Practicing Minimalism and conscious consumerism in Japan

Kowtow Introduction Dress

I have been waiting to debut this dress on my blog for a super long time.  I actually received a different dress from Kowtow as a Christmas present buuut it turned out being far too big on me. So my mom and I chucked the thing in the mail and returned it for store credit since the dress I originally bought was sold out (nooo!).  I guess a good thing can come out of a bad one, because with the money for the single dress I bought two separate dresses and one of them was the Introduction Dress (the Introduction Dress seems to have sold out on Kowtow’s original website so I linked a separate place to find it).

Before delving into the dress, a few pointers on anyone who intends to shop at KOWTOW.  If you are petite like me (I’m ranging at about 5 feet tall), you’re best off with an XS or S.  I didn’t realize this and I went with my regular M sizing mindset and ended up looking like I was wearing a tent.  As I’ve learned, it seems that KOWTOW is already made oversized so no reason to size up! Plus the models they use on their website are REALLY tall and I didn’t pay close enough attention to that aspect or even look at their measurements so that was really my bad to begin with! Lesson learned: ALWAYS LOOK AT THE MODEL’S MEASUREMENTS!!!!


The Dress

So I’ve worn this a total of 4 times now (or more?) and still haven’t washed it.  It could also use a good ironing but I’m waiting to do that after I wash today (my last and final wear haha), so I apologize for the crinkles!

Okay….I LOVE THIS DRESS. Although, when I put it on to show boyfriend right after I received it in the mail, he said I looked like Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service…and I wasn’t sure if that was a good compliment or not..but I LOVE THIS DRESS and now (thanks to bae) I call it my “Kiki Dress”.

Sorry for my frowning face lol but this was mostly to show the pockets

Things I Love

The deep pockets on either side are amazing and unless you are looking for them you won’t see them.  I love how this piece can be played down as casual (with some cute sandals and a hat), or up for work (with a structured cardigan and stockings) or even just worn alone for the simplest of looks.

The first time I wore this to work, my co-worker came over and told me how much she loved it on me. It made me super excited and happy that one of my co-workers noticed!  Of course as it’s winter, I’m not wearing this today as shown above.  I’ve been recently wearing a black turtleneck underneath with either some black stockings or leggings.

The fabric is amazing and sturdy, made from 100%  organic cotton.  I love the shape and length on me and I’ve found that dresses that hit right above the knee have always looked much better than any others.  It’s the perfect black dress I’ve been looking for!  I’ve been wanting a simple black dress that I can basically wear for any excursion or activity, this is exactly what I wanted.  I imagine I’ll be wearing this for most of spring and the beginnings of summer and then possibly giving it a break during the humid weather of summer.  This dress pretty much works for spring, parts of summer, fall and if layered correctly most of winter.

Things I Don’t Love

Hmmm…..well nothing to be honest but one thing I’ve noticed is that it does get a lot of lint and things on it so I have to use my lint roller before putting it on.  Other than that, this dress has a perfect score!

A Few Other Things

Besides all the clothes I’ve found at recycled & vintage shops…this is my first ever piece of fair trade clothing from a company that I trust and believe in.  Wearing this dress makes me feel happy to know that the people who made it were paid fairly and receive employee benefits.  I truly feel delighted to wear a piece of clothing that was made well by a company that does well.

Anyways enough gushing.  The other dress I bought will have to wait to be shown off since it’s really meant for spring and early summer.  I hope you check out Kowtow’s website (they’ve recently dropped a lot of new items I’ve had my eyes on) and let me know what you think of this dress!


I also wanted to show off my new glasses.  I did mention them in my Weekly Update posted a few weeks ago but the picture in that post didn’t include my actual lenses so I thought I’d show them off here.  I got these glasses from a well known frame store called JINS.  I love JINS because their frames are relatively cheap (mine were about 60 dollars) and the lenses are included at zero cost.  I have REALLY bad eyes, and back in America my parents would have to pay up to 300 dollars just for the lenses.  Having my lenses made for free is a dream and I’ve found myself often buying more glasses than I would if I were back in the states.  The only difference between a regular person with bad eyes and me is usually my glasses take up to a week to make rather than the typical hour it takes for regular people at JINS.

Another point I’d like to mention is that the glasses fit me here MUCH BETTER.  I don’t really have a high nose ridge like most Americans so the glasses I would buy there would always slip down my nose or the frame would hit my cheeks and rest awkwardly on my face.  Since JINS glasses are made for Japanese faces (for the most part haha) they are meant to fit a smaller nose ridge and smaller framed face.

(Also did you know they opened a JINS in San Francisco?  For any of my SF readers it may be worth checking out if you’ve gone through the same glasses struggles I have, as for prices…I’m not quite sure if they as cheap as Japan but worth a trip!)

These glasses are probably one of the best pairs I’ve ever bought.  The color works well with my skin tone and lightens up my complexion.  Also the frames are much thinner than I would usually go for this is mostly because since my lenses are so thick I’m forced to pick a thicker rimmed plastic frame.  Luckily the people at JINS were able to fit my thick ass lenses into these thin frames (somehow) and I was able to get a pair of glasses I really wanted!

In the picture below you can basically see how thick my glasses are.  You can’t even see my eyes instead you just see the thick reflection of the glass haha.  Also isn’t the golden nose ridge just perfect??!

I’ve been super excited to share this dress with you so thank you so much for stopping by!  Have any of you ever shopped at KOWTOW before?  I have a few other things that I want to get from their shop (mostly dresses) but I may wait until summer and once I’ve gone through my closet again.  I’m really into dresses these days.  I hate how constricted I feel in pants and I’m not into tight fitting clothes to begin with so that’s probably why.  Anyways I hope you have a fantastic day and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!


(This dress was bought by me [well technically by my mom haha] and all opinions are my own)