Wondering how to navigate the world of plus-size shopping in Japan? Take a look at this explorative guide on procuring plus in a world of one-size-fits-all.
Women’s Plus Size Shopping in Japan
Among glossy figurines, retro games, and intricately wrapped sweets, it’s almost too easy to find something to buy while exploring favorite shopping districts in Japan. Yet, when it comes to shopping for clothes, especially in plus-size options, a few challenges may be faced along the way. Simply said, finding garments in plus sizes in Japan can be comparable to finding the perfect fish taco, seemingly impossible. And while it may seem impossible at first, with a little elbow grease, you may find that there are quite a few options available, if you know where to look.
Below I have compiled my best recommendations on where to find fun and stylish fits in a range of sizing options, starting with some of Tokyo’s best.
Ever wanted to dress in Lolita? I know I have! If you’ve been drooling at the mouth in anticipation to wear decadent dresses lined with cute patterns of desserts and bows, there’s a great spot in Harajuku (and online) that carries a wide selection of everything you might be looking for. From frilly Lolita dresses to adorable tops, printed skirts, petticoats, and even costumes, BodyLine has it all. With sizes ranging from S to 4L BodyLine is one of the more inclusive in-person shops carrying Lolita fashion in Harajuku. Keep in mind that this storefront doesn’t have any fitting rooms, however, their lovely staff will gather your measurements and recommend sizes accordingly.
Supure has quite a few styles ranging from “cute elegance,” “sexy casual,” and “layered casual” and tends to stock trending garments that parallel current fashion trends making waves in Japan. On top of that, they also stock formal pieces with a feminine flair that can be worn in professional settings or special events. For those who live close to Tokyo, find one of their more popular brick-and-mortar shops on the second floor of Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City shopping mall. They also have quite a few other locations throughout Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa! For those who prefer to shop online, find more information on where to shop here.
For shoppers who love adding elements of kawaii flair into their outfits but also enjoy casual and roomy fits, Punyus is the spot. This fashion brand has styles ranging from bright and bold colors, cute animal and food patterns, fluorescent-colored tracksuits, to oversized stylized tees, fitted skirts and trendy pants. Naomi Watanabe, a notable plus-size comedian, public figure and cover girl for Japan’s plus-size fashion magazine La Farfa, is the face behind the brand. Watanabe has made positive strides in breaking rigid barriers concerning Japan’s fashion community and the one-size-fits-all model. Punyus has quite a few locations around Japan but also has an easy-to-use website to dive into.
Of course, we can’t complete this article without mentioning some of the most well-known brands such as Uniqlo, GU, Honeys, Shimamura, and Nissen. Uniqlo and GU offer sizes up to 3XL in select styles and also offer services such as hemming your pants online and in stores and even embroidery (Uniqlo). While Honeys has a somewhat similar sizing format: from S to L to then LL and lastly, up to 3L, they offer more youthful styles such as a feminine semi-formal selection. Unfortunately, if you prefer to shop in person, it has been noted that not all of these shops carry every size compared to their online counterparts.
Shimamura is great for work and casual wear though it does lean more toward the modest side of the style spectrum. They carry sizes up to 6L and have options for shopping both online and in person. Nissen is another optimal option for individuals looking for clothing with an inclusive selection of sizing. Not only do they carry everyday styles in sizes up to 10L, but also have a wide variety of undergarments, room wear, activewear, and shapewear. Take a look at their website and you’ll also find a special subcategory for clothing and undergarments marketed for bustier women.
An unexpected source with a lot to offer is Amazon . Make sure to search with the term: 大きいサイズ (big size) and soon you’ll find quite a selection of items. Lastly, if you’re comfortable with it, asking friends is always beneficial! Japan has started to make positive changes in sizing and inclusivity so it wouldn’t be surprising to find more shops and websites popping up in the coming months and years.
Before you set out on your plus-size shopping journey, I’d like to take a moment to highlight the importance of resisting the urge to think negatively about yourself concerning the “one-size-fits-all” mentality that is so heavily prevalent in Japan. Our bodies are unique, diverse, and most importantly, deserve to be loved and cared for. It’s vital to remember that the limited range of sizes available in Japanese fashion doesn’t define our worth or beauty. It’s totally understandable to feel frustrated when thumbing through the millionth “F” size (free size) at your favorite shop, however, holding onto the belief that there is nothing wrong with your body or your size is an important step in practicing grace and acceptance. With patience and perseverance, you’ll uncover the perfect garments that celebrate your individuality and unique sense of self. After all, one size can never truly fit all.