What kind of outfit can US$9.32 get you in Japan?

What can you get in Japan for 1,000 yen (US$9.32)? Probably not a whole lot. If it was 10,000 yen, you could get an enormous steak, or a pretty good haul at a local thrift shop, but for 1,000 yen, you’d be pretty limited to a single drink and a small snack at Starbucks, or maybe one or two items of clothing.

Our Japanese language reporter Ahiru Neko has seen his fellow reporters get a lot of bang for their buck at 10,000 yen, but all the while he’s been thinking, “That’s easy. 10,000 yen is plenty”. He thought a real challenge would be limiting the budget to just 1,000 yen, so that’s what he did. His first test: putting together a whole outfit.

Since even the cheapest clothes at Uniqlo and GU, the often looked-down upon budget clothing stores in Japan, usually hover around 1,000 yen, would it even be possible to find a whole outfit? After some literal shopping around, Ahiru Neko decided to conduct his experiment at a collection of six discount stores in Nishi Tokyo City called “Friends”. The clothes there are not particularly stylish or polished, but everything is definitely cheap. There are price reductions all over the place, so it’s really quite amazing they make a profit at all.

Unfortunately, they sell far more clothes for women than for men, so Ahiru Neko decided to put together a men’s outfit using ladies’ clothes. Here’s what he ended up buying:

A white t-shirt for 100 yen.

A pair of ladies’ plaid, linen pants for 299 yen.

Don’t forget the shoes! A casual slip-on pair for 199 yen!

Riding on the high of bargain shopping, he also got this hat for 199 yen.

And even a bag for 100 yen!

Friends really is super cheap! To not only get the indispensable shoes, shirt, and pants for less than 1,000 yen, but to also accessorize with a bag and a hat? Pretty impressive. So here’s how it looks all put together:

Well, alright! He did a pretty good job! Maybe it’s not a particularly stylish outfit, but Ahiru Neko ended up coordinating a pretty decent casual men’s outfit for just 1,000 yen!

And…wait a minute…what is that he’s holding in his hand? Is that a…pool float? It is! It’s yet another item that Ahiru Neko managed to snag at Friends, since he had a little over 100 yen left after buying the clothes. Just look at its super cool design featuring the Weekly Shonen Jump manga Toriko! Definitely worth it.

So, although these very summery clothes might be a little out-of-place in October, we can say that Ahiru Neko’s 1,000 yen outfit ended up being surprisingly ordinary. He could easily wear this any day in summer and not get weird looks, so all in all, he calls this experiment a win.

Now, since he’d come all this way with his pool float and summer outfit…

He might as well ride the waves

And go for a swim.

So let it be known that you can buy clothes on a tight budget in Japan! You just might have to lose out on style just a little bit.

Images © SoraNews24
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