How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka lookbook vol. 11 + vol. 12

I was looking through the photos I prepared for this month’s lookbook and I noticed two trends in what I like to wear: I like looking serious and elegant, but I also like casual, ‘unpretentious’ outfits. I noticed one more thing: only 1 in 12 casual outfits included a dress (not counting the bonus outfit)! When I came to Japan 3 years ago I didn’t even own a pair of jeans, all I had were dresses and skirts. I quickly realized that wearing skirts in Japan is not the most comfortable thing to do…Why? I think I have the impression that strong winds blow here non-stop and the last thing I’d wish for is flashing my underwear at people around me. I know that ‘safety shorts’ exist, but still — to feel 100% comfortable I had to wear maxi skirts only. And I quickly got bored of them. Either way, I never liked showing too much skin, so I’m glad my taste in fashion went this direction. It’s interesting to see myself 3 years later, sporting boyfriend’s pants, slacks and some 90s fashion trends like denim on denim and platform sandals. That being said, here’s a lookbook for April & May!

APRIL

1.

/photo taken in Insadong, Seoul/

white shirt: bought in a random store near Sillim Station in Seoul for about ¥1600

jacket: Bershka,¥7800

jeans: Bershka, ¥1500

shoes: WEGO, ¥4000

bag: American Apparel, bought from an online discount store for ¥1990

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2.

/photo taken at Higashi-Shirahige Park before Children’s Day in Japan, hence the carp streamers/

top: GU, I don’t really remember but it probably wasn’t more expensive than ¥600

gaucho pants: Bershka, ¥5000

Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, ¥7500

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3.

/photo taken in Oshino Hakkai/

t-shirt: bought in Seoul for about ¥1200

denim jacket: WEGO, ¥2000

black pants: GU, ¥1490

red sneakers: random store in Marui, ¥1500

4.

/It was still a bit chilly at that time, photo taken at Ueno Park/

white shirt: Heather, ¥2500

coat: GU, ¥4000

clutch bag: I actually bought it in Taipei, from a clothing store in Shillin Market for something around ¥800?

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MAY

5.

dress: ANAP, ¥3000

bag: I actually brought it with me from the UK, I remember I paid one whole pound for it at Primark!

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6.

/photo taken at one cool place in Harajuku/

blue shirt: GU, ¥1490

grey pants: bought at a shopping center in Dongdaemun for about ¥1600

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7.

/photo taken in front of some cute shrine in Asakusa/

pink shirt: H&M, ¥300

black jacket: Forever 21, ¥3500

boots: Glad News, bought second hand at Jumble Store for ¥1900

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8.

/forgive me this shameless mirror selfie, there was no one who could take a photo of me that day. If we ever hang out, there’s a 100% chance I’ll ask you to take a photo of me :D/

white top: Forever21, ¥800

jeans:  WEGO, ¥4000

white shoes: random store in my town, ¥2900

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9.

/photo taken in Enoshima!/

glasses: MONKI, ¥1200

pink sweater: bought in Hongdae in Seoul for about ¥1200

shorts: Mustang, bought second hand at WEGO for ¥1980

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10.

white shirt: GU, ¥500

gaucho pants: GU, ¥1490

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11.

/photo taken somewhere in Shibuya/

(I mentioned all items in the previous photos)

jeans: Lip Service, bought second hand for ¥390!

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12.

/photo taken in a supermarket, next to toilet paper… obviously/

top: H&M, ¥700

platform shoes: NADIA, bought second hand at MODE OFF for ¥2000

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BONUS!

I don’t really dress so well for work (mainly because I don’t really care about my work fashion that much) but that day was actually my day off — I just had to work a few hours in the morning. I dressed a little better than usual, but here you can get the idea of what I basically wear for work.

top: Monki, ¥700

skirt: Forever21, ¥800

shoes: random shoe shop in my town, ¥2400

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Thanks for reading! ♥

Japanese cosmetics review: Pure Smile ‘Edo Art’ face mask

Quick quiz: what was my last post about?

It was about one lovely town at the foot of Mt. Fuji, right? I wrote about a wide range of adorable souvenirs you can bring back with you, didn’t I? Well actually, today’s topic will be very different from what you might expect to see on my blog. I am not a beauty blogger (for that please visit UK2TokyoFamous in Japan or The Beauty Maniac in Tokyo) — but I happen to have access to all the good things Asia has to offer in the face care category. I’d share much more if I had more time to blog about my favourite beauty products (the majority of which are actually Korean), but I decided to focus on somewhat rather funky ones for now. That being said, I present you the latest fad in Japan — art face masks! Oh, and why did I mention my last blog update about Oshino Hakkai? It’s where I got all this cool stuff, that’s why 🙂 

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HOW TO USE?

1. Wash and dry your face.
2. Open the package at the top (each mask is soaked in the essence, it might drip!), place the mask on your face, aligning the holes with your eyes, nose and mouth
3. Leave it on for about 15~20 minutes

◆ using a sheet face mask 3-4 times a week keeps your skin healthy and well-moisturized 
◆ In the summer, you can keep sheet face masks in the fridge for a cool, refreshing feeling

What’s inside?

Purified water, glycerin, PEG / PPG-17/6 copolymer, hydrolyzed collagen, erythritol, Natto gum, Hamamelis virginiana (witch water), Camellia Sinensis leaf extract, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, xanthan gum, Portulaca oleracea extract, arbutin, hyaluronic acid, PEG-14M, disodium EDTA, methylparaben, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, allantoin, phenoxyethanol, perfume, tocopheryl acetate

Anyway! 3 most important ingredients are:

* Collagen

* Hyaluronic Acid

* Vitamin-E

(This product is not edible, in case you wondered!)

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”ほっぺ姫” face mask

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”紅だゆう” face mask

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“もみ麻呂” face mask

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I’m digging the brows ↓

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My impression?

The masks have one job — to moisturize your skin. And they do it perfectly! When it comes to skin care I trust only Korean products — I’m not saying Japanese cosmetics aren’t good, it’s just that they never really worked for me. Interestingly enough, these sheet masks are Japanese, yes, but they’re manufactured in Korea. It would be a bit difficult to use this particular kind of mask everyday since they’re pretty pricey (¥324 for one mask!), so I’ll stick to the simple plain (and cheaper) type. These masks are simply COOL, like everything in Japan. The design makes you wanna buy them and show off on your SNS. If you ask me, that’s one good marketing strategy that Pure Smile maker came up with.

Where to buy?

Souvenir shops, drugstores and good ole Don Quijote!

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There are many more posts featuring funky Japanese art face masks to come! Thank you for reading ♥

How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka lookbook vol. 10

I’m being kind of lazy with the updates this month, I know. Let me blame it all on work and lack of time as usual again. So instead of the lengthy intro I usually write, have a short selection from my new article for Connect Magazine! 

Have you heard about “Normcore” yet? Well, if you haven’t, I bet you’re trying to figure out what it could possibly be about. It’s a word combination of ‘Normal’ and ‘Hardcore’. I know it probably made you wince, but you better get used to it, because “Normcore” is the hottest word in fashion this season! So what is it anyway? Let me put it this way — being ‘basic’ won’t be seen as an insult anymore. You can be as basic with your outfit choices as you want to be and no one can actually call you ‘unfashionable’. This spring will be all about oversized tops, plain shirts, slacks or your usual denim pants, hippie cardigans, running shoes and slip-ons. There’s a quite significant ‘back to the past’ trend going on, so you might find yourself sporting flares and a turtleneck at some point!

Read more →HERE ← (pages 25,26 and 27, check it out!). What do you think about that “Normcore” thing? I feel like it’s the perfect style for me. After all those crazy years of wearing all sorts of gothic / emo / punk / pin-up fashions, I’m pretty happy with my current closet, no matter how basic it may look. I love shirts. I’m crazy about shirts, I believe I own well over 25 different shirts. They look good with everything and I like that they give that elegant feel to any outfit. Plus they’re cheap, and as you know that is the main point of my monthly fashion updates.

 

→most recent lookbook←

Lookbook vol. 10

________________

1.

White shirt: It’s actually a shirt I use for work, I think I paid something around ¥500

Black pants: Honeys, ¥1990 (website)

Coat: bought at one department store in Dongdaemun for about ¥6500

Platforms: I guess you know them if you check my lookbooks regularly, but if not — I got them second-hand at MODE Off in Ueno for ¥2000

Bag: American Apparel, bought from an online discount store for ¥1900

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2.

Floral dress: I bought it in Underground Shopping Center in Gangnam Station for 10,000 won = ¥1200

Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, bought for ¥7000 at Laforet in Harajuku

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3.

Black shirt: Bershka, ¥500

Black coat: GU, ¥4000

Grey pants: bought in Dongdaemun for about ¥1600

Boots: Moussy, ¥8000

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4.

Striped shirt: bought at the same shopping center in Dongdaemun as other items in this lookbook, I paid something like ¥500

Black jacket: Bershka, ¥7500

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5.

Sweater: store in Dongdaemun, ¥400 (!)

Shorts: Mustang, bought second hand in WEGO, about ¥2000

Platform boots: Jouetie, bought second hand in Jumble Store in Harajuku for ¥3300

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6.

Blue shirt: GU, ¥1400

Jeans: Bershka, ¥1500

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7.

White shirt: GU, ¥500

Gaucho pants: Bershka, ¥5000

Black shoes: WEGO, ¥3990

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Thank you for reading!♥

How to: Budget Fashion in Tokyo aka lookbook vol. 9

Spring is just around the corner. Starbucks may have stopped selling Sakura Latte (and thank god because it was terrible) but Asahi released limited-edition beer cans with a cherry blossom design — I’m so ready for hanami! Honestly, I had more than enough of freezing wind, random rain, wearing 3 layers of clothes as pajamas and high electricity bills (air conditioner, electric fan heater, electric blanket…). I’ll be more than happy to put away all my winter coats and thick cardigans, YAY! I just want to forget those ridiculous temperatures in Seoul (-11 degrees outside, 8 degrees… inside!). I will go back to winter one last time before I forget it for a few months, and I’ll show you what I wore in February.

 

→most recent lookbook←

Lookbook vol. 9

________________

1.

White sweater: Momo, ¥1000 (website)

Grey pants: bought in a department store in Dongdaemun for ¥1600

Coat: bought at the same store as the pants, about ¥6500

Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, bought on sale for ¥7000!

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2.

White sweater: H&M, ¥1000

Green jacket: bought at a store in my town for ¥1500 ← crazy!

Black skirt: WEGO, ¥2000

Bag: American Apparel, bought from an online discount store for ¥1900

Boots: Moussy, ¥8000

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3.

Scarf: bought at a super cheap store in Nippori for ¥900

White shirt: Heather, ¥2500

Black jeans: GU, ¥1490

Platforms: Nadia, bought second hand for ¥2000

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4.

Grey neck warmer: WEGO, ¥1800

Red sweater: GU, ¥500

Jeans: Bershka, ¥1500

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5.

Red beanie: Hanjiro (men’s section), ¥550 (website)

Striped top: bought in a department store in Dongdaemun for ¥500

Coat: GU, ¥4000

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6.

Turtleneck: random cheap store in my town, ¥500

One of the cutest sweaters I own: department store in Dongdaemun (it’s a real treasure trove!) bought for… ¥450!

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7.

I mentioned all of the items I was wearing here above. The last 4 ensembles look similar, because I didn’t take many pieces of clothing with me to Korea (so I could buy even more clothes YASSSS), but I tried to coordinate them a bit differently every time 🙂

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Thanks for reading!♥

How to: Budget Fashion in Tokyo aka Lookbook vol. 8

This time last year I was rocking shorts (with tights underneath, of course, I’m not as resistant to cold as Japanese miniskirt-wearing high school students) and a spring leather jacket, because last year on the 2nd of January it was about 15°C and beautiful, sunny weather. And this year? Well, Japanese winter must be a woman because it’s totally unpredictable! Freezing nights and very pleasant sunny days? Check. Wind so strong that it makes that creepy whistling sound when it blows, as if it was getting ready to transform into a tornado to tear off your roof? Check. Hawaiian sun, London rain and Arctic wind — all on the same day? Check, check aaaand check. Oh, and how could I forget — while Japanese summers are horribly humid, the winter air is so dry, you will have to spend a small fortune on moisturizing creams. I’m not complaining though, I can’t even imagine what my fellow expats living in Hokkaido must be going through! Seriously guys, how do you survive up there? Well anyway, here’s some of my winter outfits that kept me warm but didn’t hurt my wallet!

The latest lookbook:

Lookbook vol. 7

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1.

White shirt: I don’t really remember where I got it, but I remember I paid like ¥500

Grey sweater: H&M,  ¥300

Black pants: Global Work,  ¥3000 (Global Work website)

Coat: GU, ¥4000

Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, bought on sale for… ¥7000!

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2.

Black sweater: Spinns, ¥800 (Spinns website)

Checkered shirt & checkered skirt: GU, ¥1490 and ¥990

Black boots: I spotted them on sale in my local Marui department store on the way to the hospital, with a fever of almost 39 degrees. They were discounted to ¥8000 from ¥17000 so I just couldn’t leave them there! Moussy (website)

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 3.

/special thanks to super large fitting rooms in Forever 21/

hat: Glad News, ¥1000

neck warmer: ANAP, ¥800

unicorn sweater (I know you want it): second hand shop in Kita-Senju, ¥1800

Skinny black pants: GU, ¥1490

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4.

 

/it was windy as hell that day and I crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba on foot, so I needed something simple and comfortable, hence this basic outfit, sorry/

Neck warmer: WEGO, ¥1800

striped dress: bought at Shillin Market in Taipei for about ¥700?

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5.

hot pink sweater: bough in a store in ALTA Shinjuku, ¥1900

black skirt: GU, ¥1200

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6.

Green sweater: Spinns, ¥1600

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7.

/another basic outfit, oh well/

Beige turtleneck: ANAP, ¥1400 (ANAP website)

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8.

Pink sweater: bought in Hongdae in Seoul for about ¥1200

Pink boots: Jeffrey Campbell, I think I mentioned them in one of my previous lookbooks, I got them on sale for ¥14000 instead of ¥22000!

(here also wearing the Global Work pants you can see in the first photo too)

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9.

/this has to be my favourite January coordinate/

Brown coat: bought in Dongdaemun in Seoul for about ¥6500

Ripped jeans: WEGO, ¥4000

(other items mentioned in photos before)

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As I’m posting this, Starbucks in Japan is already selling Sakura Latte. I’m so looking forward to spring! And hanami outfits of course!

Thanks for reading ♥

How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka lookbook vol. 7

“Why don’t you buy some brand name items? You could save up some money and get Comme des Garcons or some cool stuff like that!” — actual question I have recently been asked by a Japanese friend of mine. Here’s my answer then: I own a heap of clothes, I admit. But I know myself and I know that in a few months I’ll simply get bored of the clothes I’m wearing now (which is not always the case, of course, but I know how many times I’ve changed the way I dressed, besides I like my fashion to match my always changing hairstyle, so…). I may have mentioned a few times that I have some rules that I live by, and I’ll share one of them now. Money should be spent on education, traveling, food, adventures and essentials (rent, bills and all that boring adult stuff), NOT material goods. Although I do like having nice things, it’s not that I’ll have them forever. But I know for sure that my language lessons, traveling and food experiences aren’t going anywhere. That being said, here’s a few reasonably priced outfits for December 2014!

The latest lookbook:

Lookbook vol. 6

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1.

/photo taken in Harajuku, one of my favourite coordinates so far/

White shirt: Heather, bought on sale for ¥2500 (Heather website)

Black sweater: I bought it aaaages ago in H&M, I don’t really remember how much it cost, but I’m sure it wasn’t a lot

Jeans: WEGO, ¥4000 (WEGO website)

Coat: bought in Dongdaemun in Seoul for about ¥6000

Shoes: Jeanasis,  ¥6900 (Jeanasis website)

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2.

/photo taken in Shin-Okubo by the lovely Kathryn/

Red shawl: it was a gift from my friends from Poland

Black jacket: H&M, ¥6500

Grey bodycon dress: Forever 21, ¥800

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3.

 

/shameless mirror selfies in GU Ginza store, both taken on the same day/

Grey neck warmer: WEGO, ¥1800

Black turtleneck: SPINNS, ¥1200 (Spinns website)

Black coat, which I bought of course: GU, ¥4000

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4.

/okay, I can’t really decide which coordinate is better, the first one or this/

Ripped jeans: Lip Service; believe it or not, but I bought them for ¥390 at a second hand store in Kita-Senju

Black boots: Glad News, bought second hand for ¥1900 at Jumble Store (Jumble Store website)

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5.

/more shameless selfies, yay! it was my outift for a BIGBANG concert in Tokyo Dome, so everything including make-up was special for that day/

Beanie: Glad News, bought at one cheap store in Shin-Okubo selling brand items at discounted prices <trust me, I know good places> ¥1080 (Glad News website)

Hoodie: I bought it at a BIGBANG’s concert last year and I finally had a chance to wear it! I remember I paid something about ¥6000 for it

Black jeans: GU, ¥1499

Black platform boots: Nadia, bought second hand at MODE OFF for ¥2000 (MODE OFF online shop)

(and just in case you’re wondering what colour contact lenses I’m wearing: Angelcolor Bambi Series Chocolat)

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6.

/I actually mentioned all of these items above, so I’ll just say that this photo was taken in Shinjuku Gyoen, where I was filming a series of short videos that should be up on YouTube someday :)/

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Thank you for reading and stay warm!♥

How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka lookbook vol. 6

Japanese houses have super thin walls, one reason might have something to do with earthquakes and another reason is because of the endless hot and humid summers. It still surprises me to no end how Japanese people survive winters in their houses, where the temperature is not much higher than just being outside?! In the colder seasons your choices are: either freeze or turn on air conditioning (as Japanese houses don’t have a central heating system), get yourself a fan heater you can take with you wherever you go (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom — that’s what I do)  glue several disposable warmers on you, drink buckets of hot tea, get an electric blanket or get a kotatsu heated table thing. Whenever I say I’m cold, I get this surprised look and “But you’re from Poland? It’s cold there, isn’t it???” It really IS cold in winter, but it really doesn’t mean I am completely resistant to it in some sort of magical way. The thing is we have central heating everywhere, our houses are made of big bricks and are insulated quite well. Our clothes are completely different too, we’re prepared for -20 degrees in winter. Tokyo people are not. While it’s already the middle of December (and high school girls are still wearing extremely shorts skirts <no thighs!!!>), I will show you a few reasonably priced November outfits.

Previous lookbooks:

Lookbook vol. 1

Lookbook vol. 2

 Lookbook vol. 3

Lookbook vol. 4

Lookbook vol. 5

Lookbook vol. 6

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1.

 

/photo taken somehwere in Shinjuku/

White sweater: H&M, ¥1000

Jeans: ANAP, ¥2500

Platform sneakers: Jouetie, bought second hand at Jumble Store in Harajuku for¥3300

Neck warmer: WEGO, ¥1800

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2.

 

/photo taken in Harajuku by the lovely VivaRilakkuma/

Pink cropped sweater: Forever 21, ¥800

Black skinny pants: GU, ¥1490

Black jacket: H&M, ¥6900

Black boots: STYLENANDA, ¥4000

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3.

 

/photo taken in front of Cafe, Dining…and People — a cafe I wrote about →here←/

Sweater: bought in Hongdae, Seoul last year for about 15000 won = ¥1650

Jeans jacket: GU, ¥3000

Skirt: GU, ¥1200

Platform shoes: Nadia, bought at Mode OFF for ¥2000

Hat: GU, ¥150

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4.

 

/There was no one I could ask to take a photo of me and I didn’t really have time to take out my tripod, so for this outfit this shameless selfie is all I have/

Pink sweater: bought in Hongdae, Seoul, for 12000 won =¥1350

White skirt: Hyphen World Gallery, bought at Jumble Store for ¥500

Cherry belt: believe it or not, but I bought in the good ole’ Primark in London about 4 years ago, for £1 or £2!

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5.

 

/photo taken at one of my favourite places in Tokyo, Ueno Park/

Checkered shirt: GU, ¥1490

Skinny jeans: UNIQLO, ¥1990

Coat: bought in a shopping center in Dongdaemun, Seoul, for about ¥6300

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6.

 

/photo taken somewhere in Jiyugaoka after visiting a bunny cafe!/

Sweater: <same as in the picture nr 1>

Skirt: GU, ¥1490

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Thanks for reading and I hope you stay warm ♥