Uniqlo is my go-to store for affordable, chic clothes, mostly because it’s one of the only clothing stores in Tokyo I can actually afford to shop at.

Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

Uniqlo is a Japanese chain store that focuses on casual wear. They officially debuted under the name “Uniqlo” in 1985. Now, Uniqlo is worldwide, with over 1,000 stores operating in 13 countries.

Their simple logo – a red box with the letter “UNIQLO” stacked inside is easily recognizable. If you live in Tokyo, I guarantee you’ve seen Uniqlo signs and stores in every major shopping district.

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Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

Did I mention that Uniqlo is cheap?

I’m not going to lie, Uniqlo’s prices are fantastic. They definitely fall in my limited budget. Uniqlo has a fun, unique style mixing professional with casual, button down shirts with bright printed pants, hipster glasses, hats, sweater vests, printed skirts, and cardigans.

Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

They have a Women’s, Men’s, and Children’s section.

The store is usually pretty equally divided between Women’s and Men’s section, with a sizable chunk in the corner for kids. You can easily drag your significant other along for a cheap shopping trip.

Uniqlo has sales every weekend.

For some reason, every weekend Uniqlo slashes their prices. Their sales aren’t huge; it’s rare to see something more than 30% off. However, that makes a 1,900 yen pair of pants become a very affordable 1,510 yen pair of pants. So if you’re not afraid of crowds, try to go on the weekends.

Uniqlo is for all sizes.

One of the reasons my friends love Uniqlo is because while most stores in Japan won’t go above a size L Uniqlo goes up to 3XL (in weight) and XXL (in height). A lot of my friends who can’t fit into anything else in Japan turn to Uniqlo.

Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta

Heattech in the Winter, Silky Dry and Sarafine in the Summer

In early November, I fell in love with Uniqlo’s Heattech innerwear, tank tops, long sleeved shirts, and tights that are specifically designed to keep you warm. I don’t know how they do it (and to be honest, I don’t care), but Heattech saved me and my electric bill during this past winter.

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I started off skeptically buying one when it was on sale; when that one worked I picked up another shirt the next time I passed a Uniqlo. Somehow, in the course of about six months, I managed to collect seven Heattech shirts. I regret nothing.

Now I find out Uniqlo has Silky Dry (Men’s line) and Sarafine (Women’s line) “air-conditioned” innerwear that is supposed to wick moisture away during the sweltering summer months.

Is this fabric technology really necessary? Yes, yes it is. Let’s face it. Japan isn’t just hot during the summer, it’s humid too. I didn’t even bother being skeptical, when I was at Uniqlo yesterday browsing through their spring collection, I picked up my first Sarafine tank-top.

Give me your worst, Tokyo summer. I have my Uniqlo. I can handle the heat.

Photo by Grace Buchele Mineta
Filed under: Fashion | Shopping
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