As a kid I was probably only normal sized until I hit 3rd grade. That was when I went through a growth spurt (I grew a foot in less than a year!) and rapidly started gaining weight. Not to help my self esteem any better, I got my period in 4th grade. This was during the time you were supposed to be playing with toys, not going through puberty! I pretty much skipped shopping at kids clothing stores and went straight to Wet Seal by the time I hit 4th/5th grade.
You're probably thinking, "Why is all of this background necessary?". It's because it eventually led up to me being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Why does it matter? It basically means that I will be bigger than size 9 for the rest of my life and will eventually have problems conceiving children. The majority of fellow sufferers will also be big, with some exceptions like Kate Gosselin from Kate Plus 8. So even with proper diet and exercise, it's only a means to stay healthy but size-wise I'll still be about the same. It's been a tough ride and I have fluctuated in size through out the years from size 9 to 15 (which it currently is at because my butt is huge). I'm smaller on top (but have broad shoulders), so I can fit anywhere between M-XL depending on the clothes. Being big has always caused emotional problems through out my life (being bullied from grades 3-8), but I think it was only recently when I decided that I need to be happy with myself and accepting the fact that I won't ever be super skinny.
How did I get into Japanese fashion?
I've been going to Japan a lot since my dad used to work and live in Tokyo, it kind of was just a natural fit. I started off by wearing Pop & Cute fashion (from the time I was 13-17ish), which used to be the dominant style at Shibuya 109-2 before gyaru-o and onii-kei took over. Unfortunately all of the pictures I had back from that time are on my computer with a broken hard drive, so I can't show you any but this photo from my transitional period from pop & cute to gal.
|My friend Tsuyoshi and I at 9LoveJ in August 2006. I'm wearing an Angel Blue cap and a Daisy Lovers zip up top. I was probably wearing Cocolulu jeans.|
|My 17 year old self wearing Cocolulu.|
The past is the past though, these are more recent pictures:
|Note to self: school bathroom mirrors are tiny >.>|
If you've read this far, I'm really surprised! I'll get to what you want to know, where to get Japanese plus sized clothes for gals!
Japanese stores selling plus sized clothing suitable for gal
I have 3 favorite places, and they ship international! Yay! A few things to keep in mind while shopping from these stores:
- Register for their newsletters (メルマガ) to know when they get new items in stock! The bigger sizes always go first, so that makes buying things plus sized difficult and competitive.
- Japanese hips are TINY! If you plan on buying bottoms, remember to buy 1 or 2 sizes larger than your US size if possible.
- Need help with using Rakuten? Click here for information in English!
A budget gal clothing store that was ranked as the #1 online store for gals to shop at by Popteen! Not only do they have really cute clothes for normal gals, a lot of their clothes (mostly tops and one piece dresses) come in sizes up to LL (US L) or 3L (US XL)
|Simple one piece dresses in a variety of colors up to size 3L. Only 980yen!|
|Sexy Koakuma/Agejo styled dress for 2980yen, up to LL in size! When buying these agejo dresses, please be sure to check for the hip size because they're very constricting in that area! T_T|
|Cute one piece dress with cat ears and armwarmers for 1980yen that is carried in up to 3L size!|
One of my favorite places to find random pieces <3 They can get a bit pricey, but it's definitely worth it for some great pieces of gal clothing.
|Himegal dress for 2980yen in up to 4L (US XXL) size!|
|Koakuma styled dress for 3980yen in up to 3L size.|
|Popular sequin tiered skirt that a lot of gals wear, 2900yen and in sizes up to 4L. You can see me wearing a similar skirt I bought from Mim Min in 2 of the style pictures in this post!|
|Keeping up with the trends, these furry legwarmers/boot covers should fit up to a size 5L!|
This is a site that branches off of another popular Rakuten store, A Happy Marilyn. This store specializes in girly plus sized clothing, many pieces that can be fit for gal! While this place can be hit or miss, it is noted that they used to carry a line of plus sized Vanquish clothing designed by famous gal model/TV personality Jun Komori. While her clothes are sold out there now you can still buy some Eyemazing eyelashes there. As of post date, there wasn't really anything interesting I wanted to post :'( But keep checking for new items!