As a tourist, I always think being in Japan is like a treat for my senses. There are so many beautiful sceneries, things and people to enjoy and see. Everything is so merticulate and nice, things are always elegantly arranged and packaged, including the people.
Upon moving here, I soon realize that beauty comes with a price. Let me give you a scenario.
You wake up in the morning craving for that hot cup of coffee, you stumble to the fridge and realize there is no milk, so what do you do? Back home, I wouldn't think twice before I head out to the nearest supermarket to get some milk, even if i had just only brushed my teeth. But I am now in Japan, it's a problem bigger than not having milk for the coffee. Appearing in public without decent effort put into styling is a big NO NO.
Of course Japan is a fashion capital but this is the reason why not being dressed is unacceptable. I remember I did some work in Japan previously trying to understand the perception of beauty in this country. Shocking as we were, thing such as appearing in public without make-up is a statement of disrespect for others around you. The word they used was "inconveniencing others". Of course being Japanese, the last thing to want to do is to "inconvenience" others by seeing your bare face and rouge styling.
No matter what look or style you see on people outside, be assured that it is considered. Even if the person looked like he/she just dropped out of bed, that's a deliberate styling decision. The minimum effort is still a black suit and leather shoes. The last resort to a bare face would at least be a mask, hiding the obscenity from others.
As I live my life here, I too try not to make people uncomfortable, so simple things like preparing to go to school to pick my kids up is becoming to be like a fashion crisis. I had brought my visiting friends to pick up my kids a couple of times. Without fail, my friends would ask me if the other mums were models, because the scene looked like a fashion show. Imagine my agony, I just want to get my kids into school on time after the morning craze and quickly bring them home after school so I can make dinner and get them in bed on time. Where do I find the means to curate what I wear and look like I am going shopping in Ginza?
I don't know if it's the air or the water, but it seem so easy for most of the locals here to be stylishly dressed. Have they mugged the monthly fashion magazines so they can just effortlessly throw together their outfit and look worthy or its just genetics? The other things is where do they find time to shop or think about what to wear? I am baffled.
Any tips, anyone?