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 BUYLINE
Shibuya’s Zenmall (29-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; 03-3770-1641), known for offering large clothing for men, is holding a two-day Early Bird Pre-Summer Sale. The sale will take place on the mornings of April 12 (Sat) and 13 (Sun) for three hours (9am-noon) each day. During these times, nearly everything will be marked 20-80 percent off. Some of the bargains include suits with a spare pair of pants for \9,800 (sizes 3-8L), and summer casual jackets for \8,000 (3-6L). Imported designer suits by makers like Calvin Klein and Boss are also marked down to \39,000 and \59,000, respectively. Those who spend over \10,000 can take part in the Cash Grabbing Contest, where shoppers can dig into a box full of cash. Spend over \30,000 for two chances to grab, and \50,000 for three. Don't miss this rare opportunity, as it could be one of the few chances for those looking to buy large sizes in Japan, especially at affordable prices.
 PAST ISSUES
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IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
519: Bra-vo
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether it’s a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon stroll, there will be times this summer when you’ll want to keep the sun off your face. †Martin Webb hunts down Tokyo’s best headwear suppliers so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills’ aspirations to be the city’s cultural hub. This is the consumer capital of the world, and it’s all about shopping. Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentine’s Day extra memorable this year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
Shibuya sportswear
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
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Blasts from the past

Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.

While the term vintage clothing may have connotations of Edwardian lace blouses and '20s flapper dresses, the expression has acquired a different meaning of late. Blame it on shows like "Sex and the City" or style icons such as Chloe Sevigny and Kate Moss, but vintage has come to encompass any pre-'90s decade-although we're sure that flannel shirts and hooded crushed-velvet jackets will soon be in the mix as well. Stroll through Tokyo and you'll find a myriad of vintage and secondhand clothing shops to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites.

 

G2?

Take a step into G2? and you'll encounter a haven for all things '80s, a decade that many would like to forget but one which offered some of the most entertaining-albeit trashy-fashion ever. Of particular note is the vast shoe collection-red, brown, black, white and beige Western boots with fringing, sparkly silver stilettos, and slouchy suede thigh-high boots. There are also sequined butterfly tops, bedazzled batwing sweaters, and glitter rah-rah skirts. The shop also offers accessories galore, with chunky plastic beads, shoulder-length drop earrings, elastic belts, and hats varying from the porkpie to a very camp skipper's cap. If you're looking for an original T-shirt, check out G2?'s collection of oversized tees sporting memorable '80s icons such as the post-Wham! George Michael and heavy rockers Guns n' Roses. We love the red-and-white polka dot dresses with sweetheart necklines and tutu underlays.

3-22-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5786-4188. Open daily noon-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku.

 

Chicago

A local institution since 1967, Chicago boasts four stores in the Tokyo area. The Harajuku outlet is a maze of pre-loved clothing, and regardless of the day or time, it's buzzing with determined customers. Currently in-store for women is a large selection of trench coats, ranging from denim-belted numbers to more conservative beige mackintoshes. Chicago also features cotton overalls, wool cardigans embellished with pearls and Pucci-print A-line dresses in vibrant hues. For men, there are hundreds of pairs of jeans-choose from a traditional stonewash to an acid wash for that '80s vibe. Tired of denim? Try a pair of gray pinstripe stovepipe trousers or, for something that's a little more casual, camouflage pants. If you feel like reliving your high school days, Chicago has a variety of letterman jackets. Also of special interest is their wide array of kimono, yukata and obi in a wide assortment of prints, from those embossed with a traditional cherry-blossom motif to geometric designs in muted tones.

Omotesando branch 6-31-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3409-5017. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku.

Takeshita branch 1-6-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3478-6285. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku.

Jingumae branch 1-6-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3408-8482. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku.

Shimokitazawa branch 5-32-5 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku. Tel: 03-3419-2890. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Shimokitazawa.

 

We Go

With a continuous supply of stock imported from Holland, France and England, We Go gives shoppers the opportunity to discover new items daily. Their just-opened Harajuku store is perpetually crowded with in-the-know shoppers. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of winter with a medley of knitted scarves, beanies and mittens in every color imaginable, as well as a variety of boots ranging from the basic cowboy to studded ruched numbers. For women, We Go offers Western shirts galore: denim, checked, pastel-colored, and those with embroidered detailing. Also on show are cheerleader skirts, mohair sweaters, leather patchwork vests, and '70s-print polyester dresses. For men, We Go has shelves stacked with jeans. We like the washed-out gray denim and, if you're so inclined, zip-up velour tracksuit jackets. Don't forget to take a look at We Go's specials rack displaying sweatshirts emblazoned with kitsch logos such as "Somebody Loves Me in Kalamazoo" and "My Grandmother Bought This For Me."

Harajuku branch 6-5-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3400-7625. Open daily 10am-9pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku.

Shimokitazawa branch 2-26-7 Kitazawa, Setegaya-ku. Tel: 03-5790-8451. Open daily noon-8pm. Nearest stn: Shimokitazawa.

 

Per Gramme Market and Expedition Mode

At the quirkily named retail outlet Per Gramme Market, you can literally buy secondhand clothing by weight-¥8 per gram to be precise. The store is an accessories heaven: low-slung leather '80s belts with garish clasps, spotted and checkerboard braces, Glomesh purses and clutches, knitted beanies adorned with pompoms, enamel bracelets and necklaces, black, red and brown suede slouch boots, customized Converse trainers, and a profusion of stilettos and pumps. Per Gramme Market also offers sequined vests, '80s party dresses in primary colors, velvet and corduroy knickerbockers, tartan skirts, pinstripe shirts, and row upon row of trenches and coats to ward off the winter blues. Our favorite is the jungle-themed section, filled with an assortment of stretch Lycra dresses-think Pretty Woman chic-velour bomber jackets, and polyester batwing tops in bold zebra, leopard and tiger prints. Take a walk up the stairs and you'll find a more upmarket version of the store, Expedition Mode, where each item has been individually handpicked from Europe. We were enamored by a pair of vintage Charles Jourdan peep-toe shoes. And if you're feeling puckish, stop in at Moroccan cafe Marrakech, located on the second floor, for a quick bite to eat.

Mori Building, 1-6-5 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3760-3777. Open Mon-Fri noon-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-9pm. Nearest stn: Nakameguro.

 

Swipe

While there are a profusion of secondhand and vintage stores in Shimokitazawa, Swipe, tucked away in the back streets, offers clothing from the '60s through to the '80s. Owner Megumi Fukoda sources all pieces from the US, England and Japan, so there's a constant flow of incoming garments. On offer are mod dresses with geometric swirls, spotty neon tops, and accessories ranging from schoolboy ties to logo badges to porkpie hats. Swipe also features a smattering of handmade pieces, including tooled leather bags, bauble necklaces and punk-themed T-shirts. Prices are reasonable; expect to pay as little as ¥1,000 for intricate earrings and up to ¥15,000 for a handcrafted bag.

5-32-13 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku. Tel: 03-3487-9027. Open daily noon-8pm. Nearest stn: Shimokitazawa.

Photo credits: Martin Hladik; Sascha Keane

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