I have a confession to make. I’m kinda addicted to clothes shopping. But not just any kind. I get specifically fixated on high-quality Japanese clothing from online stores. Nothing quite compared to the clothing items that manufacturers and brands supply exclusively for the Japanese market. I almost can’t contain myself whenever a new collection of my favorite brand gets launched.
But this doesn’t mean that buying Japanese clothes online is simple. The Japanese market is a discerning market with many quirks. Many brands don’t actually focus on selling online since most of their income comes from offline retail. This means that sometimes you would have to depend on Japanese resellers to get your favorite pieces shipped to your front door. As the shift to selling online becomes more and more inevitable, we would like to give you our online brand recommendations when buying Japanese clothes online.
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Uniqlo! How this list would be incomplete without mentioning this fashion empire! Uniqlo is a lifestyle fashion brand that focuses on selling casual clothing items. What sets Uniqlo apart from other brands is its wearability. They are known for making and designing pieces that look great now as well as ten years down the line. This transcendental quality is what makes them truly stand out. Uniqlo’s timeless aesthetics are why they are so successful and have a cult following.
This doesn’t mean that the brand is stuck in its own way. Uniqlo always experiments with new product categories and forms new collaborations with household names and other talents. Some notable collaborations include Walt Disney, local anime artists, and other artists to put out all sorts of clothing one could wear.
Not only can people rest assured with the style when they pick a reliable brand like Uniqlo, but their clothing quality is also second to none. If you ever put on Uniqlo t-shirts or trousers, you will get what we are talking about. The brand has super consistent high quality and their fabrics are always skin-friendly. Comfortable casual wear with high-quality execution that doesn’t break the bank is the very key to their continuous success.
As a game-changer in the field, Uniqlo embraced online selling very early on. Uniqlo loves selling online but apparently, Uniqlo online stores in each country only serve their domestic market. This is why if you really need any items that are only available in the Japanese market, you will have to rely on a buying service.
When we think of a Japanese street style, we think of the juxtaposition of chic minimalist style and surreal Harajuku style outfits. Inspired by these styles, WEGO is famous for its electric combination of casual and Harajuku-style fashion.
Found in 1994 in Osaka, this brand’s mission is to supply young people in their 20s with the trendiest apparel. Since they are so attuned to the pulse of fashion, they have risen to become a top name for all the youngsters, opening up to over 150 stores across Japan.
WEGO is known for its partnership with other fashion empires like Kappa and Disney. These merchandises are sold exclusively at WEGO and attract much attention from both fans and the industry. Due to these original collaborations, fashion fans have kept coming to WEGO so they can own these limited edition pieces.
Recently, WEGO launched its own e-shop and so you don’t have to physically get to the store to own the pieces of the latest collections. Just go to their websites and place your order within the bat of an eye. However, WEGO doesn’t deliver internationally themselves. Users can find many workarounds, one of them is to use the bundled package forwarding platform.
Founded in 2004, Zozotown has been a Japanese fashion E-commerce store staple. They help brands sell their own products through Zozotown and this is their main expertise. It’s like walking into a virtual department store with all the brand names you know and love (ie. Adidas and Nike).
While most people think of Zozotown as a site for the Japanese to buy International brands, many people forget that they also help international fashion fans access Japanese brands.
While Zozotown does offer international shipping, you need to have a clear distinction in mind. The Japanese site only offers Nationwide shipping to all of Japan prefectures while the US sites cater to many other countries around the world.
BAPE is a brand that may slip your radar, but they are widely known amongst the fashionista enthusiast community. If you love the modern lifestyle and the cool streetwear look, then BAPE will really tickle your fancy. With 19 stores nationwide, their success can be traced to its founder’s vision and business sense. Nigo, who founded the brand in 1993, has been studying fashion in college and already achieved landslide success in those early days.
While BAPE might be remembered by international shoppers with their much-awaited collab with Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, or Kid Cudi, no project can really outshine their partnership with the Hello Kitty brand.
Unfortunately, BAPE doesn’t fulfill international orders so fashion fans outside of Japan would need to rely on other shipping platforms that bridge this gap.
While the sites listed above are B2C sites, this site is unique in that the sellers can be just about anybody. This marketplace app allows people to trade used goods and set flexible shipping options so they are perfect for selling new and used clothes. What makes many fashion lovers obsessed with Mercari is the Japanese culture of preserving goods and products. You can buy many used items without any visible issues at a fraction of the retail price.
There are two versions of Mercari: the Japanese site and the US site. Each only serves their domestic market and doesn’t facilitate international shipping. If you want to buy something from Japan, go on Mercari Japan, get the link and ask an international shipping service to take care of the rest.
It might seem strange to the outside world but Rakuten is like the ultimate mashup between Amazon and eBay. Many Rakuten sellers have established businesses with big marketing budgets while some sellers are just consumers wanting to sell things on the side.
Rakuten is truly Japan’s biggest e-commerce giant since you can find so many different things on here besides clothing. If you fancy Japanese cosmetics, electronics, or home appliances, or literally any other sorts of goods, you can rest assured that you can find something to your taste. Rakuten’s goods are reasonably priced and have very good quality.
Due to their healthy mix of wholesalers, manufacturers, and small resellers, Rakuten’s products are always sought after. The international version of the site includes all the resellers who are willing to fulfill orders globally. While this version might be more limited than the original Rakuten, it is still a reasonable choice when the goods you are after don’t have a satisfactory alternative or local sellers.
7. Salz Kimono
If you love the Japanese culture, then one part of Japan’s culture will likely captivate your interest – their traditional clothing. Luckily for us, there is a wonderful website out there to help us get all of our needs met when it comes to vintage kimono and yukata. Not only do they sell authentic Japanese clothing items as souvenirs or gifts, but there‘s also a robust collection of graphic t-shirts, dresses, and accessories.
If you feel their current offering doesn’t seem to suit your style, you can absolutely order your own kimono with your own twist. Salz Kimono’s made-to-order service can be an absolute godsend for anybody who wants to create their own version of this special Japanese Attire Form.
Salz Kimono’s online store ships globally and the best part is that their shipping services are rather speedy.
8. Amazon Japan
As this e-commerce giant has already dominated much of America’s online shopping experience, Amazon also has a big presence in Japan. Amazon Japan, however, has a local twist to them and operates very much the same way as Rakuten. Amazon Japan also has many products that you can only get from Japan and nowhere else. If you are seeking Japanese clothes or seeking resellers with a variety of products, you can absolutely seek out Amazon Japan.
While not every seller on Amazon Japan has their listings ship internationally, you’ll be surprised at what is available on here. So if you are seeking something from the Land of the rising sun, be sure to toggle the filter for “International shipping” before making your search.
9.COMME des GARÇONS
One of the biggest Japanese brands in the fashion industry, COMME des GARÇONS was founded by Rei Kawakubo in the 1970s in Japan. The brand strikes a fascinating balance between avant-garde fashion and utilitarian everyday wear. They continue to receive a lot of attention and affection from fans and critics alike due to some of the notable achievements that no other Japanese brands have reached.
Even though the CdG clothing line was designed in Japan, its original birthplace, they showcase their best work during the Paris Fashion Week. The audience will be overwhelmed by the sculpture-like garment and theatrical presentation if they closely follow the brand’s show.
However, jaw-dropping runway clothes might not be very practical in day-to-day life. If you need something more casual and wearable, you can check out their Play line. Get all the expertly crafted T-shirts, sweatshirts, and sneakers and experience the affordable entry-level luxurious CdG brand. You can get all the clothes with the famous heart logo from resellers or stockists in Japan as it is not very easy to get ahold of much-sought-after COMME des GARÇONS Play line items from Japan itself.
10. Peach John
Mika Noguchi founded her new company, Peach John, with her husband Shoji Noguchi in Tokyo in 1994. Their vision for the company in the early day was to sell imported American lingerie, esp. the Bomb Bust bra. This padded bra from America was an overnight success that helped propel Peach John into producing their own original bra and lingerie. All of this started in 1998.
Nowadays, Peach John is wholly owned by Wacoal, another major Japanese lingerie producer. With various shop locations all across Japan, Peach John is the go-to brand for women who like cute high-quality lingerie at an affordable price. Even though PJ doesn’t have a big online presence, you can likely get your hands on these cute items through some resellers on various eCommerce platforms.
Beams has always been a prominent brand of Japanese clothing and we think that they deserve a mention when you are seeking a good brand to buy Japanese clothes online.
However, when people think of Beam they also think of clothing stores that carry the namesake brands as well as other brands. While not as big as Uniqlo, Beams is a mini fashion chain that has a widespread network of shops all across Japan. Some flagship Beams department stores occupy almost 7 floors with so many types of goods and products. We’re talking interior goods, decor, furniture, arts, clothing, and all kinds of sports gear.
Beams brand of clothing carries many different types of products such as shoes, bags, trousers, shirts, casualwear, classic wardrobe pieces. The artwork that goes with Beams clothing is funky and cartoonish in nature which helps make the process of discovering items become so much fun. Beams targets young Japanese consumers and stays away from practices that make them look like luxury goods. In fact, one can attribute their success to their impeccable quality at a very reasonable price.
If you are wishing to get Beams clothes from another country, please remind yourself to use their bundled World shopping service as per the website instructions. Another option is to pick your own buying service and make payment directly to this service.
12. United Arrows
United Arrows might not be a new name for people who love Japanese unconventional brands. This high-end brand specializes in both men’s and women’s clothing. One of the great perks when shopping on their site is the option to use other languages. Currently, consumers can choose English, Japanese or Chinese to navigate the site and make a purchase.
If there is a phrase to describe United Arrows’s client base it would be: “an unconventional free spirit who stays away from trends”. United Arrows clothes, while very selective in their wearer, have a long history and a lot of thought invested into their design and function. If you are a sartorially advanced person who loves shopping around for a unique personal piece, then UA would be your literal heaven. While not being sold widely in the west except for one small sub-brand, you can get your UA product delivered by a trusted forwarder.