Guide to Cheap Clothes in Tokyo: Must-Visit Vintage Shops in Shimokitazawa
Although people around the world are being swept up by Korean culture, Japan remains the pioneer in Asian fashion, offering an impressive array of classic styles that evolved over time from the 70s through the 80s and 90s. Tokyo is the hub of fashion and trends, and the neighborhood of Shimokitazawa in particular is well-known for secondhand fashion and vintage clothing. Let's take a look at some of the must-visit shops in the area!
Apr 01 2020 (Sep 09 2020)
Shimokita Garage Department
Can you really say you've shopped in Shimokitazawa if you haven’t stopped by Shimokita Garage Department? The department is a combination of several vintage stores much like a flea market, so it is recommended for those who want to take a look at as many secondhand stores as possible in a short time.
For example, “VALON” not only stocks American and European clothes for men and women, they have even pieced together outfits from head to toe so you can easily buy the whole set. The racks are full of retro Western apparel made of quality materials, perfect for those who care about both the textile and texture!
“Ocean BLVD” is another store located on the right side of the Shimokita Garage Department entrance, neatly displaying rows of vivid and trendy clothes, as well as Showa-style (before 1989) dresses and skirts from the 60s to 80s. In addition to clothing, there is also a wide selection of fashion accessories for both the young and the mature.
FLAMINGO Shimokitazawa Branch
With a colorful exterior and a bright neon sign, FLAMINGO is really hard to miss. The store specializes in selling American clothes from the 40s to 80s at fair prices, with most of the products carefully selected by US-based buyers from vintage markets. Besides men’s and women's clothing, there is also an array of glasses, accessories, and decorations. Furnished with stylish antiques and retro furniture, the place is definitely delightful for shopping around, even if you don’t end up buying anything.
NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE
“NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE” is just a 5-minute walk away from the north exit of Shimokitazawa Station. The store’s name is very easy to remember once you know its origin: the store used to be a public bathhouse, and bathhouse is “nyu-yoku-jo” in Japanese, which sounds very similar to “NEW YORK JOE”! Not only does it offers unique men's and women's apparel, the prices are also reasonable and affordable, with all vintage clothing costing below 10,000 yen!
The store purchases and brings in a large amount of items daily, so you won’t get tired and might even find some treasures if you visit often. For those who want to sell your secondhand clothes here, if it is hard to set the prices, they can determine them based on the garments' weight. The store has quite an extensive customer base, so fashionably dressed people and even a handful of older shoppers can be seen here. Come visit to find some vintage clothes perfect for you!
This long-established shop assembles vintage attire from the 1800s to the 1990s. Here, you can find hand-picked secondhand American and European clothing from all over the world. The discerning shop owner always picks garments that keep up with the latest trends of the season. With high quality and exceptional taste, HAIGHT&ASHBURY has been the bellwether of vintage shopping. Fashion-loving men and women should definitely come here to hunt for treasures like simplistic clothes and versatile items!
This vintage store in Shimokitazawa is relatively reputable amongst Japanese locals and foreign tourists and boasts a customer base of all ages. It has a large assortment of American vintage apparel from the 1950s to the 1990s. Menswear can be found on the 1st floor, while women’s clothing is on the 2nd, where the bargain jumpsuits, denim, and jeans collections are the most popular!
FLORIDA is an American vintage shop with a similar appearance to the aforementioned FLAMINGO that is not far away. It offers an assortment of products, from menswear and womenswear to bags and accessories. Its biggest difference from other vintage shops are the sneakers, which are very cheap and come in various styles. The store also directly purchases secondhand clothing, and the seller can choose to be paid in cash or "Kome-azing" tickets that can be exchanged for double the worth of white rice or other clothes in the store. Isn’t that interesting? There are promotional sales on weekends, so remember to pay it a visit if you have time!
After reading the above introductions, is there any vintage clothing shop that catches your eye? The stores in Shimokitazawa are quite scattered, and one often stumbles across interesting shops while walking through the streets. Visiting every store might take a whole day, so just start with the ones above, and you’ll walk away with a great deal of goodies for sure!
Cover photo: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.