WIW/WIB in Harajuku: Tokyo Bopper, kawaii style!

I'm still a little jet lagged and I can't begin to describe what an amazing experience it was to travel in Japan, but I can at least show off some spoils. 

I had a niche in my wardrobe for a pair of white sneakers and I started stalking these flatforms before I left. They're by Tokyo Bopper, a cult street wear brand I discovered on style-arena.jp. They've had a shop in Harajuku since the early '90's, which makes them a bit of a local institution. I made a bee-line for it on my first night in Tokyo to check them out so I'd have plenty of time to think about it before we returned to the city two weeks later.

The idea was to round out my denim capsule so I'll be wearing these mostly with loose-fitting jeans, but I can't resist  a bit of shameless kawaii styling too. A little juvenile perhaps, but why should the kids have all the fun? I'm wearing them today with my pleather midi by BACK and my new-ish winter fur, which, when worn upside down, goes nicely over a backpack, which is just as well because I had a lot to carry today. 

Which brings me to the kawaii overload detail: a frog purse by seto design which I bought at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum half way through the trip. This little fellow made many friends in his subsequent travels, strapped to a battered Longchamps Pliage. Almost everywhere I went someone made a nice comment, which just goes to show that when you don't know the language you can always speak fashion. 

There's another travel souvenir here, a football scarf from FC St Pauli which I bought in Hamburg. The club was the first in Germany to ban right-wing nationalists from its matches and the slogan on the scarf reads "St Pauli Fans Gegen Rechts". The look might work better without it, but I'm wearing it all the same. Here's why.

Because of recent events in Paris and Brussels, which feel so very close to home, Europe is not the same now as when I left it. I put on the scarf today because like the frog it reminds me that whatever language you speak, things like fashion and football can bring us all together, even though some people would use them otherwise. 

And that's what makes a great community. Skylurker, Inge and all other fabbers in France and Belgium, I'm thinking of you. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Mellllls replied 5 years ago

    what an amazing experience.  thank you for sharing.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience and spoils. AMAZING. Of course you had the very best time! Japan is INCREDIBLE. 

    Glad you are home safely and soundly. Keep loved ones close.

  • replied 5 years ago

    Sounds like an awesome time that you had Liz! What fun purchases and the fur in #2 looks so lush.

  • Sara L. replied 5 years ago

    The frog is so cute!  I also love your flatforms and how you've styled them in these pics.  I'm glad to hear you had a fabulous trip.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    LOVE this, everything about it. Your excitement about the travel, the amazing souvenirs you returned with, your utterly unique, utterly Approprio looks (esp. with that football scarf!!) and your warm wishes for our other European friends. I have been thinking of you all there. 

    Fashion can unite us, it is true. And so can style. Which you have in abundance. Rock on! 

  • abc replied 5 years ago

    Suz, Angie and the others echo what I'm not so good at saying. I feel your emotions coming through the post. So glad you're home safe and can't wait to hear more when you're more rested.

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    Radical souvies!

  • merwoman replied 5 years ago

    So glad you are home safely from your amazing japan adventure. Love your outfits particularly the football scarf. In a similar vein, I had my pilates instructor show me how to tie my scarf in a hijab. We are all one.

  • skylurker replied 5 years ago

    (No, it's not the same. There are soldiers on the streets here. Brussels was shut down all weekend).

    Thanks for opening my eyes on all kinds of things I didn't know existed : George Cox creepers, Trippen, Tokyo Boppers (they're awesome!), St Pauli scarf...

    Did you buy some jeans of famous Japanese denim ?

    I like your hair, the longer bangs.

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    So glad to hear your trip was as amazing as hoped! Great sneaks. I was expecting a much shorter "kawaii" skirt ;) Fun styling with all the black as well as picking up on the bits of white in the scarf (both elements being a little sporty but not in-your-face sporty). CUTE froggie XD

  • UmmLila replied 5 years ago

    I like the heartfelt sensibility behind your bringing together your style and your travels. Only connect, as E.M. Forster might have said. Also, I'm loving the frog.

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    The pink frog is irresistible. Better relations through fashion indeed. Brilliant how the upside down cape suits the backpack too. Yes, you came home to a new reality. Terror is psychological war being fought with physical means. Fashion would work better in my humble opinion.

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    "Because of recent events in Paris and Brussels, which feel so very close to home, Europe is not the same now as when I left it. I put on the scarf today because like the frog it reminds me that whatever language you speak, things like fashion and football can bring us all together, even though some people would use them otherwise."
    Thanx for posting this, and loved to see your all kawaii outfits:-)

    I'm far from France and Belgium- (my heart goes to them), but we are quite on the way taken by the refugees  and did worry all the fall  about the situation and politics created around the subject. It's unbearable awful to see all these people  having to leave their homes and countries for survival but the EU(not only target but transited countries, too) are really  NOT prepared to accomodate (and assimilate) them in real pace and decent conditions. 

    We do worry for the future, too!

  • approprio replied 5 years ago

    Thanks all. Sorry it's taken me a while to come back. I've been catching up on news and it's so hard to parse all this that I almost wish I hadn't mentioned it. These are difficult times with no easy answers. I hear you, lyn67. You're closer to the sharp end of something no-one knows how to deal with. 

    Anyway. We're here to talk about fashion. Of course, I have a lot to say on Japanese style, and I hope I'll find the time to wrap it all up into a longer post. 

    Aida: I saw lots of midi skirts with big shoes, and relatively little of the much-vaunted Lolita look. Maybe it's the influence of the awesome school uniforms. (Culottes are also huge in Japan, as are harem pants.) 

    skylurker: relieved to know you're safe. I resisted the call of the denim but Mr Edge came back with a pair of the legendary Samurai 711vx. And thanks for saying so about my hair, it's feeling slightly out of control right now. 

    Speaking of which, merwoman: I've always quite liked the hijab and now you got me thinking. Maybe we should have an international Bad Hair Day when we all put on headscarves.

    Thanks again all. It's good to be back, even though the news is bad and the weather terrible. 

  • replied 5 years ago

    I LOVE your styling here--it's genius and a totally age-Approprio look. You make a pink frog bag work like no youngster can. I agree with Skylurker on your hair, too. Applause!

    And thanks for the updates on style and trends in Japan. I was about to relegate my harems to house wear; maybe I'll rethink. though they are the old, very-drop-crotch EF ones so perhaps not as on trend.

    Glad you had such a fantastic trip. I keep hoping humanity will prevail with the awful situations in Syria and elsewhere.

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