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Fur and Boots Dominate This Season's Fashion (December 27, 2004)

An office worker in Tokyo sports this winter's must-have item.
Fashion for winter 2004 is dominated by fur coats, fur-trimmed accessories, leopard prints, and boots. Women in different age groups are interpreting these trends in different ways. The younger crowd in their late teens and early twenties are striving for a sexy yet elegant look, while women in their late twenties and thirties are preferring a retro feel. As the weather gets colder, the city streets are dotted with women showing off their unique interpretations of this year's fashion must-haves.

The Versatility of Fur
The most conspicuous element of the fashion seen on the streets this winter is fur, in the form of fur coats and fur-trimmed accessories. This trend reflects the prominence of fur in the Paris and Milan collections. Among 20- and 30-something female office workers in Tokyo's Marunouchi and Ginza districts, this fur is showing up in a coordinated retro fashion look. Fur mufflers with ribbons attached have been a brisk seller at department stores since late September. Besides using them as ordinary mufflers, women are also wearing them as stoles by tying the ribbons across their chests. This versatility is a key factor in the popularity of the fur mufflers, which are priced around ¥20,000 to ¥35,000 ($200 to $350 at 100 yen to the dollar). Other fur essentials for this winter include fur-trimmed jackets, bags, and hats. As the cold weather settles in, there are likely to be more frequent sightings of accessories such as stoles combining cashmere and fur and fine short fox coats that create an especially luxurious look.

Meanwhile, in Shibuya and other districts that are the stomping grounds of the teenage to early-twenties crowd, girls are sporting fur fashions that boldly reveal some skin yet also manage to somehow give off a refined air. That epicenter of youth trends, the Shibuya 109 building, is doing brisk business in fur coats priced from ¥20,000 to ¥60,000 ($200 to $600). Fashion-conscious young lasses get a kick out of pairing this elegant upper-body wear with holey jeans or leopard-print short shirts.

Boot Variety
In the realm of boots, a well-established fall and winter favorite, this season is witnessing the emergence of materials, designs, and colors that have never been seen before. Two kinds of boots are selling particularly well: sleek knee-high boots and ankle-high booties. Although black and brown have long been the colors of choice for tall boots, this year off-white is all the rage. But tall boots are also available in zebra- and leopard-print patterns and in distinctively textured materials, such as snakeskin. Because many women like to wear these boots with jeans, slim-fitting boots are popular. For women who favor a ladies' retro look, booties are the footwear of choice. The most popular booties right now are designer ones made of wrinkled leather or fabric with embellishments, such as straps.

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Copyright (c) 2004 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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