While Japanese men’s fashion tends to follow strict patterns, women’s fashion is much more creative, especially in the realms of casual wear and street ware. Here are some of the five most reasonably-priced and fashionable Japanese brands to shop while you’re in Japan.
Earth music & Ecology
As indicated in its name, this clothing brand is known for its emphasis on natural and earth-friendly materials. It's a great place to find casual wear for everyday use, though it does carry some pieces you can use in the workplace. Great pieces to find here are rompers and flowy skirts. Also make sure to check out their collaboration products with other brands, such as New Balance sneakers and Allstar bags.
WEGO stores are one-stop shops for Japanese street ware that seem like they come straight from Harajuku. Their cheap and eclectic style makes WEGO a great place to stop by to add a statement piece to your wardrobe. With loads of one-of-a-kind bags, snapbacks, and unique graphic tees, you can assemble an entire outfit at this store. Make sure to pick up a few cute sushi socks while you’re there!
Arguably Japan’s most famous clothing retail brand, Uniqlo is a great place to stop by to stock up on basics. Many of their items come in solid colors – with the occasional stripes or polka-dotted piece thrown in – making them incredibly easy to mix and match with items already in your wardrobe. As women in Japan tend to be shorter than in other places in the world, Uniqlo’s clothing reflects that size difference, so your clothing size at a Uniqlo store in Japan may be different than the one back in a Uniqlo in your home country.
G.U. is Uniqlo’s fashion-forward little sister, with prices even cheaper that the world-famous retail chain. While Uniqlo is known as a great place to shop for basics, G.U.’s clothes often feature fun prints and colorful designs.
Olive des Olive
For all those who love dainty frills, collars, and embroidery, Olive des Olive is the perfect store for you. They specialize in elevating otherwise simple pieces with their own flare by adding details such as tassels or woven fabric. Their outerwear pieces are particularly unique, so make sure to check them out when you’re in the store.
- Since January and July are Japan’s sale seasons, if you visit Japan during those two months, you’ll be able to score discounts as deep as 90% in these stores.
- Large chain stores like Uniqlo and G.U. have weekly flyers of that week’s discounted items.
- Japanese clothes size tends to veer on the smaller side. A Medium (M) size in a Western country is equivalent to a Large – Extra Large (L - XL) in Japan depending on the clothing brand. Also note that the Extra Small (XS) size is not common in Japan, though the Small (S) size is equivalent to the Western XS size.