Whereas Japanese women unerringly singled out otaku fashion, Japanese men quizzed on what they think the worst fashion excesses of their womenfolk are have targeted the more extreme fashion tribes for their opprobrium – most notably the darkly frilly excesses of the gothic lolita.
Of the men put to question, 32.4% reported having come across terribly dressed women – much lower than the proportion of women who thought the same of men – and gothic lolita fashion was singled out as particularly dreadful:
“Girls dressed all in black in lolita or punk styles – they are certainly restricting their pool of eligible men.” – 25-year-old IT worker
“Goth lolis are just too flashy!” – 47-year-old “creative” worker
“Ugly girls dressed in goth loli style…” – 29-year-old office worker
Others were concerned with overly flashy or distinctive fashion choices:
“I saw a girl dressed all in aomoji-kei [a Harajuku fashion tribe embodied by the likes of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu] whose fashion choices evidently ignored completely appealing to men.” – 35-year-old school administrator
“Overly flashy or individual fashion, it’s like they are only interested in their own appearance.” – 28-year-old IT worker
However, dressing too plainly also attracted plenty of criticism, with those who managed to dress “like old women” also deemed just as undesirable.
There was understandably some concern about women who dressed like sex workers:
“When they are dressed all in animal skin patterns you can only think one thing…” – 33-year-old retail worker
“I think women gussied up in glitzy cabaret club styles are a bit behind the times to be honest.” – 30-year-old machinist
And with women who were just too sexily dressed for the tastes of the latter day herbivorous Japanese male:
“Clothes which overly emphasise cleavage are just too much for me.” – 33-year-old retailer
“Highly exposing fashion for the benefit of attracting male attention just draw the eye too much.” – 33-year-old “other” worker
“Low rise jeans and visible pantsu are not something I favour – especially when the girl may not have the figure for it.” – 29-year-old service worker
Despite the emphasis Japanese men and women both place on “kawaii” looks, it is still possible to look too childish:
“Knee high socks on a middle-aged women!” – 26-year-old IT worker
“I saw a women in her twenties with a randosel…” – 26-year-old school administrator
“With girls decked out in kiddy fashion you do not get any sense of their adult beauty.” – 26-year-old metallurgist
Specific items singled out by name were sneakers, “dasai-T” (Fuuka-chan style T-shirts) and “tattoo tights.”
Surprisingly, gyaru-type fashion was barely mentioned – with only one complaint about the notorious excesses of “yamanba” fashion.