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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why People Dress Nice in Japan

Japan is a culture that thinks of others over themselves. Most people are thinking will I be a bother to other people before taking action. This way of thinking applies to a lot of different aspects of daily life in Japan. But for today, I'll be discussing the dressing habits in Japan.

It is well known that Japan is famous for its fashion. These seasonal fashion trends can be most commonly found in Shibuya prefecture in Tokyo, Japan. The reason Shibuya is known for its fashion is because of its hundreds of stores with the latest fashions. A popular department store in Shibuya is Shibuya 109. It features 10 floors of clothing stores and restaurants. It's a very busy places with crowds of people looking for the popular trend that's out. It's a great place to visit as a tourist if you are into the more modern lifestyle of Japan.
Shibuya 109 building.
If you venture out into other cities in Japan there won't be as much hype for fashion, but looking good still exists. Previously mentioned, it is important to present yourself in a clean, respected manner. This includes the way you dress. I've briefly discussed this topic in another blog post of mine titled Japanese Pop Culture. I'll have the link to that post at the end of this one. Anyway, There are guidelines on how you should dress. For females, it is acceptable to show as much leg as you would like but it is necessary to cover the chest. Japan is a country of modesty which is why the chest needs to be covered. It is also common for females to where heels. There's no strict reason for this. It's a combination of looking taller and fashionable. For males, the desired look to aim for is cleanly dressed. Fitted clothing accomplishes this desired look. Now there are exceptions to these guidelines. Older adults will still dress nicely, but it'll be in a more comfortable way. So instead of heels they may wear tennis shoes since walking is a common activity in Japan. Also living in a more rural area gives room for compromise, as it may not make too much of a difference to dress up in a low populated area. There's also going out to tourist attractions. If you know you're going to be walking a lot from place to place it might not be reasonable to dress up.
Touristy area in Kyoto and a ton of stairs. Dress in comfortable shoes in you plan on walking a lot.
Now, it is not required to dress up in your own house in Japan. In privacy, it's okay to be more relaxed. But if you're going out to the grocery store or the post office, little errand like that, you should consider following the dress procedures I mentioned above.

I personally love this way of thinking. Yes, it can be seen as annoying to most people who just don't care about their appearance. I'm sometimes guilty of not caring and going out looking like a slob. But it would be nice to dress up without having a reason to dress up. The most common look where I'm from is a shirt, some shorts, and flip flops on your feet. In my home of New Orleans, its not common to dress up on a daily basis, unless your job requires this of you. In my case, I work in a back office where no one hardly ever sees me except for the occasional potty breaks and whatnot. On rare occasions I like to try to look nice, and people notice I'm looking nice but then they ask me, "What are you all dressed up for?" I can't dress up just to dress up? There has to be a reason? This is not fair in my opinion. There shouldn't have to be a reason. If I want to wear heels I should be able to wear heels. If I want to wear a dress, I should be able to wear a dress. I wouldn't get this kind of reaction in Japan because it's just natural for everyone to look nice.
Shopping in Kyoto's shopping district.
What do you think? Would you like to live in Japan and experience this lifestyle for yourself? Try dressing yourself up on a random day and see if you get any reactions like I got.

Link to my other blog post: japantherapyneworleans.blogspot.com/2015/06/japanese-pop-culture.html

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