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Japanese School Uniforms

Japanese School Uniforms

Japanese School Uniforms

If you know a little about Japan or have traveled to Japan and have seen all of the students wearing their high school uniform then you have probably had a few questions in mind about the Japanese school uniforms. In Japan, most public and private elementary, middle and high schools will have school uniforms. The very traditional style of uniforms was inspired by the military. There are still many schools that have this old traditional military style uniform but for a while now many new styles have emerged.

Japanese School Uniforms

(picture source: https://www.minkou.jp/hischool/school/photo/3877_15354/)

The military style of uniform was originally inspired by the European military uniforms. Boys would typically wear long pants and then jackets that would have a stand-up collar and they would usually be a black or navy coloured uniform. This kind of style is most commonly worn by middle and high school students. The famous sailor outfits for girls in middle and high school is said to be first introduced at a school in Kyoto. This is the most popular style of uniform that is usually featured in Manga and anime shows. The girls would usually wear a ribbon of different colours which would change as they move on up each year.

Japanese School Uniforms

(picture source: http://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/x524508507)

Now there are much newer styles of school uniforms and the fashion has changed a lot over the years. The newer style of uniform for girls and boys became pretty similar. Girls would wear a blazer with gold buttons, a formal shirt, ribbon or tie, and a skirt with high socks. Boys would wear a blazer, former shirt, a tie and long pants. The uniforms for both girls and boys would usually be either black or navy. The skirts and pants of the uniform would usually be a check pattern. this could change up during the season. When it starts getting warmer both boys and girls would wear a white formal t-shirt with a vest and either a tie for boys and a bow for girls.


The uniforms of a school can be pretty important as it represents a school and just by looking at a uniform you can often distinguish which school the student goes to. It is even said that students would choose their school depending on the uniform. So schools have put a lot of effort into designing the uniforms over the years and are known for even getting professional designers to design the uniform.

The most popular example of a designer designing the school uniform would be Armani designing the school uniform for a public elementary school in Ginza, Tokyo. This was a huge shocker for so many people across Japan that it was covered by every news channel. There was so much controversy about this as there were so many questions raised on whether it was really necessary for elementary school students to have a uniform designed by a famous designer. Plus for a PUBLIC elementary school students to have such expensive uniforms was pretty baffling for most people. Perhaps it would still be a bit more understanding if this was for a private middle school or high school but for young elementary kids who are most likely to run around trip and rip their uniform and for it to be a public school is quite questionable.

Over the years, there have been so many different trends among young students and students have been known to wear long leg warmers that were a bit bunched up or they would roll up their skirts to make it shorter or they would add little accessories here and there depending on what was trending. This was a way for the students to add a bit of originality to their uniforms and make it a bit more fun to wear everyday since they are obviously only allowed to wear their uniforms to school everyday. You could say that there is a bit of a love-hate relationship with these uniforms as even though the students didn’t have to waste time looking for an outfit to wear to school everyday they couldn’t express themselves through their clothing or style their own outfits.

Japan is a place where different trends are always arising and so uniforms are bound to change from time to time which is interesting to see.

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