|Where to buy authentic Seifuku in Japan
||[Aug. 18th, 2009|12:09 pm]
Hey guys! I was researching on where to buy authentic seifuku online, and I thought I might share some of the info I found with you! (Info about how to order is at the end of this post)
CONOMi- If you've watched the Tokyo Kawaii TV special on seifuku (if you haven't, here it is), this was the featured shop. Oriented toward fashionable high school girls who would rather wear nanchatte seifuku ("just kidding!" uniforms- that is, self-coordinated uniforms worn outside of school as fashion items) than normal clothing, this store carries the most variation in brands that I've seen. You can pretty much buy anything here- cardigans, sailor fuku, vests, dress shirts, pleated skirts, socks, school bags, gym clothes, and duffel coats, to name a few. This store has may brands, such as OLIVE des OLIVE, Roco Nails, Kuri-Ori, Beverly Hills Polo Club, Hiromichi Nakano, Michel Klein, ELLE, and house brand ar-CONOMi. It should be noted that most of the items come with brand monograms stitched onto them, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view. Because this store has a lot of the more-coveted fashion brands, items tend to be a bit more pricey. If you're in Japan, check out their brick-and-mortar store in Harajuku (near the McDonalds off Takeshita St.)
Tombow Schoolwear Shop- Just ordered my cardigan from here! Pretty nice shop, unfortunately the brand selection is lacking. As of right now, they only carry Hiromichi Nakano and Olive des Olive. Also unfortunate is that, for some reason, they do not carry pleated skirts in their online store- but carry pretty much any other seifuku item that you can think of. One thing that this store has over CONOMi is that they carry more stock, and might have an item that CONOMi does not carry. If you're in Japan, check out their store in Okayama.
Vivienne Schoolwear Outlet- Absolutely GINORMOUS selection! Carries pretty much any seifuku item that you can think of- pleated skirts, cardigans, blazers, shirts, vests, socks, bags, gym uniforms, you name it. One thing that is outstanding about this site is the sheer variety of ribbons and neckties they provide. Amazing! They also carry some boys schoolwear as well. However, if you are brand-conscious, be aware that this store only carries their house brand, Vivienne. Prices are relatively reasonable compared to other places with a similar selection. If you're in Japan, check out their store in Takamatsu city in Kagawa prefecture.
Nissen- This online clothing store carries all sorts of casual clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, and also has a special section for seifuku. Smaller, more basic selection, but this is one of the few stores that carry the school shoes as well. Only carries the house brand, Petit Berry. Prices are cheaper than most.
Cecile- Another online casual clothing store that also carries seifuku. Good selection of items, such as cardgians (they also offer cable knit, which is something I haven't seen offered much), sailor fuku, and loafers (in both black and brown). Doesn't carry much in the way of gym uniforms. Only carries the house brand Cupop. For those who like the mascot character Rilakkuma, they offer socks with him embroidered on them!
Gakuseifuku.net- Don't worry dudes, we got you covered! Gakuseifuku.net carries only boys school uniforms. Carries gakuran, trousers, dress shirts, blazers, belts, and sweater vests (but for some reason, no neckties). Carries brands such as Beverly Hills Polo Club, Hiromichi Nakano, Tombow, Ben Cougar, and their house brand.
Yahoo Japan Auctions- It's an auction site, so stock is limited to what individual sellers choose to list. It's also usually dependent on you winning the item (unless it's a Buy It Now type listing). However, you can find all sorts of seifuku items that aren't sold in regular stores. Often times, you can also buy the seifuku in a complete set, rather than buying piece by piece, which can save money, but lowers the potential for choosing your own coordinates. Be advised that a large percentage of listings are for cosplay items and are not authentic seifuku. Also, it might be harder to find your specific size.
A couple others brought to my attention by darkmint:
Wing Used Uniform Shop- This store specializes in selling pre-owned (yes, used) uniforms that have been decommissioned and discontinued from stores. So, nearly everything in this store is vintage. Most of the uniforms here are sold in complete sets and are one-of-a-kind. Rather expensive, but you are buying the whole kit-and-caboodle right there. They mostly have sailor fuku and blazer-type uniforms, and there are really some very unique pieces that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. One interesting feature is that they list their seifuku by the prefecture that they were originally worn in. The buying policy is pretty strict, though. You must be a female over 18, or the parent of a student, in order to purchase these uniforms- they use identification verification. Because of these restrictions, the use of a deputy service might be limited. If you're in Japan
(and fit the requirements for purchase), check out their shop in Nishi-Shinjuku, between a Mos Burger and a Karaoke place.
Seifuku Shop Matenrow- Like Wing, this shop also specializes in used and vintage uniforms. Also like Wing, it only sells to qualified buyers (with the same specifications- only girls 18-and over are allowed to buy [except for parents]), and in addition to having to show identification, you have to register with the website as well (this could be troublesome if you're using a deputy service). This shop also has some very unique stock that you can only find with authentic vintage items. This store also mostly sells its stock as complete sets, but it does have some items that you can buy separately as well. Most of it's stock is sailor fuku, blazer uniforms, and, interestingly, jumpers, which I haven't seen much of. Brands are limited, as their source is likely consignment items, but I did spot some Hanae Mori and East Boy items. If you're in Japan (and you're a qualified customer), then visit their shop in Sayama, Saitama.
"Okay, so how do I order? Most of these sites don't even ship outside of Japan."
Use a deputy service! These third party services buy items for you in Japan and ship to you when it's not possible to order the item and have it shipped directly to you. These services can usually buy from any Japanese webstore and bid on Japanese auctions for you. There are several to choose from, including Shopping Mall Japan, Japamart, Treasure Japan, Goody Japan, and Rinkya. Since they charge different rates and offer different services, I recommend researching the ones that will fit your needs best. I personally use Shopping Mall Japan, just because their rates are generally the cheapest.
"These sites are hard to navigate because I don't know Japanese..."
Deputy services can usually help you with that. Also, I took Japanese for four years, so I might be of some help too! :) Just PM me or comment on this post if you need any help.