Why Can't We Wear What We Want?

Choosing clothes every morning is hard for many people. We always have to ask this question to myself: Is it appropriate for today? Does this top match this trousers/skirts? However, there are other things we need to think about when we choose clothes. Here is the list of reasons why we cannot choose any clothes and put them on quickly.

 

Size

Apparently, many people have a trouble with their size whether they are skinny or curvy. For skinny people, some styles do not fit, because they are too big or long. On the other hand, for curvy people, there are size limits in some brands. Although some fashion brands and magazine pay more attention to plus size people these days, they are not enough. Many luxurious fashion brands provide the size until around US 12/ UK16/ FR 44. Even if they have bigger size, some are more expensive, because they use more textiles. An interview to Marcy Cruz, extended size fit model, by Allure shows us the reality of hardship that curvy people experience.

In Japan, the market is more limited. Most brands’ maximum size is 11 or 13 which is equal to US 8, US 10. Also, branches of non-Japanese brands do not sell bigger size though they do in Europe or America. Some brands sell only until US 8 and US 10 and moreover, even they are same size, those sold in Japan are much smaller. This is because Japanese or Asian people are considered as tinier and skinnier than European people.

 

Age

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When you get older, people always told you should dress your age. This tendency gets worse when you have children, because people have image of modest mother. In Japan, it is generally said that mini-skirt is not suitable for mother or women over 30 years old.

In addition, certain types of clothes are not necessarily comfortable because of their weight or shape. For instance, on 30th April 2019, the day of abdication in Japan, Empress Michiko did not attend the ceremony, because she had a pain in her neck and it is tiring to wear jyunihitoe, heavy traditional kimono.

 

Money

If you love clothes, I am sure many of you have a problem with money. If so, "Confessions of a Shopaholic" is the best movie for you. Though there are many fast fashion brands and they sell many different styles, clothes-lover cannot be easily satisfied with them. Some cheap clothes tend to be damaged by washing easily and cannot wear for a long time. We always need to face this question: Do I need these clothes now? But we always buy too many and regret it.

It can be assumed that Empress Michiko did not wear expensive traditional clothes for saving money, because she worried about the criticism to the amount of money to spend for ceremonies of abdication and enthronement. Money problem is not only for people do not have much money, but also for people need to save their money though they have.

 

Culture

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Different countries have different styles, culture, and religion. Some are limited their choice because of religious reason. Even though it is not religious reason, showing skins is not preferred.

Image of a woman who wear seiso fashion via Flickr

In Japan, although there are many young people wear see-through blouses and tulle skirts these days, some elderly think they are too showy and shameless. In addition, many people believe that those who wear showy fashion tend to be easy women. Apparently, many Japanese women suffer from this old-fashioned idea. For example, there were some cases that women who were groped in the train were criticized that their clothes were too provocative, and they seduced men. Thus, many fashion magazine and websites claim that women should wear modest one-piece and cardigans or white shirts and A-lined skirts, because men like ‘seiso’ women which means feminine, cute, neat and clean.

Also, women with bigger breasts tend to experience verbal sexual harassment in Japan. To avoid this, women wear clothes to make their breast looks much smaller or bigger clothes to avoid showing their body line. Some women with big breast use sarashi, white long cloth, and wrap their breast to make it smaller. There are also many different bras to make breast looks smaller.

Image of Shibuya, Tokyo via Unsplash

Plus, Japanese collectiveness make the issue get worse. It is said that Japanese tend to be ‘group’ and people are not kind to unique people who are not fit in their group. Thus, many shops sell similar simple clothes and many people wear similar clothes. This can be understood from suits Japanese university students should wear during job-hunting seasons (see here for more details).

 

Choosing clothes fit you or changing yourself for clothes?

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Many people go on a diet, change meals and do some exercise. It will be nice that you can have more choices of clothes, but if you do not want to, just don’t and be yourself.

 

For whom we wear clothes?

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Clothes are often used as a tool to attract people’s attention. Do we wear clothes for someone you are favour?

On the contrary, many Japanese use them to cover up their individuality. Those who are not interested in fashion are not exceptional, because indifference to fashion means that they are overwhelmed and accept huge wave of mass production. People wear similar clothes and may feel relieved because it is ‘normal’. Do we wear clothes for the society and smooth relationship between others?

Or, do we wear clothes for ourselves? Can we really do that without hesitation?

 

We are still looking for clothes which is cost-saving, good quality, and fits our style and body even though we know it is hard to find. Then we will continue this and fight against what people think about your appearances. In Japan, it is really hard to choose your clothes due to limited size, fixed idea, but we must live on.