Item’s popularity highlights growing acceptance of cross-dressing.
The cozy sailor suit loungewear by BIBI LAB struck a chord with male consumers. The “Bokusera” (where “Boku” is typically a masculine version of “I,” and “sera” is a romanization of “sailor”) men’s loungewear modeled after sailor school uniforms sold out in two days. The company is planning a second run of the item to accommodate the demand.
The outfit comes in traditional blue and white with a reddish-pink tie and in black with a light blue tie. Both include matching knee high socks made of the same polyester material. Each outfit costs 8,856 yen (US$74).
News of the sale was announced in a larger editorial piece discussing the growing acceptance of male cross-dressing in Japanese culture. The author states that the increased popularity of Halloween, as well as middle-aged actors posting images of themselves in drag.
According to the article, men dressing as women had a breakout moment with the introduction of “otokonoko” in early 2000 and later with the concept of “genderless danshi,” or men who appear androgynous. In general, these sub-cultures are well received by women and “otokonoko” characters more commonly appear in shōnen and seinen works. An opinion poll held by Oricon Style found that overall, cross-dressing had 69.4% approval rating.
It should be noted that cross-dressing is not considered synonymous with homosexuality in Japan.