Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Resolutions! Gal-ing up your life.

New Years Resolutions

Everyone has them, and mine seem to be bigger and more concrete than usual.

Coming home this time has made my disconnect even clearer. Although I grew up in Houston, I only moved back 2 years ago. Actually my man moved us while I was in Japan in 2007. I really haven’t lived in my American place an entire year combined since I’m always heading back to Japan. So I have decided for 2010 I have a few goals to stop the disconnect and shape up!

Body-con

I came back from Japan and gained 8 lbs! 3.6 kilos! (*。′口`。*) I was working on losing 5 at the time. So I’m back to 13 lbs to lose. Not awesome. But, even on Christmas I worked out and I’m going to shape up my body, cut the alcohol (after NYE) and be fabulous!

LESS is MORE

So even though we’ve moved here 2 yrs ago, there’s still unpacked boxes, a lack of closet space, and clothes spilling out everywhere. Now adding up a shopaholic’s booty from Japan for 2 years plus previous grabs equals enough clothes to make Mt. Fuji out of. “<(××)>” I do love having a lot of clothes and allowing myself to dress in several looks depending on my mood. I’m a rock-kei girl who loves girly things, I’m a monotone girl who screams for color, I’m a bold pink when I want baby pink. However, I’d really like to edit my closet.

A logjam >_<

Wake-up my Make-up

I admit to while not feeling confident about my make-up skills and always experimenting, I have collected a ton of make-up and now my bathroom is just midget-sized for my giant problem. So I need use my vanity, and gal it up. Maybe a little more space and organization will make me feel more confident.

Since my make-up counter is too shameful to show, let’s enjoy the Don Quiote wall of eyelashes.

Gal up my American Life

Living in Japan, feeling like you’re in gal style and doing gal things is easy. I lived a 10 minute walk from 109, I passed the D.I.A. workroom on my way to school everyday. Carry was down the street. I was surrounded by great gal places and fun things to do. Now when I come back to the States my life is ungal. I just feel bad keeping my man waiting for the 2+ hrs of hair + make-up (not to say I don’t sometimes (。・・。)). I also feel my day to day doesn’t embody the live-it-up mentality. So I’ll be working on how to best style-up my American world.

Ladies, what are your New Years Resolutions and what are you planning to do about them? Let’s work on it before New Years even comes around <3川 ̄ー ̄川

Also some random pics from the holiday break
Our tiny Rosemary tree with bird ornaments

Some Christmas roses
Shirt: Zara
Necklace: Lip Service
Underdress: Spiral Girl
Liz Lisa for out with the girls
Franklin in angel wings from the man’s parents.

New layout~!

Happy~!
Well the new layout still needs some tweaks, but I was happy to finally put up pics of real people. Most are staff-chans from Osaka. I feel we need to get more real people to connect to in gal and not just air-brushed models in magazines.
Left to Right:
1) A super bubbly and sweet staff-chan from L-Chance who hugged me several times.
2) Me~!
3) A sweet staff-chan at Camouflage Gilfy select corner
4) One of the most beautiful girls I’ve seen in my life. IRL her hair color was amazing. A sweet staff-chan from Lip Service Osaka.
5) From the w<3c staff blog to round it out.
Yay for real people! (*≧∇≦)/

Fukubukuro

Finger Lickin’ Santa

Are you enjoying your Christmas? Did you get your Christmas KFC?

Crispy for Christmas
Families order weeks in advance to share KFC in Japan. Yes I’m weirded out by it, too. KFC and Japan Christmas info here and here.

New Years Fukubukuro

EDIT: Since it’s going to be 1/1 soon in Japan,  both girlswalker and love-ex have new bags up. Love-Ex has me-jane and Golds Infinity. Girlswalker has those plus Mar*s, Duras, Lip Service and more.

The tradition of New Years is so huge in Japan and other than Hatsumode (first visit of the temple) and eating soba (most soba shops are packed), the concept of fukubukuro is everywhere. Fukubukuro are lucky bags and although 109 stores have them, so does most every apparel business in Japan. Most make-up counters do it as well, and you can often get some serious deals at make-up counters.

Each bag usually cost 10,000yen or around $100.00. Some stores offer bags of $200, $100, and $50.00. Others do multiple different lucky bags of $100.00. It’s a mess, but a happy shopping mess. ✌⋰˚◡˚⋱✌

My lovely friend Sebastian is nabbing me Lip Service, w<3c, and Glad News bags. I admit I’m tempted by both the Liz Lisa and Valentine’s High fuku bags because they’re so cute. ༶❤_❤༶

109 shops have been setting up reservations for their bags, but some just release the day of. Fashionwalker still has some of their bags available, while 109 shops one their website have also been releasing them.

LoveEx which has its own worldwide shipping service also has a few lucky bags up. Maybe more will release on 1/1.

EDIT If you don’t like knowing or are only used to buying through shipping services that use Y! auctions, after 1/2 many should be up and opened showing all items. Or if you’re especially looking for your favorite store like One*Spo or DIA who don’t offer on-line sales of fuku.

Also, for those of you IN Tokyo, while 109 is closed on 1/1, Lumine EST and ALTA are both open so you can try your luck at both of those which have Gilfy, Mars, Swordfish, Valentines High, Cecil McBee, Lip Service and more.

Jagura‘s 109 bag is Kitson-like and does a cute plushy tiger in honor of 2010 as the year of the tiger.

Adorable! It almost convinces me to get the bag.

Spiral Girl has an awesome bag out, but it’s both sold out on fw and their website ㌔_☖#

MeJane is looking a lot like their sister brand Mar*s in their bag’s print

They’re also teasing with a watch similar to the one I bought for $90.00

Valentine’s High‘s bag is simple adorable! I’m not 100% about their clothes, but I’m admittedly tempted by this bag.
EDIT They promise 5 items not available in stores including an outer and a long-tee shirt.

Cecil McBee shows all of what will be in its fuku and I am not as keen to get it now.

Liz Lisa (and Liz Lisa Doll) offers a luggage-piece as its fuku bag. I admit it’s girlish splendor. Both Liz Lisa and Tralala’s bags available at r-shop
EDIT: Liz Lisa promises a coat, a one-piece, a knit top, either shorts or a skirt, a muffler or a hat, and new year item
Liz Lisa Doll  promises an outer, a top, an inner, a bottom, a onepiece, and a fashion piece
The 5200 yen bags offer a one-piece and one more item.

Gilfy‘s newsprint bags are really cute! I’m tempted just by the bag.
EDIT: According to Rakuten’s English website they have pictures of the lucky bag Gilfy items

Now my problem with this is I see a couple of items that ARE Gilfy and some that definitely are not <_<
Another problem is Gilfy is showing these boots here. Which did not sell well in Japan because of the lace-up plus overbuckle skin which is just a pain in the booty when you’re in Japan and often having to take off your shoes. So they’re not selling items created for the fuku, just unloading stuff that didn’t sell well (-_~-)
I’m now hesitant about the Gilfy bag. (↓;д;↓)

JSG‘s cute sling bag fuku is one sale through CREDGE

Ji.maxx also has its fuku up on Credge

 

Cocolulu has both 1man and 2man bags. The 2man is a roller.
1man bag offers: original outer, long tee, a parka, something small, and the bag
There are some of the options. Both 1man and 2man bags are up on their website

Egoist‘s bag although plain offers 3-6 items costing between $300-500 approx. They’re really keeping it a lucky bag. Goes on sale today at 12:00.

Glad News bag really isn’t my look, but I am really tempted by what’s inside.
You get a blouson outer, leggings, leopard fur beret, cut onepiece, food print long-tee, something random, and the bag. As a present for those who order on-line, you also get a cute skull-mickey notebook here.
Borderless Rakuten offers the GN fuku here, too! No shipping service needed ❤

Delyle is having a slow release of their fuku. Next time is 12/28 midnight.


Since they enjoying copying Chanel, it’s only appropriate their bag looks like the Spring leather shopping bag Chanel put out.

LB-03, LDS and Love Boat have their fuku all up for sale and most still look available. The LB-03 bag (above) looks really cute.

For the himegals, Jesus Diamante has four types of fuku available through the Parco City website. $200, $300, $500, $1,000 and a $1,500. Oh my so pricey The $200 bag offers a knit item, the bag and a small item. The $1,500 bag offers pieces that are worth>_< more than $4,500, but still ^_^;; I’d have to disavow all shopping to ever transform to himeism.

Swordfish has not one but 3 different $100 and 2 different $50 bags to choose from. All on sale here

 
 Mar*s and Real Mar*s has their fuku out. According to their news on-line fuku starts 12/26.
The Mar*s one has room wear inside. ^_^  I love the Real Mar*s leopard print bag(・m・)☆

One*Spo: Info via the onespo mixi community says there will be a jacket, a onepiece, a top, a skirt, mokomoko roomwear and an accessory. Items totalling 4-5man.

Lip Service: According to the bubbly rakuten store you get an outer, a onepiece, a tanktop, a camisole, and a long tee. I am not a big fan of the bag, but I still ordered it. (⇔ο⇔)
 
Duras offers a “total coordinate including an outer” that is worth 5man. Goes on sale 1/1 at FashionWalker

What fuku are you buying or wish you could buy?

Merry Christmas + Host/Hostess Magazine Download

Happy purple tree at Osaka OPA

The docomo 3-d tree at Namba, Osaka

Happiness is iPhone Puri

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the giving season and spending it warm and cuddly indoors or outside romping around with fabulous hair.

Are you doing the family way or the Japanese date way for Christmas? I think the man and I will be enjoying football on tv and sipping some pretty pink bubbly. I loveeee champagne

Of course I have a gift for you guys. The start of a bunch of magazine scans from hard-to-find mags. First up is Four Season, a trade magazine all about (mostly) hostesss and some host clubs in Fukuoka.

Four Seasons entire mag scans up at mediafire
メリクリ

Paleness, Momoeri, Poupee, and Galmama

Ghostface killah

LOL It seems on the gyaru_secrets, I was called out for being too pale and uhhh making my eyes too big(?).  I really am super pale, indeed. Once a boy in middle-school asked me if I was albino. I told him I was half ^_^v teehee! I did tan this summer, but with it costing around $30.00 a trip in Japan (their monthly packages are rare or very expensive), and the upcoming joy of tights I decided to stop for the winter. Not to mention the skin erosion.

Now I’m back to my pale self. As I’ve said before, when I tan I notice non-gyaru Japanese enjoy calling me gyaru, but with the gyaru community I think they see white girl (as in race) not white girl (as in albino) first. However, with the rise of Agejo I think tanning has really stopped for a lot of people. Agejos are usually the ones with the purchasing power so you’ll see many more Agejos out and buying instead of looking and saving $$ for tanning and working a part-time job.

It feels like there’s now two pulling factions of gal culture with Agejo pulling to paleness and Oraorakei and Nuts style Rock heading to tanning (or black skin as its called. BTW it’s considered a compliment when someone comments on your tan and says your really black. Hilarity ensues when you hear Japanese people say this to a white person in English). I do appreciate how gal has opened yet again to allow those who don’t want to tan into its circle.

The popular tanning place: Blacky

Jul,y 09 in a Delyle onepiece. I miss being that brown.

But I do not want this as my future nsfw

Anyways if you’re turned off by my skin, I’m sorry I guess. I do not plan to tan until shorts season. I really admire many of the Japanese who take a live for the now approach and tan until they’re “black”, but I just can’t do that myself. Skin cancer and less elasticity in skin doesn’t appeal to me until my legs are out 24/7.

I also hope to make this blog about as less about me as possible. If it was more about me I’d be discussing papers, my cats, my freakish love of Mexican food and pie, and my obsession with Sportscenter. Not too fun, eh?

Momoeri’s Pop-up store

While leaving I read on Momoeri’s blog about her pop-up store in Shinjuku. Popup stores are quite popular in Japan, with Bape and Kitson having stellar sales during their times as ones. However it was my last day in Japan and I was too exhausted to visit >_<; So in pops my beloved Sebastian to report on  it:


 From Sebastian:

 Pic from Sebastian

The space in marui one shinjuku where random stores rotate on the first floor currently features MOMOERI. i think it’s there until 1/11. i got a picture of the window outside, but it is kind of shoddy because it was taken with my phone >_> i would have taken one inside, but they wouldn’t let me. if i find myself back in shinjuku soon i will try and take some better pictures. they have tons of hostess dresses for sale (which oddly only old women were looking through >_>), her roomwear, some ridiculous santa suit roomwear onepiece, shoes/socks/etc and lots of make and blingtastic accessories and generally cute things for about 5sen and under. a lot of the make was like 300Y – 800Y and they also eyelashes, tiny purse mirrors, keitai straps etc.  there was even a heart-shaped condom box with two flavored condoms inside ! like seriously wtf. there is another satellite store on the seventh floor with things like momoeri portable DVD players completely deco’d, more 小さいもの stuff and some jewelry boxes that looked like doll-sized plush pink chairs and sofas and shit, but they open up like leopard seal mouths.

The inside from Momoeri’s blog
Leopard seals with their Stitch mouths and diet of penguins creep me and Sebastian out. 

I do like tiny Momoeri goods, but the larger ones seem to be more cheaply made. Here’s hoping she finds a better supplier!

Poupee

Momoeri’s Slutty Santa gear
So Christmas is the biggest date night in Japan, so coincidentally in comes all these lingerie and outfits of slutty Santa. Sometimes it’s slutty elf or reindeer, but both are rare thankfully. Men’s Egg voted Cosplay Sex as their biggest kink, over such old ones as s&m and toys. I do want to know how many women decide to buy and bring out slutty Santa outfits. Maybe I’m a simple girl for gettin’ down. ^_^;;

Now poupee has a version of it. As well as bra + panty set.

Are you guys all using poupee?It’s a place you can shop without having to pay anything, and you get money from uploading your own clothes… ahh for a shopaholic this was like taking Las Vegas to a gambler.

Also you can make your poupee look like you. Me n Poupee from this summer:

Pretty similar except I lack giant eyes, but make up for it in forehead
Thank god for bangs.

If you’re on poupee, add me and let’s be friends! I’m lazy/busy and only dress-up my poupee lately though.

 It may provide kitschy outfits, but the best for gals to use it is the poupee jiten.Users often post their purchases before you see them in mags and often on real people. It’s a great way to shop fashions and find out what your brand is currently doing. Gilfy, Glad News, and Cecil McBee are on it just to name a few. The gal shoplist has all the poupee links if they have one.

Gal Motherhood: the facts

Momoeri brings me to a talk on being a galmama. Now I’ve noticed both rapture and hate within the gaijin communities over the rise of galmama.

Now I should preface this with I am NOT a mom, I am NOT one because I think mothers make the ultimate sacrifice. They should always put their children first and I admire those who take action to do so.

I have said GAL is WORK. However, many of these mamas have found ways to work around that. (see the Momoeri pic below)

 
A relevant thread of how Fukuoka real gal moms are dressing. See the simplified hair and often lower heel.
Even the mom-models have simplified hair. Both also look extension free.

Before I start with the gal issue, discussing mama in Japan has to go hand-in-hand with the declining birthrate. The US has a declining birthrate, but we have a laxer immigrant policy which pics up the slack. So when Japan found this out a few years ago there was a huge commotion about how people should screw and some politicians even came out asked women to be baby making machines. This got shot down, but the atmosphere was very pro-babymaking. So the culture for children is very desirable now. Onto the gal part…

Galmamas usually fit into two categories: unmarried and married. 

In the unmarried case, a gal who for the most part before baby has a job that is not office related ex: hair, nails (like in Momoeri’s case), shopstaff. Now these aren’t hours that make having children very easy. Since space is always important, daycare is very expensive and many have waiting lists. So… how does a young mama help her child? Well she either gets help from her parents, which frees up her time to do gal things if she wishes.

Or.. she becomes an Agejo. Either hostess, bargirl or works on in an adult business. As a single mama needing daylight with her child, there are not that many jobs. Japan has climbed up a few notches on the gender and equality scale on the UN, but it definitely still poor.So in an unequal society, women do what they can.

Agejo is a gal look that must be maintained. However, they can wear their hair plain and pay for hairset (30 minutes) during work times. Then she can wear shorter nails which are easier to handle the child’s needs (two hours every month). In this way, gal is her profession, it is her lifestyle.

In the married case, during naptimes or school she has time to make appointments and touch-ups to her look. She also has the monetary support of her husband to spend a little on herself if she sees fit.

Personally, I really appreciate the rise in galmama and the magazines dedicated to it. In western society there has always been a MILF stereotype or at least an allowance especially with celebrities that moms could look sexy and be attractive after marriage.

The traditional mindset in Japan has made a bride into a mother and therefore as someone’s mother she is not to be considered sexy or attractive. In a psychology study of Japanese men who cheated many said they no longer found their wives attractive or sexy after birth. However, on the same side a woman had the thought that if she birthed a child and raised him she was finished and had no more obligations as a woman.

But cheap and cute with the moms still looking sexy.

Now with the blossoming of galmama, moms are allowing themselves to feel sexy and attractive. This is a very new and IMO great trend. You may think that the time it takes to be gal ignores your child’s needs, but most mothers can find time for themselves and reassert that they are a person, a woman too, and not just a mother. Yes being a mother means sacrifice, but gal can and often has to be done for the welfare of their children.

Look at Momoeri, looking gal but in great maneuverable clothing.
Galmama magazines also talking about issues most moms want to know: saving on food, cute kids clothes, and recommendations on short or no heels for strollering your kids. Not to mention it’s a forum for mom’s to show off their cute kids, and that’s just universal.
  Food budgeting tips.
Before you hate or love on galmamas just take time to reconsider their place in society and how most are working hard for the sake of their children. v^_^

Fukuoka! ^_^;;

The bridge to Nakasu

While it might sound odd, I’ve been interested in Fukuoka when I heard it was closer to Shanghai than to Tokyo. Fukuoka has turned out to be the other. Not Kansai or Kantou in its ways, but very much Kyuushu. However, I cannot help but feel a little downhearted by the small glance of gal culture I saw in Fukuoka.

 
 
 
 
The Cecil McBee window displays and gals outside Core

Core

The main Fukuoka mall of gal culture. However 6(ish) floors are dedicated to gal style, while 2 are for men’s looks. Many not exactly gyaruo. Fukuoka’s concept of 109 the corner for men been done in a stylish way that definitely helps Fukuoka boys become sexy gyaruo. But, I just can’t feel the same for girls. While the girls floors are packed with great 109 brands: Cecil McBee, Lip Service, One*Spo, Glad News, and Cocolulu to name a few. For the most part, the gals I saw inside the stores didn’t reflect the pure style of the brand.

Cocolulu staff girls were on point, but many shopping had bad flat hair and no extensions. The dying seemed lacking as well as tight outfit style I see from the several of the clientele and staff of 109. I even couldn’t call it relaxed like the Osaka gals, instead it just seemed lacking.

 
 
 
Their deco store on B-1 did seem top notch, tough. Love the handle.

To further bastardize Fukuoka gal style, JRock brand Algonquins as well as Lolita powerhouse Angelic Pretty had stores next to gal brands. Out and about in Fukuoka I saw more people in JRock style than gal style. The gal magazines were out and displayed in tons of Fukuoka bookstores, but the lessons on style weren’t reaching the Fukuoka girls.

The 109 Mens floor was a new and welcome addition, featuring men’s brands such as Vanquish, Buffalo Bobs, Glad News, Semantic Design and more..

 
 

This is not to say all Fukuoka gals were lacking, I saw a few with cute ideas and even some Agejo style and some with good strong gal looks and one girl with the best short hair I had see Agejo in a long time.


Hostesses and Nakasu

 
 
The rows of foodstalls and the crowds around Nakasu

Fukuoka has a tiny island of entertainment district called Nakasu in which tons of hostess clubs were located. It seemed hostess clubs wholly overpowered the host clubs. I didn’t see that many hostesses out and about shopping in Core. At Shinjuku Alta, Agejo wannabe mix with the hostess girls while shopping. This was’t the case for Fukuoka Agejo, which I imagine have strong numbers judging by the amount of kyabakura inside the island.

A giant building housing tons of hostess clubs, possiblty 7 per floor.
A row listing all the clubs inside
They’re calling this a girl’s bar although all the pictures make it look more like an information stop.
Girls bars are more like traditional hostesses, who simply serve drinks and listen on a bar stool next to you.
For some reason every entertainment district has tons of pet shops.
My bet is its a place for hosts to take their customers
It was hard to get a good shot of this place and I cared not to get closer since there seemed to be visible yakuza patrolling the place. It was an entire giant apartment block set-up to be a soapland or “massage” and prostitution building. 8 floors in total, which means a lot of hookin’

Sky Dream Fukuoka

You can take a bus from Tenjin (one of Fukuoka’s main hubs) and head to Evergreen Marinoa outlets. I do not recommend training it since the setting itself is a 20+ minute winding walk from the closest train station. Evergreen Marinoa has Sky Dream Fukuoka. Purportedly the fourth tallest Ferris Wheel, Sky Dream takes 20 minutes to rotate and is a great date spot.

Making the loop better is the large selection of outlets to shop at around it. Everything from ABC Mart shoe store, to gal stores such as Egoist and male-fronted Tornado Mart. All the outlet items were last year’s pieces, but my all time favorite Egoist dress was in there for $40.00, not a bad way to stock up on sexy dresses. However since Lip Service is doing sexy current basics at $40.00 I wasn’t swayed to purchase anything. For those interested in OL there was a Pinky & Diane and also a nice large Coach outlet. Prices appeared to be only 15-25% off at the Coach Outlet, but maybe I was missing some great bargains.

 
 
Me and the man taking Ferris Wheel puri
I can’t say I recommend traveling to Fukuoka. Especially since the sheer price to do so: around $800.00 round trip on the Shinkansen. For a small port city, Kobe is much better.

Travel home + w<3c love

Heading Home

Me at Narita reshuffling luggage. No eyemake for long flights v^_^

After dinner + too many drinks the night before with close friends, I was faced with Narita. Also I had to repack my luggage since 3 of the 4 checked bags were overweight, the limit was 23kgs (50 lbs). So I had checked luggage totalling 200lbs!!!

Man that was tiring. Thankfully my man was doing most of the heavy lifting. The days before that were so tiring with health insurance + cell phone + apartment issues to sort out. No wonder we both slept so well on the plane>_<;;;
A look at what it took to get me home this winter. 7 pieces of luggage all mine.
Definitely over 300lbs in mostly clothes.
If anything this is Confessions of a Shopaholic
Back at home with my katzen, Luna. As she turns away <_<;;
w<3c
Before leaving Japan of course I needed one last 109. I mostly just said goodbye to my shopstaff, but decided to head to w<3c for the hell of it and I’m so happy I did.
When w<3c (site, four blogs, 109shop) opened this Fall I wasn’t too into the brand since Popteen was promoting it and it felt very young and a little too Ame-kaji. However, their adorable mascot Kuma-tan was too adorable to resist. Their shop is by far the best designed, laid out, and boldest of the new 8th floor offerings.
 
w<3c is done by the fashion personality Chinatsu Wakatsuki and opened to lots of fanfare. Even during the weekdays their narrow aisles were crowded with teens and young moms trying to navigate their strollers amoung each other.
I was casually looking around and then *poof* I hit it off with one of the staff-chan, I-chan, and we talked for 2 hours!! I ended up walking away with four cute pieces and learned a ton about the brand. It’s a damned shame I had to leave Japan when I did because we felt like old friends.When I left the store she hugged me and we made a pinky promise to go out sometime when I get back.
Sadly this pattern kept happening to me. In the last 2 weeks before I left I met 4 fun gals who all tried to make plans with the leaving me and I had to tell them maybe next year >_<;;
My staff-chan I-chan modeling their fabulous giant leopard coat with ears
Close-up of her awesome leopard hair, done in Harajuku.
Chinatsu Wakatsuki loves that her initials are also the nickname for a toilet in England. So she uses this irreverant humor into her pieces.
Like this tee: Where is the restroom? What is this place? This is a clothes shop!!!
She has a popular “pee poo” print that’s in dresses and bags in fun yellow and green colors.
 
 A freebie w<3c pouch from SCawaii
While her bright pop style may look very ame-kaji, it’s actually trying to be j-kaji.

She has both shirts and backpacks saying JAPAN or JAPANESE
I-chan and I giggled about a gaijin wearing this ^_^;;
Also they have stacks of the I ❤ SF print. I suspected SF meant nothing like most English on Japanese clothing, but instead w<3c did it specifically to mean I ❤ Sex Friend (sekusu furrendo or sefure for short, the Japanese engrish for fuck buddy). She counters this comment with a bear print.
 
This is the real skill of w<3c: balancing a playful bold sexuality with punchy colors and cute accents.
I’m excited to buy from them again!
The fun w<3c lady and girl bear print on their shop bag. So cute!
Sweater and fluffy khaki skirt from w<3c
I don’t like Winter! It’s true ❤ Yet again, spot on English. 
Paired with Shihara style blue tights and blue plaid Bape tennis shoes.
A catalog ad for the same shirt + fluffy skirt.
Their cute popular bear print hat that says: I have no idea
I’m excited to see what they do for their Spring/Summer collection since that’s when all stores gear up for more color.

bras, new hair + nails

Bra Hunt

malignita posted that Peach John carried F sizes and so I decided to head out and see if D = F in Japan. I went to Peach John in 109 which is on the 3rd floor. Their store looked a little underwhelming which merchandise packed in and not many pretty displays or ornaments. When walking into a lingere store I want to feel like I’m in the inside of a jewelry box finding new treasures. Also, it was not very well lit. However, they had used their heater privledges and turned up the heat a few notches which I am sure everyone using a dressing room appreciated.

I asked the staff and together we found 3 bras available in F.
I ended up with this one for 2700 yen (really cheap) consider my normal bra choice from Victorias Secret is around 5000 yen. 
Judging by the two other bras, this F was a fluke. The other two were definitely too small cup-size. I can say 34D is more a 34G in Japanese Peach John. This bra I do like and think it does the same lift and support as my old ones, but I feel it concentrates too much weight bearing on the body hooks and not enough on the straps. I also think the lace trim at the bottom was a bad idea since movement can make it feel scratchy. However, for 2700 yen it wasn’t so bad.
 
Their holiday bag is cute. Also, their care instructions and fresh-smelling free sachet was a nice touch.
edit: For those with D to DD American bra sizes tutuanna offers G and H cup sizes in really cute bras (located both on Shibuya Centaagai and Harajuku Takeshita dori). The straps look too small on this one, but it’s adorable.  More cute styles hopefully they work on the straps ^_^v
New hair
I went to yuhouse to get a dye + cut and as usual they did a great job. I do question their extension quality, but their dying is some of the best in Tokyo from personal experience.  Then I headed to Rhythm which I mentioned earlier was running a sale for 9800 for 50. It’s the same price at yuhouse, but Rhythm’s amount of hair they put in each extension is a bit more. I went for 60 which ended up being $110.
The store just was an apartment with 2 women working, but they were nice and had tons of mags to look through while I was getting my hair done. Their hair quality seems good, but I will reserve my judgement fully on them for another 3 weeks when extensions start to die.
You can see where my real hair ends here.
My real hair was round brushed at Yuhouse and that doesn’t hide the exte as well.
Better cleaning up the next day. Also I have a blonde chunk on the left side.
Happy me!
Nails
My last Carry appointment. sigh >_< I love their skill!
The obligatory nailists own nails shot. Very simple and sparkly.
My fun snow leopard nails done in monotone french tip.
More detail on french + bow + snowleopard
Their bag was cute with a nice holiday touch
The snowleopards do look a bit silly with noses, but I wanted them to meld together with the pink + white + black theme. The snowleopards were done painting colored acrylic directly onto my nails this time. Hopefully the acrylic to acrylic bond this time makes them stay longer.
2 more full days in Japan >_< But man is here and we’re heading to Tokyo Disney soon to enjoy the Christmas love ❤

FINISH!! Recent buys, dollywink and more…

Thanks for the tons of questions for the Ask Anything post. I’ll be trying to do one every 2 months as long as the questions/suggestions keep coming in ^_^v

 School’s Over!!!!

After having a few days of being a shut-in and grinding out papers while I had 3 hrs of sleep at a time, I’m done!!! Damn I was exhausted. I celebrated by singing 4 hrs of karaoke that day, margaritas and mexican food.
Got an e-mail from my prof teaching my classes this year, A’s in every class! Woot!!
 
Heading out for 1000yen 2hr nomihodai with the boys.


Pre-sales have already started at some stores, Glad News, Gilfy, and Mar*s already have sale items. More to come soon!

Fukubukuro’s available:
Liz Lisa‘s 10,000yen for 50,000 of merchandise and a rolling suitcase and 5,000yen for a 10,000yen of merchadise and a bag.
Glad News also has theirs on their rakuten website 10,500 yen for 503,000 yen of mercandise and a bag.
Delyle has a 10000 yen bag and a 5000 yen bag on their website

It’s a hunt to find more, but hopefully those who are looking can grab them. I’m waiting for Lip Service and One*Spo, but I’m still on the fence @ buying the Glad News one.

Recent Buys

DIA

My first DIA purchase! My staff-chan was amazingly nice. I love their rough/oraora/haadi/rock style, but I just never nabbed a piece from them. I bought a tee that’s back-front reversable. ^_^

 
Glad News

I can’t stop buying from this store. They’re prints are too fun. I really appreciate them as a rock-style store that doesn’t take itself seriously.

Their sweater material is so comfy!
Gilfy
Slowly they’ve started to have some great items, and now their presale is making them all around $50USD.
 
Pre-sale nab, so comfy and warm
I also nabbed the Tsubasa x Backs Ugg boots in black ^_^v
 
Their popular fake shirt skirt
 
Worn together
Layers + zips + crazynon English = Gilfy
Egoist
I haven’t bought much from them this season, but I really love their balloon + stud detailing in this.
 
R&E
Lately these are my everyday boots. A nice & comfy 5cm hidden heel + thigh high length.
Dolly Wink!
I finally found Tsubasa’s new Dolly Wink in Shinagawa station’s Atre. A month in and this is the only place I’ve seen it in Tokyo. In Osaka I saw them everywhere, but Tokyo seems to either be sold out or not distributing it.
 
Nabbed the case and the bottom Doll lashes for 1760 yen.
I don’t know how I feel about how thick the clear strip is.
On, I have no clue why I look saddish in this. Sorry for the bad lighting >_<;;
They’re good, but I’m not sold on the price vs. bulk lashes. The eyelash case though is fabulous and very travel friendly.
Missing peeps
I’m in my last week of Tokyo and people are leaving for winter break before me and making me all sad.
Me and my boys.
What can I say, I treasure every moment with them and dare people to find funner, nicer, more bitch-karma loving friends. Being without them is making me sad.
Me and Yujin and her man after all-you-can-eat sukiyaki.
She’s probably going to study in the states when I head back to Japan. I’m gonna miss this girl. We’ve been friends since I moved to Japan.

The ASK ANYTHING post

Curious Mitsu answers info

These are a response to the earlier post of which I asked readers if they wanted to know anything about gal in Japan/tips/general Japan life/or me. Everything is considered and more questions or topics are welcome!

So far we have: japanese gals interpreting gaijin gals, street snap, winter sales and christmas events, lingere (un-info >_<;; sorry malignita!), dressing in the summer when Japan’s in the winter, cheap clothes, weight of Japanese women, my transformation into gal, personal sizing questions. Keep them coming!

bloomzy asks:

How Japanese Gals interpret foreign Gals, and whether they’re approachable etc. 

Well hmmm. As I talked about in my friends post, it’s best to meet people in places they might be more open to talking (bars, clubs, music events). However, not concerning friends it just depends.

As a gaijin, especially as a non-Asian gaijin, there is a definite divide. You are constantly stared at (and let me tell you it is definitely not the discrete glances a lot of the time but a dead-eyed fish stare). No matter if you are here for 2 days or 2 years some will quickly assume you speak 0 Japanese. However, like many things things in Japan that is just the surface. Most people here can be slow to warm up to you, but you will find many do warm up to you and open up.

The way I look and dress in gyaru style people sometimes ignore my face or see me from the back and then when they see and notice I’m white, they go “whoaaaaa gaijin!” to their friends. This can happen sometimes several times a day. It’s like a game where they’ve found Waldo, aka the gaijin gal.

Sometimes people assume I’m a haafu  *corrected (half Japanese half white), which is quite silly since I have naturally blonde hair and blue eyes, but since so many people dye their hair and use color contacts they don’t really accept the reality of my face simply because of my ability to speak coherent Japanese.

Let me just put this out there: I have no desire to be Japanese. Just because I like ONE Japanese style does not make me want to turn into a Japanese person.

There is a big difference between dressing a Japanese style and WANTING to be Japanese. I have zero problem being white, I am okay with being an American.

In living here, you become more knowledgeable about popular culture, inside jokes and amusing pieces. If you share a similar lexicon, people tend to accept you easier. Gaijin (especially non-Asian gaijin) are however oddities, and curiosities. Not so much a freak show, but we inspire their curiosity. You can combat this by being open about yourself, sharing common interests and keeping yourself humble.

As I’ve said before. Like living in any foreign country, and being an outsider, it’s best to grow a very strong spine and keep your head up even if people are unkind to you. Suck it up and be more awesome than them!


Anon asks:

Have you ever been picked for a street snap? 

I was asked once when I was walking to the train station in Shibuya. I was dressed in head to toe Mar*s with fitted jacket, fluffy skirt, garter belt tights and high heeled mules. My hair took hours and I was looking quite Agejo.  However, it was the time it took that made me late to go pay my rent which was why I was headed to the station. Sadly, I was in too much of a hurry to do it. 


This however was a rarity since Street Snaps have become increasingly not so spur-of-the-moment, but now there are special areas for people who come to want street snaps and Egg magazine and such often advertising a time and place for their street snaps. They also sometimes drag shopstaff out of 109 to quickly shoot their picture. 


Sada asks:

I would appreciate a topic on how to take care of japanese extensions, as mine always become shitty after a few weeks… and also, cheap places to buy gyaru clothes.

Japanese extension info is in the extension FAQ. Extensions do want to die after a few weeks. You might also want to switch your stylist, sometimes the hair quality is different in each shop. Also, many shops sell treatment just for them. I’ve noticed while using the treatment my hair tends to stay less tangled even if damaged.



To be honest, I don’t really like to discuss cheap places to buy clothes, because usually their the trend followers and offer a lower quality piece that often fails stylistically. If their design is good I’m all about supporting them, but when construction and quality fail I’m hesitant. 

ANAP is one of the rare exceptions to this, since they offer so many pieces you can often find something good if you look hard enough. They also have so many brand labels such as ANAP USA for more flashy looks, ANAP Chille which offers are more girly style, ANAP Mimpi for the hippi in everyone and even ANAP Outlet in Harajuku for the cheap of the cheap. 


For the quick and dirty both aBaB in Ueno in Tokyo have cheap stores selling gal clothes, and Namba Walk in Osaka is full of tons of cheap stores (pictures of some to come in the Osaka III post).


reiko asks

I want to know when the winter sales start! >__< And if you can tell what special things I can do this X-mas in Tokyo cause I will be there!

Winter sales: Start on Janurary the 5th and go through the 9th. The week before will be pre-sales and you might find some good bargains there. January 1st is when fukubukuro are on sale. If you haven’t reserved your items expect to wait the night before in line to even get a shot at getting the good ones.

Things to do for Christmas: Tokyo Disneyworld has a special seasonal parade, great merchandising, and a cosy atmosphere. Shinjuku South Exit towards Takashimaya has their illuminations set up. Roppongi Midtown and Odaiba both have good Christmas light displays as well. But enjoying yourself out on X-mas in Japan is just like Valentine’s Day in America. So expect a certain amount of crowds.

The Christmas lights (イルミネーション) in Odaiba

My view from 2007
The city ligthts are also pretty



malignita asks

Lingerie: Lingerie is one of my shopping weaknesses, so I couldn’t resist! What should foreign gals keep in mind when shopping for lingerie in Japan? Are there any specific shops or brands that cater to larger shapes or sizes?


LOL I am absolute fail on this question. My cupsize is 34D which puts me far out of the range of bra buying in cute gal shops. I’ve heard there are some places and a friend bought from one, but I cannot recommend them since I did not think they flattered or did the lifting one needs. Now 34D is a normal-ish size in the states and I just make sure to buy all my needs back in the states

Gal Recessionista: What sort of ways can gals save on clothing, accessories, and cosmetics without sacrificing their look?- will now be an upcoming article!

Education & Work Opportunities: Practically speaking, what opportunities exist for girls who want to continue with gyaru style but go to school or have a career? Gals be ambitious! – will now be an upcoming article!



anon asks

Flirting/Dating tips?

this is one that definitely has to come with my disclaimer: I am one white girl being a gal in Japan, my experiences are just one of the many foreign experiences. Also, people tend to discuss their relationships when they are not doing so well, so as a friend you hear often not the positive parts.

I’ve been with my man long before I started living in Tokyo and there’s no one for me, but him. He’s one of a kind and perfect for me. I’m currently and always rabu-rabu about him. 

So… Hmmm I don’t have experience with dating in Japan, but I do know gaijin friends who have/are dating someone and they’ve shared their experiences. I do have some experience with flirting, since hey getting the occasional free drink and practicing Japanese… I can deal with that.

As I’ve said before in the Love Hotel article, sex is a different concept in Japan. Many relationships start out with sex first and then dating. Sometimes they expect 10 minutes of small talk and a free drink at clubs means heading to a Love Hotel then and there (I’ve been asked that a few times, of course I said NO). 

Also, there is the perception about gaijin women as being loose. And definite curiosity about appearance. Especially since Japanese women only slightly trim their pubic hair and all have brown nipples. Too put it bluntly, they’re interested in grooming and pink nipples. Often they’ll ask about your grooming, the popular term for being all shaven is “pie pan”. The Japanese wiki article is less than flattering picture shows more. NSFW


It’s common that Japanese men lack the ability to be chivalrous, it’s just not socially necessary. They’ll be kind and carry your handbag, but it sometimes doesn’t extend beyond that. “Ladies first” ( レディファースト) is how Japanese view American male chivalry and many of my gal friends lament the lack of “ladies first”. As one of my friends puts it, Japanese men can be “Ore no tame ni”, just for me


Having said all of that, some are kind and sweet and want to work hard to be with you. For these guys many expect the slightly dominant Japanese female role to be played by you, especially if they haven’t spent time abroad. So they’ll expect many e-mails, and you asking to do things and setting up dates instead of them.

It is much more common however to see Japanese girls with gaijin guys. I rarely see Japanese guys with gaijin girls as a couple.

Here are my tips-bits of info to flirting and dating:

  • Smoke at a club (or just fake it), that way you can ask for a lighter
  • Separate yourself from your group, men are more likely to approach you if you’re alone
  • Absolutely nothing wrong with a little smile and some sexy dancing at a club
  • If you’re at a non-club, start off the conversation like… “kyou hitori desu ka?” are you out by yourself?
  • Many guys like a dependent girl, so say you’re thirsty if you want a drink or ask to go out somewhere else
  • Ask them to teach you Japanese. A relationship can’t turn serious without some deep conversation and that comes with language skills.
  • A little skinship is always good, like a touch to the arm or playful slap on the hand
  • A common question to ask someone is if they’re an S or M. Not as much slutty s&m, but more do you like to be in control (S) or you prefer someone else to take the lead (M). 
  • Some guys are out at clubs just to collect phone numbers, but that’s alright. Maybe a nampa (pick-up) guy can turn serious
  • Expand your horizons. Most all gals I know are not dating gyaruo. Instead they’re sticking to guys who are spending less money on their clothes and more their girlfriends. Often the gyaruo couples are highschool or started dating in highschool
  • Don’t put your hopes up on one guy unless you’re dating. Finding your perfect someone doesn’t come without trial and error.
  • suki is commonplace, don’t consider it love and don’t expect guys to speak of their love or it’s sometimes hollow. Words of love do not carry the same weight in Japanese. I got two mails today of friends telling me they loved me, casually of course. They’re just being sweet.
  • Cheating happens in Japan. Two of my friends have been the other woman, accidentally or not. Two of my other friends have found someone else to be the other man, so it’s not just guys.
  • Carry condoms! USE THEM! STDs are never sexy.

So be safe, be sexy and put yourself out there. 


Miki asks:
Because I live in the southern Hemisphere our seasons are the opposite of the Northern which means that we are 6 months behind in Fashion. Would you suggest that, for example during our winter I should use trends from the winter which has already passed in the North??

It gets a little confusing with seasonal changes. There are small things which I can keep up to date with such as make up or hair but something with certain clothes, colours or prints, it just doesn’t work.

Mitsu’s response:

I actually think you get the best of both worlds. You can and mix and enjoy a nice sexy blend.
In your situation it’s best to consider these trends without a seasonal reference. Things like plaid, dot patterns, lace and studs all can work in either summer or winter. Cardigans are popular and work as a lightweight jacket on a cooler summer night. For bottoms, consider damage jeans work whether you need shorts of jeans. Leggings are often fine during the summer too.

Tokyo’s winter actually tends to start mid to late October lately, and there is very little of Fall, so you will find people in t-shirts in October.

The only thing I would suggest following that is a purely summer trend is shoes. Strappy open-toed heeled sandals were very popular as were mules. Also, summer is a great time to experiment with color. Winter in Japan people tend to wear only pops of color, but summer can be a great explosion of color if you want it to be.


steph asks

I’d like to know whether is it true that gals in Japan eat a lot (that’s what my boyfriend said). When I was in Japan, I noticed that many gals in Japan eat heartily and do not look like they starve themselves – but they still look really thin.

For many I do think they’re anorexic. I think magazines and dieting also encourage this extreme diet restriction. I am sure there are some binge-purge women as well. I also believe that with the less equality of men and women it forces the society to punish the women who aren’t of the considered societal pleasing shape (sociological too much ^_^;;)

Yes, many gals are thin, but some are just genetically slender. Walking is some part of it, but walking really isn’t that physically taxing and most people only walk 30 mins a day here. Also, as an American I walk fast, I use my long legs and move. Japanese tend to walk quite slow, thus lessening their physical empact. I think their weight has a lot more to do with genetics, the greater emphasis on physical fitness in highschool, portion size, and their conception of food

  • Most Japanese women have small frames which means packing even extra fat on can just look more like a medium frame. For those of us with large frames (read more about frame sizing here), we pack on a little meat and BOOM we’re chubby. Small framed girls can accept more weight. Also, genetically I think Japanese have good metabolism, they mostly do not seem to have much of the obesity gene lying around. I mean when you get to the countryside of course there’s a greater range in sizes.
  • Physical fitness class is much more important in Japanese high schools than in American ones. While it was solely the jocks and a few credit requirements, most Japanese schools have a lot more athletic emphasis built into their curriculum. Therefore, many of these gals who are only 2 or 3 yrs from that musculature haven’t had time to bloat.
  • Portion size in Japan is also much much smaller than in the US. I mean with the exception of ramen (which is just soup), most foods are very small portions. Steak may be a tiny steak pieces, a katsu piece is usually small as well. 
  • Japanese TV is obscenely dedicated to covering food. Food stores, food oddities, the celebration of seasonal food, the cheap places to get it, reviews around the country… it’s everywhere. Although the US has the food network, I think the normal American mentality is not to savour the food. When you go out to eat with someone in Japan expect to bring up what you ate for an hour afterwards.  It feels like people really treasure their food here, even if its cheap and simple. Because of this enjoyment, I think women eat less per day, keeping them thin.

Anon asks:

I know this has probably been touched light upon but are gal brands startin to branch out of the standard M size and into L and even LL clothing.

The quick and dirty answer: nope. Even though many gal brands have 3 sizes in fitted items such as jeans, they mainly go to an American size 2/4 (So the sizes would translate to 00 – 0 – 2, or sometimes 0 – 2 – 4). Though discount brand Honey’s (located in 109-2), has L and LL, I am pretty sure LL = 4, and that’s in a very select few styles.

EDIT: For some of the girls outside the American L range, the mall aBaB in Ueno on the 5th(?) floor stocks larger sized clothing such as jeans and such. Do not expect the most current styles or cutest looks, but there are still several outfits and looks to be found within.


vividancer asks:

I’m curious as to what got you into doing gal styles when you first started and how you got started. any interesting tidbits to share on the transition between girl to gal?

The simple answer: I moved to Japan. In actuality I moved in 2007 and hadn’t really heard about the gal resurgence. Instead I had this picture in my mind from Fruits books of mamba or something that was just too colorful and baked and not me. Thankfully I met a friend and she liked the new gal before she came and then together we discovered a lot more.

Me as a light blonde in 2007
Trucker cap: aBaB
Jacket: Gilfy
Necklace: Gilfy
Dress: Swordfish



Oh I think I was fail at times back then and other pieces/looks I still like. I fell in love with Gilfy quickly and that was easy enough to lure me in. I considered it very easy to get into it because I had both access, the most current info and a lifestyle void. It was easy to get into, but much harder to make strides in it. I’m not a big make-up person, and I needed to learn to spend time on my hair and several things went very slowly. I really do think gal is best done with a drastic hair change.


Karyu-sama マニア asks

I’ll be going to Japan very soon and I am sacred not to find anything in my size. Shirt size: L-M Dress size: L

 While I spoke of 0-2-4 in concern with jeans, that doesn’t translate to the rest of clothing. Jeans are a very specific object that I’m sure you know can be a pain to shop for. Do not worry at all about finding things to fit. I can only loosely say this since broad shoulders are not a very Japanese friendly clothing aspect, but many gal clothes are made loose. Even if they’re fitted many are cotton which have a bit of stretch to them. 

As I’ve said before I think it’s a huge myth that 109 caters to only tiny people. Of course some things are tiny sized because MOST of Japan is tiny or medium sized. My firiend used to complain she found nothing that fit her when all she would look at were these button-up shirt dresses. I don’t know how well her body could’ve done in an American or European S-to-L system looking for button-up shirt dresses. However, once she moved to a more loose and casual look she was able to buy most anything she wanted. Loose doesn’t have to be casual. Lip Service has made a fortune this season selling many looks that are tight to the bust and loose everywhere else.

 


Markie asks

I often sacrifice fashion for bulky layers …do you have any recommendations on staying gal/fashionable even when you have to pack yourself up like a sardine?

First of all there are two main bodylines popular this season, the A-line which favors trenchcoats and peacoats, and the I-line which favors skinny jeans and sleek jackets. The A-line cut relies on keeping your legs in tights or leggings to maintain a thin shape to balance out the flowy upper body. This is a bad idea in extreme conditions.

It’s best to stick with an I-line shape, so find a very sleek coat. Combine skinny jeans with thermal leggings and rely on layering thinly. Such as thermal long-tee + long sleeve print tee + cardigan + jacket.

Also, pop your outfit with an adorable snow hat and winter scarf, preferably in a color or print.

Let your hair have volume and show from under your hat. Fluff around and let it speak for your fashion sense.


LANA asks

I can get good quality exte, and haircut that is affordable and gives a wide variety of shades for my hair

It depends on your definition of affordable, personally I think the US is much cheaper on haircuts, so it’s best to get a haircut in the states before coming and then exte. Remember that layered haircuts tend to blend exte better than blunt cuts.

Most all salons will carry blonde and there is usually no extra charge. My last time at Yu House a Lady Gaga platinum blonde was getting exte next to me. Extreme red might cost more and be harder to blend.

YuHouse
is offering their special again with 50 for 9,800. That’s a good price, but if you’re like me and wanting more than that, Extension Rhytmn in Centaagai (東京都渋谷区宇田川町35-4 plug it into google maps) seems to have a great price right now. Their straight houdai (all you can get) is 9800, and their wave houdai price is only 15800. I’m unsure if you need the coupon, but you can print it out before you leave the States 🙂

I am going to head to them next week and see if they’re good.