Japanese Steals

Japan Style 7: Short A Line Skirts

By the time this post is published, I’ll be on a plane on my way back to London from Japan. For those who don’t know, I’ve spent the last 15 months living in Tochigi Prefecture in Japan teaching English to children. It’s been a wonderful year. I was able to travel and make amazing new friends and learn about a culture I had always been curious about.

It’s with a mix of happiness and sadness that I’m leaving Japan, but isn’t that always the case when moving countries? Anyway, I’m writing this two weeks prior to my flight, as I’m going to travel a little bit more around this amazing country before going and want to keep this blog on schedule. So, on with the actual post!

Short A-line skirts have been fashionable for a while, and I actually already owned one before I came to Japan, so today I just want to share the various looks that I was so excited about from my favourite Japanese magazine Mer. Hopefully they’ll inspire you guys as well.

Notice all the colour mixes, patterns and different fabrics used and you’ll see why Japanese people have managed to grab a now mainstream item into something more:

So, which look is your favourite? Which ones do you hate? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Ines

Japanese Steals

Japan Style 6: Oversized Hoodies

Hello everyone!

Today I’d like to talk about something that a lot of instagrammers (both Western and Japanese) have been wearing for a while: oversized hoodies!

I always thought they made such a cute and comfortable look, but never had the courage to buy one myself. I thought it would make me look like a giant potato.

However, the cold winter in Japan made me yearn for something comfortable that I would just wear with some leggings at home, the kind of outfit you wear to binge watch Netflix. So I went back to my magazines and looked for ideas and this is what I came back with:

Needless to say, the idea of an oversized hoodie was growing on me. And on a cold day, as I was buying new socks in Uniqlo, I saw it. It was discounted. I didn’t even think twice before adding it to my shopping basket and rush to the till. It definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s soft, warm and long enough to cover my butt, which is what I wanted. I’ve worn it mainly at home, but have sneaked it into work on a rough day just to feel nice and cuddly.

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What do you think? Would you wear an oversized hoodie? How would you style it? Let me know in the comments!

Ines

Japanese Steals

Japan Style 5: Stripes

Again, this isn’t new for most of you. Maybe I should just make it clear: most of these styles that I’m talking about aren’t different from the styles being talked about in Europe and America and so on. The thing is that Japan manages to take a step further.

Yes, that step isn’t always in the best of directions. There are a lot of styles in Japan that I just don’t like (check out my post where I try one of them here). But still, it’s refreshing to see how they layer colours and patterns. How they put the shirt dress over a hoodie or tuck a chemise dress into a long pencil skirt.

So, here are a few pictures of wearistas wearing stripes from my collection of Mer magazines:

These pictures and many others are what made me buy my striped top. I still want to get another one with thinner stripes, but for now this is what I got and I think it’s adorable.

What do you think? Would you wear these looks? How else would you style this top? What colours would you mix it with? Let me know in the comments below!

Ines

Japanese Steals

Japan Style 4: Chemise Dress

Another week, another item that I was introduced to here in Japan: the chemise dress! You see these everywhere when walking around the street, in different colours and materials! I’d even risk saying that this is one of the current staples of Japanese fashion! You can wear it all year round and style it in so many different ways!

So, as usual, here’s pictures from the Japanese magazine Mer, which were really what pushed me to buy a chemise dress:

Be it opaque or see-through, velour or cotton, Japanese wearistas have taken something that has become popular all over the world and managed to take it a step further! I was so excited about all the different looks I could create with one of these that I went out and looked for the perfect one!

I tried a variety of colours and fabrics, but never really liked the options available. Mostly because the big majority were extremely low cleavage and I just didn’t like it because I have a long neck. But then Uniqlo came to the rescue once more!

They were selling velvet chemise dresses in three colours: pink, blue and black. I tried all three and just had to go for black. I know, I know, I always go for the easy colours, but I thought it would be better to choose this one because it’s something I’ve never worn before. Maybe one day I’ll buy one with a pattern but for now, let’s keep things simple.

I’ve also worn it in the summer with a t-shirt and loved it! I’ve got no regrets buying this piece and will definitely be wearing it when I get back to Portugal in December!

What do you think? Would you wear it? How would you style it? Let me know in the comments!

Ines

Japanese Steals

Japan Style 3: Dungarees

Hey everyone! So, here’s another post on something that I had been wanting for a while, even before coming to Japan: Dungarees! They’ve been a big thing for quite a long time, but I always felt a bit unsure about them.

As my previous post of me trying out velvet trousers (click here to check it out!), I’m a bit insecure as to my hips and legs. Whatever I wear has to not make them look bigger or flat. So when I found out about dungarees these were my first thoughts:

“Oh my god! They’re so cute! I gotta have them!!! But … I’ll probably look like a big baby. With a huge butt. And no shape. I’ll look like a potato….”

Anyway, it was in Japan that I finally made a decision when it came to dungarees, and here is a few examples of what local magazines showed me:

Aren’t they adorable? That’s exactly what made me rush online and get myself a pair just for me! And of course I got too excited and made the mistake of deciding on a pair too quickly. I accidentally got brown corduroy dungarees thinking they were block cotton (don’t judge me, the website was in Japanese!).

However, when I put them on, I immediately loved them!! They’re so comfortable! And I actually like the colour now, it’s quite a dark shade of brown. I’ve worn them a few times and I’m quite happy with the purchase. The only thing I will say is that corduroy does attract a LOT of lint. So always have a roller ready!

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What do you think? Adorable? Would you wear corduroy dungarees?

Let me know in the comments!

Ines

Japanese Steals

Japan Style 2: The Shirt Dress

Now this was a piece that I thought I’d love just on its own. I love long shirts, and I especially love flannel shirts. So when I found that there were shirt dresses I went crazy and immediately went online to find the best one!

However, I could never have imagined the amount of ways that you can style a shirt dress! And that’s what my first magazine showed me. So, here are a few looks from a Japanese fashion magazine so you guys can have an idea.

True, I don’t like all of the looks. And I wonder how comfortable the layered looks are, Japanese wearistas layer clothes in the weirdest of ways, but I did like a lot of them and have worn my shirt dress in a number of ways.

Here are a few photos of me trying out different looks.

You can tell that one of the photos was from a while ago (before I cut my hair), but what do you think? Am I doing it right? Which one is your favourite look? And which one should I try next?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Layer up! It’s getting cold!

Ines

Japanese Steals

Japan style 1: The Accordion Skirt

 

 

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I know, I know. It isn’t just a Japanese thing. Accordion skirts have been everywhere for a while now, but there’s a reason for it! You can wear them in so many ways and communicate so many different styles!

Wear it with a band t-shirt and you’re showing off your grundge side. Wear it with a fluffy sweater and you show off your romantic side. And don’t get me started with the range of colours they are available in! From dark to bright to mute to metallic. The opportunities are endless with accordion skirts.

So, to give you an idea of what made it Japanese for me, I’d like to share with you some of the cuttings I’ve gathered so far of accordion skirts from my Japanese magazines, have a look!

Such a versatile piece! I immediately set out to find the perfect accordion skirt! I went to different shops, tried different shapes and colours and… well, frankly I didn’t like the look of any of them!

They were too form fitting, too long. I’m not a person who is very comfortable with extremely bright colours or form fitting items of clothing, especially when they highlight my hips.

So time went by and I kept collecting clippings and pinning beautiful pictures on Pinterest of perfect outfits, all of them with accordion skirts. I especially kept my eye on metallic ones, there was just something so rock n’ roll about those that really caught my eye.

In the end, it was Uniqlo that came to the rescue! There were only three colours available: pale pink, army green and black. I went for the black one and I quite liked the fit. It still accentuated my hips in a way that I didn’t quite like, but I just took a deep breath and bought it.

I’ll be completely honest, the first time I wore it in the sweltering Japanese heat with a white Star Wars t-shirt, I was a bit uncomfortable. But then I kept sneaking a peak at myself on store windows and actually liked what I saw. Later in the day I actually got a compliment on it and that just shook all my insecurities away!

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of me wearing it on that day, but here’s a picture of me wearing it at Mashiko Pottery Fair last Sunday!

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Just in case you are wondering: grey sweater from Wego, skirt from Uniqlo, tights from Uniqlo, Timberland ankle boots, yellow Fjallraven Kanken backpack.

What do you think? Was it a smart buy? Let me know in the comments.

And how would you style it? Any ideas?

Ines

Japanese Steals

Inspiration: Japan

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Ginkakuji Temple in Kyoto

So, you obviously don’t know this, but I’ve been living in Japan for the past year (sorry for the random picture of Ginkakuji temple in Kyoto). I’m actually getting ready to go back home (Portugal, if you must know) in December and having spent the past few weeks packing all my things and giving a lot of clothes away to recycle shops, I’ve realised how big an impact Japanese fashion had on me.

When I first arrived, one of the things I first did was to try and pick a fashion magazine that I liked, and this turned out to be one called “mer”. It isn’t a high-end fashion magazine, but about looks we can wear on our day-to-day lives and a lot of them are sponsored by cheaper stores like Uniqlo (which I LOVE, by the way).

In Japan, they call the models in this kind of magazine “Wearistas” (almost like an Instagrammer) and they all have very unique styles! A lot of them publish what’s called “Style books”, books that teach you how to match your clothes, and also Hair and Nail arrangement books.

Anyway, what first got me into this magazine was the very first issue I bought. In it they had two pages dedicated to three items of clothing. Only three. But the amazing thing they did with these three items is that they asked the models to create a look for each month of the year with that same item.

This was a breakthrough for me! A fashion magazine that showed me the full potential of a single item of clothing. And this has been helping me create new looks and layering clothes I’d never even think of wearing together!

That’s why I’d like to start this blog with a series on Japanese mainstream fashion pieces that I have added to my closet and that I have completely lost my head over!

Now, since this post is already too long for my liking, I’ll just leave you with a few Instagram accounts of wearistas that you can follow:

 

Also, you can follow me on Instagram (Scroll down to see the feed)! I’ve been posting my daily looks! So far they’ve been ok, but the week’s starting and I’m going to be wearing my work clothes (I work with kids) which means comfortable and that I don’t mind tearing. But the point of this Instagram is to show what I wear everyday, no shame!

Hope you enjoy mocking my comfy jeans!

Ines