This time let us move away from trend items, and explain the “vintage” style that is regaining popularity in Harajuku. First, there are many people wondering what the difference is between vintage and old clothing. Generally, secondhand clothes are items that once belonged to somebody else, which is the case with used clothing in general. Even if an item was sold in recent years, if it passed through somebody else, it is categorized as “secondhand”. To compare, items that are called “vintage” are ones from years ago, the so-called “period items”. To that we will add the requirement of being in “good condition”. Regarding American customs law, this category covers items from 30 years ago to less than 100 years ago, but in Japan, this is not the definition. If something is from over 100 years ago it becomes “antique”, the word becoming restricted to things like furniture and jewelry.
The charm of vintage clothing is that it adds a point of rarity, to say the least. In the form of “dead stock (unsold items)”, there are some items that were unused in those days and have been preserved as they were, but excluding this you will not basically encounter the same thing. Next, in modern times it is hard to reproduce the technique of the time, as there is a high rarity of tailoring and cloth. It is from this that the mood and atmosphere cannot be felt as anything other than vintage. Although vintage items are being increasingly worn on the streets, the items people are wearing are various. Vintage accessories seem to be gaining the most popularity. These accessories are large and impactful providing an accent to your outfit. Many of these accessories are gold, leaving a classic impression.
Top Vintage Shops
Let’s introduce some of our recommended vintage shops from Nakameguro and Daikanyama, which are both areas with a lot of vintage shops. The first is “JANTIQUES” in Nakameguro. It is a famous shop on Ginza Street in the shopping district of Nekameguro. Complete with many items that are well preserved and of high sense, it also has thick trust with stylists. Not sticking only to clothing、miscellaneous good and furniture are also sold.
Second is OLGOU, also in Nakameguro. The store is underground, which helps give the inside of the store a distinct atmosphere. Although there is the impression that there are many men’s military items, there are also ladies’ one pieces and dresses alike. Although sundry good are being sold on the second floor, there is a good sense and there are items that would be good to give as a gift.
Third is JEANNE VALET in Daikanyama. Although it may be likely you pass it by, it is a vintage shop quietly settled in the back of the street. Specializing in secondhand clothing from France, although it is a relatively narrow store on the inside, there are many surprising items and clothing from different time periods lined up. There are also many items from before 1930 that are being handled. Near this store is ATELIER JEANNE VALET MERCERIE, which is a shop that sells furniture as well as accessories like buttons and lace.
Lastly is CARBOOTS, a place that is a five-minute walk from Daikanyama Station. “CARBOOTS” in British English has the meaning of “the trunk of a car”. When you open the trunk, you do not know what will come out. It expresses the excited feeling of opening up a treasure chest. More so than clothing, the store sells many different kinds of accessories, like St. Laurent and Hermes, selling high brand bags at reasonable prices. The merchandise quickly rotates, and part of the appeal is the new items you will be able to encounter.
There are many vintage items that are somewhat pricy compared to used clothing, but it provides a unique worldview that cannot be tasted anywhere else. For those of you who tend towards modern fashion, why not step into the world of vintage?
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