I never get tired of watching people in Japan. The way people dress and express themselves seems so much more varied than in Belgium. Although on the one hand, Japan is a society governed by rules, on the other hand I have the impression that Japanese people in some cases enjoy more personal freedom than Belgian people. Fashion is one of those instances where I feel there is more freedom in Japan than in Belgium.
Take for example the lady in the picture below. I ran into her in the mall and was impressed by the combination of her sexy outfit and the stroller.
I don’t think there are many young moms in Belgium who would dare to go shopping in such an outfit. I’m sure self-confidence has a lot to do with it, but I also believe young moms would get a lot of negative reactions when wearing such an outfit, especially in combination with the stroller.
My interpretation of this situation is that this lady bravely wears whatever she likes and that Japanese society lets her. Hurray for Japan! But of course I realize that this is just my interpretation, influenced by my Western perspective. I would love to hear what other people (both Japanese and foreign) make of this sexy young mom. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
My dear friend, a mother of 3, dress better than me. Her husband did told her to maybe dress longer clothes but unfortunately she is a very small lady and she does that, she would look terrible. I admire her as well as some of the mother here who still take good care of themselves despite the fact that they have to do everything at home :). I did saw young mothers who dress like they were going out on a bar night with a stroller, knee-high boots, short shorts, animal print jacket, colored hair.. NO..
I can imagine it must be quite a challenge to keep taking care of the way you look, if you have one (or more) small children and have to take care of the house as well. I am impressed by women who still find the time and energy!
I’m with Buri-chan on this one. It just seems that in Japan, showing off your legs isn’t considered anywhere near as sexual in nature as showing off your cleavage or you’re your shoulders is. I go the supermarket in my tiny rural town (undoubtedly more conservative than any of the large cities I’ve been to in Japan when it comes to clothing and fashion) and see a lot of women – many of them young mothers – wearing short shorts or miniskirts paired with thigh-high socks, or sometimes just bare leg and heels. But I know that if I go to the same supermarket in my strapless summer dress that otherwise covers me from neck to angle, I’ll get stared at and probably considered very daring.
On a more personal note, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a young mother dressing to be sexy, whatever you’d consider to be sexy. I don’t like the dress in this picture though.
As I also replied to Buri-chan, I wasn’t aware that showing the legs is not considered very sexual in Japan. Thanks for pointing it out! I love learning new things through writing this blog, often thanks to the comments of readers. Thank you!
I also agree that young moms should dress however they like, and if that’s in sexy outfits, all the better! On a similar note, I also love grannies who wear clothes for young people, like jeans and converse shoes.
Sorry, I didn’t see your reply to Buri-chan’s comment. But no problem about pointing it out – I’m always learning new things from my blog as well. 🙂
I totally agree that I love seeing older people wear clothing that’s been designated by the fashion industry as being only for younger people. There’s nothing cooler than a granny who dresses however the hell she likes, and if that means jeans and converse sneakers, I think that’s awesome.
To follow up on a previous comment, a Japanese friend and I talked about the thigh-high socks one time. I’ve tried, but I feel highly comfortable wearing them because I’m not used to them and because it feels too sexy, whether you can see the tops of them with a short skirt or not. This idea was entirely foreign to her, as it’s not considered sexy so much as normal. Showing shoulders, however, is daring. It sticks out even more in a smaller city, so I’ve stopped wearing tank tops.
How to deal with the weather is also different (even setting aside how they dress more for the calendar date than for the actual temperature). While I’m shocked to see everyone from kindergartners to high school students with bare knees in the middle of winter, no one here is bothered by the idea. I’m shocked to see over-the-elbow gloves for sun protection, but they’re shocked to see my sunglasses.
As for shoes, since I don’t wear heels, I always feel like I’m under-dressed compared to most of the women around me!
Thanks for your observations Buri-chan!
I had also noticed that Japanese ladies show off their legs a lot more than for example their cleavage. My interpretation was that it is because their legs are their best asset, rather than their cleavage (opposite to most Western women I think). I didnt know that showing the legs is also considered less sexual than showing shoulders. Now that I think back, I have worn things that expose the shoulders, not realizing it is considered very daring (not tank tops though).
Like you, I was also shocked to see what little clothing some Japanese people wear in winter. I wrote a whole post about it: https://thejapans.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/are-japanese-people-impervious-to-cold/
I can very much relate to your feeling of being under-dressed. While I was in Japan, I often felt frumpy and uncouth, even on days when I payed a lot of attention to the way I look. In matters of stylishness, there is just no competing with Japanese women I guess!
I think Japanese women are just fashion conscious and just want to look good and dress stylishly regardless of age or whether they are mums or not. Most women (and men) dress well here, even grannies. No one really slobs out or wears sweatpants when out in public – at least, that’s my impression of things. She’d probably get disapproving looks if she wore sweatpants 🙂
That reminds me of a dorama that I love. It is called Hotaru no Hikaru and the main character is a woman who loves wearing sweat pants! Although she does her best to hide her true nature when she goes out in public.
Ha ha 🙂 It’s the Ayase Haruka drama right? I haven’t seen it but I know it’s super popular, so I’ll have to make sure I do one day 😀
Yes, she’s the star. She is super cute and very funny in that drama!
I like her a lot actually 🙂 She’s so cute and funny, and just the right amount of ditzy 😀
I like her confidence! And I don’t think you should give up fashion sense because you are a mom. Also, I think the thigh length sock are typical for Asian people, because they are used to wear it with their school uniform, and don’t see it as “sexy”. (Same goes for short skirts, girls wear them everyday) Nowadays, I sometimes see college girls in Belgium wearing thigh socks as well, but mostly during winter, over another pair of tights. I suppose Western people often associate over-knee socks with the sexy stockings pin-up girls wear.
Yes, those kind of socks do seem very sexy to me. I guess it’s true that the Japanese are used to it because of uniforms, but on the other hand there are plenty of Japanese men who think school uniforms are terribly sexy (or so I’ve heard). I would love to know a Japanese person’s opinion on this matter as well.
I totally agree with you about moms and fashion. You should wear what you like at any age. I think the trouble with generic fashion in Belgium is something of all ages. Most of the 18year olds that I see on the street, all look the same. As do the 30 year olds, etc. But maybe if I lived in Antwerp or Brussels, I’d have a different opinion…
tbh, I think the dress is awful. I first thought it was a nurse`s shrub…
I guess in matters of taste, there can be no disputes. Personally I like this outfit, although I would have liked to see it from the front as well.