If you’re up on your currency exchange rates, the answer won’t shock you.

■ Dress for success!
Regular readers of this site, particularly the Japanese version, will no doubt be aware of an ongoing series in which our reporter Seiji Nakazawa visits various clothing retailers with a 10,000 yen bill (US$83) and sees how far he can get with it.

The basic concept is that even a guy like him with no fashion sense and a limited budget can still look good with the help of the staff’s advice. Previously we saw Seiji visit the second-hand shop Tanpopo House. Although, the staff refused to offer coordination advice, our reporter still made out like a bandit…a bandit at rave!

This time his assignment would be the luxury brand Prada. Seiji was understandably excited about this job. Sure, he wouldn’t be able to afford the top line stuff, but with the expert staff there helping him out, he’d be all James Bonded up in no time!

■ Sir…
Seiji headed over to the Prada store in the Shinjuku Isetan shopping center. He entered and casually began to browse around. First, he saw a checkered cotton shirt for 50,000 yen (US$415). He was so amazed at this price he went to take a photo of the tag. However, just as he prepared his smartphone a voice from off  to the side uttered, “Sir…”

It wasn’t angry or loud at all, but Seiji knew just what it meant. It was a staff member discretely telling him that photography was prohibited inside Prada so as not to cause him any embarrassment. The warning was firm yet fair and done with such class that Seiji began to feel guilty for even being in this place.

■ 10,000 yen
He had already felt out of his element to begin with, and that exchange only heightened Seiji bougieness. Still he had a job to do and humbly asked that same clerk that had “sirred” him for coordination advice: “What do you have for under 10,000 yen?”

The clerk, without a hint of arrogance (which made Seiji feel even worse), thought carefully for a pregnant pause and then uttered, “Maybe over here…”

The two went over to the mid-store showcase with a sign that read a base price of 50,000 yen. Seiji had seen this sales trick before. This clerk, knowing all too well that Seiji had said only 10,000 yen, was apparently about to pull a flim-flam and pressure him into a higher purchase.

Seiji was just about to speak up in protest when the clerk kneeled down and opened up a drawer at the bottom of the showcase.

“Hmm?” grunted Seiji as he peered over the clerk’s shoulder and watched him remove a single pair of black socks.

“This is the only item in this store that will come to under 10,000 yen with tax.” said the clerk very evenly, as if he had to deal with this kind of slob every day. Unable to endure this undeserved professionalism any longer, Seiji said he would take them and had the purchase rung up.

■ The RocketNews24 writer’s new clothes
Despite the ordeal of buying them, Seiji still felt pretty good about his new socks. “Why yes, these are my new Prada socks.” he said to coworkers, answering questions they never asked.

Just then, the editor called him in for the post-purchase photo-shoot, where Seiji models his newly discovered coordination. After explaining the problem to his boss that he was only able to get a single pair of socks, the editor simply stared coldly at him and told him that the lighting was ready to go.

As he lay there naked on the carpet, Seiji realized a valuable lesson in fashion. Coordination is important when choosing clothes, but ultimately you have to understand your own body in order to wear them properly. Fashion was indeed more than simple fabrics and patterns; it was an attitude and an expression of one’s inner self.

At 9,720 yen ($80.75), it was an expensive lesson, but the socks felt great and were really long, so you know they didn’t chintz on material. They even had little sock-shaped inserts in each one so that…um, we can’t really figure out why. Nevertheless, it was a nice touch. Thanks Prada!

Original article by Seiji Nakazawa
Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]