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!).

It’s Summer which means my booty is on its way to Japan. My apartment is in Shibuya and without giving away stalker-ability details, it’s near 109 (!!!!!!). I am however in the awkward situation of packing to go… so I thought I’d share with you things I’m bringing and things I will buy as a helpful tool to those who are visiting or staying.

1. Not bringing an empty suitcase!

American clothes as long as they stay with the trends can blend well into your Japan gal ways. Personally I love print tees, since they are original and can match with a skirt, jumper or shorts. Plus with Forever 21 opening in Japan, be the first to easily have merchandise that’s soon to disappear in Japan.

Although bringing a small suitcase and buying a Japanese style suitcase is a smart buy. 360 degree wheel turning and a hard shell make traveling so easy.

Pictured is my giant indigo traveler that makes moving from one country to another very easy.

Three of my summer buys in America:

This sweetheart bust dress with pockets from Urban Outfitters helps my Marine coordinates.

These two tops from UO work for the French Chic that Cecil and other brands try to combine with their Marine look.

The thin textured stripes on this cardigan from the Gap won me over. The lightweight fabric will help transition from Spring to Summer. I can see this worked into Marine and Preppie coordinates.

2. Curling irons and straighteners.

I have yet to find a curling iron in Japan with delicious ceramic and ionic capabilities. Getting a quality tool makes quality hair.

My ceramic 1 1/4″ rod of fury. A drag queen complimented my hair the first time I tested it out, enough said.

3. Sleepy clothes aka Room Wear.

Room Wear has become very popular in Japan and many cute brands are doing Room Wear. In the dead of Winter OneSpo gave away a cosy dot set (a sleep dress with hoodie and kangaroo pouch and matching scrunchie) and slippers. They were so comfy and free! But don’t count on 109 stores, Peach John did their version of Pink (Club Peach) and in my opinion, it fails. So instead enjoy the cute VS Pink or cheap adorable roomwear you’ve brought from overseas.

4. Deep Conditioner.

I’m a healthy hair fanatic and I have yet to find something wonderful in Japan to match my Deep Conditioning treatment. Love your hair and it loves you back.

Ion brand Deep Hydrating Conditioner is my Godsend. Pictured with another good idea, inexpensive hair scissors for bang and split end touch ups.

5. Bras.

Japan has lifting skill beyond belief, but for those an American C cup and over you might have trouble getting cute bras in Japan. Buy new ones right before you go so they’ll last you.

Curious what size you are in Japan: use this bra converter

6. Highbrand pieces.

Brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior all have pricing standards in different parts of the world. US and Guam are the same, while Hawaii can be cheaper. Japan however is very pricey and you may find yourself paying an extra 100USD+ to buy something special. So buy or bring your hot pieces into Japan. It’s why Hawaii and Guam are such popular vacay spots for Japan. Other than the snorkling, Guam is tons of fun! ^_^v

My Chanel ring, a Valentine’s Day present. <3>

7. Fitted items.

If you are busty or tall consider buying button up shirts, onesies, swimsuits and other items before heading to Japan.

Important tip about sizing in Japan below!

I was going to have a whole post on this, but the quick and dirty is…
American 00/0 = S, 2/4 = M, 6/8 = L. Anything else and you’re out of luck. Of course height and body type play into this, so check the measurements!

Most brands only carry up to M, or jeans come in 3 sizes up to a 29 inch waist. Honey’s in 109-2 carries L size fitted items (jeans, shorts etc…) in many of the newest styles. They’re also cheap! Check out their Odaiba store(map), too. It’s big enough to be worth a trip to Odaiba for!

8. Sneakers.

Super popular right now and so comfy! It also helps to dance all night in them. Nike America and Nike Europe have great selections, so make your IDs and have fun. Or find a great pair of Converse Hightops.

9. Sensible shoes.

Oh this is just depressing to say, but 2-3inch heels are the best when doing a lot of walking. Sorry, but that’s as sensible as I get. Make sure at least to have recovery shoes such as: engineer boots or sneakers.

Do not consider flat shoes like flip flops for a walk involving a train station. I did this my first semester and some salaryman busted my toe open in my Dior gladiator flats. It was a sad day girls.

My Marc by Marc Jacobs pair for heading to the conbini and such.

10. Deodorant.

I sweat, with some skill. Japanese deodorant sucks, it sucks horribly. So stock on up on some. Degree Clinical Protection is my personal choice.

11. Basics.

Yes there’s an American Apparel in Japan, but it’s usually $2-3USD more expensive. Leggings, basic tees, high waist skirt dresses, even their cute skater dress gets my thumbs up.

12. Medicines/Contacts and Glasses.

Most great Doctors are happy to fill your prescriptions months at a time which helps not dealing with Japanese national healthcare for birth control etc…

13. Whitening strips.

I had to add a number 11 to my Summer tips, because this is one I do every summer. Use whitening strips, Crest makes great ones and they really help. White teeth make your eyes look brighter, your tan darker and your face more pleasing to look at when you smile. They’re cheap, they’re easy to pack, and all it takes is 30 minutes while surfing on the net to good body care.

Gal tip: Using lipglosses with blue undertones make teeth whiter. MAC sells blue glitter glosses to layer over your favorite color.

14. A foot massager.

This is my first time bringing a big one, but all the ones in Tokyu Hands were $100USD+. For $44 here I bought a warming one with rotating balls. Now my feet can be comforted while I’m reading the latest Ageha. Such heaven!


Ahhh the balls.