I arrived in Tokyo yesterday, and this is where I'm going to stay for the coming year.
Of course, I managed to check out some stores even on my first day.
I found a pair of Evisu 2001 No.1 Special in a used-clothing store. What's interesting about them is that they had Levi's arcuates stitched on the backpockets, not paint and not the usual kamome gulls you normally see. Only problem was that the inseam was very short.
I'm going to look around if I can find more of these and also hear what they are and when they were made.
I also went to the Ralph Lauren store in Harajuku. It is of course awesome and I think they are the best American brand to do amekaji, american casual style. Better than Engineered Garments in my opinion.
I liked the Polo line, which is a little bit more dressy but still casual, as well as RRL. The prices were a bit ridiculous though, a one-wash pair of RRL jeans were 34,000 yen while Pure Blue Japan and Eternal jeans are 18,900 yen, for the same quality.
RRL also makes a very nice distressed and patched pair, but they cost 72,000 yen. Also worthy of notice is their waist overalls and the books they had in the RRL section, one called Rebel Style, displaying Marlon Brando's, James Dean's, Paul Newman's and Jack Kerouac's style, and a book with images similar to that of Library of Congress.
If you're on a budget, though, you can just go to the store next door, GAP. They're concentrating really hard on amekaji now too, and they have very nice blazers, oxford buttondowns and baseball jackets. The cuts are slightly updated and quite slim, too slim for my taste, but might be great for someone else.
Of course, they're also making jeans. They have one line which is made from Cone Mills denim in the U.S. The one-wash jeans cost 6,000 yen and the nicely washed ones slightly more. The denim is a bit thin, though.
They also have a premium line, also in Cone denim. It's more expensive at 20,000 yen, but uses heavier and slightly nicer denim and it has all the 50's details, but it's still not worth it compared to Japanese brands.
Nearby is a Lee/Wrangler store. I saw some 1964 Wrangler Blue Bells and 1942, 1959, and 1930 Lee Originals. Apparently they shrink more than I thought, because I've tried on several used pairs, which are perfect in 28, but the unwashed jeans are always too big.
One of the staff gave me his umbrella when I was leaving because it was raining. I'm going to return it today.
Almost next door is a Levi's store. The Japanese LVC range is slightly different. The 1933, 1937 and 1944 all look slightly different. The '37 and '44 look better to me, especially the denim.
I was expecting it to be just the same, so I was actually surprised to see this!
They also have a 125 model and a 1922 501 and bunkhouse shirts in other fabrics.
And lastly, I had my first Japanese ramen, it was cheap at 550 yen and very good! Let's get fat!!