In many countries around the world, mandatory school uniforms are the bane of students’ lives, with their unflattering shape and drab color scheme. Their purpose seems to be to help pupils blend into a homogeneous mass of unfashionable conformity, and are often enforced under the logic that they “promote modesty” and “prevent distractions from learning”.
In Japan, however, it’s completely different. The Japanese tend to put a lot of stock in uniforms of all kinds, and school uniforms, which signify the wearer’s youth, are considered a prime status symbol. Now everyone’s favorite mute cat, Hello Kitty, is getting in on the action with her special snowy-white sailor suit for spring!
The special uniform, shown above, consists of a plain white blouse and skirt in the sailor style. The skirt part of sailor fuku is usually navy blue in color, and while the white does look quite fresh and cool, we can’t help but wince at the thought of ink-stains. The suit also features a collar and cuffs with “Hello Kitty motifs”. Erm, perhaps some close-up shots would help, since we’re struggling to see anything Kitty-themed here. In fact, if the model wasn’t holding a stuffed Kitty-chan in her arms, we’re not sure we’d even have noticed the theme at all. Or is this just a prototype?
▼ Why not just go with a nice, simple blazer style that hides the dirt, and accessorize with a Kitty chan plushie?
The Hello Kitty x School Pearl uniform is limited to only 300 sets, and is available for pre-order via the School Pearl website from January, with the pre-order details being released sometime in December. What’s more, it’s said to cost a whopping 80,000 yen (US$740)!!! Given its impracticability, hefty price tag and limited release, we’re suspecting that the uniform is more for fun than for serious school use. Which kinda makes sense – generally schools in Japan have their own assigned uniform and students are reprimanded at some of the stuffier establishments for meddling too much with the uniform status quo. If you see schoolgirls out and about in Harajuku on a weekend, their uniforms may in fact be “nanchatte-seifuku” or “fake uniforms”, selected by the girls for their cute look. In fact, you can find plenty of dedicated school uniform shops across Japan, and girls’ fashion magazines regularly promote the coolest brands, such as CONOMi and East Boy. We can foresee the “Sailor Kitty” style being a hit with fashion-conscious teens, but perhaps less so with whoever has to do the laundry at home.