I think there’s this myth that Japan is the most expensive place on the face of the Earth. Well… it’s not! Unless you’re a fan of Louis Vuitton and refuse to wear nothing but high brand clothes, when you go shopping here you can fill your closet with hundreds of super cheap items, which don’t necessarily look that cheap. Actually, I don’t spend a heap of money on clothes I’ll probably wear just one season. I’d rather go to an interesting restaurant, hang out with my friends in some cool places, save up money for a trip or stuff like that. When I was a kid, my mother would take me to second-hand shops and we would spend ages digging through piles of clothes in search of a gem. When I was a student, it was actually necessary, because the lion’s share of my savings was spent on rent / books /food. I still love sales, cheap fashion stores, thrift shops, flea markets etc. and Tokyo is like a treasure trove for that kind of thing. Here’s my humble attempt to show you how to do budget fashion in Japan (there will be more posts to come, so stay tuned if you’re interested in that topic!).
I had 8 days off in June, so here’s my 8 cheap outfits for each of those days.
top: Topshop, about ¥1400
my absolutely favourite jeans shorts: Mustang, bought second-hand for ¥1990 at WEGO Harajuku
creepers platform shoes: Nadia, bought second-hand for ¥2000 at MODE OFF
top: bought in Harajuku for ¥2000
ripped jeans: WEGO, about ¥4000
boots: okay, that one time I treated myself to some Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots I’ve dreamt about for ages. But! I got them on sale for ¥14,000 instead of ¥25,000! And here’s one piece of advice, if you’d like to lay your hands on new Litas or other JC boots, be sure to go to Laforet Harajuku someday between 7/24 and 7/28 and grab them for almost half the price! As far as I know there are only two big sales at Laforet; New Year and Summer sales. I’ll be there!
top: ridiculously cheap GU t-shirt, ¥500 or so
skirt: GU again, about ¥1200
boots: Glad News, bought second-hand at my favourite thrift shop — Jumble Store for ¥1900! (market price over ¥10,000)
bag: random temporary store at Marui shopping center in my town, ¥999
shirt: GU, about ¥1200
skirt: GU, about ¥500
(look at the prices of the clothes on the right!)
sweater: GU, about ¥800
sneakers I bought ages ago: random cheap clothing store in Nippori, ¥990
glasses: ABAB Ueno, ¥1000 (ABAB shopping center, a few floors are a cheapskate’s paradise… there are many other ridiculously cheap clothing stores in Ueno, though)
top: Forever 21, ¥880
platform sneakers: Jouetie, bought second hand at Jumble Store for ¥3300
top: WEGO, ¥800
boots: Jeanasis, about ¥6000
frizzy hair: humidity, ¥0
…and by the way, this photo was taken in Shimokitazawa — a Mecca for second-hand stores, in fact I’m not even sure if you can buy any new clothes there!
top: Forever 21, bought second hand at Jumble Store for ¥700
skirt: bought second-hand for 400¥ (there’s this awesome second-hand store in Kita-Senju and Shin-Okubo — Shibuya 109 brands and such for ¥400 each!)
I’ll be sure to share some of my favourite shopping spots, so any cheapskate like me can find something that will appeal to them.
In the meantime check out these stores — I’ll write about all of them in detail soon!
JUMBLE STORE — I absolutely love it, you can find brand name items at extremely low prices here (Jeffrey Campbell, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo, Joyrich, Alexander Wang, all Shibuya 109 brands, Vivienne Westwood…)
MODE OFF — have you ever seen Book OFF? It’s a store with used books and magazines, virtually on every corner in Tokyo. So now imagine a store like Book OFF, but filled with clothes (many brands!)
Thank you for reading!