As much as I love Tornado Mart for denim, I do rather blanche at the price tags of some of their other items.  You see a pair of jeans will cost around the 20000 yen mark but a lowly T-shirt can come in at the 10000 mark (oh and don’t get me started on their shoes and jewelery….).  Now that is not so say all their T-shirts do, but they tend to hover around the 7000 mark .  On the other hand a stupid arty T-shirt from Loveless will cost around the same amount, at least Tornado Mart has the decency to actually put some work into their tops:

As you can see the one on the left has an artificial layered effect print – a superb optical illusion and a clever neckline, and the one on the right matches a foil print with some nice tribal embroidery.  So you could never say that there isn’t a bit of work and design in these – beyond the usual stuck on rhinestones at least.  On the other hand my issue with T-shirts is that they are obviously one of your most washed items so they do tend to show wear the fastest.  In my experience my Tornado Mart T-shirts lose their clever finishes quite quickly till  they are basically indistinguishable from a 2000 yen Magic Cinq one.

My policy on T-shirts has always been to avoid spending any kind of money on them and instead focus your funds into buying a great pendant and necklace.  Pair a plain black T with some nice shiny silver and the accessories are going to be the focus of the outfit.  To put it in perspective you could get 4 of the above TM T-shirts for the same price as a Justin Davis, Chrome Hearts or any brand pendant.  Now the former are going to last a season but the latter will be with you for as long as you want it to.  So unless you can afford to I would always make a T-shirt the very last thing you splash any serious cash on.


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4 Responses to Tornado Mart T-Shirts

  1. Uncontrol says:

    Firstly, please let me introduce myself; my name is Brad, I go by the name Uncontrol and I run a Japanese fashion blog called HARAJUJU at I stumbled on this site completely by accident and I’m super surprised to see such high quality writing. Furthermore, I’m excited to meet another Tornado Mart fan abroad 🙂 I’m living in Canada; how about you?

    OK, onto the shirts. For one thing, I’d not noticed till now that the double drape on the left shirt was an illusion before; that’s really impressive. As for the prices of their shirts … yeah, compared to other gyaru-o and onii-kei brands they’re quite expensive, but Tornado Mart also has a very “designer” image. Compared to the $200+ a plain Gucci logo tee costs, it’s quite inexpensive. Plus, it’s fairly easy to find this stuff on MBOK, YJ or even during Marui’s bi-annual sales.

    Obviously t-shirts that have undergone treatments such as these will show wear more easily when over-washed. You should try to wash them once every 3 wears or so and even then, hand-wash or delicate wash them when possible. Better yet, stick to jacquard or printed fabrics rather than coated ones.

    I’m a huge fan of prints and textures so the only time I wear plain black t-shirts is underneath another printed shirt, generally. I think your suggestion is a solid one but you can get TM t-shirts used or on sale for less than 4000 yen and I think they’re a solid value at that price.

  2. tokyotelephone says:

    Great to have you here Brad/Uncontrol – you clearly have a really good eye for an outfit over on Harajuju and fairly similar tastes to me by the sound of things. It is also great to meet another foreign Tornado Mart fan, we actually spend most of the year in the UK but Shinjuku really is our home away from home. On the subject of TM – don’t get me wrong if I had the money I would kit myself out in Tornado Mart from top to bottom, just with my vice for jewelery that really isn’t going to happen anytime soon!

    Tornado Mart for me is almost for graduates from 109-2. Certainly at the weekend the flagship in Harajuku was always full of Salarymen keeping the most tangential of all touches on the trends!

    In the past I have used delicates bags to wash my expensive T-shirts in my washing but recently my standards have dropped a little I must confess… So maybe that is why I can’t bring myself to spend that much on my basics.

    Anyway, great to meet another similarly minded man – we are something of a rarity so it seems.

  3. Uncontrol says:

    I agree that TM is definitely a grown-up take on 109-2. Personally I can’t seem to find any enjoyment in 109-2’s wares aside from the occasional piece — it always comes off as gaudy and not in a good way. However, the image of salarymen shopping at TM is pretty hilarious. I hope I’ll get to go to Tornado Mart World some day!

    Is Fuga any cheaper than TM, anyway? I figured you would prefer to be decked out in that haha

  4. tokyotelephone says:

    Indeed, Fuga just chimes perfectly with my personal style – at least at the moment anyway. It is pretty much the same price all in all between the two brands I suppose, I just wear Fuga in casual mode and TM when I want to be that little bit smarter.

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