The Style

Somebody asked me for a style update. No, seriously! So here goes. Most of the pictures in the post are crappy telephone pictures because I couldn't be bothered to carry around a camera when I'm shopping.

I actually love shopping! I love clothes and fashion, even if I'm not much to look at. I still want to wear cool clothes. My problem is, aside from nothing cool fitting me, that I also really want to be comfortable in my clothes. So I try to find stuff that's both cool and comfortable. Here in Japan I've struggled with sizing, but I can still look at pretty clothes even if I can't fit into them, right? I sometimes dream of being a stylist. I'd love to buy a horde of clothes, just for photoshoots etc. If I had a really big house, that's what I think I'd do.

I've looked around Fukuoka a few times, wanting to shop but Japan is a bit of tricky place to shop if you're used to London or Dublin. Here, you can't always tell what shops sell what, sometimes in the countryside you can't even always tell if the house is a shop or a cafe or just a regular house where people live in. That makes life a bit confusing sometimes. But in the city, a lot of the shops are often located inside malls and don't advertise in the window, or outside the building, If they do, they'll do it in a way that a non-Japanese speaking person might not understand. So for a lot of shops I've had to look for online.

On Tuesday I went to Fukuoka, to the Tenjin area. It was supposed to be filled with clothing shops and all kinds of hipster boutiques, God help me, but all I found was H&M, Forever21 and Zara. Later on I looked online and found other cool shops hidden inside malls, I'll head to them next time I go to the city. I've also visited Uniqlo, Bershka and then a few local shops. H&M has a lot of the same stuff here than in Finland, though maybe a bit on the conservative side of their collection. All in all, many of the regular, Japanese clothing shops opt for conservative. Things they love:

- Everything is ankle length. Skirts, trousers, socks, shoes, everything cuts at the ankle
- Boxy, oversized cuts on jackets and coats, even on t-shirts
- Pleats. Pleats everywhere.
- Japanese minimalism, which I think is already getting to be mainstream elsewhere too. Meaning you combine the above: ankle length skirt with a boxy jumper or a coat and you're all set. No prints, simple colors. I love the boxy stuff, oh yeas I do. I have two black, long boxy coats waiting for me at home.

Surprisingly Zara was the shop where I felt the most interested, even if I usually don't like Zara that much. I've always thought of it as kind of boring, but I've heard the Asian or the Japanese branch has a bit of a different take. Here's what I learned is in:

Shiny, kitschy bombers with a Chinese-inspired print at the back. When you look at it long enough, it's not so bad and I guess you could pair it with something that makes it look more expensive but just don't put it on with tight jeans and heels. Preferably pair it with a pleated skirt.

Floral prints are back with a vengeance, if they ever even left. Long, very demure dresses with sort of loud floral prints on black. I'm getting kind of a seventies vibe, or maybe even a vague Victorian vibe? I like long flower dressed with all sorts of pleats and ruffles but sadly they do not like me. I look like a couch if I put on one of these things.

Then the thing with tees under a slip dress. Every other girl is wearing a white tee with a black slip dress (and every other is wearing pleats). I have this combo and I can see why people love it. I also really love the 90s feel of it, because I remember this from Blossom and from my sister and her friends. At that time, I think I was becoming old enough to understand fashion but still too young and shy to try wearing anything else than a t-shirt and whatever pants I could run in the yard with. I've also been re-watching Buffy lately and all these long dresses and plaid etc give me a warm feeling because I love Buffy and Buffy's costumer. I want to be a supernatural wicca in the late 90s! Gimme!

There's a vague military thing going on with coats, though it's moving away from grunge-y 90s military and more towards 1980 and big brother. Looking at Zara's collection, it sort of felt like Golden Girls Go To North Korea. I can totally see that, though. I would have watched the heck out of that TV show. But anyway, there's some humor and silliness in these too, I think. I don't know if I'd wear this but I don't mind looking at them. Oh and this particular shade of pink is really in.

And then the pleats. The goddamn, fucking pleats. They're everywhere. You'd think people would be sick of them but no. I felt I just had to buy a pleated skirt or I'd be thrown out of the country or something. Usually black chiffon, ankle length pleated skirt is the best way to go but metallics are really in too. Also a lot of the more conservative shops sell this kind of a skirt-pants combination, vaguely reminding me of a hakama. It's quite nice.

Must-have items, if you don't mind going with the flow:

- Pink bomber jacket
- Black, sheer lace skirt, either maxi or to the ankle
- White t-shirt and a slip dress
- A pleated skirt. Did I mention pleats? PLEATS THEY ARE FUCKING EVERYWHERE, RIGHT?

When it comes to street style, I have to say I haven't paid that much attention. Most people seem to look pretty regular and there are always a lot of office workers around with their office uniforms. I guess I haven't really hung around fashionable neighborhoods or just haven't been looking hard enough. One thing I've noticed, though, is that Japanese girls like to put blush just under their eyes. It might sound weird but it actually works and I quite like it.


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