The UTme Experience

By Elie - 9:00 PM

This blog post has been so long overdue that I'm almost ashamed to admit I haven't gotten around to writing it...but here I am! So for starters, let's talk about what UTme is all about. 

My UTme in the making 

Created by Uniqlo, UTme is essentially a personalization service in which you get to create your own t-shirts or tote bags using their systems and printers. I don't recall many Uniqlo branches offering this service, or at least it hasn't come to The Netherlands just yet. In my recent return to Malaysia, however, I chanced upon their release of new Pokemon themed elements for the UTme. This was offered in conjunction with the release of Game Freak's newest Pokemon Violet and Scarlet. And boy did I make my father drive me to Uniqlo quickly. 

Welcome to Uniqlo at DA Square

Now, despite being available in Malaysia, you actually won't find the UTme service in every branch. From what I understand, only the Fahrenheit88 and DA Square branches had this. I have no idea why, but I do suspect it has something to do with the amount of space they needed to do this. I picked the latter branch since we lived just 15 minutes from it. 

It's the Lechonk that sealed it for me 

The process of getting a UTme is fairly simple. You just approach the large counter that looks absolutely out of place in a Uniqlo that has the service, then wait till you have an iPad free to use. Thanks to Uniqlo's collaboration with a plethora of brands like Disney, Peanuts, and even the hotpot restaurant, Beauty in A Pot, you'll find a good variety of pre-designed stickers you can add to your t-shirts or tote bags. 

For instance, I really wanted this tote bag!

But of course, I was just there for the Pokemon themed stickers. Bear in mind that you can take as long as you want when creating your UTme, so if you happen to be there when someone else is designing their item, then you can be there for a really long time just waiting for an iPad to open up. Once you're done with your masterpiece, you can get a staff to confirm your order and in my case - I got to pick my t-shirt size. They printed an order sheet after and you'd have to pay before anything gets printed. 

Paid and ready

Of course, I thought this was a smart way to make sure people weren't just asking for their items to be printed and then abandoning their project. As a guide though, adult t-shirts and tote bags cost RM 79.90 respectively while kids' sized tees are RM 59.90. Once you've gotten your receipt to prove that you've indeed paid for your item of choice, simply bring it back to the UTme counter and hand it over to the staff. You'll be asked to verify your design of choice and off your item goes into the printer! 

Just making sure that's my design... 

And off it went to print!

In all fairness, it only takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the print job to finish. The unfortunate part, however, is that your print can only be done on the front of your t-shirt and not anywhere else. This was quite a shame as I would have much preferred it on the back. With that said, it also means you can't get your design printed on the sleeves either. 

Heat-pressed to complete

To finish, the staff would apply a sort of iron or heat-press over your design - a process in which I believe seals in the print. Now in case you're wondering, I did ask if the print would hold up if the t-shirt was put into the washing machine and dryer. The answer to that question is yes, because the print wasn't the type that was glossy, sticky, and could possibly "crack" from prolonged wear. This was a relief because it would otherwise be a t-shirt I can't wear that often since laundry is obviously important. 

And voila! 

Overall, the process took about 30 minutes from start to finish but that was also because there was nobody looking to personalize their clothes on the day I was there. In fact, the longest wait of my experience was only at the payment counter. This was obviously to my father's delight because DA Square offered free parking for the first hour since our entry. Now off to some thoughts.

The cutest!

While most of my UTme experience was positive, I do have to point out some down sides that I encountered on the day off. For starters, there was nobody who could help me initially because the only person who could run the printers was out for lunch or something of that sort. That obviously contributed to some wait and was slightly annoying because I kept asking for help that none of the Uniqlo staff were willing to provide. 

Separately, a printed t-shirt for RM 79.90 is obviously very steep - though it was personalized to your liking. For the Pokemon series, I was allowed to pick as many designs as I wanted but I knew that if you picked themes like Disney, you could only pick one "sticker". That absolutely tore down my hopes of getting an Eeyore themed UTme. You also can't pick where you want your print to be - case in point I wanted mine on the back, but you can only have it in the front. This was sad considering you are paying quite a bit for the t-shirt. 

But at the end of the day, you do get to see your design come to life in front of your eyes. This is obviously going to be a rare moment I would spend this much for a t-shirt, unless they come up with a crazier design that I can't live without. Ahem Uniqlo, if you're reading this to sponsor a poor soul? 

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