Our 30-something reporter coordinates a cheap outfit at a popular teen fashion boutique

Can our adult journalist relive his adolescence through fashion?

“I wish I had a store like this when I was a teenager!”

Our Japanese-speaking reporter Haruka Takagi couldn’t help but think that when she walked into the nearest branch of popular store chain Merci Mart. It’s a discount store or everything including clothes is only 390 yen (US$3.29) (hence the nickname “Sankyuu Mart”, where “san” and “kyuu” are the Japanese words for “three and “nine”, but also, when put together, ring like the English words “Thank you”).

But Thank You Mart is not the kind of discount store where the clothes are pretty decent. In Haruka’s eyes, everything was really cute! In fact, Haruka decided that she wanted compose an outfit from objects she found there. Perhaps they would bring her back to her adolescence?

Thank You Mart not only sells fashion but also accessories and miscellaneous goodsand everything is great value for just 390 yen.

The target clientele is between 10 and 20 years old, and when Haruka visited, there were quite a few groups of middle and high school girls having fun shopping together.

The shop sells all sorts of things, including underwear…

▼ …hats…

▼ …hair accessories…

▼ …imported food…

…and even second-hand clothes! (Although only a few of the Thank You Marts have a second-hand clothing section.)

Although she was tempted to buy a lot of things, Haruka was determined to put together an outfit from Thank You Mart, so she asked an attendant to help her. But the attendant looked dubious and said: “A whole outfit? Hmm… That could be tricky.

“What? Really?” Haruka asked.

“Yes,” said the attendant. “In truth, customers at Thank You Mart don’t usually wear the clothes they buy here. For example, many people will wear the character’s t-shirts as loungewear…

“And wear the sweatpants to dance class.”

Haruka ponders this information. Someone who works at Thank You Mart would surely know what they’re talking about, so it seems like they were a little too optimistic when they decided to create a complete outfit. Nonetheless, Haruka is not one to give up on a plan. As difficult as it may have been, she and the seller brainstormed together and came up with an outfit.

And here it is!

“I know what you’re thinking!” Haruka said before any of us could say anything. “I look like some kind of weird old lady. This outfit is a bit over the top for a woman in her thirties, I know. Do not worry.”

Instead, Haruka wants you to imagine this outfit on a teenager. What would that look like then?

Actually quite cute!!

The asymmetrical chain shoulder bag had quite a mature appeal, and the layering of the long-sleeved lace shirt under the printed tee was a high-level idea. The cute and retro Betty Boop print also appeared all over the outfit which makes it even cuter.

Let’s look at the elements of the outfit individually.

・A long-sleeved lace shirt

・Character print short-sleeved t-shirt
・A faux leather handbag

・ Socks (two for 390 yen)

・Wide pants
Hair accessories

・Masks (two for 390 yen)

A very nice catch! Of course, everything was only 390 yen. In fact, all these items amounted to a total of only 3,004 yen! The value is pretty amazing!

Haruka remembers being a teenager who desperately wanted the latest fashion, endlessly window-shopping until she found something she could afford. If she had had a Thank You Mart when she was young, she would have gone there so often that the entire staff would know her.

But Haruka says you don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy the fashion options there. With the store’s many chic designs and nostalgic retro t-shirts, even adults can find things they love. At some discount stores, you can only create a functional but not necessarily stylish look, so Thank You Mart is a great option if you’re on a budget and need to restock your wardrobe.

Images © SoraNews24
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