Shopplr » Fashion http://www.shopplr.com Fashion, beauty, style and shopping Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:25:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Top five cool things to buy in Tokyo, Japan http://www.shopplr.com/2013/10/top-five-cool-things-buy-tokyo-japan/ http://www.shopplr.com/2013/10/top-five-cool-things-buy-tokyo-japan/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:15:14 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1890 Tokyo is a shopper’s paradise. This is the place to buy things that are difficult or impossible to find outside Japan, for example, Japanese makeup and skin care products, fountain pens, exquisite paper goods (notebooks and agendas), and elegant, practical bags. Here is my list of the top 5 categories of things to buy in […]

Top five cool things to buy in Tokyo, Japan is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Tokyo is a shopper’s paradise. This is the place to buy things that are difficult or impossible to find outside Japan, for example, Japanese makeup and skin care products, fountain pens, exquisite paper goods (notebooks and agendas), and elegant, practical bags. Here is my list of the top 5 categories of things to buy in Tokyo.

(1) Hakuhodo brushes: These are the best makeup brushes in the world. There’s a large selection and if you go without planning, you will be overwhelmed. Figure out what kinds of makeup brushes you really need and do some research (Sweet Makeup Temptations is the best resource I’ve found for makeup brushes) before you go shopping.
hakuhodo brushes tokyo
The Hakuhodo shop is a small one-room office in the Minami Aoyama district of Tokyo, close to trendy fashion stores. English-speaking personnel will help you select your brushes. Many are very expensive (made of goat and squirrel hair, for example) but are worth the price if you want makeup brushes that are out of this world. You can find the address and directions of Hakuhodo’s Tokyo store here.

hakuhodo tokyo

Hakuhodo Shop in Tokyo

(2) Paper products: Notebooks, agendas, calendars and all kinds of writing paper that fountain pen fanatics love are widely available in Tokyo. Some of the best brands are the Life Noble Notes notebooks, Midori (the MD Cotton and Traveler’s Notebooks are cult items), Kokuyo and Apica. You can find these notebooks and agendas at Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku, Tsutaya in Daikanyama, Kinokuniya stores and Ito-Ya in Ginza.

Here is a wonderful 2014 agenda I bought at Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku. It is made by a Japanese firm called Hightide and it is small enough to keep in a handbag. The paper quality is excellent for fountain pen writing. There are subway maps for Tokyo, Kyoto and other Japanese cities in the back of the agenda but they’re helpful only if you can read Japanese. It doesn’t matter — they look beautiful all the same.

For more, read our Tokyo Shopping Guide: Fountain Pens, Notebooks and Agendas.

2014 agenda hightide tokyo
Hightide Japan calendar agenda diary
Japanese agenda calendar diary

(3) Japanese cosmetics by brands you can’t find outside Japan or Asia: Coffret d’Or by Kanebo makes cute makeup sets which are relatively inexpensive; Shiseido makes the Revital skin care line (which you can’t find outside Asia); Hada Labo Retinol serum and moisturizing milk can be found in many drugstores in Tokyo; Anessa sunscreen by Shiseido, also impossible to find outside Asia, is effective and waterproof. There are other Japanese brands like Kose, Ayura (famous for their Meditation Bath), KAO Sofina and Pola which I recommend.

hada labo retinol

Hada Labo Retinol skin care line

kao sofina kit

Sofina trial/travel kit

coffret dor

Coffret d’Or makeup kit with eye shadows, blusher and lip gloss

(4) Fountain pens by Pilot/Namiki and Sailor, and fountain pen ink by Iroshizuku: If you love fountain pens, you’ve come to the right place. The Japanese make the most exquisite fountain pens in the world. Their craftmanship is unmatched by any other country and if you want to splurge on the most beautiful fountain pens, many of them collectors’ items that cost thousands of dollars, there are places in Tokyo that you should visit: the Shoshaikan Pen Boutique in Omotesando, Ito-Ya in Ginza, Tsutaya in Daikanyama, to name a few. Check out this list of Tokyo fountain pen stores. If you want to buy a fountain pen that is more affordable (under $300), you can find them in the same stores. Some of the affordable Japanese pens I recommend are the Pilot Namiki Falcon, Pilot Custom Heritage, Pilot Justus 95, Sailor 1911, and Sailor Professional Gear.

Fountain pen inks are also much cheaper in Japan if you like Iroshizuku and Sailor. For example, I bought a bottle of Iroshizuku Shin-Kai (blue-black) ink for 1575 yen (US$16). In the US, this ink retails for about US$28.

namiki maki-e

Namiki maki-e fountain pen

(5) Porter Bags: Porter is the brand of bags (for men and women) made by Yoshida and Company. They are elegant, durable and practical. I love the “Luna” line of bags, which was launched this fall, in particular this rucksack which retails for 20,000 yen (US$200). They make other types of bags (e.g. luggage), as well as wallets and accessories. The best selection of Porter bags that I’ve seen in Tokyo is at Kura Chika, a boutique in the Tokyo Midtown shopping center (my favourite shopping mall in Tokyo), that sells Porter bags, wallets and accessories. You can also find a good selection of Porter bags at the Tokyu Hands department store in Shinjuku.

Porter bags Japan

Luna rucksack by Porter

 

UPDATE October 2014: Make sure you read my 20 October 2014 post about cosmetics shopping in Japan with a focus on Lunasol makeup products as well as tips on shopping for makeup and skincare in Japan. Note that as of 1 October 2014, tourists can obtain a tax refund for cosmetics, food and beverage items in Japanese stores (usually you have to spend at a minimum 10,000 yen per day in the store).

Top five cool things to buy in Tokyo, Japan is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Belstaff jackets for men: modern take on the motorcyle jacket http://www.shopplr.com/2013/01/belstaff-jackets-for-men-modern-motorcyle-jacket/ http://www.shopplr.com/2013/01/belstaff-jackets-for-men-modern-motorcyle-jacket/#respond Wed, 09 Jan 2013 16:52:18 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1689 If you are looking for a great jacket this year, look no further than Belstaff, a menswear brand launched in 1924 in the United Kingdom, but now owned by an Italian firm. Much of their clothing is made in Italy. Historically, the company specialized in all-weather jackets for motorcyclists and the aviation market. It has […]

Belstaff jackets for men: modern take on the motorcyle jacket is a post by Arnon Kohavi on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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If you are looking for a great jacket this year, look no further than Belstaff, a menswear brand launched in 1924 in the United Kingdom, but now owned by an Italian firm. Much of their clothing is made in Italy. Historically, the company specialized in all-weather jackets for motorcyclists and the aviation market. It has modernized the motorcyle jacket by making fit closer to the body, using different kinds of material (quilted fabric) and smart detailing. They introduced the Trialmaster motorcycle jacket in 1948, and it has been copied by many other brands. Indeed, versions of the Trialmaster have been worn by famous people, including Che Guevara.

Belstaff motorcyle jacket

The Belstaff look

motorcyle jacketmotorcyle jacket leather

 

Belstaff also makes coats, light jackets, sweaters, trousers, shoes and accessories for men. They have a womenswear line.

One of the best places to shop for Belstaff is Rome, Italy which stocks the full selection of men’s jackets and accessories. Service at the Rome boutique is excellent; staff provide good advice on the styles that fit you and the store carries a wide range of sizes. The store is located on the via del Babuino, close to the Piazza del Popolo. It is also a few minutes away from the via Condotti and Spanish Steps, the heart of designer shopping in Rome.

I have written a separate article entitled Where to Shop in Rome for Men’s Clothes, which lists the best stores in Rome for menswear, shoes, and accessories.

Belstaff jackets for men: modern take on the motorcyle jacket is a post by Arnon Kohavi on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Very Sixties Max Mara winter coat http://www.shopplr.com/2012/08/very-sixties-max-mara-winter-coat/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/08/very-sixties-max-mara-winter-coat/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2012 16:35:09 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1646 I love this winter coat from the Max Mara 2012 fall-winter collection because it looks so chic. Think Emma Peel from the 1960s TV series, The Avengers. In light grey with little fur puffs at the end of the sleeves, this coat will keep you warm and still make you look extremely cool. Max Mara […]

Very Sixties Max Mara winter coat is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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I love this winter coat from the Max Mara 2012 fall-winter collection because it looks so chic. Think Emma Peel from the 1960s TV series, The Avengers. In light grey with little fur puffs at the end of the sleeves, this coat will keep you warm and still make you look extremely cool. Max Mara continues to make the best coats in the world.

light grey winter coat max mara

Very Sixties Max Mara winter coat is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Funky patent leather car shoes from Max Mara http://www.shopplr.com/2012/08/funky-patent-leather-car-shoes-from-max-mara/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/08/funky-patent-leather-car-shoes-from-max-mara/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2012 15:58:34 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1642 If you love the comfort of the car shoe but tire of their staid, conservative look, check out these patent leather car shoes in bright colours from Max Mara’s fall-winter 2012 collection. You can wear these shoes with jeans, wool trousers, a mini dress or mini skirt, and winter pantyhose. They are great to walk […]

Funky patent leather car shoes from Max Mara is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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If you love the comfort of the car shoe but tire of their staid, conservative look, check out these patent leather car shoes in bright colours from Max Mara’s fall-winter 2012 collection. You can wear these shoes with jeans, wool trousers, a mini dress or mini skirt, and winter pantyhose. They are great to walk in and look chic.

patent leather car shoes

Funky patent leather car shoes from Max Mara is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Long live the ballet flat! http://www.shopplr.com/2012/06/long-live-the-ballet-flat/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/06/long-live-the-ballet-flat/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2012 11:50:17 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1609 I walk a lot in Paris so flat comfortable shoes are absolutely necessary. Often I wear sneakers when running around doing the grocery shopping, which entails visiting local farmers’ markets, or making trips to the butcher, fishmonger, charcuterie (for cured meats), fruit and vegetable stand, boulangerie for bread and fromagerie for cheese. But there are […]

Long live the ballet flat! is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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repetto ballet flat pink

I walk a lot in Paris so flat comfortable shoes are absolutely necessary. Often I wear sneakers when running around doing the grocery shopping, which entails visiting local farmers’ markets, or making trips to the butcher, fishmonger, charcuterie (for cured meats), fruit and vegetable stand, boulangerie for bread and fromagerie for cheese. But there are days when I want to look a bit more elegant, especially if I have to go to a lunch or dinner at a nice restaurant.

Here’s where Repetto comes in. Repetto is a French company that began in 1947 making ballet slippers. It still makes footwear for ballet dancers, but it has branched out to make shoes for the rest of us who need comfortable footwear in our daily lives. In a big city with an underground metro, daily life entails walking several kilometers (especially if you have to change metro lines at the dreaded Chatelet/Les Halles interchange here in Paris) and climbing stairs, lots and lots of stairs.

Repetto’s signature product is the “ballerine” (or ballet flat), a round-toe shoe with a little bowstring in the front. It comes in different colors and materials (leather, patent leather, python, and more). After the ballet flat, Repetto began making shoes with heels for those who, like me, are vertically challenged. The shoes with heels are not as comfortable as the ballerina flats but they are better for walking than stilettos.

repetto ballet flat caramel

repetto shoes with heels

Repetto’s ballerines are great for walking around Paris when it’s not raining. The shoes are dainty and refined, so they will get ruined very easily in the rain. Wear boots instead (of course, Repetto makes those, too).

Repetto has boutiques in Paris and you can buy them in large department stores and independent shops. They even have an e-boutique if you want to order ballerines in different colors.

Long live the ballet flat! is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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MySuelly: chic retro style bags in Paris http://www.shopplr.com/2012/06/mysuelly-chic-retro-style-bags-paris/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/06/mysuelly-chic-retro-style-bags-paris/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2012 11:05:15 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1584 If you are looking for chic leather bags that don’t cost a fortune, check out French indie leather goods firm, MySuelly. I found the cross-body bag shown in the first photo above in a lovely boutique called Arty Dandy in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. You can buy MySuelly’s delectable creations online at the MySuelly […]

MySuelly: chic retro style bags in Paris is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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cross-body bag

retro chic handbag

handbag with shoulder strap

If you are looking for chic leather bags that don’t cost a fortune, check out French indie leather goods firm, MySuelly. I found the cross-body bag shown in the first photo above in a lovely boutique called Arty Dandy in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. You can buy MySuelly’s delectable creations online at the MySuelly website or in person at Arty Dandy and Le Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement.

Well-known international designer brands make bags that look like these, but sell for hundreds of Euros more. MySuelly’s leather products are well under 500 EUR and they don’t have hideous logos plastered all over them. You don’t have to worry about showing up at a party carrying exactly the same bag as everyone else.

The cross-body bag is practical for everyday use in Paris, especially if you use the metro. Because it is slung across your body, it is difficult to snatch. The Paris metro and other areas frequented by tourists (which is increasingly all of central Paris) are notorious for pickpockets, scam artists and bag snatchers. What I love about these is the combination of practicality and style – you give up neither.

I also like buying accessories and clothes from independent brands like MySuelly, instead of contributing yet more money to the empire of billionaire Bernard Arnault (major shareholder of Dior — the holding company of LVMH, which in turn owns Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, etc.). I prefer to support local designers who create beautiful products at reasonable prices. (Note: Two Parisian entrepreneurs, Géraldine Cohen and Adélaide Salvi, founded MySuelly in 2009.)

MySuelly: chic retro style bags in Paris is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Goat Fashion spring-summer 2012 collection http://www.shopplr.com/2012/06/goat-fashion-spring-summer-2012/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/06/goat-fashion-spring-summer-2012/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:22:10 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1587 I am a fan of Goat Fashion dresses. They’re always simple and elegant, emphasizing cut and color, not useless ornamentation. You can buy them online at Matches.

Goat Fashion spring-summer 2012 collection is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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I am a fan of Goat Fashion dresses. They’re always simple and elegant, emphasizing cut and color, not useless ornamentation. You can buy them online at Matches.

Goat Fashion spring-summer 2012 collection is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Le Bon Marche: fabulous Paris department store without all the tourists http://www.shopplr.com/2012/05/le-bon-marche-fabulous-paris-department-store-without-all-the-tourists/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/05/le-bon-marche-fabulous-paris-department-store-without-all-the-tourists/#respond Mon, 28 May 2012 17:50:46 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1579 Ah, the Bon Marche department store in Paris! If you have been to Paris and shopped at the Galeries Lafayette or Printemps, the two largest department stores in Paris, chances are you will have bumped into hundreds of tourists, struggled to make your way through the narrow aisles and wandered around in confusion. Le Bon […]

Le Bon Marche: fabulous Paris department store without all the tourists is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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le bon marche paris

Ah, the Bon Marche department store in Paris! If you have been to Paris and shopped at the Galeries Lafayette or Printemps, the two largest department stores in Paris, chances are you will have bumped into hundreds of tourists, struggled to make your way through the narrow aisles and wandered around in confusion. Le Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement, a quieter part of Paris with fewer tourists, is nothing like them. Consisting of two buildings one of which has a marvelous food hall called La Grande Epicerie de Paris, Le Bon Marché features a curated selection of men’s and women’s fashion, beauty, housewares, furniture, books and stationery. The store is open and airy, uncluttered and serene, elegant and chic. Shopping at Le Bon Marché is such a pleasure.

Le Bon Marché
24, rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris, France
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone

Le Bon Marche: fabulous Paris department store without all the tourists is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Perfect knitted jacket for spring 2012 http://www.shopplr.com/2012/02/perfect-knitted-jacket-for-spring-2012/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/02/perfect-knitted-jacket-for-spring-2012/#respond Sun, 26 Feb 2012 12:41:43 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1569 I love this nude pink knitted jacket from UK design firm, Goat Fashion, available from Matches for 240 GBP.

Perfect knitted jacket for spring 2012 is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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I love this nude pink knitted jacket from UK design firm, Goat Fashion, available from Matches for 240 GBP.

knitted jacket from Goat Fashion

Pink knitted jacket from GOAT Fashion

Perfect knitted jacket for spring 2012 is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Classic looks for early Spring 2012 http://www.shopplr.com/2012/02/classic-looks-for-early-spring-2012/ http://www.shopplr.com/2012/02/classic-looks-for-early-spring-2012/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2012 09:39:38 +0000 http://www.shopplr.com/?p=1566 Classic looks for early spring are feminine and light-hearted. A bit retro (French 1960s), practical (no vertiginous heels please) and classic, these pieces will take you from early spring, with its chill in the air, to late spring and afte the summer, even into fall and early winter. I chose these pieces because they’re timeless […]

Classic looks for early Spring 2012 is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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Classic looks for early spring are feminine and light-hearted. A bit retro (French 1960s), practical (no vertiginous heels please) and classic, these pieces will take you from early spring, with its chill in the air, to late spring and afte the summer, even into fall and early winter. I chose these pieces because they’re timeless and flattering.

spring 2012 fashion

 

The mid-heel buckled pumps are from Prada. They look much like the suede Celine pumps I bought in the late 1990s back when Michael Kors designed their collections. The ballet flats are made by Attilio Giusti Leombruni. I have worn these flats for three years. They are the most comfortable, stylish flats I’ve ever owned. You can buy them in the US at Nordstroms. The Prada shoes are seasonal so if you like this style, get it now as they probably won’t make them again.

Bags: The aqua blue is Dior, which is pricey but maybe worth a splurge. The lip-shaped bag is Lulu Guinness, who makes the most feminine, playful bags in the world. The pink bag is Dolce e Gabbana and the purple one is Loewe, the luxury Spanish brand, whose bag designs have been improving year after year.

Classic looks for early Spring 2012 is a post by Esme Vos on Shopplr - Fashion, beauty, style and shopping.

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