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The Streets Are Abloom with Feminine Dresses (April 28, 2006)

Colorful, flowery skirts (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)
This spring, cute, romantic dresses are the favored fashion items among the young women in their teens and twenties who populate the boutique-lined streets of Tokyo's Harajuku and Daikanyama neighborhoods. From soft, fluttery white one-piece suits to babydoll dresses in intricate floral prints to tiered minis, girly dresses are in this season.

Farewell to the Layered Look
Made of soft fabrics like cotton, chiffon, and georgette, this spring's dresses give an overall impression of sweetness. Many are embellished with touches such as embroidery along the hemline, frills or lace at the bodice or hemline, and ribbon belts. Some have asymmetrical hemlines; some puff out with balloon-like silhouettes; some have frilled tiers; and some are nipped in at the waist. With the wide array of designs available, even fashion mavericks can join in the trend for feminine dresses without sacrificing their individuality.

Most of the dresses flying off the shelves are reasonably priced at ¥4,000 to ¥10,000 (about $35 to $87 at ¥115 to the dollar). Some women are going the extra mile for self-expression by either seeking out vintage dresses at resale shops or sewing their own from simple patterns.

Until recently, the dominant theme of young women's street fashion has been the layering of several items of simple design. Dresses, associated with formality, were not a part of street fashion. But suddenly, style-conscious young women have noticed that dresses have many advantages. They eliminate the hassle of coordinating top and bottom garments; they are easy to put on and take off; and they allow the wearer to instantly assume a feminine style.

Pretty, feminine dresses (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)

Career Women Jump on the Bandwagon
Until last season, young women went for a cool image by wearing such garments as military blousons and trench coats paired with distressed denim jeans. But now even the eternally casual Shibuya crowd, tired of jeans, are going for a more feminine, slightly sexy look by slipping into dresses, whether simple slips, dresses adorned with frilled tiers, or clingy knit or jersey numbers. This represents a major shift in the tastes of "Shibuya gals".

The dress wave is also lapping at the ankles of working women, mainly those in their thirties. This demographic has latched onto A-line and high-waisted dresses made of soft fabrics with refined floral or paisley prints. The colors finding favor among the worker-bee crowd are muted tones like white, pink, and light beige. 

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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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