OPEN POST! Gyaru vs. Overseas clothing standards

I’ve been hoping the Doll starts up some dialoge within gyaru lover circles and maybe this post is the start of people expressing their opinions with others and who knows maybe you can make a friend or two? Type in your tumblr/blog/twitter URL too so peeps will get to know you more.

When I first discovered gyaru I was in Japan so it was acceptable to wear whatever I wanted to a certain extent there. Some may look at gyaru fashion and consider it very racy –and some of it in Japan is– however a lot of it is socially acceptable casual dress. By casual dress I do not mean a fancy restaurant or a job, but something to wear to the movies or malls or such is perfectly fine.


Now for my Canadians, South Americans and Asians other than Japan I’d love you guys to jump in and add to this chart. I didn’t forget you, I just don’t feel like I could make a good enough generalization.

As an American and someone who’s lived in Japan I’ve gotten used to both standards and am not really shocked when I see someone in the tiniest of shorts in Japan or in America in the lowest v-neck of shirts. However I admittedly felt a little shocked when I got some dirty looks from older people in Europe for showing my legs. Albeit they were (and still are LOL) tattooed, but I got the feeling it wasn’t just the tattoos and what I was in wasn’t that short (mid-thigh).

A friend of mine who is American was living in Japan and likes wearing spaghetti strap tank tops, something Americans are perfectly okay with (and Europeans I’ve seen walking around in the summertime), but she thinks she receives side eyes in Japan when she just wear that kind of tank top. So Japan casual wear tends to exclude tank tops without anything over them.

I’ve talked to Brits about this (bloomzy and such) and they think the UK is a bit more open to what you’d like to reveal, than other European countries, but I’m going to leave that up to discussion too.

Now I’d a good discussion on how you feel around the world wearing your gal style in the face of different acceptance levels. I’d like this to be just about what’s more acceptable generally than the normal “People look at me when I wear MA*RS.” Of course people are going to look  :dotbow:

But what’s considered acceptable to wear to say a mall? A movie theatre? Your everyday normal places. 

Does it make you change your style at certain times? 


So for me, you guys know what I usually wear right (if not instagram) and I’d say majority of the time people say nice things or just like I dress interesting. I only change my style if I’m going something for my man’s work because I’d rather not have conversations about how I choose to dress. Texas is hot so seeing short shorts is definitely not out of the question. :lolpastel:  Traveling to Europe though I definitely wore a lot more leg covering than I ever wear anywhere else.  :catno:



I’m done talking, all the goodness should be happening in the comments below  :loveword:

Also let me know if you’d like to see more of these sort of message board posts, and maybe make a suggestion or two!



  1. Anna
    March 6, 2013 / 5:21 pm

    I think that in South Korea the shoulders, back, and cleavage is considered little bit racy.

    Its a little different to see what other countries are like. This is cool.

    • March 7, 2013 / 6:09 am

      I’m not sure about that, because I’ve recently begun digging into South Korean fashion, and A LOT of tops have shoulders and back revealed. No cleavage, but tops that have one shoulder off, or clear/sheer fabric on the back seem to be common. Mind you, I’ve never been there, so I can’t say I’ve gotten first hand look. They definitely are all over the mini skirts and short shorts though!

      • March 8, 2013 / 7:47 am

        South Korea has the back as an extremely sexy part and in Kpop and high fashion they break the rules so to speak. You don’t see a lot of the regular people showing off so much skin. Showing legs there has no “racy meter” and is fully accepted.

  2. Natalie
    March 6, 2013 / 6:14 pm

    Ireland is pretty similar to England. Nothing is really taboo or unappropriate. However I do agree with the leg thing (in Europe) but let me put in this input. I don’t think its that you were wearing a short skirt, it’s that you weren’t wearing tights. We wear tights all the time here so it’s a little strange to see bare legs. Even i sometimes do a double take when i see someone with bare legs!
    Then again, our weather is much colder so a lot of it may be surprise that you’re not freezing! :)
    In warmer countries like Spain/Portugal etc, most people wear short shorts and tank tops – it’s normal.
    Anyway yeah where I’m from, Ireland, nothing is really considered too out there or racy. Sometimes i think it should though, some girls walk around wearing practically anything! Ugh! Haha yeah we’re pretty laid back fashion-wise.

  3. March 6, 2013 / 6:28 pm

    I think in China, pretty much everyone is kind of conservative. Even wearing a v-neck t-shirt in the middle of summer which is over 100 degree weather, I got perverted comments from old ass men and oh the STARING. It’s like I don’ t even have a face. I once wore a spaghetti tank there and my auntie told me to wear a jacket because people would mistake me as a prostitute. Wtf.

    In Taiwan I think it’s not as much the stares from guys, but girls will look at you with dismay as if your show of skin offends them in some way. This includes jeans with holes, tank tops…

    • Sherry
      March 6, 2013 / 8:31 pm

      This! I don’t live in China but I did visit it one time and wearing spaghetti straps would earn me comments for being “bold” and a million stares no matter what. It was the worst on subways and trains because old and middle aged men would stand above me and stare. It sucked and partially ruined my experience there. It also made me stick out like a sore thumb because people would just know I was a Chinese American even if I spoke Chinese fluently.

      I live in Texas though so baggy T-shirts to keep the sweat from sticking my clothes to me and shorts are a staple.

  4. March 6, 2013 / 6:43 pm

    Speaking as a brazilian from São Paulo, shoulders and cleavage are generally ok, except for office jobs. Bare midriff is considered very trashy by some people — even more if you aren’t skinny (body shaming everywhere :mad:) — but short shorts can be the biggest problem. Personally, I love wearing tiny shorts (like this GYDA pair :heartcat:), but I’m well aware I’ll get dirty looks even on the more casual situations, both by older people and young ones too.

    • March 8, 2013 / 5:34 pm

      I´m also from Brazil and this is what I usually see on the streets:
      – no one cares about shouldes and the back, it´s totally cool to show them off.
      – cleavage is ok if isn´t TOO revealing.
      – I see a lot of bellies, but it´s not considered very elegant.
      – short shorts doesn´t seem to be a problem, but if you´re on skirt/dresses that aren´t long till your feet seems to be a HUGE issue.
      I might add that tight clothes are often seen.
      It´s a large country (with many beachs btw, we´re kinda/should be used to see a lot of skin), so opinions may vary depending on the city, religion, individual, etc. What is considered acceptable varies a lot. My style isn´t revealing at all, so I don´t actually worry about that.

      • LarYuy
        July 11, 2013 / 1:48 am

        I live in São Paulo too, and kinda I agree with Mari and Rika!
        -show off your shoulders and back is just normal;
        -cleavage it’s ok, but ONLY in casual situations;
        -showing your belly isn’t considered elegant, but it seems that you can show it off proudly if you have a flat stomach and are near the beach;
        -the length of your skirt or shorts will vary: if you’re REALLY skinny and haven’t a curvy body, it’s kinda ok to use shorter clothes…

        I’m curvy, and I can’t use most of the clothes that I like ’cause people will look at me in a negative way. =/

  5. March 6, 2013 / 6:46 pm

    I agree with Natalie – because I’m also from Ireland and when I wear thigh high boots and short-shorts when I’m out shopping or, for whatever, you get a lot more stares and comments than if you were to wear the same thing but with tights.

    I am a Gyaru and oldschool archetypal Gyaru material at that, I genuinely don’t care what anyone thinks of me, my self-esteem is probably too high, as well as my confidence – I don’t care what society thinks looks slutty or inappropriate for the weather. I wear what I want, when I want – but I always make sure I stand out – I don’t conform to what everyone else is wearing. As a Gal, I want to make people pay attention, and most of the time they do – not just because it might be racy, but I might look like a colour or print explosion they’ve never seen before.

    What I do wear depends only on what I feel like – some days I’ll be in racy clothing, other days in Korean conservative layered fashion, and other days I’ll look like the 5th member of 2NE1. If it’s cold I’ll bear it, same if it’s hot.

    However, in Italy, showing your legs is a big thing, especially for old people. Seriously – a long top and hotpants = lots of old people falling silent the second you walk past them and lots of dirty looks. That might just be because where some of my family’s from, though (not mainland)

    In China, legs are fine – show as much leg as you want – but boobs are a big no-no. I conformed to this because I didn’t want my bf’s family to think badly of me, even though it was almost 40 degrees every day and not being able to wear tank tops nearly killed me. So, the only thing that does influence me is family – I’ll always dress more conservatively around them, but left to my own devices, I’ll not be so cautious.

  6. March 6, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    In Australia, we have hearts everywhere. LOL. But it really depends on your age. I’ve seen some people walk around in tiny shorts and crop tops and no one really stares… or they don’t make it obvious if they do…

    • March 7, 2013 / 4:14 am

      Im from Aus too, like bunny.berri i find pretty much anything goes. but thigh high boots or socks will get you a few stares on the street, as they are commonly referred to here as hooker boots.

      strange as having ur bum hanging out of your shorts is acceptable but boots up to your thighs is too racy….

      • March 16, 2013 / 4:35 pm

        Dang I just learnt about the boots from you ! O__O
        I wore them once here in Brisbane though, but the boots would slide down to my knees when I walk (bought them on eBay so I didn’t know that they’ll slide down when used)
        But oh well, those boots hurts my feet like crazy anyways, not going to wear them anymore ~

  7. March 6, 2013 / 8:48 pm

    Of course, I knew about the thou-shall-not-show-any-boobage rule in Japan as I was constantly warned about it before I even arrived, eheheh, but the shoulder thing definitely surprised me. I knew spaghetti straps were no-go, but one day, i showed up to school wearing a loose, off-the-shoulder top (my school is very “progressive” and we don’t have any rules for clothes, which is pretty cool) with a tank top under, and all my students were going insane, telling me that i looked “very sexy today”. i was baffled and confused as this was pretty much my “fat day” outfit (super oversized shirt that hid everything) and in my mind there was absolutely nothing sexy about it. it wasn’t until i asked one girl student point “ok, please explain to me what the heck is sexy about this outfit” and she told me cuz my shoulder was showing, and i was like “ooooooh…” and started laughing and explaining to them that this was not the case in Canada and they were all shocked.

    i still wear that shirt anyways :p

  8. March 6, 2013 / 9:45 pm

    In the philippines, showing off cleavage or tummy is still frowned upon although short skirts/shorts are okay.

    • March 26, 2013 / 9:32 am

      Filipina here, graduated from gyaru to a more onee style. I definitely agree, tummy-baring is shocking since folks here are still pretty conservative. The issue of cleavage is touch and go — in the cities and at the beaches it’s a bit more acceptable, but only if you’ve got less than a C-cup usually and/or it’s just really hot and/or you’re not at church/going to be around elders (especially parents and grandparents) for very long. Some people get away with wearing backless outfits(I know I have on occasion) but that tends to be a bit of a shocker too. Finally, tights and boots weird people out in general because it’s hot in this country, but I don’t really care at this point haha.

  9. March 6, 2013 / 9:54 pm

    Australia is pretty lax regarding anything/everything.
    The new trend is to have your bum-cheeks hanging out the bottom of your shorts, and your mid-riff showing. (Not my taste, but cudos to those who are brave enough to wear this). Genuinely its nick-named ‘festival wear’ but you can see it in shopping centres, movie theatres, everywhere!
    I think this kinda outfit still gets ‘stares’ but so many people are wearing it that its kind of the normal thing now. It certainly made me re-think whats considered racy here. Bum, boobs, legs, back- its all on display! haha!

    The shoulder thing in Japan was a surprise! But I do only see it pictured in EGG magazine, not so much Popteen or Ranzuki, and EGG likes to be racy in such a fun way ;D

  10. March 6, 2013 / 11:21 pm

    Here in Norway I think it mostly depends alot on the season, and even where you are located in this longass country.
    Although it’s extremely rare to see during winter (only sometimes when people go out in the weekends), wearing short shorts/skirts and revealing clothing will definitely get some stares during the winter. I think it’s mostly because people wonder if they’re cold though, haha.

    I’ve had some stares from people, but I live in a small city and people are not so used to alternative styles and such. I was deeply into rokku and well… there aren’t alot of light haired asians here either. So I think most of the stares I got was out of curiosity.

    Kinda got off topic there, but anyway, I don’t think it’s taboo to wear revealing clothes here. I’ve overheard some classmates commenting on how short some girl’s shorts were and that they didn’t like it, but that’s about it (and I guess that’s kind of a different story too). During summer it’s not rare to see girls in racy clothing, and it seems like most people are ok with it. Bare midriff is very rare though, but guess it’s just too cold here most of the time (even during summer).

    • March 7, 2013 / 5:11 am

      It’s pretty much the same here in Finland! I mean I love using mini skirts and shorts during winter so sure I do get some stares but nothing’s really much of a taboo here tho~

  11. March 6, 2013 / 11:42 pm

    Yeah, I guess the chart is kind of true! Here in Europe, short skirts etc. are less accepted. Since I’m still in high school, people call you “sl.t” and “w.ore” if you wear such short things, so I usually avoid that behaviour. When I’m out of school, I pretty much wear everything I feel like wearing. Usually it’s not much skin, since I’m still kind of young at age…

    Here in the Netherlands, quite the lot of things are accepted. We have many many nationalities in our small country, and as you see how different cultures dress, I think it’s more accepted.

    I don’t mind about the angry stares whem I’m shopping and such. I just look back and gently smile. Just keep em looking. I’m just here to be different, and not make some kind of difference xD

  12. March 7, 2013 / 12:34 am

    I am Japanese.
    I agree with Frida!
    I think they stare your bare shoulders because they found it’s too early to wear this.
    For example, my French husband always wears T-shirt at his work, but lately his Japanese female co-workers touched his arm and said “Aren’t you cold? oh, your arm is warm! Sasuga gaijin”
    I am wondering if it’s acceptable in the US lol
    He often gets stare when he walk in T-shirt in autumn and spring.
    It’s not like he’s sexy, but people here think it’s odd to wearing T-shirt or cami other than in summer.
    If you got stares even in summer… maybe it’s because you have freckles, Japanese people found it’s cute and very rare.
    Have you seen Japanese girls with freckles? not only face but shoulders?

    When I visited France, seems like they found my fashion was interesting…
    I wore middle length dress with cute knee length socks and strap shoes.
    My friend told me it’s for little girls. haha!

  13. Lixia
    March 7, 2013 / 1:39 am

    Here in Taiwan, I think there is still a lot of fashion influence from Japan. Girls here show A LOT of leg but seem to where bulky tips or jackets even in weather that seems downright HOT. So when I got here, my style changed dramatically, and it was short shorts, tights, cardigans, and bulky sweaters all the way. I find it interesting that fashion here goes by the calendar, and not the temperature outside – it’s still considered winter here and some people even sport winter coats and scarves…its 20•Celcius BTW, not cold at ALL. Honestly, despite people thinking this country has prude fashion tendencies or ironic ones, I have never felt more free to wear whatever I want in my whole life, and that is because the men here NEVER catcall, honk horns, whistle, or any of that stupid crap I would get in Canada for wearing “revealing” clothes (read:tanktop).

    • March 7, 2013 / 7:49 pm

      I’m originally from Texas and I live in Taiwan as well! I agree with everything you said. Heck, in August I saw a guy wearing a furry coat! People always ask if I’m cold these days when I don’t wear a jacket (but it’s not cold!) I think people wear whatever makes them feel comfy here, no matter the weather. Although, like you said, people take a lot of fashion cues for Japan and Korea here. I never see girls in spaghetti straps here (and never did when I was in China). Sometimes I will see a girl with a sleeveless dress or top though, I don’t think that’s uncommon.

  14. March 7, 2013 / 2:21 am

    I live in Sweden and I suppose that you can dress almost however you want and don’t really need to think about how much you reveal. However, I agree with the picture that shows the casual acceptable clothing in Europe. Because even though Sweden is pretty much a country where you can dress the way you want, it’s still considered “bad” to show off too much legs. Myself, I often wear short skirts or shorts with over knees and I notice that I get A LOT of looks, some people really stare at me.
    Showing shoulders and wearing lowneck shirts is ok though, considering that in the summer a lot of Swedish women can be seen wearing tank tops or bikini tops.

  15. March 7, 2013 / 4:12 am

    I’m in England and mostly agree with the comment about tights in Ireland; TBH for the most part, showing legs is fine (in a casual setting), but people will be surprised if you aren’t wearing tights in the cooler months. Also wearing short skirts or shorts with skin showing above stocking or OTK socks (or sometimes boots) can be seen as attention-seeking somewhat strange.

    I would say out of all areas, the place that is most frowned upon in the UK is showing the midriff. This is probably because the person either doesn’t have the body for it, or female viewers are jealous that they do. Also, although it’s acceptable to show cleavage in the UK, you will almost certainly get looks or comments for it (depending on the size of your bust and how much is showing), and it’s definitely frowned upon showing too much in anything other than a casual setting. (This is pretty unfortunate for me, because I can’t really hide it and look smart. XD) Showing shoulders is, of course, completely fine.

    This would explain why, in Japan, I got a lot of looks and people saying ‘Isn’t she cold?’ behind my back- perhaps it was a euphemism for ‘WTF is she wearing?’, because you try lugging a heavy suitcase around everywhere when it’s sunny, even if there is a cold wind and it’s February. XD Sometimes I just HAD to take my coat and/or jumper off.

  16. March 7, 2013 / 4:52 am

    when i was in japan i wore a tank top the first day as well and got weird looks for it. it was on my very first day there, and i am positive, the only time i wore my shoulders exposed were at the pool when i went to hang out there with my friends. otherwise i always wore t-shirts.
    nobody said ‘you cannot wear it like this’ or the alike, but the stares were horrid.
    in germany everything is fine. even short skirts are okay. people will stare, but most of the time those aren’t ‘negative’ ones.
    just extraordinary tights won’t work here XD

  17. Lena
    March 7, 2013 / 6:09 am

    I live in Southern Germany and to my experience you can wear almost everything. Showing shoulders is really no problem here, as tube tops are very common here. Also showing your legs isn’t much of a problem, as long as it’s shorts. :D Showing your cleavage also isn’t much of a problem, i like to do that a lot. :P I only think showing yout belly is a little frowned upon, but I don’t know why. People just don’t do it around here. :P

  18. March 7, 2013 / 6:21 am

    Canada reporting for duty !!

    Out here I think is pretty similar to USA. Shoulders and cleavage are OK. Stomach area is a bit grey. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone wear really short tops and showing off their stomach/hips since the 90s. Short shorts and mini skirts are common in the summer. But we get 4-5 months of really cold Winter out here, so half the year people are dressed up in a lot of layers and not revealing much. Mostly out here I get stared at when people notice my nails (inspired my gyaru) and my make-up when I wear false eyelashes. Other than that, whatever I wear I rarely ever get stared at for the wrong reasons.

    When I was in Japan for New Years, I found I got stared at a lot, probably because I’m foreigner, white, tall chick. But I tried to blend in, wearing short shorts with tights and covering my shoulders and boobs with right tops and coats. The only time I wore cleavage and spaghetti strap top was for the New Years party at a club. I was surprised to see all the japanese girls wearing long sleeves and covering up their torsos! How do they do it? I was so hot from all the dancing and guys cuddling up to me all night long.

    As a last note, I want to say I LOVE THIS !! It’s so much fun to learn about others perspectives from other countries! I think there should definitely be more of these! Really great idea!

    • March 8, 2013 / 1:51 am

      Canadian here too! most people aren’t really bothered by what others wear, at least in Montreal. Some glances and stares at most but nothing that is common knowledge. Stomach is a bit of a grey area, but I think it’s almost considered revealing. I wore a cropped top at work recently and my coworker thought it was something very sexy, which I though was funny since I never got similar feedback regarding short shorts or tops that were revealing XD

      • Jali
        April 1, 2013 / 9:26 am

        Sorry to jump in here, but… OMG MONTREAL REPRESENT!!

  19. Mitchy
    March 7, 2013 / 7:52 am

    I love in Jakarta, Indonesia and I’d say it depends on what kind of place and the situations are :)
    Showing off cleavage and tummy are a bit unusual sight, but if you’re in big malls, nobody really cares about how you dressed up except if your style is very unique and racy :p
    Outside malls, most of people are pretty much conservative about dressing up, showing legs are pretty common since many office ladies wear it for work. But showing cleavage and arms are pretty rare and not consider well in everyday life I’d say.. :)

    • Mitchy
      March 7, 2013 / 8:19 am

      *I live in (typo lol)

  20. March 7, 2013 / 10:42 am

    I lived in Japan and for the first time in my life really got into clothing. I wouldn’t say I’m just gyaru, but I did buy some things from gyaru stores and in general started wearing cuter outfits and skirts just for everyday clothes. Before I would wear skirts and dresses just a few times a year when I needed to dress up.

    When I returned to the US (Kentucky) I felt like I was getting weird looks for dressing up. One day I was at the mall in a skirt and heeled boots and didn’t see a single other person in heels and like one other person in a skirt. My skirts aren’t that short but I still feel weird sometimes because I’m the only one “dressed up” when I would have felt more casual in Japan. I have a couple skirts that I wore in Japan that I’ve never worn here because I feel like they might be considered too short here. Though most of my experience is in smaller cities and towns here. When I went to a bigger city I didn’t feel out of place in a skirt and bright blue tights.

    Around here there’s no problem with showing shoulders and cleavage (unless it’s like super crazy low or something), but really short skirts might be looked badly upon. Short shorts are ok though. Showing stomach isn’t very common here but in general I think it’s seen as low class and trashy.

  21. March 7, 2013 / 12:10 pm

    totally true! I live in germany and am not the average size a girl would have. To be true I’m 1,90m tall and my legs are about 1,25m long, so I never even get the chance to wear long pants. With these long legs my short pants look even shorter, then they are and most people (especially people around my age) refer to me as a slut or anything. Old people just look at me like ‘this kind of short clothes woul I never have worn’. So, it’s true, that legs are kind of a no go in germany (especially with short pants/dress/skirt and tattooed)

  22. Imo
    March 7, 2013 / 12:29 pm

    I think in UK you can wear pretty much what you like, you won’t get any dirty looks, instead you’ll just get sexist/gross comments from guys passing you by depending on what you are wearing.
    It is strange though to see people not wearing tights if the temperature is below….25 C (which is probs 95% of the year). Also wearing knee high socks without tights (unless worn with a longer skirt or school uniform) can be considered sl.tty, and thigh high socks are definitely considered sl.tty in most situations, although, the tights that look like garters have been catching on and I’ve seen people wearing them casually outside of nightclubs.

    I have also been to Spain before for an exchange and my exchange was worried about me going out in shorts so maybe they prefer you to cover up more leg in Europe? I guess it depends, especially as Spain is a largely Catholic country and so it’s understandable why they’d prefer you to cover up your legs and arms, but it may be different elsewhere.

    I think it’s strange about the arm/shoulder thing in Japan though, I wonder where it comes from?

  23. March 7, 2013 / 1:23 pm

    Oooh, this is interesting!

    I live in Finland and I’ve noticed that here over knee boots and thigh-high socks will get you stares. I find it really weird that it’s okay to be without tights but if you have over knee socks, it’s sexual…? doesn’t make any sense! Also short shorts are “not considered well”. I myself don’t see a problem with this, I feel more comfortable with the shortest shorts (talking about d.i.a. and garula short) than a skirt! And socks are…. well, socks.

  24. A
    March 7, 2013 / 5:32 pm

    I agree with what everyone has said about Japan. In Japan it’s normal even for high school girls to have very short skirts, so showing leg is definitely okay. Showing cleavage is not, but I think that’s also based on the japanese body shape, where a lot of girls don’t think to highlight a smaller chest.
    In Korea it’s also okay to have super short shorts but not cleavage.
    To some extent though, in Japan wearing something short is designed to be either cute or sexy, whereas in Australia it can be just “normal”, ie wearing shorts in summer is what everybody does, and not necessarily a ‘fashion’ decision.
    I think in Australia or other hot, beachy countries, the reason it’s normal to see girls from pre-teens to adults wearing really short cut off shorts and crop tops starts with the beach culture, and just carries over to being in the mall, lol.
    About your comments on not showing leg in Europe – I’d agree on that for Italy (not an expert on other European countries). In Italy the local girls tend to wear jeans and flats (cobble stones!) and this is probably because of the men’s reputation for whistling, calling out etc and also the church culture.
    Thigh high socks and boots seem to be traditionally considered slutty or prostitute wear in a lot of the Western world, so that connotation is probably going to hang around for a while (although I think both can be worn sweetly.)
    In India there’s a bit of a disconnect because in real life if you’re walking down the street, flashing an ankle can be cause for stares (no exaggeration), you can show your stomach in a sari, but Bollywood stars wear the most revealing clothes ever and not be considered “bad” because they seem to exist in a separate world from people who watch their movies….

    Also, this is somewhat related – in Japan there is freedom to wear whatever you want, revealing or not – and I haven’t felt that freedom elsewhere. Like, in NYC you can dress like you’re fresh out of Harajuku, but it does attract attention. Part of it is that in Japan people won’t come up to you as readily as overseas, or they are used to seeing all kinds, so they just don’t care. Even if they do think your outfit is over the top, you don’t hear about it! I wish I had that freedom elsewhere. There are some outfits I have that just don’t go with other countries, or I wouldn’t make the same combinations, not because people might say something bad, but it just doesn’t seem normal like it does over there.

  25. March 7, 2013 / 8:09 pm

    ::CANADA:~ .3<). In Canada, most girls wear what each other is wearing: ie. yoga pants, skinny jeans, hoodies, leggings, uggs, etc. I find that most people are very similar when it comes to their style. People stare mostly if you look "different". My "mori-gyaru" style is definitely different than the typical Canadian girl's style.


  26. March 7, 2013 / 8:10 pm

    ::CANADA:~ .3<). In Canada, most girls wear what each other is wearing: ie. yoga pants, skinny jeans, hoodies, leggings, uggs, etc. I find that most people are very similar when it comes to their style. People stare mostly if you look "different". My "mori-gyaru" style is definitely different than the typical Canadian girl's style.

    • March 11, 2013 / 6:55 am

      Other than Winter, that’s about the only thing I dislike about living here. Everyone looks and wears all pratically the exact same thing. It’s like they’re clones of each others, it drives me nuts. So glad I saw your post, while I’m not full on gyaru, I prefer Asian fashion and so I tend to stand out in the crowd, even though my point is not to stand out but to be myself and be unique.

      • Hannah
        March 12, 2013 / 9:16 pm

        Man, I’m glad this wasn’t my imagination. I’m an American who’s traveled through Canada quite a few times and it was shocking to me how similar all the young people looked. Seriously agree with the clones comment. It was almost creepy.

  27. March 7, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    The thing about Europe, especially Germany is so true! I always wear short skirts or shorts and they stare at me like hell and sometimes also give rude comments but I just stare back in their face until they notice how rude they are lol.
    And I also think that a cleavage showing too much is not that accepted in Germany since you’re easily titled as a slut or sth like this.

    Such an interesting post! :stepup:

  28. Claudia
    March 9, 2013 / 3:49 pm

    I also live in the Netherlands, but I can’t really tell (people tend to look at me strangely anyway). Though when dressed a bit fashionable looking (not just slap on jeans hotpants and a tank), nothing really matters as far as I can tell. I like wearing short shorts a lot (above mid-thigh!).

  29. Ariel
    March 9, 2013 / 8:39 pm

    I feel like in the US short skirts aren’t really accepted. It might just be my area, ha ha. I’ve gotten cat calls and horns honked at me before… :/ But I notice no one cares if you wear super short shorts!

  30. March 9, 2013 / 8:40 pm

    I can agree with you on Europe and probably also on Japan. I remember when I went to a club in Tokyo for the first time, my American friend said ‘we are the only ones not wearing sleeves here!’ lmao. I always thought that my arms look a little chubby compared to my stomach and the rest of my body so that’s why I thought I’d get stares when I wear a tank top or something close to that which I rarely do.

    In Germany I know a lot of people who look down on people who wear hot pants or short skirts/dresses, I’ve heard also from other people in my University that ‘proper Germans don’t usually dress that way’. You’re already that girl who only cares about guys and make-up or is just sexually very active if you dress that way all the time. It really sucks and it’s probably the reason while all the sexism debate started over here.

    I think if you go to warmer countries in Europe though, this might not be as strict. Also in Poland and other slavic countries young people seem to generally see it more as a ‘fashion statement’ than a ‘slutty attitude’ or anything. Germans are just Germans… But no matter what country, the opinion of the people will always depend on how big the city you stay in is of course. In bigger cities there is more of a multicultural crowd so nobody cares that much. Japan is being more of a ‘homogenous society’ or at least the Japanese claim to be so it’s kind of natural that showing shoulders stands out in their culture. Maybe it has to do with the former Japanese courtesans and their off-shoulder style in clothing?

    • Mimi
      May 12, 2013 / 2:25 am

      “Germans are just Germans…” now that’s the best way to describe Germans! Germans, and Austrians too, have a stick up their butt :/ If you are wearing a Dirndl, showing cleavage is ok. If you are not wearing a Dirndl and you show cleavage, you’re a sex-worker.

  31. March 10, 2013 / 5:15 am

    Hi, I live in Andalusia (SPAIN), and I find this post really interesting. It really annoys me how people stare at you when you wear something different… But I guess that people is still so narrow-minded in Spain.

    Here, super short skirts are not accepted. Even if they are trendy and they are in shops, if you go out in a tiny dress or skirt, you will get dirty looks. That’s my experience. They’ll think you are a slutty girl. I really envy how Japanese girls can wear those cute mini-skirts and still look innocent. About long socks: although some girls dare to wear them, they are seen as weird.

    I don’t know if I’m ill, but I’ve obsessed with this idea: maybe I can’t get that innocent look in short skirt/dress because my legs and my butt are fat. I’m not very fat (51kg), but I think that I’m too fat for that look… And I think that if my body were so tiny as some Asian girls’, I could pull it out very well. It’s like… I’m showing too much skin and I feel gross.

    Luckily, teenagers have started to wear shorts all the time, even in winter. But they wear tights, no bare legs until summer.

    Cleavage is Ok, but don’t do it extreme. You can wear all the tank tops that you want, that isn’t a problem. I didn’t know that was so bad considered in Japan. See?, there is something I don’t envy at all xD But I really would like to wear cute dresses and not being stared as if I were a 10-year-old little girl, or some mad old lady (that’s even worse).

    I think that gyaru styles are coming to Western fashion gradually, and it’s my hope that some day you will be able to step on the street without weird stares and comments…

  32. March 10, 2013 / 10:55 am

    I Totally agree to the European chart!
    I’m from Germany and I think its kind of true that its somehow strange to show your leg, but only under certain circumstances. For example on my school it was like totally strange for girls to wear a skirt there, don’t know I never did wear a skirt very often there and the others didn’t do it either. The only exception was summer, but if the skirt was really super short you could always tell that so many people were gossip about it “whoa her skirt is just too short for school!”.

    On the other hand it was perfectly fine on weekend when you go to a club and that stuff, but men look at you like they’ve never seen a woman in a skirt anyway. O.o But all these facts could apply to my school and my city only. I guess people always stare at everything thats different. Last weekend I wore some skinny highwaist jeans with a flower shirt, and none of my clothes were revealing anything but I wore a very noticable red lipstick and because nobody is wearing red lipstick for everyday everybody is looking at you suddenly O.o

    But back to topic: I often noticed that the skirt thing is a problem here if it’s totally out of question to wear it, like it’s snowing outside and its damn cold, and you come to university wearing a skirt and see through tights peopel look strange at you because its so cold XD Or the best example is when spring starts you see like one girl wearing a really short skirt and some really thin tights they say “Oh, look at her, she thinks its summer because it’s like one sunray at the sky”. But would she wear thick tights I guess It would be totally alright. I love wearing skirts but I hate being cold so I always wear thick tights in winter.

    So much to say about girls wearing skirts or shorts O.o XDDD

  33. Lala
    March 10, 2013 / 8:45 pm

    Agreeing with Angel, in the Philippines legs are okay up to a point (if it’s a super short skirt, as in shorter than mid thigh, I think you will still get stares), as are arms. Cleavage and tummy I think is a gray area depending on where you go, but I never see anyone showing tummy anyway. In contrast to other countries, I get more looks when I wear tights :-S They’re not dirty looks, they’re probably thinking that I must be feeling really hot because we live in eternal summer :^_^;;: While we’re a rather religious country, it’s so hot that wearing shorts/tanks are really quite normal (as long as it’s not in church, anyway).

    Makes me sad/angry that girls are still made to feel conscious about what we wear because of the ‘slutty’ comments. If people have dirty thoughts about me because of what I’m wearing, that’s not my fault, it’s theirs. My body isn’t inherently indecent, they just have filthy minds. :mad:

    • Mitsu
      March 10, 2013 / 10:10 pm

      Oh god yes!!!

      My body isn’t inherently indecent, they just have filthy minds.

      It’s just skin.

  34. MagicTrouble
    March 11, 2013 / 4:18 am

    Here in Korea, it’s okay to show as much leg as you want but anything above the waste showing, you should expect stares. It’s okay for celebrities here, to wear clothes that reveal cleavage or shoulder or back or midriff. They consider that sort of example to be an occupational uniform just as doctors wear white coats. Casually wearing something like a spaghetti strap tank top will get you stares or even the daring mutterings of elders. You can buy cut out clothes here but generally people wear jackets or cardigans over it.

  35. March 11, 2013 / 5:38 pm

    In Poland I guess we don`t show much cleavage, but tank top and summer dresses and all that is very popular. I think just very deep cleavage tops are not really worn. Many women wear shorts and short skirts, but I agree that the “short” lenght is still longer than japanese “short” in general. ;) So bare shoulders and legs are ok, but I think I`ve never seen anyone in real life wearing a crop top – especially fitted high waist crop top – maybe only american apparel models wear those? XD

  36. Charlotte
    March 12, 2013 / 8:16 am

    Wow this topic definetly opens a dialogue, I guess that’s one of the great benefits of girls enjoying fashion, in a global context :)
    Being from the Netherlands, I’d say it’s pretty much true, too much leg, or rather bits of leg with too much of an erotic reference, will get you stares or remarks even.
    miniskirt/flipflops=O but shorts/heels, especially if anything from ankleboots to otk’s=X

    But the general issue here seems to be more about how much you conform to the norm. The Netherlands are refered to as open minded, but outside of the cultured left wing, whom I consider effectively progressive, I’d rather refer to Dutch tollerance as an “I don’t care what you do, as long as you don’t make me participate” kind of attitude. As long as you look normal, (meaning not too stylish ._.) you can get away with anything, as long as people have a way of recognizing it.
    No matter how much you cover up, if it’s something they don’t know, you’ll get stares and things~

  37. March 16, 2013 / 1:03 am

    Hello, I’m from Germany and I agree pretty much with you and the things that the other people already said.
    Showing legs is something you shouldn’t do too much here. I don’t really get the point about it but wearing short pants or very short skirts seems like a no-go although everything else is covered like hell. You’re still a slut. It annoys me to get comments like this. Especially when I’m wearing a lot of fabric everywhere else. If my legs are bare it’s useless.
    It’s okay showin cleavage instead. Wear long pants or a long skirt and sho your boobs of: This seems legit. Also showing your belly is more a grey zone. You shouldn’t do it too much. It was kind of a 90s thing. But people don’t do it lately. It’s like your stuck in time or something.
    Since I’m quite tall for me every Japanese skirt or dress seems to be very short. I do not care that much but others to. So I get comments from people of all ages. It also came to that point that men touch me or whatever. I’m sick of it. But I won’t let other people decide what to wear.

  38. Azu
    March 16, 2013 / 3:37 am

    Hahaha I’m from Barcelona and obviously we have different standards than in the rest of Europe! Short skirts and short shorts are everywhere in the summer months, and nobody bats an eyelash. Wearing them the rest of the year will get you shitty catcalls, but nobody is going to be shocked about it. Cleavage is also a-ok (within limits, of course… if it looks like you’re going to spill out, people WILL stare), and shoulders are certainly nothing special.

    Showing midriff is not strictly off-limits, but it’s considered really trashy. So unless you’re really confident you’re pulling off a stylish outfit, maybe steer clear of showing your belly.

    Fair warning though, if you drop by Spain in the summer and you want to visit Catholic churches, bring some less-revealing clothes: a lot of them won’t let you in if you have bare shoulders or legs!

  39. March 19, 2013 / 8:44 am

    I also thought that I got weird looks in Japan for wearing Spaghetti Tops, which is perfectly fine in Europe, I think
    Also I remember once I met with a Japanese exchange student and she asked me if I was okay to go home alone like this.

    I think that short skirts or shorts are completely accepted in Japan, but dare you show some of your shoulders etc xD

    In Vienna, where I live, people are generellay not open to any kind of “different” fashion I think..which is quite sad. I get stared a lot for wearing short skirts, but who cares XD

  40. Jali
    April 1, 2013 / 9:24 am

    Canadian reporting in.

    Our standards are pretty much the same as the US, with the exception that we generally have shorter summers and very cold winters (unless you’re in Vancouver). So you can pretty much get away with wearing whatever you want, but depending on the weather, you’ll likely freeze your nuts off!

    Being from Montreal, I’ve seen literally EVERY kind of fashion. Short skirts, booty shorts (providing you have the appropriate body type for it), cleavage, bared tummys… I don’t think there’s much taboo here.

    Too much cleavage on very endowed ladies is usually met with a bit of disgust. Otherwise, if you’re in the small to medium range, no one’s going to complain.

    I think for the most part, many older girls feel very self-conscious of showing belly, but it’s not as if it’s frowned upon. The girls who usually show belly are typically waifs (like me) or young teens who haven’t put on weight yet. I think it’s considered a “young” trend, and past a certain age, it’s deemed immature.

    Leg is always acceptable, but again, it depends on where you work/what you’re doing. I’m a designer in a really chillaxed office, and no one bats an eye if I show up in stiletto OTKs or short shorts or spaghetti straps/strapless. (I’ve even worn cosplay.)
    But having also worked in a corporate setting, mid-thigh is considered the “short-zone”, boobs should not be spilling anywhere, brastraps are not to be seen, and there should be an overlap of top-over-bottom of at least 1″ for maximum coverage. As a general rule, if you’re not sure, keep your skirt at the knee and your straps 2cm wide or wider.

    • Jali
      April 1, 2013 / 9:33 am

      I’d like to make an amendment:

      In Japan it’s considered indecent to show shoulder… but in my experience: NOT IN TOKYO. I ran around Shibuya in a spaghetti strap dress and people were more interested in my back tattoo lol. But the instant you’re out of the immediate metropolis (like, Nippori or Mitaka), you better cover up, cause you’re going to be stared at or even reprimanded by little old ladies or harassed by leering men.

  41. AJ
    December 4, 2013 / 2:44 pm

    I live in Holland, and in here short skirts are usually associated with prostitution, especially when paired with over the knees. HOWEVER, switch out the OTK’s for tights and it’s fully descent again. At the moment, THE BIG mainstream fashion hit are supershort shorts paired with an oversized lace top. And ALWAYS, you’ll see those shorts being work with tights underneath them.

  42. December 12, 2013 / 9:32 am

    I’m totaly agree with you for the Europe! I live in France and this is that I feel, people are not open mind with dresses, shorts and skirts, it’s really strange ô_o

  43. Savannah
    December 23, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    I’m from germany.
    I often wear ‘shorter’ dresses, skirts and sometimes shorts.
    Even when it’s cold outside.
    And I never got any rude comments about it or strange views.
    I think: If you wear things that are really too short it’s… You know why they say such things (thats my opinion)
    But I wear everything, dresses, skirts and shorts. Of course no extreme mini skirts or something like that but quite short skirts, dresses and shorts.
    I just get strange views when I’m wearing OTK’s or crop tops but I know why and I understand why. But I like it and won’t stop wearing it.
    I also get strange views when I’m wearing Lolita but I think it’s quite normal if you wear something most people don’t know or think it’s too sexual they will always say rude things or will look at you.