Looking round some of Tokyo’s shops last weekend I was surprised to find that there are still quite a few winter bargains to be had. It’s a great time for the savvy shopper to pick up items for next winter, but there’s no point buying them if they’re going to be hopelessly out of style. Here’s my (entirely subjective) guide to what you should – and shouldn’t – pick up in the last-gasp winter sales.
I’ll not have a bad word said against cashmere ties. They’re wonderfully soft and add extra texture to any plain-looking outfit. They are more delicate than silk ties, but unless you plan on using them for some hastily prepared bondage sessions you won’t have any trouble keeping them in top condition (storage tip: always roll, never hang).
Norwegian-patterned jumpers and cardigans
This might be a more Japan-specific thing, but I saw an unbelievable amount of Norwegian-patterned clothing this winter. It quickly developed from a quirky, little-seen item to a full-blown Scandinavian invasion. For two months Tokyo resembled a ski-chalet fondue party circa 1976, only without wife-swapping and Nordic sauciness.
Thankfully, this particular trend seems to have died a death. Help kick its bloody corpse into the river of history by leaving Norwegian-patterned cardies on retailers’ shelves.
Heavy-duty work boots
Who would’ve thought that the kind of workwear normally reserved for flannel-shirted, outdoorsy bearded types would become the preserve of pigeon-chested fashion obsessives? Red Wing, Danner and Chippewa probably didn’t – they must be as happy as pigs in poo at the moment.
I’ve got nothing against work boots: they can be a godsend on slushy winter days. They don’t go well with suits, obviously, but look a damn sight better than galoshes. Just keep a pair of work shoes at work and you’ll be set. An even better idea, however, is to buy a pair of Chelsea boots with Dainite soles.
For weekend wear I think they’re pretty much timeless provided you don’t go for over-the-top, uber-backwoodsman models, and I wouldn’t recommend tucking your jeans or trousers into them unless you plan on doing some lumberjack-inspired pole climbing. The best thing about them is that they’re as tough as… err… old boots?