Reviews

10 Best Japanese Clothing Brands

Searching For The Best Japanese Clothing Brands

When you think of Japanese style, simple looks come to mind, yet they’re some of the best-dressed people on this planet. Why? Because even though they wear muted color tones and modest garb, it’s neat, clean, and high-quality. Here, I’ll introduce you to the best Japanese clothing brands that embody this signature style.

Like many cultures, Japanese fashion blurs the lines between traditional garb and modern inspiration. Just take the kimono for example. Dating back to the Heian period of 794-1192, you’ll still see its influence in modern Japanese apparel. 

Even though in more recent years fashion has rebelled (take the bright colors and short skirts of the Harajuku style for example), Japanese fashion has remained, for the most part, conservative, straight-laced, and culturally inspired.

And despite that, it’s still highly fashionable and popular around the globe. Without further ado, let’s dive into the best Japanese clothing brands

10 Best Japanese Clothing Brands

1. Uniqlo

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
Uniqlo

Uniqlo might just be the most successful Japanese fashion company to date. With 2,300 stores around the globe, shoppers in Canada, the US, and the UK are eating up what this brand is dishing out. 

With massive collections for men and women, UNIQLO is categorized as simple, affordable Japanese fashion. It’s approachable, functional, and smart, with well-made clothing that follows Japanese style rules with a Western twist

Owned by the company Fast Retailers, athletes gravitate towards this line for its high-quality technology packed into affordably-priced gear. Most tees are $15-$20, and dress shirts are $35-$40.

Highlights

  • Affordable
  • High-quality materials
  • Performance tech outerwear
  • Men’s & women’s lines
  • Simple, versatile fashion 
  • Sustainable initiatives
  • Recycled fabrics

2. WTAPS

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
WTAPS

WTAPS was actually founded by Tetsu Nishiyama, the founder of Neighborhood’s protege. Inspired by military gear, this streetwear brand is incredibly popular in and out of Japan. A frequently sold out brand, you can get tees for as low as $65 but jackets hover around $200.

Highlights

  • Inspired by military gear
  • High-demand collections
  • Classic street style items

3. A Bathing Ape

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
A Bathing Ape

A Bathing Ape is perhaps the edgiest name on my list of best Japanese clothing brands. Founded in 1993 by fashion designer Nigo, it’s one of the most popular streetwear companies in Japan and abroad. 

Along with frequent collabs with pop culture icons from SpongeBob to Nintendo, A Bathing Ape’s trademark seems to be the juxtaposition of casual details (i.e. camo cargo pockets or embroidered words) on dressy items.

With a handful of different collections for men, women, home, and baby, this stand-out line is incredibly fashion-forward yet still retains modesty. With that said, you’ll definitely see some modern fabrics woven throughout the lines like vegan leather and crochet. Tees are $85, dresses are $200, and jackets go for $250.

Highlights

  • Streetwear style
  • Modern but conservative
  • Collabs with pop culture
  • Men’s, women’s & kids’ collections
  • Soft colors & oversized shapes

4. MUJI

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
MUJI

MUJI, a home goods and stationery store, is also one of the most popular names on my list of best Japanese clothing brands. I like to think of it as the Marks & Spencer of Japanese fashion. It has a little bit of everything, even food.

This brand’s designs are classic Japanese style. With oversized styles and muted colors, their clothing is very flowy and traditional, borrowing designs from Japanese culture.

There is a separate men’s and women’s line, but MUJI also has a unisex collection which is quite forward thinking. Most of its clothing is made from organic cotton or linen, so it’s a great pick for those who want conscious apparel. 

MUJI is known for its affordable prices. Its tagline of “lower prices for a reason,” nods at its use of minimal materials, production, and packaging, to cut costs and increase its sustainability at the same time. Founded back in 1980 by Seiji Tsutsumi, who’s also a poet, this brand is a staple in Japanese fashion. You can get tops for $15-$20 and dresses for $50.

Highlights

  • Sustainable fashion
  • Unisex collection
  • Organic cotton
  • Minimal packaging
  • Affordable
  • Small selection of men’s & women’s clothing
  • Traditional, minimal styles

5. Wacko Maria

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
Wacko Maria

The brainchild of Nobuhiro Mori and Keiji Ishizuka (who just happen to be professional Japanese success players), Wacko Maria has killer style. Its designs take influence from Latin American culture but you’ll find nuances of rockabilly style as well. Expect bright colors and eye-catching prints throughout this men’s line. Button down shirts are $250.

Highlights

  • Colorful, detailed designs
  • Men’s collection
  • Unique style

6. GU

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
GU

GU captures the type of style Japan is most known for: it’s simple, modest, yet fresh, with crisp lines and oversized fits.

Founded in 2006 by the same company behind UNIQLO, Fast Retailing, their aim with this offshoot was to make fashion feel more free. To us, that’s apparent in their occasional inclusion of bright colors and graphics.

Aimed at younger folk, GU’s apparel for men and women is affordable and follows current fashion trends. We think it’s a great introductory brand to Japanese fashion and love the looks it styles with layer crops. Shirts are around $10-$15, dresses are $20.

Highlights

  • Very affordable
  • Fashionable, youthful style
  • Easy to wear looks
  • Great selection for men & women

7. Comme de Garçons

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
Comme de Garçons

If you’re into fashion at all, you’ve probably heard of COMME de GARÇONS but judging by the name, you may be surprised to find it on my list of best Japanese clothing brands. Rei Kawakubo founded the brand in 1969, quickly seeing much success in both Japan and Paris.

The label is edgy and you’ve probably seen at least one of its collections unknowingly, such as the PLAY line which features a heart with eyes. Converse even did a collab with this line. The designer has also collaborated with Louis Vuitton and other well-known names in fashion. 

Perhaps this brand’s most defining feature is its rebellious style. Challenging fashion and making statements, you’ll see many contrasting color tones among its pieces, which all have simple, polished looks. The average tee goes for $115, while jackets are $250.

Highlights

  • Edgy, designer style
  • PLAY collection for everyday pieces
  • Collabs with major designers
  • Rebellious style

8. Asics

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
Asics

You may not immediately think of Asics when you read “best Japanese clothing brands,” but this company is one of the most successful activewear lines around the world. 

Founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka in 1949, its shoes are a go to for athletes. Since this is a clothing brands list and not one for shoes, Asics made our top picks because of its well-made selection of athletic wear. Hoodies go for about $60-$100.

Highlights

  • Nice range of athletic wear
  • Quality, performance materials
  • Affordable
  • Streetwear style

9. Neighborhood

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
Neighborhood

Inspired by motorcycle racing, Neighborhood has a unique style that’s big in the Japanese streetwear movement. Founded in 1994 by Shinsuke Takizawa, you’ll find a moody selection of button downs, hats, and sweats that fit into capsule collections. Short sleeve shirts are $160, Patch Vests are $400.

Highlights

  • Motorcycle culture
  • Unique style
  • Neutral, dark colors

10. Undercover

Best Japanese Clothing Brands
Undercover

Undercover’s tagline is, “we made noise, not clothes.” A nod at its disruptive apparel, this line is brimming with rebellious styles gathered from punk, gothic, and edgy fashion trends. 

Founded in 1993 by Jun Takahashi, when shopping with this brand, expect graphics on literally everything and items that tell a story. Graphic tees are $250, jackets are usually $4000+.

Highlights

  • Affordable
  • High-quality materials
  • Performance tech outerwear
  • Men’s & women’s lines
  • Simple, versatile fashion 
  • Sustainable initiatives
  • Recycled fabrics

Which Brand of Japanese Clothing is the Best?

Best Japanese Clothing Brands

The answer to this question really depends on what style you prefer, since fashion is so subjective. But for the purposes of my list, my decision is a little more analytical.

My pick for the best Japanese clothing brand is UNIQLO. With high-quality items, affordable prices, great variety, and sustainability initiatives, it’s easy to see why this brand is quickly becoming one of the most popular brands globally today.

What Defines Japanese Style? 

Best Japanese Clothing Brands

Like most cultures, Japanese style is a mix of modern influences with details from the past. As a whole, Japanese culture is modest and respectful, and that means their fashion is too. For the most part. 

You may bump into rebellious styles such as the bright colors and short skirts of Harajuku fashion, but generally, Japanese style is defined by these keys features:

  • Conservative pieces
  • Muted, neutral color tones
  • Interesting silhouettes
  • Minimal accessories 

How Do I Pick a Good Japanese Clothing? 

Best Japanese Clothing Brands

The best Japanese clothing brands are similar in some ways, but all of them bring something unique to the table. To help you the one that’s best for you, keep the following factors in mind while you browse. 

Brand  

All of the best Japanese clothing brands originated in Japan and are authentic. Of course, there may be one or two that stand out more to you for certain reasons. If you like the idea of buying from a well-known retailer, go with a brand that’s been around a while. If edgy designer wear speaks more to you, you’ll likely prefer what you find within their collections.

Quality

Japanese culture holds quality in high regard. Popular shops have prices that reflect that. One or two of the names on my list of best Japanese clothing brands are known for their low prices, and there, you may see lower-quality items. Finding your ideal brand means zeroing in on the level of quality you’re looking for with the price you’re willing to spend.

Style

There are a few different types of Japanese styles included in my list which I’d categorize as streetwear, casual, and for the youth. Younger styles have brighter colors while casual wear is more muted. Streetwear is edgy and you’ll see oversized styles with the occasional strip of color. 

Sustainability

If you’re looking for something sustainable among the best Japanese clothing brands, you’ll mostly find it in the materials they use. Japanese clothing is often made from soft materials like cotton or linen. Need more? Be on the lookout for carbon-neutral shipping or waste management protocols in production facilities.

Price

The price will ultimately affect your final choice of what to buy. If it’s too steep, that awesome oversized button-down no longer looks so good. If it’s too cheap, the quality may suffer and you’ll be throwing it out too soon.

I’ve included a range of options for you in my list of the best Japanese clothing brands so your chances of finding a product with both good quality and an affordable price tag are high. 

FAQ

Best Japanese Clothing Brands

How to style Japanese clothing? 

Whether you’re traveling to Japan and want to fit in or simply want to adopt the look in your hometown, there are some general style rules you should follow. The first is to create an interesting silhouette. This may mean a boxy shirt or a tee under a flowy dress. 

Remember to stick to neutral colors and choose comfortable shoes like sandals or sneakers. Socks are big in Japan as well, so choose a pair you can see. Finish off your look with minimal accessories, remove your nail polish, and go for a no-makeup makeup look. 

What to avoid with Japanese clothing?

While there are strains of rebellious Japanese fashion (like Harajuku, Lolita, and Kogal style), in general, their clothing is quite basic. If you want to match their signature style, you should avoid these three things:

  • All black
  • Revealing clothing
  • Exercise gear as streetwear

What are the 5 main Japanese style values? 

Japanese fashion, though modest, certainly stands out. When putting together your own outfit, sticking to the 5 main Japanese style values can help you look the part:

  1. Be conservative: long pants or knee-length skirts, no bare midriffs or shoulders
  2. Clean, in-tact clothing: you won’t see intentionally ripped, tattered or dirty clothing in Japanese cultures as it’s a sign of poverty and disrespect
  3. Layer: pair a crop top with a regular tee or throw on a dress over a long sleeve shirt
  4. Muted colors: classic khakis and an oversized button up in the same color 
  5. Choose simple accessories: comfortable shoes and a bucket hat complete the look

What is the most popular clothing in Japan?

Streetwear is very popular in Japan. There are numerous streetwear lines but also a lot of basics. Muted colors are big as well as oversized fits, so you’ll see a lot of that across the best Japanese clothing brands.

In terms of tradition, the kimono is still very popular among Japanese people. While streetwear may be worn by younger people, kimonos are a part of traditional Japanese garb and many still own and wear them.

How is Japanese fashion different?

Japanese fashion is very minimal and modest compared to American fashion. You won’t see women in short shorts, crop tops, or spaghetti straps with another layer underneath. Bright colors and crazy prints aren’t all too common either, but you may find glimpses of them in streetwear brands aimed at younger shoppers.

What clothing brands are famous in Japan?

Uniqlo is one of the most famous Japanese fashion brands both in and outside of the country. MUJI is another one that comes highly recommended and its prices are more affordable than Uniqlo’s.

Final Thoughts

Best Japanese Clothing Brands

No matter what form of Japanese fashion calls to you, adopting this style is incredibly easy. As long as you stick to the culture’s style values, you’ll pull off a fresh and on-trend look. 


Check out some of our other curated lists below:

5 Best TV Brands

5 Best Watch Brands

10 Best Work Boot Brands

10 Best Cowboy Boot Brands

Ask the community or leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This field is required