Chinese women are dressing up in school uniforms from other countries as prep's comeback goes global
As preppy style makes a global comeback, the trend takes on a different look in China.
Chinese women have been sporting school uniforms from other countries, dressing up in them for fun.
Unlike prep styles in other places, they want their faux uniforms to be as realistic as possible.
Preppy fashion has been making a global comeback, but over in China it never really went away.
During the early 1900s, in both Europe and the US, the style was seen as a status symbol. It was often worn by the wealthy who went to preparatory and Ivy League schools, according to InStyle.
The fashion trend is making a return as it has recently been spotted in several design collections in the fashion weeks of 2023, according to Harper's Bazaar.
But over in China, women have a different take on the style. Rather than incorporating bits and pieces into their own wardrobes, they are putting together sets of faux school outfits from other countries that look as authentic as possible.
"JK uniform", where "JK" stands for "Joshi Kousei" — female high school student in Japanese — is one of the most popular fashion trends in China.
The hashtag #JKuniform has over 1.7 billion views on Weibo, China's top social media platform. And there are currently over 50,000 JK fashion pieces being sold on TaoBao, China's biggest online retailer.
JK uniform is inspired by actual Japanese school uniforms, which can be divided into two patterns — sailor suit and Western-style.
A short-sleeved white blouse with a sailor collar and a hankerchief bow or tie are the defining features of a sailor suit Japanese school uniform, while the Western-style is characterized by a plaid pleated skirt, sweater vest, and a blazer.
Both styles are equally popular in China, where the interest may be attributed to the huge popularity of both Japanese anime, where many main characters are high schoolers, and Japanese idol culture. Many J-idols sport school outfits as a concept.
It's mostly grown women who have been spotted in JK uniforms, most likely because Chinese girls who are still schooling are required to wear their actual school uniforms.
Unlike preppy style in other places, where a few elements are incorporated into one piece to create the collegiate-inspired look, Chinese women want their whole outfit to look as realistic and school-like as possible.
Small variations are fine, but hardcore JK uniform enthusiasts are usually looking for that authentic Japanese high school girl look, avoiding outfits with inaccurate details.
And the country's obsession with authentic preppy fashion goes beyond Japanese school uniforms.
Earlier this month, a single social media post sparked a new trend of Chinese tourists flocking to Thailand to buy their own set of actual Thai school uniforms to wear and take pictures in.
On February 18, Chinese celebrity Ju Jing-yi posted a series of photos of her in a Thai school uniform on Weibo, sparking the trend. The post has gathered over 1 million likes and more than 942,000 shares as of March 31.
Since then, Chinese customers, the majority of who are women in their 20s, have been visiting a school uniform store in Bangkok almost every day to buy uniforms to dress up in for photos, per Nikkei Asia.
"This is the first time in the 60 years since our founding that we have received so much attention," said Yenjit Atsawaprichawong, owner of the school uniform store Sriphan, per Nikkei Asia.
The trend even caught the attention of Thailand's ministry of education, who has been very supportive.
"I have seen from online posts that they had their own names embroidered on student shirts. That is cute and beautiful and does not cause any damage," said Atthaphon Sangkhawasee, permanent secretary of the ministry of education, per Bangkok Post.
This trend had an earlier rendition inspired by Thai teen romantic comedy "First Love," which faded during the Covid-19 pandemic, per Bangkok Post.
Read the original article on Insider