Fashion in Japan is obviously a huge, huge, so terrifyingly big area to discuss. If you’re looking for something about the different subcultures of Harajuku or gyaru fashion, I am sooo not the right person. However, I’d like to talk about everyday wear, especially for people outside the biggest cities like Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto. I’ll let you in on a secret.
Regular Japanese people actually have atrocious fashion sense. Japan is not reviving the 80s, Japan never left the 80s.
This is the nation where crimped hair is cool and platform heels will always be in fashion because it makes you taller.
Outside of school, boys will sport fake mullets that are crimped. Yes, fake mullets.
These are the everyday people who genuinely think that pink leopard print shirts with a faux fur collar worn open over a floral wife-beater with white skinny jeans is the height of fashion. If you think I am exaggerating, this is exactly what I saw one of my male students wearing outside of school.
As an example, their pop idols wear during gigs, on a regular basis, ankle length silk coats or silk suits garnished with giant amounts of fur, feathers, flowers, glitter and often all four at the same time. These silk monstrosities may be in sensible colours, like red or navy, but may equally also be bright yellow or neon green. These are the fashion examples that the nation is set.
I’m not trying to set off any debates from followers of Japanese fashion. I’m not hating on anything. I actually buy quite a lot of clothes in Japan. I’m just highlighting that the fashion scene Westerners see of Japan generally reflects very little of what the normal folk wear, especially when you actually wander outside a major city.