Shopping for most of us, can be pretty fun, especially in Japan. But for foreign girls who just want to quickly buy what they need and leave, shopping in Tokyo is a living nightmare. The crowds, the nightclub music cranked to 11, the repeated, echoing screams of いらっしゃいませ! (I’m right here… the store is tiny, I’m the only one here. Why are you YELLING AT ME?). It can wear on even the most ardent clotheshorse.
So for the days when you want to do your shopping from home, here are a few of my favorite online shops with either free or low-cost shipping to Japan. Ladies: do us all a favor and post your favorite links below.
I loved Revolveclothing back in America and it’s especially awesome now. High-quality and always on trend, with labels like Rag and Bone and Free People (freaking love Free People). The style tends to be more urban and less cutesy (DIG). Free shipping and free returns. This is a goodie for Fall.
I dig Shopbop because they carry a lot of smaller labels… NYC designers and stuff you just can find anywhere else unless you live in the area. It’s similar to Revolve in brand mix and price point (think Splendid, Joie, Elizabeth and James), and has the cool statement bag/shoe/coat you’re looking for. Style feels very California casual with a little grit for good measure. Free shipping for orders over $100 USD.
Reiss is a UK label is spendy and worth it. Kate Middleton loves this stuff to give you an idea of price point. But if you need classic, simple, well-tailored clothing, this site rules. Think JCrew’s rich older sister. I bought a Reiss jacket back in 1945 and it’s still lovely.
Most of us English teachers and can’t throw down huge money for la ropa, so here are some cool bargain sites that aren’t H&M or Forever 21.
I found the Sheinside website on Pintrest. Cute without being precious- which is a hard line to find here sometimes. Huge selection of trendy dresses and accessories, this site is perfect for when you look in your closet and say “I hate everything I own, but I have no yens.” Free shipping worldwide, and price points hover in the toss-after-the-season range.
Fun bargain accessories. HUGE selection of faux bling, and the interface the really intuitive (read- I like shop-by-style categories). I feel like you can find decent stuff like this in Tokyo but if you don’t want to be crammed around a table with sixty other girls, Baublebar is a nice alternative. Free shipping and returns worldwide.
I love Modcloth. Every girl I know loves Modcloth. Vintage-inspired awesome that fits well and is what it says it is. Dresses and shoes are the best here, and free shipping over $50.00 USD. There lookbooks are awesome too… a little Williamsburg hipster, but not annoyingly so. Great prices too.
I saved the best for last. I freaking adore Asos. Trendy? Yep. Classic? Yep. Well-made, well-priced, a little but of everything? Yep, yep, yep. Free shipping worldwide makes this site dangerous. I probably shouldn’t even be talking about it right now.