What happens when I just *NEED* to know where you shop

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tokyo's Guardian by the very talented Deviant, Emilia89
We have a fair amount of Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese students in my Japanese class. They are impeccably dressed, especially this one girl who sits two seats in front of me...
In Tokyo and other parts of Japan, people are expected to dress well when out. Sensei and some native students confirmed that this cultural norm rings true in other Asian countries, as well. 
This chick in front of me solely socializes with her neighbors in the classroom who are also Chinese. I always compliment on her style but it's a little awkward because she never says anything back! I'm always left sort of hangin' and I look at my friends directly next to me. They shrug their shoulders. I'd like to think that she just can't hear me! That or maybe she already knows she looks good...
Last week, I asked her where she got her clothes during break. Don't worry I didn't corner her for serious fashion interrogation but the prim, kawaii, and so perfectly girly frocks she sported were putting my curiosity over the edge! She asked if I knew about Taobao.com. I don't! Go on! She bought most of her things from there. Her friend pointed out that there is no U.S. site. Also, there is not a translation button for English, either. Well, shoot. In addition, they do not ship to the States. However, the one girl offered to ship items back to me when she visits her family in China if I just shopped by the pictures on the site and payed the overseas shipping. Apparently, you can also purchase Taobao third-party shipping via eBay listings. They both were super friendly and that was a nice gesture!

Some picks from Taobao:
Polka dot top and shorts, taobao.com

Windbreaker, taobao.com

Tee and striped pants, taobao.com
The current currency conversion rate is $1.00 (USD) to ¥6.25 (Chinese Yuan). The price is right! -So how's the quality?!

To my surprise, the conversation continued! I asked both of them if they were interested in fashion. Designers? Trends? They nodded their heads, "no." 
I said, "Well, you guys have great style! Better than any of the other students on campus in sweats, right?"
The fashionable girl responded saying that she couldn't wear what they do. From her perspective, Americans have the pretty face to dress down. However, she said if she were to wear a t-shirt and jeans, she would look worse than other students because of her asian features. She wasn't sulky about that statement, either. Class started, so that was that.
Photo courtesy of Vichy Laboratories

Of course, I don't believe that's true! I think that she could pull off a gray zip-up and sweatpants better than a tired, caucasian girl, honestly! However, I'm finding that with the plastic surgery market booming in Asia and other things, the pressure to fit a certain mold could be expected. I didn't want to preach about how wrong she was, as I don't understand where she is coming from fully. 

I told her at the beginning on our convo that I would love to live where everyone dresses up! I kind of experienced that style of living when I was at Parsons in New York City. However, I'm not sure how much it compares to China. 
Sometimes I see other beyond well-dressed, asian ladies on campus and I assume they're fashion nuts like me! In some cases, it's just what their used to, I suppose.

There you have it. I got the deets! I don't know if I'll invest the trouble into a Taobao purchase, though. The shipping price will probably outweigh the benefits of the clothes!
Thoughts? Until next posty...


  1. I love the polka dots ensemble! And the striped pants are amazing!

  2. Love the phoyos!!