Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Children's Fashion

I didn't really intend to write about fashion two days straight, but since I found a news article on the web that caught my attention I think I'll write about it.

I've seen Japanese fashion coming up as topics in blogs and websites quite often, but come to think of it, I've never encountered a place that discusses Japanese children's fashion. This article I found today was about Japanese boy's fashion, about the disappearance of short pants.

Here, by "short" I mean super short. I remember when I was a grade school kid the majority of the boys in school were wearing these super short pants that only covered their bottoms and made hardly any difference from boxer pants, and these pants which I bet those who read my explanation would think... unbelievable (I think I'll keep my words modest since this blog isn't exactly personal)... were the mainstream back in those days which in today's common fashion sense seems impossible.

I can't remember though, of how much boys of my age cared about their fashion when we were single-digit-year-olds. I guess they were more interested in running and playing around. My generation is already described by older people as weak because half the kids were playing video games or had to go to cram school, but still I would like to claim that when I was a kid more boys and girls were playing outside until sunset than today. There are good social reasons responsible for the decrease of kids playing outside... but let's not talk about that right now.

I am not sure how much the children (I'm talking about 6-12 year olds) today care about their daily clothing especially the younger ones. Girls may be a bit more conscious about what they wear, their hairstyle and hair accessoried and the color of their school bags and how many colored pens they have so on so forth, but I don't know about boys. It is clear, however, that their mothers are super conscious about their kids' fashion.

The mothers of the grade school kids right now belong to the generation that are accustomed to reading fashion magazines since they were young. Though their generation itself experienced the mainstream of super short pants, it seems like they don't want their kids to wear them at all because they're sort of tacky and embarrassing. They want their boys to dress cool, and pants with longer lengths tend to be easier to show fashionability than short ones.
A person in the kids apparel business also explain that the spread of hip hop music, and sport manga among young boys play a part in spreading longer length pants. Another person says that the shift of boys underwear has a lot to do with the disappearance of super short pants. I think all of these reasons are true.

Today, almost all of the boys I see around in my neighborhood wear knee-length pants if not blue jeans down to their feet. It is sad in a way (not to say I'm a perv!) because short pants were like a symbol of tomboy kind of energy and seeing less of them around feels like the society is weakening. At the same time though, I also have a feeling that if there was a kid wearing those super short pants he's be bullied in school for not being the same with others or for being unfashionable - of course I don't mean it for every kid, but these days you can be bullied for the smallest reason (see my ex-bosses blog Oct.20 entry for "bullies and suicide").
When super-short pants were the mainstream, those with long pants looked like a weak and sick kid...

Today's update on Japan Mode: Japanese Green Tea Vol.4 - the last article on Japanese green tea introducing how it's drank outside of Japan. I discovered that the general tendency of drinking it is adding a lot of sugar and fruit flavor. Where is the taste and fragrance of "green tea" left??? There were a few that I want to try especially this green tea martini called Zentini, it was pretty interesting.


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