Life

Tokyo Wardrobe Chronicles: Navigating Fashion in a Metropolis

Before moving to Tokyo, I was a little confused about what clothes to stuff in my suitcase.

I don’t know anything about the popular clothing styles there and the styles that are easily accepted by the public. One of the most famous ancient rumors about Tokyo’s “fashion” is that women there have to put on makeup before going out to take out the trash. I don’t want to be secretly teased for being different in the future.

According to past experience, a person’s clothing will be greatly affected by the living environment.

In my twenties, I worked at a magazine in Shanghai. Colleagues spend most of their time in the office drawing and writing, but they still dress up carefully every day. The boys wear suits, a little hairspray on their hair, and the girls put on makeup, a beautiful skirt, high heels, and earrings and necklaces.

I was so impressed that I stocked up on some cosmetics and learned how to draw eyebrows. I also used my fingers to rub lipstick and apply it on my cheeks as blush like other people did. I kept a small box of colorful earrings, and as soon as my salary was paid, I quickly spent a third of it to do my hair. Why would I buy a copy of the fashion magazines from newsstands every month to see the recommended fashionable outfits? Shanghai is indeed a sophisticated city. I remember there was a heated discussion in the newspapers at that time about whether wearing pajamas on the streets would affect the appearance of the city.

Later, I went to Beijing to work. The girls there surprised me, they seemed more casual in their personal attire. Even in some formal occasions, many people do not wear makeup, eyebrows, or lipstick. When I was standing in the strong wind in the north waiting for the bus, my eyes blurred by the sand, I fully agreed with their view: “There is no need to dress up.”

In such a tolerant and relaxed environment, my sophistication also shrank rapidly, dropping to less than 50%, and I often matched them randomly.

Shanghai and Beijing have the style of Shanghai and Beijing, and Tokyo also has its own style. With a population of 14.11 million, Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world. It is obviously impossible to describe the local dressing style in a few words. For example, people in Tokyo generally prefer plain colors, and the saturation is getting lower and lower. Almost everyone on the subway in winter wears a black coat, but it is also common to see people wearing colorful vintage shirts and dressing up in a unique style. There were people wearing all kinds of clothes, and no one stopped to look at them.

In the past, my first factor in judging clothing was the environment, but now I find that the influence of age is playing an increasingly important role. When a person reaches a certain age, his mood changes and the clothes he wears will also change.

Young girls all over the world seem to be similar. They like to wear fashionable skirts and coats made of materials that are easy to get dirty and difficult to wash. They will carefully use curling irons to curl their hair to the right curvature, and they will also put on makeup. A particularly delicate make-up. The makeup level of Tokyo girls is a level I will never be able to reach. Exquisite eye makeup makes them all look beautiful, but they all look the same and will be forgotten once you see them.

Interestingly, this kind of beauty will gradually blur with age. The delicate face of a girl in her twenties will become blurry on the face of a woman in her thirties. By the time she is in her forties, only a little makeup can be seen. (such as lightly stroking the eyebrows and using very light makeup). By the age of fifty-six, women have completely let go, and at most they only trace their eyebrows. Along with it, there are more and more comfortable smiles on the face.

I like to observe how women around me dress, especially middle-aged women who are about the same age as me . When I went to the parent-teacher meeting, I thought that wearing a suit jacket and leather shoes would look more formal. Unexpectedly, the other mothers showed up wearing sneakers and casual clothes without makeup. Most of them had short to medium hair, and few had their hair permed. No one wears high heels. Flat shoes and sneakers are the mainstream. Compared with skirts, trousers are more popular. Even if you wear a long skirt, you must wear a pair of trousers underneath.

A woman of a certain age, like a rock after the tide recedes, gradually reveals her true appearance. Unknowingly, I also became “rough” and began to pursue a freer and more casual path.

A friend once asked me where I bought wide-leg pants. She also wanted a pair like this. I went home and looked around and found that almost all my pants were wide-leg pants. My husband said that one pant leg can fit two legs. He doesn’t understand the benefits of wide-leg pants, so he naturally says this. One time I was in a hurry to leave, so I temporarily put on a pair of straight-leg trousers. They were the uniforms I used to wear on business trips to attend meetings. I took them off after only five minutes of wearing them. I couldn’t bear the discomfort.

I stopped wearing jeans a long time ago, and I don’t like tight tights.

Originally, I was thinking about staying a little “fashionable” when I went to Tokyo and not being too tacky.

I dug out a pair of pointed-toe stiletto short boots that I wore many years ago and took a walk around the living room. When I was young, I felt like “dancing on the tip of a knife”, thinking that I was a mermaid with legs growing out, and the painful and exciting feeling arose spontaneously. But this time, I didn’t want to make sacrifices for any prince and quickly threw the stilettos aside. I tried another pair of 5cm high thick-heeled leather shoes. Oh no, they made me feel like I was walking with two big bricks tied to them, and the floor made a hollow sound. I couldn’t understand my younger self, why she was so hard on herself.

Looking at the flat shoes, sports shoes, and hiking shoes in the shoe cabinet, I thought that in the past, the standard for buying shoes was that the heel must be more than 5 centimeters, but now, anything over 5 centimeters is ignored. I don’t wear flip-flops anymore. Although these shoes look wild and casual, they pinch my feet and hurt.

I spend the longest time in sports brand stores, and my first choice is Decathlon, which is cheap and durable. All clothes that cannot be machine washed are out of my sight, and those that are hemp will not be considered. I have two cotton skirts that are a nightmare to wash every time. You can’t use an electric iron to tame the hem of the skirt that rides up, so you can only use small black clips to clip it in one row. Ever since I came home one night and discovered two small clips dangling from the hem of my skirt, I abandoned them forever.

In the past, when I had no money, I could only buy imitations from street stalls. One time, I accidentally entered a genuine brand store while carrying a fake product, which made me laugh. So I thought, when my salary rises to 10,000 yuan, I will buy a brand-name bag. But now I carry a canvas bag every day. Sometimes I don’t want to bring a canvas bag. I wear a pair of pants with multiple pockets to store my keys and mobile phone, so I can go out with empty hands.

In winter, I like down jackets the most. They are light and warm. Guan Jian can be machine washed. I bought two woolen coats and gave them away. They are not warm and heavy, which is a burden to me.

I like to use fitness clothes as autumn clothes, and I can exercise immediately as soon as I take off my jacket. My husband’s shrink-fit clothes are also very easy to wear. T-shirts and shirts are loose and comfortable, no matter how you wear them. The bottom line for makeup is to draw eyebrows and apply lipstick in one minute. I once thought about doing eye makeup, but now I have completely given up. I don’t even have a manicure, it’s inconvenient to do anything, and I don’t wear contact lenses. The glasses can go everywhere and block the wind. When I was young, I wanted to have long curly hair. After plasma perm, it was troublesome to wash my hair and it took half a day to blow dry it. Now I like to cut it short, and it gets shorter every year.

When people reach middle age, some things need to be carried on their backs, and some things need to be taken off. With limited time and energy, try to limit yourself as much as possible. Simplicity is also reflected in other aspects. Don’t say things you don’t want to say, don’t reply to messages you don’t want to reply, don’t go to social gatherings you don’t want to participate in, and drop friends you don’t want to keep.

Time is precious, and I want to spend it on things that please me more. Maybe I realized that things like appearance, clothing, and grooming did not bring me sustained satisfaction. I spent time and money, but the price-performance ratio was not high. I’ve reached the age where I don’t need to please anyone anymore. Has my self-confidence increased? nor. I just know a little more about myself than I did before. For example, eating out at a restaurant for the same price as a beautiful coat will make me happier.

Returning rights to everyone should allow some people to choose to be loose, some to choose refinement, and some to choose something else. Let a middle-aged woman like me pursue the freedom that only she can feel.

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