以前一度紹介した大学生のファッション考察第二弾です。アメリカと日本の大学生ファッションには大きな違いがあります。それは大学のシステムや住む環境の違いから来ている部分も大きいです。どちらの大学も経験した Junko が比較します!

We introduced college fashion once before, but here’s another one! There is a big difference between Japanese and American college fashion. This comes from the schooling system and the lifestyles they lead. Junko, who experienced both, explains more!


I previously wrote an article where I compared the very basic fashion styles between Japanese students and American students. I would like to do a quick re-cap from my previous article as to why the fashion senses are vastly different between Japan and America. The reason for this is mainly because of the differences between the campus lifestyle and the locations where the students are housed. While most Japanese students live at home, or far from campus, many have to travel within the city. School is a facility where you attend from noon to the evening, but never really later than that. On the other hand, in America, many students either live on campus or very close to campus. Students are on campus all day and all night, thanks 24 hour libraries and study rooms. Because of this, students often feel as if the whole campus is a part of their “home” and feel comfortable not dressing up to go to class. When you are constantly studying for reports, research projects, or cooping up in the studio to edit your student film, there is no need to dress up in heels. But, in the end, please keep in mind that this is only one perspective, my perspective, on this subject.

Standard American College Fashion: Comfort First.


It is very important to be comfortable. While college is one of the only times where you are free to wear whatever you like and express yourself through your clothing without any repercussion that you had back in high school or that you might have in the future. But, this is also the time where everyone knows the workload and the hangovers that everyone suffers on a daily basis, so there isn’t much judgement for not dressing up.

What are some staples in the wardrobes for college students?



Well, of course you have the university wear. With colleges handing out free shirts left and right, the majority of American students love to show their school pride by wearing university clothing. From sweatpants, basketball shorts, tshirts, hoodies to hats.



Then you have the regular hoodie. A hoodie is practically every students go-to item in their closet. Something that is comfortable that you can throw on. It wasn’t until I started my life in uni that I truly began to appreciate hoodies to their fullest extent. Long hours in the library studying after class, or staying up late in the labs to finish your essay, hoodies will forever be your best friend in the AC blasting rooms.

Photo: Junko

Photo: Junko

Flannel Shirts


Flannel shirts are also a lovely item to have. Similar to the hoodie, they are easy to carry around, light, but still warm. They can be worn throughout the year, and they can be worn in numerous different ways. You can wear it big and baggy to give you a very comfortable look, or you can wear it fitted to pull off a preppy look.

Photo: Junko



There are also the sundresses or the swingy tank dresses for the summer. Easy to wear and when paired with cute sandals, you can look dressy while still staying extremely comfortable and casual.



And finally, we have the staple of staples, a good ol’ pair of denim jeans. With the numerous styles of jeans from skinny, straight, bellbottoms, boot, boyfriend, and baggy, jeans can either make your outfit extremely casual or even dressy. Especially with the colored jeans that have been out now for awhile. I personally have a few pairs of jeans and they are definitely my go-to’s when I don’t know what to wear. Jeans go with anything and everything and are very comfortable. A definite must-have in your wardrobe.

Up and Coming Trends


Recently, there have been new trends that have been popping up in America, especially on college campuses. While they have always been around, there has been an increase of sightings for their comfort and trendy appearances.

Doctor Martens and Birkenstock


Doctor Martens, also known as Docs, have been a solid in the fashion world for ages. Tied especially to the punk-rock fashion, with their vast expansion in the different styled shoes, not just boots, Docs have become more and more popular. Especially because of their long lasting quality, for a college student to shell out a few hundred dollars for a pair of shoes is quite expensive and can hurt the wallet, but when you invest in a pair of docs, you also invest in a pair of shoes that will last for years. With that knowledge, students are willing to hand over that cash for a good pair of shoes.

Photo: Junko

Photo: Junko


On the same line of long lasting are Birkenstocks. Similar to the Docs, with Birkenstocks expanding from just their classic styled sandals and clogs, they have gained a larger fan base. But, the trend comes mainly from the hipster culture that made a boom a few years back. And while Birkenstocks originated in Germany, with the growth and the popularity of Portland, Oregon, was the growth in popularity of Birkenstocks. This is because Birkenstocks have been long loved by Oregonians, and there is even this odd image that Oregonians all wear socks with their sandals (aka Birkenstocks)…which is actually true, for the most part.

Photo: Junko

Photo: Junko


I personally have numerous pairs of Doc that have been with me for a few years and a couple of pairs of Birkenstocks that have been with me for over 10 years. You can’t really go wrong with a classic shoe that’s durable!



The checkered picnic print is making a comeback. Although it is hard to pull off, this is the pattern that will be donned by the majority of girls this year. Especially with the useful flannel shirts also coming in gingham patterns and sundresses that further your summer look with this pattern, this is a must have!



Now that we have our spring fashion trend, lets take a look at our summer trend! Mesh can keep you cool while pulling off any look from sporty to classy. While, like the gingham pattern, mesh can be difficult to pull off…if you wear the wrong thing it can make you look skanky, with the right pattern, it can make you look very sleek and sporty. From mesh tops to mesh bottoms, make sure that you wear proper clothing and cover yourself up appropriately!


With this image of what American college fashion is like and whats trending, let us take a look at Japanese fashion and the trends to see the differences!

Standard Japanese College Fashion: Fashion First.


I’m sure most of you know what the standard Japanese fashion is like for college girls. But let me cover it briefly.


First, fashion is very important for college students. And keeping the “harmony” by dressing the same is even more important. Most girls that you see will be more dressed up than the normal college student you would see in America.



Layers are important. If you layer right, you are not only covering yourself up from horrid sun rays that will tan your skin, but also from the perverts on the trains that you have to ride in order to get to school.



These have been a staple in the Japanese fashion scene for quite a while. Stripes of all forms and colors usually come in casual clothing. But thanks to the simple pattern, it adds a fun feel to your outfit. Or, it makes you look like you’re a sailor and you should go get on a boat.

Cardigans/Trench Coats


Cardigans over the shoulder, along with denim shirts over the shoulder, have been something that has been popular amongst women of all ages. I get that it makes you look a little more classy. But when I think of people with cardigans over their shoulders, I think of rich and snobby people on a yacht sipping champaign. I guess this just isn’t that positive of an image for me.

次にトレンチコートですが、これは長い間人気ですね。春が訪れると、あらゆる人たちが着るトレンチコートが姿をあらわにします。以前ルームメイトのトレンチコートを借りて出社したことがあります。Kristina と待ち合わせしたのですが、私が彼女が待っていたところに近寄っていっても気づいてくれませんでした。なぜなら周りにトレンチコートを着ていた人が10人くらいいたので、馴染んでしまいました。

Then you have trench coats that have been popular for a long time. Once spring approaches, out come the trench coats that every other person wears. I once borrowed my roommates trench coat and wore it to work. I met up with Kristina, but she didn’t notice me approaching because I blended in with the other ten people who were wearing trench coats near me.

Wide Legged Pants/Long Skirts


Pants that are wide legged and long skirts have been popular also. Paired with a sporty t-shirt, it is casual up top but more dressy on the bottom. Making sure that you’re not too dressy and keeping the casualness is important. If you’re too dressed up for class, then you might scare away potential mates because you might come off intimidating. Therefore, looking casual with that sporty t-shirt is quite important. Pairing this with a beanie further adds the casual feeling to ones outfit. Beanies add a more “fun” feel, and that’s never a bad thing!



White is the “in” color for this year. As blue was in the past, this year it is white to express the brightness and the pureness that we all hold within. White, although is difficult to keep clean, can make you look upper class and very sophisticated. Unfortunately, this is something I will never be able to experience because I am unable to keep anything white clean for longer than five minutes. That’s why I usually opt to wear darker colors.

So, What’s The Difference?


Well, looking at the big picture, the main differences between Japanese and American college fashion for girls would be the casualness in the outfits. American’s opt to wear comfortable clothes, ready to spend long hours studying or being on campus. On the other hand, Japanese choose to wear heels and skirts, not really taking into consideration comfort, because the hours spent at university isn’t too long. Plus, taking into consideration the travel time and having to go out into the city, looking decent is very important.


What do you like to wear to school? Do you choose comfort or fashion?
Or, are you the savvy fashionista that has mastered being comfortably fashionable?
Let me know in the comments!