaza Galerías in Guadalajara has just been rated the number one mall in Latin America because in Plaza Galerías, you can find almost all the western brands such as H&M, Forever21, and Zara. Plaza Galerías offers neat and comfy clothes that I’m used to shopping for in the United States.
I haven’t shopped for shoes since I’ve lived in Chapala, but there are definitely shops where you can buy shoes. If Plaza Galerías doesn’t have what you like, there’s a higher end shopping mall in Guadalajara where you can find big brands such as Gucci, LV and Prada.
The prices of clothes in Guajajara, and Chapala and Ajijic are very reasonable. In fact, I’ve found better deals here in Chapala and Ajijic than in the same stores in San Francisco. The prices at the same stores like H&M, Forever 21, City Lights, Gap and Zara are a lot better here in Mexico.
(Native women selling their traditional clothes, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)