Fashion Sense

Posted on September 28th, 2010 by

Well, as things are starting to slip into routine, not so many things are standing out now. I was a bit lost on what to post today but I noticed something interesting on the way home.

As September draws to a close, fall is dawning upon us in this little island nation. This means that mornings and evenings are getting a bit cooler, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. It was already dark when I left club at Nanzan for home at around 7:30.

I take the train home–the first half of my journey is on the subway, aka underground, and the second half is a private Nagoya area railway called Meitetsu which is above ground. I sat down on the Meitetsu train today and looked in front of me; the girl who was sitting across from me was wearing sunglasses. Not the Japanese-type sunglasses, which look like glasses but the clear lenses are UV protected, but American-type aviator dark shaded glasses. It didn’t strike me as odd before but then I realized–wait, it’s dark outside and we’re underground, why is she wearing sunglasses?!

I know it’s common for Japanese fashion to imitate that of American/Western celebrity fashion (you sure do not see them imitating “normal” American fashion–a sweater, jeans, and uggs) and the Japanese do know that Americans wear sunglasses a lot. But I’m not exactly sure a lot of them know that the sunglasses actually have a purpose, which is to protect eyes from the harsh sun, not just to look nice. I know there is a similar thing in Japan–instead of sunglasses a lot of girls use sun umbrellas. At first I thought it was just a cute thing/fashion statement, but then I learned that they actually use the umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun instead of taking the risk of tanning with sun screen (pale is considered beautiful here after all). So to me, as an American who is familiar with the common use of sunglasses here, it was really strange to see.

Though I did ask my host mom what she thought of it, and she thought that was strange too. She told me that maybe that girl was wearing them because she thought she was ugly and wanted to hide her face. Who knows, maybe that was the case!


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