Compared to the U.S., Japan has different cultural standards about revealing female fashions. That’s not to say women in Japan show more or less skin than their American counterparts, just that they show it in different places.
So while you’re likely to see more cleavage in L.A. or New York, a stroll through Tokyo or Osaka will turn up more women in very short shorts. Honestly, after spending enough time in Japan, its easy to become desensitized to hot pants, until something comes along that pushes the envelope by offering less coverage from some angles than a pair of panties.
With cleavage being a rarer commodity than thigh, Japanese Internet users have been entranced by a couple of daring tops over the past few months. It takes something pretty bold to get them talking about shorts, though.
This design seems bold enough.
These fake leather front string shorts are the creation of fashion brand Omoshiro Club. And just to reiterate, they’re officially referred to by the manufacturer as “shorts” and not “underwear,” “panties,” or “lingerie.”
Made of a snug-fitting but flexible material, Omoshiro Club recommends them for “fashionable people with a strong sense of individuality.”
▼ Compared to the other angles, the shorts’ backside is so modest as to feel downright stodgy.
The unique article of clothing can be ordered here through Yahoo! Japan Shopping. Since Yahoo! is, for the most part, a family-friendly Internet portal, Twitter user Mofu Mofu came to this conclusion:
“These are regular ladies’ shorts being sold by a regular apparel maker, so I think it would be wonderful if regular girls wore them.”
もふもふ (@mfmfnightfever) April 15, 2015
But while most of us would probably agree that Yahoo! is a regular, middle-of-the-road company, we’re not sure we agree with Mofu Mofu’s use of “regular” for Omoshiro Club, considering that the rest of its product lineup includes numbers like these:
▼ In determining whether or not a product is “regular,” let whether or not the models insist on their faces being obscured serve as a litmus test.
The shorts are available in sizes small to extra-extra-extra-large. They’re priced at 2,600 yen (US$22), which, while not an unheard of price for a pair of shorts, does seem a little steep considering how little material is actually involved. There’s also the question of whether or not you’re supposed to wear panties with them, as we’re not really sure which is less embarrassing: displaying your undies for all to see or exposing so much real estate on the lots neighboring your crotch.
Then again, if the word “embarrassing” ever enters your decision-making thought process, maybe these aren’t the shorts you’re looking for. In Omoshiro Club’s own words:
“As these are bold hot pants that show off the attractive bare skin of a woman’s lower body, it will probably take a bit of courage to wear these while walking around town.”
A bit of courage, eh? For a company selling such explicit fashion, Omoshiro Club also seems to have a fine command of the art of understatement.