A love for Japanese girls high school uniform fashion has been around for quite some time now. It has been loved through generations, with different trends and styles emerging at different times. Read on for in-depth coverage of the trends and characteristics of Japanese uniform fashion, all the way back to Onyanko Club fashion that was the height of popularity in the 1980’s, the beginning of the now popular AKB48 style.
Seiko-chan Haircut: Hugely popular in her day, idol Seiko Matsuda was known for her hair style. The Seiko-chan Haircut consisted of a medium layered bob with a thick fringe. This style was achieved by giving the sides a backward flick, and lightly curling the hair at the back inwards.
Sailor Outfit: The hit single ‘Sailor-fuku wo nugasanaide’ (lit. Don’t take off my sailor clothes) by Onyanko Club, was a sign of the huge popularity of the sailor outfit.
Sukeban: This term refers to a delinquent girl. TV dramas were one influence that caused a major boom in popularity of sukeban. A short jacket and contrarily long ankle length skirt were the characteristics of this style. They also carried school shoes that had been flattened on purpose.
Amurer/Kogyaru: A trend mimicking the style of popular idol Namie Amuro became hugely popular in the 90’s. Girls who followed this trend were referred to as ‘Amurer’ or ‘Kogyaru’. They frequented tanning salons to get a golden brown colour like Amurer, straightened their hair and died it brown, sported pencil thin eyebrows and wore heavy eye make-up.
Loose Socks: Just as the mini-skirt became widely popular, loose white slouch socks that gathered around the ankles on purpose also became hugely popular. Use of a specialised sock glue to hold the loose socks in place just how you liked them was commonly used.
Loose Socks vs Navy Knee Socks: Almost as if to counter the white loose socks boom of the nineties, a navy knee socks trend was next on the scene.
Clean Type: Perhaps it was because the majority of fashion in the 90s was geared towards women themselves, and not particularly popular with guys, but the new millennium saw a sudden increase in magazines featuring fashion that now took into account attractiveness to the opposite gender. A clean style of uniform, such as the kind worn by magazine Seventeen’s Emi Suzuki and Nana Eikura, were next to gain popularity. It was around this time that lighter make-up and fair-skinned high school girls also began to grow in numbers.
2010 saw the decline of Kogyaru style and the rise of AKB48. The loose sock fashion all but disappeared, and a clean uniform style went mainstream with knee-high navy socks or tights worn for a childlike touch.
School uniform fashion is something that changes with the times. Unlike one’s personal clothes, uniforms are designed to abide by certain rules, making the girls who come up with various new ways to wear them, probably more creative than anyone!
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