Upcoming Trends

White – Especially those in white cotton with lace aspects.

– tip: Try an all white outfit with a waist belt in white.

Fabulous from Delyle.
Another trend to watch for: trend styled basics (frills + basic)


Neogladiators – Not gladiators to the knee, but those with lots of straps and edgy details.


I had to buy these in black from Esperanza. 4 inch heels, hollah!


Mickey – Not just for Popteen’s Kumiko, Mickey has got a deal with 5 109 brands (Moussy, Swanky, LoveBoat, LDS, and Redark) Also 109-2 Mens Vanquish has it featured, too. That’s more than Hello Kitty with just two (JSG and Deylye).

– steal this look: At your local Disney Store near you.

Gingham and country stripes – From Gilfy to Liz Lisa these trends are here for summer.

Layered frills – from tops to onepieces in Glad News to Lip Service it’s comfortable and looks great with hotpants.

Also available in summery white from Glad News


Layered shirts – Shirts with a band at the bottom as a fake double layer shirt.

Scoopneck necklines – Very important. Every store is doing this chest-loving style.

– tip: Gap has cheap basic scoopneck in cute colors.

Rocking to two trends at once: logo and scoopneck


Studs – On shirts, dresses, belts, and jewelry it’s everywhere. Love Boat is doing this look best.
– tip: Just like sparkle, this is best worked as an accent.

Vertical Stripes – Yes many stores are still doing horizontal ones, but vertical are so much more flattering. They make you taller! Seen on Gilfy to One*Spo.

Scoopneck and Vertical, Delyle also has this in a fabulous dress

Grade: B

While their style was varied there were tons of cute white cotton dresses, tops and lacy outfits. Their style looked both effortless and easy to set-up. White cotton with lace seems to be an ongoing theme and it looked very stylish at LDS.

LDS still kept their haadi side with open-toe converse-style wedges with stud detailing on one side. Cute, bright and big accessories as always. Definitely worth a look.

Grade: A

I usually call Liz Lisa out for being typical, boring and not following the trends. They really surprised me this time with casual, cute, girly trend items. They had tons of flowy sweet dresses with drop-waist button up trend styling. Their look this season isn’t hippy or too brown. There was even Marine aspects in their looks. I have a feeling my first Liz Lisa onepiece will come soon.

Grade: B-

Studs and dots were played throughout and most every piece looked very wearable. A great place to buy resort style from. Many gals make a summer trip to Hawaii, Guam or Thailand and resort style is in every summer. A great place to pick up a shirt or two. They also had the most adorable long romper of 109 with halter styling in sherbert colors.

Minus: The most ugliest set of dresses with dots combined with neon flowers. It’s a blatant take on the Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse rose collection.

On a bag it’s hot. On a dress with dots, it’s NOT!

Grade: B

Great amekaji. Cute sets and shirts everywhere. Just in: their new Mickey Mouse collab. I am still wondering weather to get it since its in sweatshirt material, but it’s hella cute and the boatneck cut is flattering. They also have a great take on the preppy button-up shirt. If I hadn’t nabbed one already, ReDark’s would’ve been a must buy.

Swanky, Moussy and Love Boat all have Mickey tees. My favorite being the Redark and Love Boat one (with studs!). However, with all of the prices starting at around 5,000 yen, it is hard to justify buying one.

Grade: B

A cute dot selection of shorts and pants and tons of frill layered dresses and shirts, but nothing was a show-stopper.

Grade: B-

I usually stay away from this store because of their high price point (i.e. $$). However, they’ve decided to diversify and now have a Moussy basics line with lots of great cut basic tees.


This oversize tee onepiece with pockets was comfortable and the edgy print ads all the style you need. Great for carefree summer dressing. It’s on my wishlist.

Duras

Grade: C

Cute dot rompers and everything looks slouchy and casual, but it’s all in chiffon and satin. For those who have done laundry in Japan know those two materials look hideous when drip dried (the way most have to dry their clothes in Japan). A+ for effort, but D for having items that aren’t wearable.

Other notes:

Swordfish has a limited edition denim hotpants with heart pockets on the front. Last year their denim back heart pocket theme was everywhere. Nothing totally new.

Bumblebee has a great rose dress that worn looks amazing. The gathered skirt is very classy and pretty. Showing up in all the magazines (current Egg included).

Mar*s up to their same tricks mostly, but some really cute frill outfits. Also a popular logo dress is popping up in Ageha.

Me Jane has a new onepiece that everyone seems to love, Shake Shake is copying it as well. A t-shirt top, black band and chiffon bottom. It looks adorable on, I hope to see more variations.

RoseFanFan decided to do another Louis Vuitton copy and use the Stephen Sprouse tribute neon collection and make it into leggings and shirts saying RoseFanFan. It may be a blatant copy, but it does look kind of cool.

Sigh… I shop too much, but let’s look at the pretties and you’ll see a few new trends emerging.

A trend to not so much Marine, but casual summery prints are on the move there. Of course they still enjoy monotone, dots and touches of marine.

Classic vertical stripes in a seersucker style are appearing in many stores. I absolutely love their star belt, it even got a compliment from a boy at my tanning place. hehehe!

This is one*spo’s take on the summer maxi dress. Gingham, check, and dots are showing up in more stores. If only it said Texas. These are so comfortable and great for bloaty days.

A summery straw fedora is perfect for covering up sweaty summer hair. I love the feather details. One*Spo also gave me my perfect clubbing bag, the outside is all sequins and shimmers when I dance. Club bags are so necessary in Japan to carry your cellphone, make-up and blot papers while you’re shaking your booty. Chain bags are so popular now, and accent sparkle is really summer style.

GN has excellent summer style, and I find it hard to hate for casual rock looks. They had a special 2 for 4999 yen (around $50USD), which was too great to pass up. They had prints available in cute sherbert colors like below but also in traditional rock black and grey. Great job this summer, GN!


Delyle other than their Hello Kitty collab has more cute items. I still want to head back and buy a few more shirts since they’re so cute and feel like I could wear them into fall. At 109 where trends can change weekly, Delyle has several lasting looks.

Cecil started the alphabet print trend last fall, but Delyle has made a really cute print dress of it. It’s a little body-con, but very adorable.

However the staff and mannequin styling showed it more as a loose shirt to wear with their classic frill skirt.

Tralala and RoseFanFan have recently copied this skirt, but IMO both look not as fluffy as Delyle’s classic piece. The original is so fluffy that it covers your hip issues while making legs look tiny, I love this skirt. Not to mention I bought mine last fall (October) and its still classic in Delyle’s store.

Note: While Body-con has been the talk of magazines, I see few women so far wanting to wear a full body-hugging look, instead stick with BQB!


A great onepiece with another flattering frill skirt bottom. This is my favorite piece I’ve bought recently. It’s bodyskimming yet very girly casual in all cotton.

…and that’s all my buys (for now ^_^;;;).

Coming soon on Universal Doll:

– deco (the series)
– 109 shop review part two
– tanning info and reviews from Tokyo
– extension FAQ and care
– Gal traveling

I love shoes. I don’t care what type, I love love love me some shoes. My first time living in Japan for a long time, I calculated I bought so many shoes it was at least one pair every two weeks. ^_^;;

Shoe sizing in Japan

What size am I and can I buy shoes?

This converter is accurate for number sizing here

Now then there’s letter sizing for many of shoes in Japan which is as follows: S – M – L – LL
Gilfy says S to LL is: S:22.5cm ・ M:23.5cm ・ L:24.5cm ・ LL: 25cm

For example I’m an 8.5 US which makes me a 24.5 or an L in Japan. Of course this can vary from shoe to shoe, but it’s pretty truthful.

Many 109 stores only sell shoes up to an L size, but sometimes its only M. Cocolulu had a cute Nike sneaker last year and they only went up to an M, also Glad News tends to go up to an M although their M can be roomy.

So if you’re over a 9, you’re outta luck in Japan.

I’m an LL where do I shop?

Bonita in 109-2 and Shinjuku Alta carry a good selection of LL shoes. Randa (locations), however, has an amazing LL selection. Randa on Takeshita above Happy House has such a great shoe amount and plenty of booths to sit down and take your time trying on shoes.

Bonus! Both stores are pretty cheap by Japanese standards.

I want leather shoes

Most of the time, good luck on that. LDS sometimes does leather, or the most realistic fake leather I’ve ever felt. There’s also a Nine West on Omotesando, but their prices are high. Prepare to pay the price for leather.

What’s a good shoe in Japan?

First of all it’s important to consider the streets of Japan.

They suck! They’re tilted, craggy and have guides for the blind around busy areas such as train stations. The guides for the blind are excellent and it’s amazing watching the blind navigate some of the busiest train stations on their own, but it’s hell on shoes.

The left pic shows the bars and bumps for the blind. These really hurt after a while.

Examples of good shoes and why:

The strapped pump
Brand: Bonita
Heel height: 3 inches (8 cm)

These have a solid heel along with a great snap in and out of strap. This helps since you have to take off your shoes in Japanese dressing rooms and houses. The bottom of the sole is rubberized and textured for traction and some protection from the blind bumps.


Brand: Randa
Heel height: 4 inches (10 cm)
Platfom: .5 inch (1.5 cm)

The platform keeps you safe from blind bumps. Also, the straps hold you in, keeping down blisters from slippage. My perfect gal pump.

Gal tip: Remember when buying straps to buy them low the two above and not fastening at the ankle. Ankle straps make your legs look shorter.

The classic pump

Brand: Rossessence (RE)
Heel height: 2.5 inches (6.5 cm)

The heel is perfect for a long walk, but there is no platform so the blind bumps can get painful. This can be solved with a great thick insole in the toe.

Sexy Sandals


Brand: Bonita
Heel height: 3 inches (8 cm)

Some toe padding, and mules are easy to walk in. Make sure you buy a tight enough mule so you’re not slipping around.

Brand: Flag-J
Heel height: 4 inches (10 cm)
Platform: 1 inch (2.5 cm)


I just got these resoled (more later). These have a cushioned toe base making them amazingly comfortable. The ankle strap and wedge add stability. My all time favorite sandal. Gilfy also has cushioned toe bases in all their shoes, which makes their very tall platforms pretty easy to walk in.

Shoe care:
Three of the shoes above have been resoled and cleaned up. For about 14.0o USD it’s a great way of keeping the shoes you love looking nice. No one looks hot with busted shoes. If they’re a classic, don’t buy new just redo!

Comfort:

Insoles: An absolute must!


The ones on the left are my favorite. I have high arches and these provide arch support and heel comfort as well. The heel gel inserts on the left help slipping and are concealed easy in sandals. Bonita will give you free insoles if you ask for them when buying a shoe, most of the time they’re cheap and wear out but hey, they’re free and they also are usually made with charcoal to help foot odor!

Tokyu Hands (Shibuya store) has several insole options if you need a pair in Japan. They’re a bit pricier than in the US, but their selection is good.

Pump stockings

Sweating and rubbing causes blisters, so Japanese heel socks are a must in the summer. Cheap Muji has several options with extra toe and heel support built in. Tip: double up if 1 pair isn’t working for you. Shinjuku store: (東京都渋谷区 神宮前 1-12-7 B1~2F, take a right after leaving the Kabukicho exit. It’s about 2 streets past Alta on the same road).

If you’re curious:


Most apartments have a shoe closet, here’s mine.

Left to right: Nike Pink Air Jordans, Brooks Running shoe
Marc by Marc flipflops, Pink havianas, Randa heels, Bonita Heels, R&E heels
Flag-J sandals, Bonita mules

I have a lot of room to fill ^_^v!

Then again you can ignore my info. I saw a woman yesterday walking the streets of Shibuya in limited edition 2005 Louis Vuitton perforated peep-toes. She was working it, but I felt bad for those precious limiteds. Save the designer for when you’re in a car.

Less than 24 hours after I got off a plane from Texas, I headed to 109 and did what I do best: shop.

A warning, for those who are traveling to Japan soon, be sure to add an hour to your Narita to Tokyo trip. My plane was held on the tarmac for an hour while med peeps in blue scrubs thermal scanned us and made us sign waivers that we weren’t full of swine flu. -_-;

Now to happy shop talk:

I am so biased over this store. I love my one*spo staff! There was tons of cute marine and great sweet style dresses. They just got in a Maxi dress that is patchworked and says California on the bust. I was tempted! Maxi dresses for the second summer in a row are coming back, but with a high waist look without the underbust belt that was popular last summer.


The bow is adorable, I nabbed the last one at 109.


Shirt dresses are popular everywhere now and I love the puff sleeve balloon styling of this one.

Taking a page from my own book about setting up outfits. The corset and hat are from One*Spo as well, the shoes are from Bonita.

Glad News has great tees and they have sales going on about buying two for a special price or cute sets for a price. Their prints are so cute, and it seemed one of the busier stores inside 109.

Skull on top of the Ice Cream, indeed! Soft pinks are everywhere in 109.

I didn’t buy anything from last summer’s DC Comics x Glad News collab so I had to snatch a cute oversized Superman shirt. So comfy for summer!

Delyle President said she wants to do more monotone with soft pink to highlight their classic looks, and that’s exactly what I saw in their gorgeous store. It’s no shock that Deylye is so popular. Such cute prints, and their Hello Kitty collab is so adorable I had to hold myself back from buying the whole lot.

Hello Kitty is 35 this year. Girl is lookin’ good for 35. My buys with a cutey pillow bought at the 1o9-2 Hello Kitty store.

Delyle x Hello Kitty sells out the day its online, but there was still much D x HK in the store. I did nab the last pink hoodie though, it has a bow! *love!*

French HK is love.


Other stores:

Egoist –

Grade: C-

I have to mention how disappointed I am in Egoist. Egoist has amazing sexy basics and if you buy a basic from Egoist you’re bound to wear it out. However, instead of basics I saw it filled with the SCawaii x Egoist long Maxi dress that looked so last summer. There was nothing fresh about it. They were also pushing harem pants, but in satin which never looks as good as when you first buy it. Although my grade for them right now is a C-. they did have cute beach items.



Gilfy

Grade: D

The store looked a bit empty and possibly picked through over Golden Week. While they had a dress I was tempted by, their store looked a bit boring and not enough Spring/Summer colors. This is coming from a girl who has so much Gilfy it was hard for me to go through a day without wearing some last summer. Maybe when they get new stock, they will revive.

Cecil McBee –

Grade: B

Although no clarity was seen in their looks, they had all the key trends and they were the store for traditional jackets, (the two button black simple ones) an emerging end of Spring trend.

Flag J –

Grade: B

Already with their summer shoes out. Many comfortable short gladiator wedges are out and I can’t wait to buy when summer warms up. They are copying Poolside with heel details of hearts, but nothing was a standout.

I had more to do that day so I wasn’t able to hit all the shops, later on this week I’ll report on more shops and possibly more buys (if my wallet can take it!).