International clothing brands in Japan - for women

Shopping in Japan is a lot of fun. The insane variety of stores means that each shop caters for an entirely different niche group of shoppers. You will definitely be able to find clothes that you like, but may have trouble finding clothes that fit. The majority of Japanese women are shorter and thinner than the average `gaijin` (non-Japanese, or foreigner) with smaller breasts and hips, making shopping a little difficult, and/or depressing. Things are changing slowly however, and while 10 years ago I was often encouraged (with hand signals or `no no no`s) to leave shops which obviously didn`t hold clothes in my size, sales assistants now may be able to find slightly larger sizes (closer to a US medium) somewhere in the back)!

So, if you are looking for clothes in sizes/styles that you are more used to, international chain stores/brands may be a safer bet. **However, they probably won`t hold sizes larger than `large` in-store.

In the main shopping areas of Osaka (Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Namba) as well as in the larger shopping malls a bit further away (including the HUGE Expo City Lalaport which opened in 2016), you should be able to find most of these international clothing brands in their own boutiques/stores. 

Many department stores (like Hankyu, Daimaru and Takashimaya) also have small displays featuring clothes from these labels too, as well as the more expensive luxury brands which they are most famous for.

Some of the stores which have numerous branches around the city and in the suburban malls are listed below with their websites. Some are in Japanese, but are easy enough to navigate. Most will have a list of their stores under a link with characters like this 店舗. As an alternative, many online stores also offer shipping within Japan!!

Zara (online store)
H and M (online store)
GAP (online store)
Banana Republic (online store)
Forever 21 (online store)
American Eagle Outfitters (online store)
Hollister (online store)
Abercrombie and Fitch (online store)
Ralph Lauren Denim and Supply (online store produced by Zozotown)
Old Navy - will close all shops in Japan at the end of 2016 (no online store, but website here)
G Star Raw (online store)
Stussy (online store)
Volcom (online store produced by Zozotown)
Billabong (mens` online store and womens` online store)
Quiksilver / Roxy (online store)
Diesel (online store)

...and many more

If you want to know if your favourite store has a branch in Osaka, let me know!

Happy shopping,

Fran xx

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