Friday, June 17, 2011

Tokyo and Japan Fashion

When I was in Tokyo, I noticed how nicely dressed and put together the women were. When I asked my sister about it, she said Japanese women spend a lot of time (and money) to look good. Some noticeable things I noticed right away:
  • Fake eyelashes- Japanese are known to have very short and straight eyelashes, so it didn't surprise me that women here wore them. Apparently, Japanese lash extensions are quite popular too (according to my 22yo cousin Ayumi). I saw quite a few women with longer (than normal) lashes.
  • Brand right- I really don't know how to tell a good knock-off, but wow- was Louis Vuitton in full force in not just Tokyo but throughout my travels in Japan as a whole. I saw more Vuitton and Gucci and only a handful of Coach bags. Granted, Tokyo has many department stores, and the few that I randomly visited had the upper echelon brands of Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Chanel and so on. Upscale stores are quite abundant in Tokyo, so accessibility to these shops are within reach (I assume similar to  NYC, though you will see no street vendors selling knock-offs from their black trash bags.)
  • Sizing- Japan's clothing sizing is like their food portions- everything runs smaller. Darin is a solid medium in the States, but he was a Large/XL in Japan at UNIQLO. (Another interesting thing about UNIQLO- you need to take off your shoes before entering a fitting room. I didn't have to do this at the Japan Gap though.... I guess it varies from store to store?)
  • Sun prevention- I know I talked about this in the Tokyo Disney Fashion post, but women are very cognisant about sun care and skin aging. On sunny days, it was common to see many women using umbrellas to shield their face/body from the sun. I still remember my grandmother doing this when I was a child. Aside from umbrellas, I would commonly see women wearing arm warmers (to protect their arms from sun, I guess?) or fingerless gloves.
Japanese socks- One of the first things I noticed in Japan were the cute and frilly socks. I thought to myself: the last time I wore those, I was 7 years old. However, the trend must have still continued because there are numerous stores dedicated to all types of socks as it is widely popular here. Come on- how cute are these? Perfect to wear under flats. (I purchased my socks at this super cute sock store called  Tutu Anna- they are located all over Japan.)
These look like ballet slippers Ok, this is horrendous so I had to take a picture. This reminds me of what Julia Roberts would've worn in Pretty Woman Cute or not cute? Men's capris- Men even wear capri pants; definitely not uncommon Japanese tights- Another thing I noticed immediately in Japanese fashion were the tights women wore. Tights are tights and that wasn't unusual- it was the type of tights they were wearing- I called them "stirrup tights". For instance, this:  UPDATE: I'm starting to cave into this trend... I asked my cousin Ayumi why women wear tights under their short shorts (very common here), and she said that it was to make their legs appear skinnier.
OK, I think these are growing on me now... Japanese and their umbrellas- As with their tights and socks collection, I've never seen such an assortment of cute umbrellas. At Isetan department store, there was a shop entirely dedicated to umbrellas
It doesn't just stop at tights/socks and umbrellas...- Every Japanese has handkerchiefs- to wipe away sweat, for use after a public restroom, etc. Every department store I went to had rows and racks of all kinds of hand towels and handkerchiefs Even designer handkerchiefs too ... and Barbie designs Japanese thigh highs- I saw quite a few women (mostly younger teenagers and young adults) wearing short shorts and thigh high socks (if they weren't wearing tights). From what I understand, it is not "appropriate" to show skin in Japan, so maybe this was their way of feeling sexy yet covered up at the same time? Japanese hair accessories- If you ever need any hair accessories and you can't find them in the US, I guarantee you can find it in Japan. The selection of clips, scrunchies (yes they still make them here but they're actually really pretty and festive), bands, and headbands are enormous (and they are not necessarily for young teenagers). Dyed hair is really popular- I was really surprised to see how many women and men who dyed their hair... I saw some blondes but most dyed their hair to a caramel brown Here is a girl with pink hair, seen in Harajuku

1 comment:

jacqui + erik said...

this post was really cool! one of the first things i noticed was not only how well the girls take care of themselves, but how well the BOYS take care of themselves too! they look so well-groomed. they really pay attention to their hair and clothes.

my skin is also very pale, and i dislike the sun beating down on me. maybe i will have to have an umbrella in the hot, humid summer lol >_<