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The Last Person In The World To Discover UNIQLO

Am I the last person in the world to discover UNIQLO? Or is it you?

The Japanese retailer, whose avowed goal is to become the largest retailer in the world, opened a store in San Francisco earlier this year. I visited last weekend.

They might be onto something.

If you want Urban Minimalist gear at very low prices, or Cheery Suburban Basics, for that matter, take a gander. They have an online presence as well. I took this jacket home. I paid full price of $50. Now it’s on sale for $29.90.


Also this tee. On sale for $8.00. Made in Vietnam, the country nominated for the most brilliant turnaround of this century. In white, of course, because I was in the mood for danger. Not. Nice piping detail at the neck, and long enough to keep my waistline a state secret.

51_075948Finally, I coveted but left in the store, this cotton dress. Marimekko meets Steven Alan. UNIQLO  even styles their mannequins with Converse shoes.

31_076412I highly recommend you browse online for orientation first. The site is actually annoying, but better to be annoyed at home than overwhelmed in public. Don’t want to find you hiding under a shirt display table, now do we? Although I might be there to keep you company, and then we could have a party.

The San Francisco location is several stories high, and very Asian/European in feel, meaning scads of stuff and minimal signage. Far more Target than American Apparel, or Gap. The latter being the company UNIQLO has overtaken, of course, as the poor thing languishes in Anxiety of J. Crew Influence.

By the way, I love my new little jacket. Have already worn it twice. I’m late to the party, but enthusiastic on arrival.

37 Responses

  1. Love the jacket. The cotton dress not so much. Reminds me of an early 70’s maternity look. It needs a lot of jazzing, belt, scarf, what-have-you. But I’m sure you would pull it off, and tastefully so.

  2. Wait until you try the pants – very nice and basic. I only wish they had lengths…we all don’t have the same inseam.

  3. I am new to your blog but thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! Oh, to be a 55 year old attempting to shop for clothing while not wanting to a) spend a house payment on stylish wear, b) resort to wearing sleeveless, short, inappropriate items for my age & body type or c) just put a gun in my mouth and go back to jeans and sweatshirts. Honestly, after two days of shopping last week I just wanted to sit down and bawl! Thank you for your posts on tasteful, stylish and affordable wear for women of a certain age.

  4. I am a great fan and have been for some time. I have the exact same T but with long sleeves. They wash and wear well. I do miss the Jil Sander for Uniglo range which they have now discontinued. It was fantastic I still have a great summer jacket from that range. Also their puffa jackets are very light and warm and good for travelling as they roll up into their own bag.

  5. I’m not familiar with them, but I love your new jacket and I like the simplicity of what you’ve shown. Thanks Lisa for the introduction to a stylish and reasonably priced new place to shop.

  6. Holy SMOKE.

    That jacket, spectacular.

    That website, it IS a mess, isn’t it?

    But the goods, oh man. Man oh.

    Thank you!

  7. Looks inviting. Alas! Houston-the 4th largest city in the country-once again does not have a location. Why are we always last to the party?

  8. They came onto my radar when Son got a job there while waiting for his “real” job to materialize. That earned them a place in my browsing world!

  9. I like your jacket very much. Okay I’ve never been to Uniqlo! If the site is a mess I’m not going there, I’ll just get frustrated for no reason. Thanks for warning me!

  10. I’ve been to the one in Soho NYC a few times and always come away with something cheap and cheerful. Disposable clothing, just like Zara and H+M.

  11. No, you would not be the last – that would be me, since I’ve never heard of them.

    What’s really sad is that my husband probably has; of course, he’s spends a lot more time with retailers than I do.

  12. Wait until you discover their HeatTech long sleeve T’s in winter! They don’t stock them in summer. They are the most comfortable winter layering thing I’ve ever found, and they come in great colors.
    I have the dress in orange, I couldn’t resist it.

  13. I’m looking at their size chart, and I’m wondering why they list bust and waist, but not hips. I would not be comfortable ordering anything without that info, but if I’m around a store, I’ll try check it out.

  14. Ha! I think I am definitely in the last to show up group! Looks promising.

  15. Oh no, last would be me. At least until someone else comments.

    I’ll try the website later. Life is confusing enough already.

    xo jane

    1. I believe they have a store in JFK airport’s Jet Blue terminal, in case you’re ever on your way somewhere via NYC.

  16. I wear round neck Uniqlo T-shirts year in, year out. They wash and wear beautifully – my latest purchases, now over a year old, are just as smooth and sprightly as the day they were purchased, unlike some Jigsaw Ts bought the same day which bobbled and drooped within months. I don’t think they are H&M-disposable at all: if you buy sensibly (avoid the poly) they will serve you tirelessly.

    Muji also has branches in the US, as well as Britain and Europe! Worth looking at for for their beautiful aprons and homewear. I find their clothes a bit austere, and they are more expensive than Uniqlo.

  17. Oops, never mind about Muji in JFK airport – totally had a brain freeze and was thinking of something else! Sorry!

  18. Uniqlo is the one store in NYC that my father will consent to being dragged to for un-prespecified periods of time. That should say a lot right there. Well, and Muji, too. I think it’s really the perfect blend of West Coast/East Coast (as well as Western/Eastern) chic.

    @klynneann, don’t worry, you’re totally right about the Muji in JFK! I don’t know that they carry clothes in that one, but they’ve got a ton of amazing stationery and other small essentials/casual gift items. I adore their mini cotton swabs. Life-changing, really.

  19. The name rings bells, but I had no idea of what it was about.
    Ok. I visited the site.
    Everything is extremely affordable, a thing, which always makes me suspicious.
    To be honest, as I always am ; ), nothing there I´d place my money on.
    I rather have a handful of good/ timeless pieces of clothing.
    We do have a washing machine, so why the need to stock our cupboard with clothes?
    I´m just trying to be functional. Functional in interior design, my clothing, my personal stuff and on everything.
    This is my personal view only.
    However, I´d understand ” the young ones ” buying clothes from Uniqlo, as they are searching for new stuff constantly, which I understand well.

  20. Lisa, How is the sizing? I looked at the website’s sizing chart. The measurements look right. BUT, when our son lived in Beijing for two years, he liked shopping at the Japanese clothing stores because their quality and styling was excellent. In US sizes he is barely a men’s size M, but in the Japanese clothing, he wore an XL. Perhaps Uniquo has better sizing for our population? What was your experience?

    1. It’s smaller than the USA sizing. I have a small in the tees, and the jacket is a medium. At J. Crew, for example, I’m a 2 in skirts.

  21. Thank you for the introduction! I like the additional length on many of the tops, as well. A couple of the jackets had the front button a little off center, which is lovely. I’m with Susan in asking about size comparison – how did they compare in your experience?

  22. Ah, I wondered when they were finally going to open a store on the West Coast. People rave about their puffer jackets for winter gear. Like the jacket!

  23. My husband’s very fond of them. They’re a bit plain for me, and also designed for skinny people. But we’ll definitely be visiting when we’re in London next week.

  24. Yep I too love the jacket. It is a garment that will take on a character of it’s own after a while. The design is simple and is unlikely to date.

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