I walk the line between wanted to dress nicely and being, well, poor. It is the curse of a college student in Japan. So, rather than paying full price for cute pieces, I turned to resale shops. My favorite is Mode Off.
Mode Off is one of the Off brand shops (like Hard Off (cheap hardware and electronics), Off-House/Home-Off (cheap home appliances and clothing), Hobby Off (cheap plush animals, figurines, and collectable cards), Garage Off (larger appliances), and Book Off (cheap books)). Basically, Off brand shops re-sell old, cheap stuff. It is heaven for fashion forward college students.
Mode Off is, hands down, my favorite of the Off brand shops. It taught me that looking chic doesn’t always have to cost and arm, a leg, and half of your soul.
Mode Off shops are typically divided to three sections: Womens, Mens, and “sale.” Of course, the Women’s section takes up more than half of the shop. The Men’s section is a lot smaller and more expensive. I guess men don’t come into Mode Off so often – and when they DO resell their clothes it’s mostly high end stuff.
I try to hit up Mode Off every month. Aside from the fact the clothes are cheap, their sale rack runs between 50yen and 200yen per piece. Talk about cheap.
Things you SHOULD buy at Mode Off:
Things you SHOULDN’T buy at Mode Off:
- T-shirts (never seems to be worth the cost)
- Shoes (if they were sold “new,” there has to be a reason like blisters or bad fit)
- Accessories (more expensive than they should be)
Anyways, Mode Off is a very chill place to go shopping. The clothing is cheap, the atmosphere is nice, and they totally don’t judge you if you bring in two baskets of clothes to try on and only buy one jacket. They also don’t make you check with the staff before trying stuff on. It’s a free for all.
Also, if you buy enough, they will give you large cloth bags to carry your stuff. You become a walking billboard (but a happy walking billboard because everything is so cheap).
The first time I went I spent:
- Green Military Jacket: 500 yen
- Jean jacket: 500 yen
- Black Blazer: 700 yen
- Leather Jacket: 1,000 yen
- Blue sweater: 300 yen
- Red shorts: 300 yen
- Pinstripe Pants: 300 yen
- Grey full-length dress: 500 yen
- Black and white winter coat: 500 yen
Every time I go back I set a 2,000yen limit. I usually spend it all. And have a great time doing so.
I’ve been to a lot of recycle and resale shops in Tokyo, but Mode Off continues to be my favorite. It also helps that it is easy to resell the clothes once you’re done (and have to move back to your home country). If anyone has any other suggestions for cheap resale shops, I’m always interested!
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