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Archive for the 'Uniforms' Category


Bosozoku Fashion

Where workshop jumpers are always the latest fashion.

When I first say Bosozoku, I was curious as to what these people wear. So I did a little probing around the internet – key in some words and what not. And landed in wikipedia. :P

So wikipedia said that:

The stereotypical bōsōzoku look is often portrayed, and even caricatured, in many forms of Japanese media such as anime, manga and films. The typical bōsōzoku member is often depicted in a uniform consisting of a jumpsuit like those worn by manual laborers or a tokko-fuku (特攻服), a type of military issued overcoat with kanji slogans usually worn open with no shirt underneath showing off their bandaged torsos and baggy matching pants tucked inside tall boots. Tokko-Fuku in Japanese means “Special Attack Uniform”, which is the uniform of the Kamikaze pilots, which in Japanese were called the “Special Attack Battalion” (特攻隊). The uniforms will most likely be adorned with militaristic slogans, patriotic rising sun patches, ancient Chinese characters, or even manji (swastikas). They will also often wrap a tasuki, which is a sash tied in X around the torso, a look inspired by Japanese World War II fighter pilots. Leather jackets, often embroidered with club/gang logos, and even full leather suits are also seen as common elements of the bōsōzoku look. Among other items in the bōsōzoku attire are usually round or wrap-around sunglasses, long hachimaki headbands also with battle slogans and a pompadour hairstyle most likely akin to the greaser/rocker look or perhaps because of the hairstyle’s association with yakuza thugs. The punch perm is considered a common bōsōzoku hairstyle as well. Surgical masks are also stereotypically worn by bōsōzokus perhaps to conceal their identities although these type of masks are also worn by allergy sufferers in Japan, especially during autumn. Females are also shown dressed in a similar style but dress in a more feminine manner with long and often dyed hair, high-heeled boots and excessive make-up.

Bōsōzoku are known to modify their bikes in peculiar and often showy ways. A typical customized bosozoku bike usually consists of an average Japanese road bike that appears to combine elements of an American chopper style bike and a British café racer, for example: oversized visored fenders like those found on café racers, “sissy” bars and raised handle bars like those on a chopper. Loud paint jobs on the fenders or the gas tanks with motifs such as flames or kamikaze style “rising sun” designs are also quite common. The bikes will often be adorned with stickers and/or flags depicting the gang’s symbol or logo. There is also marked regional differences in motorcycle modifications. For example, Ibaraki bōsōzoku are known to modify their motorcycles in an extensively colorful, flashy way. They will often have three or four oversized visored fenders in a tower like way in a motorcycle painted in bright yellow or pink with Christmas light–like adornments.

And this is what they usually wear:


I can definitely see the appeal in those jumpsuits – they might be comfortable, in the very least.

You can catch some of them here:

In Malaysia, these guys are called Mat Rempits. They were once a road nuisance but have since been upgraded to potential youths by their government. Do not ask me why.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Bosozuku, Cosplay, Uniforms | 1 Comment »


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The Uniform Book


I was not aware of the existence of a uniform book until today when i found one online. A Japanese uniform book. If you’re a fan of Sailormoon costumes, you’re going to go nuts with this. It’s got various types of cuts and styles for skirts, shirts, jackets, coats, vests, you name it and they would probably have it in there.

It’s a wonderful thing really to have a book on uniforms. I am sure someone out there is scratching their heads about what their employees should wear. This book would definitely come in handy.

Oh the book is soft bound too, it’ll also look great on your coffee table (according to the author of BoingBoing where I found this uniform book)

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Fashion, Uniforms | No Comments »


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Japanese Racing Fashion

To be honest, I don’t like horse racing. It seems like sheer exploitation of animals just for money and entertainment. The cruelty involved when racing them til they break their legs and get shot is too much for my fragile sensibilities.

The fashion that seems to go hand in hand with racing carnivals makes it my moral stance difficult. Especially now that it’s spring racing time in my hometown of Melbourne. Still, I try to ignore it.

That doesn’t mean that you need to though, dear reader, so have a gaggle at this:

Image from

PingMag have come up with yet another interesting article, this time on the uniforms that jockeys wear. They compare Japanese racing uniforms to those around the world. That little number above was described as having “overall rather un-Japanese colors, but (it) actually looks like Mount Fuji”, hehe.

Nothing on the glamorous frocks and hats this time, which makes it easier for me. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of these.

PingMag: Jockey’s Funky Uniform

Posted by Chidade in Japanese Fashion, Uniforms | 2 Comments »


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More Construction Worker Fashion

Metropolis recently wrote about the various underground construction projects happening in Tokyo, including the 47km Central Circular Route city bypass. It was a fascinating article. But what was really interesting was a factoid they just glossed over:

To promote the project, a fashion show was put on for the media, 30m underground, showing off construction-worker-inspired designs by German Bernard Willhelm. This is quite old news, the show happened in Octber 2005, but honestly…where else but Japan?
Image from

Actual construction workers paraded the clothes down the ‘runway’ – the actual tunnel they were building. Mannequins were set up to show the designs for later shows. Maybe the workers went on strike?

Image from

After seeing that image, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Metropolis’s article on Underground Tokyo
Mainichi News photo gallery of the fashion show

Posted by Chidade in Japanese Fashion, Uniforms | 4 Comments »


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Construction Worker Fashion

Image from Kaseyama catalogue - a popular manufacturer of construction worker uniforms in Japan.

I had never seen any construction worker fashion like it before I came to Japan. The bizarre MC Hammer-style puffy pants that suddenly tighten around the ankles, making it look a bit Arabian Nights. Then there’s the tabi boots which I’ve already started a collection of.

PingMag’s Kyoko has written a great article on the hows and whys and where-do-I-buy-froms of Japanese construction worker fashion. Have a read for and have a gawk at their Flickr gallery too.

I am *so* getting those gold tabi boots.


Japanese Construction Worker Fashion by PingMag


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School Uniforms

I remember back in high school when we had a group of Japanese middle-school girls visit us. They all wore these incredible navy blue sailor suits. I thought then that maybe it was dress uniform, like how army generals years ago would dress in white tights and feathers for special occassions, but would really wear something more realistic in battle.

But no, that really was their winter uniform – they wore it everyday. Schoolboys too, I was told then, wore these black suits with high collars and shiny buttons that also smacked of the navy.

Only in Japan!

The reason for these militaristic uniforms (apart from the fact that they look kawaii, an important factor in Japan) goes back to the 19th century, when Japan was opening up to Western ideas, and had decided that modernising the country to western standards was first priority. Japan had close ties to European countries like Germany, Holland and Britain, and the first sailor suits (sailor fuku) were modelled after the British Royal Navy uniform.

Only girls in middle and high school are permitted to wear the sailor fuku, although it is often use in cosplay. The ones I saw back in high school were a classic example: Navy blue with a big white collar and a coloured ribbon at the front, then a navy pleated skirt.

School boys, on the other hand, wear a gakuran – again, modelled on European military uniforms. Unlike what is portrayed in anime, however, they’re usually worn only in all-boys schools. The collar is high and stiff, the trousers are straight leg, the entire suit is usually black. Buttons with the school crest run down the front of the uniform. Very nice if you have a thing for men in uniform, not that we here at 3Yen support paedophilia of any kind!


Sadly, these distinct uniforms are being phased out by schools to make way for uniforms often seen in schools in the West. That is, white shirt and tie, trousers for the boys, tartan skirts for the girls. It may take a while to get rid of them completely though, if manga artists and otaku have any say in it.
Image from J-List.comSailor Fuku - Image from
…and again!
J-List, who sell authentic uniforms

Posted by Chidade in Japanese Fashion, Uniforms | 5 Comments »


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What to wear at work

I’ve had to buy myself a new wardrobe before my trip to Japan. I’ll be working at an eikaiwa where the dress code is meant to be highly professional. This will also be my first job where I’ll be wearing business dress on a daily basis. So, three hundred dollars later, I have a cheap but adequate wardrobe. But I had to research it first because a few rules apply. Most gaijin travelling to work in Japan may also have to consider buying a new wardrobe too, so they can impress their Japanese bosses and collegues.

Firstly: conservative is the rule of thumb. Women should not wear excessive jewellery, and in fact no jewellery is preffered. If you feel the need to bling though, it shouldn’t be more than a simple silver or pearl necklace and a simple ring. Nail polish is a no-no. Outrageous hair even more so. For preference, it should be tied back and never dyed to unnatural colours. No perfume either! Oh and try to keep it lean when it comes to make up. I’m sure that a ganguro would wear enough for the both of you anyway.

Overall it is best for a woman not to look too feminine in a business environment. Which seems odd, as a suit jacket with matching skirt is the preferred outfit over suit jacket with matching trousers. Don’t look too much like a woman, but also remember your place, it seems. The shirt you wear with your suit should have a high collar and be cream or white. Pinstripes or a blouse with conservative patterns are also accepted. No high heel or strappy shoes and plain pantyhose only.

Men can dress much the same way as they would in the West. Suit jacket, trousers and tie. Don’t wear shorts. No outrageous hair or jewellery (except a wedding ring) or visible tattoos.

Finally, DO NOT WEAR BLACK. This was a problem in my wardrobe since anything I owned that was vaguely office-like was black. But in Japan this is associated with funerals and death. Men should wear dark colours in a business environment but never black. Women can wear grey, navy, green, dark purple or brown, but again, no black.

How to Bow

Posted by Chidade in Japanese Fashion, Uniforms | 12 Comments »


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Wearing a Suit in Summer

Wearing A Suit in Summer

Do you know what a “clo” is?

The Asahi Shimbun just published an article on how Japanese government officials will ditch their jackets and ties so that air conditioners in their offices can be turned down to save energy and prevent greenhouse effect this summer.

Although the temperature of air conditioning in many ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office is usually set at 28 degrees during the summer and officials are asked not to wear ties, the practice has yet to become firmly established. Koizumi told ministers and high-ranking officials they should take the lead as it would be difficult for rank-and-file officials to make the first move.

So, what is a “clo”?

The amount of clothing is measured in a unit called a “clo” on an international scale. Wearing a three-piece suit is set at 1 clo as a base. Thus, for instance, wearing nothing at all is 0 clo, wearing a long-sleeve shirt is 0.6 clo and wearing an overcoat is 2 clo. To do clerical work at a desk efficiently even at a temperature of 28 degrees, clothing measuring 0.5 clo would be the limit, which means wearing a short-sleeve shirt.

I think the most important part of the article is this:

The Environment Ministry is asking the public to come up with new catchwords for such clothing. “The catchwords should conjure up the image that the clothing enables people to work efficiently and comfortably, feeling cool and looking cool,” a ministry official said.

Or perhaps this one:

He added an important piece of advice: “Wearing a polo shirt is no good for business. A polo shirt is for sports.”

How about you? Do you wear a suit to work in summer?

(The photo comes from the excellent website Visit it today.)


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Loose Socks in Japan

Loose socks (Japanese: ルーズソックス, Rûzu Sokksu) are a type of sock that is popular among young Japanese girls.

They are nearly always white and are very long. They are usually worn below the knee, and are held up with a special adhesive called “socks glue” or “sock touch.” They are similar in appearance to leg warmers.

Some lower secondary school (junior high school) girls and upper secondary school (senior high school) girls like wearing loose socks together with their school uniforms. Some schools don’t admit wearing loose socks, girls of these schools’ who likes loose socks often wear it at outside of the schools. In Japan, loose socks have been in fashion since the mid-1990s.

(Source: Wikipedia)


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