My observations on Tokyo Fashion
People watching is always fun. As long as there is enough diversity in looks and appearances on the streets. Everybody looking the same would be very boring. Different styles and personalities are fascinating to observe, don’t you agree?
So variation keeps things exciting. At the same time, I also like to spot certain ‘trends’ and similarities while observing street style fashion. Which style elements are popular?
In my home country e.g., the Netherlands, women are known for their ‘practical’ approach of fashion. We bike, we walk, we have rain and wind, so give us some comfortable, solid footwear, pants and a sweater. Let’s go for short hair (easy) and a ‘natural’ look. Aka: no makeup and few or no accessories. No fake eyelashes nor fake nails.
(Those who know me, know that I’m quite atypical for a Dutch woman;-))
How different is the Singaporean woman! She let’s her hair grow, has her nails done at nail salons, goes regularly for eyelash-extensions, walks on high heels (or flip-flops) and she loves to wear dresses.
So what is Tokyo Fashion like? What do Tokyoites wear? Let’s have a look.
Style elements of Tokyo Fashion
Tokyoites don’t speak English and shy away when approached, so asking them to pose was Mission Impossible. Hence the poor quality of my pics. Only quick, candid street photography.
- Salary men (and women)
Very formal. Dark costume. Walking or biking. Dark briefcase, bag or backpack.
- Neutral colors
Black, white, navy blue, camel, light grey, light brown, dark green. Here and there some pale pink. Less is more is definitely a Japanese thing.
Neutrals are not really my cup of tea, but I have to say that I did not mind the way the Tokyoites wore them. Probably due to the crisp looks, the high quality of the fabrics and the good cut of the clothes. Safe, modest and subdued, yet stylish.
Lots and lots of denim elements. Preferably dark denim. Good fits and good quality.
Looking at this wide variety of denim fashion, I have to admit that my use of denim is pretty limited and predictable, as in: I have jeans. That’s basically it. Oh, that’s not true. Now that I think of it, I also have several jeans jackets, a jeans coat, three jeans skirts and I used to have a jeans dress.
Still, seeing all these less ‘common’ denim styles inspired me, I must say.
- Animal print
Bold animal print looks.
I love animal print. My wardrobe contains a number of items: tops, cardigans, skirt, shoes, belt, fake fur coat, slippers, hat, bag. I have to be careful though, with my long blond hair. Cautious not to look tacky in animal print.
I also spotted these looks on the streets of Tokyo, with subtle animal print accessories as additions to a further neutral look.
- Men in shorts
Ok, to be honest; it was autumn, so we only saw a few. Which was a good thing, as far as I’m concerned, hahaha…
- Girls in shorts and in short skirts
Clearly it was sort of transitional weather. Nice autumn days; warm in the sun, chilly in the shadow. Some people were dressed as if it was still summer, others were already dressed for winter days, which resulted in strange contrasts on the streets of Tokyo.
The many girls and women with bare legs made me shiver, although I suspect that many of them wore thin, skin coloured stockings.The short looks were combined with heels, sneakers, booties, over-the-knee socks and over-the-knee boots. We saw a lot of the latter!
- All black
If neutrals form one end of the Tokyo Fashion spectrum, then Kawaii-style or Harajuku-style is totally on the other end of the fashion spectrum.
Kawaii style elements are: cute, more is more, theatrical, sweet, pink, fairytales, girly.
- Bold and daring
Colorful birds-of-paradise. The extravagant ones. The eccentric and artistic ones. Spotting them on the streets brightens my day and makes me happy.
This lady’s (below) look may not be ‘loud’, like some of the others above, but she wears extraordinary, expensive designer items, like the United Nude heels and the famous Vlieger & Vandam handbag with gun-imprint.
I guess stripes are from all times and from all over the world.
I’m not a fan. Florals are more ‘my thing’. The woman in the left picture created a cool look though.
Men and women, old and young, I think I never saw so many people wear headwear anywhere else than in Tokyo. And they wore it well!
I adore hats, as I showed you here.
Frits got inspired by all the hats around him and purchased this hat in Tokyo. It suits him well!
- Kawaii attempts gone wrong?
Sometimes we spotted women/girls on the streets that had done an attempt in kawaii fashion with not such good results. The worst one was an older woman dressed in a kawaii school uniform with a supershort skirt. My candid picture of her failed, unfortunately, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
What do you think of Tokyo’s fashion? Is it what you expected from the Tokyoites? Do you like their style? Which are your favourites? Did I miss any characteristics from Tokyo Fashion?