The inspiration appears clearly Japanese, but the garments’ origin isn’t.
Fashion trends tend to move pretty quickly in Japan. Past booms have included platform-style thick-soled shoes, imitation fox-tail accessories, and navel-baring short tops, and this year, the in-vogue look is exposed shoulders.
So if you combined that with one of Japan’s enduring aesthetic affinities, the sailor suit schoolgirl outfit, you’d probably get something like this.
The polyester dresses are available in two color schemes, both making use of the classic school uniform tones of white and navy blue. An elastic waist helps provide a neat, slender silhouette without giving up much in the way of comfort.
Feminine and dressy, but also with a dash of whimsical playfulness, these garments tick a number of the boxes many fashionable Japanese women have on their personal checklists when shopping for new styles.
But as much as these dresses might seem like something Japan would go wild for, they’re actually being offered by online fashion retailer OASAP, which has its offices in the U.S. and Hong Kong. The company’s English-language website officially refers to it as the “Off Shoulder Elastic Waist Midi Dress” and makes no mention of Japan or school uniforms, though the inspiration seems pretty obvious.
Thankfully, though they look like Japanese school uniforms, they’re not priced like them. OASAP lists them here for US$31.99, whereas on Amazon Japan they’re available for 3,233 yen (US$29). That’s far less than an actual Japanese sailor suit would set you back, and you can put the money you have left over towards buying fancy chairs to lug out into the forest if you’re in the mood to recreate the dresses’ woodland photo shoot.