How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka Lookbook vol. 1

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!)


MODE OFF (Japanese) 

MODE OFF (English)

Thank you for reading!


13 thoughts on “How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka Lookbook vol. 1

  1. Thanks for sharing, I didn’t know about the place in Shin-Okubo – it sounds great. I usually looked around Omotesando/Shibuya for second hand clothes. I also love the way you’ve paired your outfits – giving me some inspiration for summer styling for when I go back to Japan in a few weeks 🙂 …realised I’ll be missing the LaForet summer sale by 1 day 😦 gutted

    • There’s this store, it appears and disappears :O It’s called One Day Store or something. Sometimes I go to Kita-Senju or Shin-Okubo just to check this one particular shop but it’s closed or there’s another temporary store there :O also it’s about 10 minutes on foot from Shin-Okubo station, in front of a pet shop with exotic animals, I hope it’s still there when you go there 🙂 and be sure to check Jumble Store! There’s one in Harajuku, one in Shibuya, these are my favourites

      • ooo I will definitely try and hunt it down! I know where that pet store is you’re talking about too so should find it fairly easily (if it’s there!) 😉

  2. I actually really had the idea that clothes in Japan are awfully expensive, but I was only looking to the brands and didn’t knew the prices of the clothes from “normal” stores… I’m really happy they aren’t expensive at all and really stylish (as I can see in yours ^W^) because I’m a sucker for pretty clothes ^^”

  3. I used to love the thrift shops, and of course the expensive shops ;( but nothing beats the bargains you can get from the second hand ones. There used to be on round a corner where I worked in Takarazuka and I always used to come back with something..

    The Japanese care a lot about their clothes so most of the time they aren’t even second hand they look relatively brand new 😛 My airline on the way back home wasn’t happy though… I had to get rid of a lot of stuff 😦 my own fault aahh. Shopping addict! You always look amazing though! 🙂

    • thank you so much for your comments ❤ I fear the day I'll have to move somewhere else, what will I do with my clothes?:O How long have you lived in Japan? You seem to have lots of memories 🙂

      • I was only there for 6 months but returning for a holiday with my boyfriend in September 🙂 I did a lot when I was over there as I was by myself so I pushed to do as much as possible. I always love reading what other experience too, even though sometimes it makes me feel like I should have tried harder at learning the language I’m basic and very forgetful 😛 I’m sure I’ll remember once I get back… 😡

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