I just came back from Tokyo, Japan last week and it was, without question, one of the most inspiring trips of my entire life. Tokyo, in particular, is this highly robotic, very organized, technological-like place that is simultaneously so full of life, and packed full of some of the most compassionate and kind people I’ve ever met.
One of the parts about visiting that excited me the most was getting to check out the fashion and style of Japanese people, especially of Tokyoites. While the younger people are quite heavily influenced by “American Sportswear” style (which seems to be on-trend across runways as the 90s is brought back to life), the young adults are all dressed…exactly…the…same.
This was a very strange concept to me. But when I go on to describe their choice of outfit it will begin to make sense to you: The outfit of choice for young women was a long, pleated skirt (any colour, but always a solid pattern) and a flowy shirt over top (any other colour, and patterns are acceptable!).
Let me tell you right now: this outfit was anything but boring. As I traversed the city through the day, I watched this outfit change through the hours. It was the most adaptable outfit I have ever seen. And for a city which is as hustling and bustling as Tokyo, adaptability as the women move from a comfortable ride on the metro to work and then down to Shibuya with drinks with girlfriends in the evening, this dress changed; it transformed.
I watched the girls switch up the look with a pair of heels or add a scarf or statement piece of jewellery that took them from “business” to “fashion icon”. It was so simplistic and yet so powerful because not only did it look clean and chic, but assertive and feminine.
And while I hadn’t seen this look in Parisian streets and it’s not something I took notice of in North America, it seems to be a look that many celebrities are clinging to, as well.
Perhaps what appeals about this outfit is that it has no limits; it’s good for work, it’s good for play, and with a few good pieces and accessories, you can rotate through your closet without spending too much money. Considering Tokyo has small living spaces, it makes sense that their closet is also packed with a few adaptable pieces.
Much like the French, I think Japanese people have a hold on what it means to have a few good pieces in your closet and using them in original, unique, and multifaceted ways. When people think of Tokyo they think of Harajuku styles, but I think we should pay a little attention and learn from the simplistic style of the every day Tokyoite.
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Images courtesy theblondesalad.com, vogue.com