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.

This will continue to be updated with more links.

Buying: Shopping services can help you order from these stores.

Trend spotting: Even if you don’t want to shop overseas looking at web catalog you may spot trends in your favorite brands faster than magazines, you may also discover new looks faster.

Real look: Pupe Jiten (directory) is very useful to check for your favorite brands even if you aren’t a pupe member, it has real pictures of the outfits to see if you like them.

Image Site

Maruei in Nagoya – Has pictures of mannequins from each store in this season’s looks as well as price listings. Worth a look!

Big Webstores

Shibuya 109 Net Shop = ^
The House of 247 of Love = #
Love Boat, LDS, Days of Freedom, Lb-03, Love Girls Market
RShop = @
Liz Lisa, Lis Liza Doll, Tralala
Love Ex = !
tons of brands including Cecil and Cocolulu
Fashion Walker = *
Backs, Cecil, Spiral Girl
Shel’tter = %
Moussy, SLY, Reinda, Rodeo Crowns

The Stores


Album^
アルブム
style: trend, discount
webstore
blog


Backs
^ * !
バックス
since: 2009
style: mannish, trend
webstore
rakuten webstore

Blue Moon Blue
ブルームーンブルー
style: surf, amekaji
since: 2003

Bonita
ボニータ
style: shoes, discount
pupe jiten


Cecil McBee ^ ! *
セシルマクビー
style: adult, trend
since: 1987
webstore

Cocolulu ^ ! *
ココルル
style: amekaji
since: 1998
webstore

Dazzlin’
ダズリン
style: sweet, trend
since: 2006
list of 10+ staff blogs on its site
webstore

Delyle * ^
デイライル
style: sweet, classic
since: 2004
webstore
president blog

DIA no web presence
ダイヤ
style: tsuyome, traditional
okinawan DIA staff ameblo
Umeda EST (Osaka) Dia staff ameblo

Dilga ^
ディルガ
style: oraora, trend
webstore

Duras ^
デュラス
style: adult, trend, celeb
since: 2001
webstore
blog

Egoist ! *
エゴイスト
style: adult, trend, celeb
since: 1996
pupe link
rakuten webstore

FLAG-J
style: shoes
since: 1996

Gilfy ^ ! *
(the link for Backs and Re Dark as well)
ギルフィー
style: rock, trend
since: 2004
pupe jiten
rakuten store
webstore

Gimlet
ギムレット
since: fall 2009
style: mode, trend
Gimlet 109 blog | President Hiromi Endo’s blog


Glad News^ !
グラッド ニュース
style: rock, trend
since: 2004
pupe jiten
rakuten webstore
President Miwa Mochizuki’s blog

Golds Infinity
ゴールズインフィニティ
style: agejo
since: 2005
webstore
official blog

Honey Bunch
ハニーバンチ
style: sweet
since: 2008
Official blog

Jammy ^
webstore

Jesus Diamante
ジーザスディアマンテ
style: hime
since: 2001
pupe jiten
webstore
blogs (private room)

Ji;Maxx
style: sweet, trend
since: 1999
pupe jiten
rakuten webstore
credge webstore

JSG
ジェイエスジー
style: hade, trend
since: 2006
!
pupe jiten

rakuten webstore
credge webstore
JSG 109 shop staff blog | new crooz blog | another 109 staffer’s crooz blog
Shinsaibashi Osaka staff blog
blog entry on Kaoru opening up JSG
JSG twitter

LB−03
エルビー・ゼロスリー
style: b-gyaru
since: 1995

LDS #
エルディーエス
style: trend, pop gal
since: 1997
pupe jiten

Lip Service ! *
リップサービス
style: agejo, adult, trend
since: 2001
pupe jiten
rakuten webstore
webstore
links to all Lip Service blogs (over 20)
style walker official blog
Matsuda Chio staff blog
Lip Service model blog
Shibuya 109 staff blog
Machinda 109 staff blog
Lip Service Shinsaibashi Osaka staff blog
Cial Yokohama staff blog
Area manager staff blog

Liz Lisa ^ @ *
リズ リサ
style: sweet
since: 1999
pupe jiten
background downloads

Love Boat ^ #
ラブ ボート
style: trend
since: 1994
pupe jiten

Love Girls Market # ^
ラブ ガールズ マーケット
style: trend, bohemian
since: 1999
pupe jiten

Mar*s * ! ^
アメーバーマーズ
style: agejo
since: 1990
pupe jiten or here
webstore

Me Jane * ^ !
ミー ジェーン
style: adult, agejo
since: 1990
pupe jiten
webstore

Mialer Mew
ミオレ ミュー

Miia
ミーア
since: 2010
style: amekaji, casual, trend

Milsqur
ミルスクワー
style: retro girly
since: 2010
website: http://www.miel-c.com/

MinPlume ^
ミン プリュム
style: sweet
webstore

Moussy %
マウジー
style: adult
since: 2000
pupe jiten

OneSpo
ワンスポ
style: trend, agejo, girly-rock
since: 2003
pupe jiten
marui onespo blog | onespo marui ameblo blog

One Way ^
ワン ウェイ
style: trend, pop gal
since: 1998
pupe jiten

Pinky Girls
ピンキーガールズ
style: sweet
since: 2000
pupe jiten
webstore
blog

Pool Side
style: shoes
since: 1991

R&E Rosessence ^
アールアンドイー
style: shoes
since: 1999
pupe jiten

Ravijour
style: lingere
since: 2006

ReDark ^ *
リダーク
style: amekaji, trend
since: 2008
webstore
rakuten webstore
background downloads

Reinda % ^
リエンダ
style: adult
since: 2006
pupe jiten
webstore
blog

Rose Fan Fan ^ !
ローズ ファン ファン
style: sweet, discount
since: 1998
pupe jiten
love ex webstore

Rodeo Crowns
%
background downloads
style: casual, pop gal
since: 2006
SBY ^
エスビーワイ
style: accessories
since: 2007
staff blog
happy room staff blog

Shake Shake ^
シェイク シェイク
style: discount, trend
since: 1995
pupe jiten

webstore

SLY %
スライ
style: adult
since: 2004
pupe jiten
blog

Spiga
style: trend, discount
since: 1998

Spiral Girl * ^ !
スパイラルガール
style: pop gal, trend
since: 2004
pupe jiten
webstore
president blog

Sword Fish * !
ソード フィッシュ
style: pop gal, casual, trend
since: 2003
pupe jiten
webstore
rakuten webstore
blog

Tralala @ ^
トゥララ
style: sweet
since: 2006
pupe jiten
Tralala Omiya store blog

Titty&Co.
style: sweet, trend
since: 2008

TutuHA
チュチュハ
style: rock, oraora
no website
since: 2009?
tutuHA catalog blog | tutuHA shop staff Marimayu’s crooz blog

Twisty ^
トゥイスティー
style: accessories
webstore

Valentines High * ^
バレンタイン ハイ
style: sweet, pop gal
since: 2006
pupe jiten
webstore
rakuten webstore
blog
background downloads

Vanquish
style: amekaji
since: 2009

Vence ^
ヴァンス
style: amekaji, casual
pupe jiten
blog

w*c ^
ダブルシー
style: pop gal, trend
since: 2009
webstore
webstore blog
staff blog
wc blog
wc president blog

So hopefully everyone reading this blog is a shopping freak and is working on their Spring/Summer wardrobe. If not, what are you waiting for?

Here are my (and others) simple rules for new wardrobes:

1. Pick one trend and follow it. If not you’re left with a closet of miss-matched clothes and you’ll look back as the weather changes and think…”Why did I ever buy that?”

To say it again, key styles are: Marine, Preppie, Amekaji, Girly, Doll, Bohomenian, Safari, and Rock (those can be combined such as Preppie Marine or Girly Rock). Possibly Shihara-kei (Shibuya x Harajuku) will rise up, but right now it’s just Tsubasa.

Here’s the diagram I like to call: THE MESS. Surrounding each style is its main looks, and then the connecting lines show how that look can be used somewhere else.

2. Onepieces are effortless. No matter what style, you only have to coordinate your shoes (and sometimes hairstyle) and in a flattering onepiece you’ll look great. Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel genius extraordinaire, said a dress will always be the easiest way to look complete.

Karl practicing what he preaches with an army of well dressed ladies. It’s how he rolls.

3. If branching out, head to a onepiece. If not, you’re stuck coordinating and Rock top with your Marine sets and it will be hard to pull off. A onepiece is your cornerstone!

Go sexy like Lip Service, and take advantage of their set-up.

Cecil McBee does this casual Marine onepiece. Onepiece doesn’t mean dressy, casual is cute!

4. Unless you are a Size 00, hold back thick stripes below the waist. I can’t emphasize this enough. Wide horizontal stripes make you look larger, no matter if you’re a size 2 or a 20. Especially if they hug the body. The thicker the stripe, the fatter it makes you look. Go for thin stripes! This way you’ll have a nicely accented bust, but not the butt/stomach/hips many women dislike on themselves.

Karl says hold back.

5. Set up your outfits. A dress and pumps is fine, but what about a cute cardigan, preppie pins, fun stockings and a stylish bag or hat? 2 bits of extra flash can make an outfit, not just a dress. Analyze what outfits you like in magazines, especially Street Snaps, and see how you can translate that to your look.


The bow, the white jacket, the shoes. It’s fabulous. She brought it into Spring!
She’s Spring Doll while still wearing a fall dress and fall hosiery.

A dress, a belt, a vest, a hat, a jacket. She’s added so much to this cute Glad News dress. The mannish Backs shoes and the girly OneSpo belt are cute while being contradictory.

6. Tanning beds / self tanner is love. Darker skin changes your look to summer and also helps cover up blemishes, cellulite, scars etc… When showing more skin, make that skin look sexy! Also, LOTION, LOTION, LOTION! Healthy skin is nourished skin.

She’s got the confidence to wear sexy heels and short shorts

7. Change up your look! I’m not talking about dying your hair, but changing the way you style it/ darkening or lightening your make-up / putting extra time with your nails. It’s the small things that make people want to come up to you and say you’re workin’ it.

Doll to Micky-kaji…who knows? Image changes are tons of fun!

8. Resort to black. Buy your basics in neutral colors, so you can match-up more.

9. Take time. Are many of the make-up tips and hair tips about quick and easy? Sadly, no. Gal love is a labor of love. Looking at the schedules of most gals printed in magazines, they wake up 2 hours early to get themselves looking great. I personally woke up an hour earlier to do my hair/make etc… and I was usually eating with one hand while holding a curling iron with the other >_<;; While I know school or work is often not the time to look fabulous, it’s the practice you put in doing it everyday that makes you good at it for clubs, dates etc…

She takes 20 minutes, just on make-up!

90 minutes, wow! She’s gorgeous though.

10. Work on your walk. This isn’t just for models. We’ve all seen them, the girls wobbling heels or just too tomboyish in sneakers. Watch your walk in a mirror, how can you make it more confident and sexy? Remember to walk slowly (a bad habit of mine to walk too fast). A couple of a friends of mine and me practiced ours in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. If you know you’re rockin’ it to hosts, you’ve got it covered.

Walk right and you might catch the eye of Egg Men’s Model Daichi Tanaka. ^_~

S Cawaii (the cuter, sassier version of rundown Cawaii) has jumped upon the BQB movement. Like you I was like…BBQ? Yum!

But there’s great info from TheStar last year about the BQB movement.

All over Japan, retailers are scrambling to keep up with a new look known as “bon-kyu-bon.” It means “big-small-big” and it signals a change in the way Japanese women look: they’re getting curvier.

In 2001, Kito founded Egoist, a trendy purveyor of slinky clothing designed to highlight the busty look, figuring that the curvier bodies would make women want to wear less-modest outfits. His fashion industry friends scoffed at the idea. Back then, micro-mini skirts were in style but women, for the most part, kept their chests covered. Yet Egoist, whose wares include see-through sweaters made to show off decorative bras or skinny tube tops, became a huge hit and a catalyst for other skimpy-clothing brands.

In the beginning of Fall 2008, many pronounced the beginning of a new era of BodyCon. BodyCon kept showing up in gal magazines as we see in a lot of figure hugging short dresses and the belt explosion. However, BodyCon (body conscious) clothing in the 1990s was about office workers shedding their image for racy spandex tight dresses to go clubbing. Not gyaru!

BQB is the new curvy. HURRAH! Does the mean the end of the painfully skinny girls? NOPE! Sadly Japan isn’t going to allow for hips or more boobs really, it’s just the APPEARANCE of big-skinny-big~

Say no to super skinny (she needs some BBQ), yes to tight, busty and sexy (BQB, yes!)!

Instead of waxing poetic about how this season’s looks are affected by this, let’s just look at S Cawaii…

Notice the belt love? The vests, corsets and onesies are also there. BQB is in so many trends. As you can tell, they’re working to accentuate or lie that they have busts, a nipped in waist and hips. Well guess what? So can you~! Belts, colorblock dresses, and shaping underwear all help. Or better yet get a onesie and flaunt what yah mama gave yah~!

How to be BQB?

Follow the trends, use shaping underwear to push your body further (Spanx and push-up bras!).

Most importantly if you’ve got some extra to hide, work out… shake yah pom pom like Rino Nakasone!

Or tick it like the amazing Junko.

Skills… serious skills.