Clothes shopping is one of the most fun and exciting activities to do in Japan. Not only are there so many unique brands and items to choose from, but the prices and service are top-notch as well. You might have heard of Uniqlo, and you might even have on in your home country – but paying a visit to a Uniqlo store in Japan is a must, as their collections are usually different from what they export to the West. Founded in 1984 in Hiroshima, Uniqlo is a clothing brand without bells and whistles. Instead of focusing on consumer trends and fast fashion appeal, their collections emphasize on quality fabrics, trendy cuts and colors, and wardrobe essentials. Here are 10 things you might want to stock up on when you drop by Uniqlo on your trip to Japan.
cover photo credit: Uniqlo Instagram
1. Basic Tshirts
A seasonless item that is an essential in every wardrobe, regardless of age, gender, and occupation, the basic plain t-shirt is one of Uniqlo Japan’s best sellers. Available in multiple sizes, color choices, as well as crew and V-neck variations, Uniqlo’s basic tees are individually packaged and retail for just ¥500.
2. Bra tops
All of you ladies out there will definitely appreciate Uniqlo Japan’s line of camisoles and bra tops. Retailing for just ¥1990, they are available in over 8 different color choices and sizes. Now that’s something you don’t find in any lingerie store, do you? They can be worn both underneath your garments in winter for added warmth, or paired with a blazer for those hot summer days at the office.
3. HEATTECH series
The Hattech series is one of the best deals on the market when it comes to thermal clothing. The line covers a wide variety of items: from turtlenecks to long-sleeved t-shirts, and form leggings to socks. Needless to say, they are also available in different colors or patterns, as well as a range of sizes to accommodate all body types. Uniqlo Japan’s HEATTECH pieces generally retail for under ¥3000, which makes them a great deal compared to other alternatives on the market. And it’s one of your best bets if you packed the wrong stuff when coming to Japan in the cold season.
4. Ultra Light Down Jacket
Again, this is a lifesaver when you packed a bit too light, or the weather just decided to pull a prank on you the moment you stepped foot in the Land of the Rising Sun. Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Jacket can fit into a bottle-sized bag that comes with it and is as warm and cozy as you would expect of a full-fledged down jacket. Space savvy, warm, and available for under ¥6000? Sounds like a steal to us!
5. Seamless underwear
Again, here’s one for the ladies. Uniqlo has a pretty great line of wireless bras and seamless panty shorts, that are incredibly comfortable to wear. For once, they are also available in foreigner-friendly sizes (as you’d have a hard time finding anything above a B-cup in a regular Japanese lingerie store), and several different colors. The bras go for ¥1990, and the shorts/panties for just ¥590. Of course, they aren’t no Victoria’s Secret, but did we mention they feel like you’re wearing nothing?
6. Men’s Chinos
For the gentlemen out there looking to welcome the warm season with some cutting-edge chinos, Uniqlo is a treasure mine. While a pair of decently fit, good quality chinos from a well know brand can set you back a couple hundred bucks, Uniqlo sells them for just under ¥3000. They’re perfectly cropped over the ankle for that stylish, modern look, and usually come in two different colors – beige and navy.
7. Ultra Stretch Jeans
We’ll admit, it’s hard to find good quality jeans in fast fashion brands. However, what you can find at Uniqlo are the Ultra Stretch series, which are more of a hybrid between a pair of jeans and the comfiest leggings you’ve ever worn. They come in a skinny fit and are available in both high-waist and low-waist variations. Of course, there are several different colors to choose from, as well as a range of sizes. The Ultra Stretch jeans from Uniqlo are the perfect alternative if you want to rock the denim look, but don’t really feel like walking around all day in real jeans.
8. Flannel Shirts
Whether you’re going for that sexy lumberjack look this season, or you’re just looking for comfortable and warm pieces to layer up until the weather warms up for real, hit up Uniqlo’s flannel section. Dozens of colors and patterns, a bunch of cuts to choose from, and one of the softest fabrics you’ve had the pleasure of touching. Did we mention they’re only ¥1990?
9. MYUNIQLO Customizables
MYUNIQLO is a service available at certain Uniqlo stores in Japan (most notably the Ginza one in Tokyo), which allows you to customize the item you bought with a touch of personal style. In other words, they can embroider something on your t-shirt, tote bag, or whatever else takes your fancy, for an extra fee. You can opt for lettering (both Roman and Japanese alphabets available), as well as cute and simple designs for ¥500 each. 10 letters will also set you back ¥500, and you can customize everything about them – from the font and size to the color.
10. Air Rhythm Series
As opposed to the HEATTECH series, Air Rhythm is a line of products that are supposed to keep you cool and let your skin breathe in the hot season. Again, Air Rhythm does the job surprisingly well for the price, considering that most of the items retail for under ¥3000. Uniqlo has Air Rhythm lines for men, women, and kids, and they include various garments, from tops to leggings and underwear. What’s more, there’s even a line of Air Rhythm bedding, which is particularly popular on the Japanese market.
11. Designer collaborations
Much like any other fast fashion brand, Uniqlo is big on collaborating with famous designers and bigger brands to create unique and fashionable pieces for their trademark low prices. Keep an eye out on Uniqlo’s social media or website to keep in touch with the latest collaborations – or just pop into a store when in Japan and let it surprise you!
Uniqlo is definitely not the pinnacle of Japanese fashion, but it is a great place to stock up on essentials without breaking the bank. Contrary to popular belief, Uniqlo’s clothes are actually great quality and have a timeless vibe to them, which you can’t really say about the likes of H&M. Whatever you might end up getting, we hope you enjoy shopping at Uniqlo in Japan!
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