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Velour Jacket with Shorts a Winning Combination (March 6, 2006)

Women wearing a velour jacket (left) and knee-length shorts (right) (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)
The continuing cold weather in Japan belies the supposed arrival of spring. Yet all around town women can be seen sporting a velour jacket with knee-length shorts. The outfit is perfect for the office as well as after-hour and weekend outings, for casual and formal occasions, and is a popular choice because of its versatility. The shorts are a new addition to the fashion scene and a symbol of this year's trends. They will probably remain popular through the spring as new lines in lighter fabrics are released.

Versatile Velour
The velour jacket is an essential element in the Victorian look, which has been all the rage this winter, but it is also earning a place in other styles, too. The fabric has been around for a long time, which means that it can be paired with a variety of items and is suitable for all sorts of occasions. Black tailored jackets are popular among working women, who need only don a basic jacket to make an outfit look sharp. Though black is certainly in, younger women are tending to go for bold green or red, colors that accentuate the fabric's luster and give them a stylish, original look.

Velour is considered a dressy material, but velour jackets can be worn casually over light hooded jackets and sweaters or paired with jeans or work pants, creating an interesting blend of the chic and the informal. Velour jackets are great for parties, and a colorful stole, accessory, pair of shoes, or bag is all they need to accentuate their more formal side.

Women sporting knee-length shorts (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)

Knee-Length Shorts
Knee-length shorts are newcomers to this year's fashion scene. Though shorts are associated with boys' wear, longer shorts actually can be quite feminine and refined, depending on their shape and what they are worn with.

Suede shorts in shades of brown and gray are in. Shorts with a straight silhouette and cuff are also popular. A pair costs around ¥20,000 (about $174 at ¥115 to the dollar). Shorts with vertical pleats paired with a short tailored jacket create a weighty look suitable for the office. The outfit can be rounded off with a pair of pumps or even high-heeled boots, a good choice for women who want to keep their legs covered. Shorts matched with a jacket made out of a rough knit or down are also an attractive casual outfit.

Knee-length shorts are popular among women of all ages. Younger women in their twenties tend to choose shorts that end right above the knees for an active look, while women in their thirties and older choose shorts that just cover their knees for a more refined look. Women with small children like these shorts because they allow them to move around yet still look fashionable. The shorts are warmer than mini skirts, especially when worn with boots.

Even after the weather warms up, women will probably continue wearing knee-length shorts, choosing lighter wool fabrics and whites and other bright colors that are good for spring.

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Copyright (c) 2006 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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