Posted in Little things I love about Japan

Blue Flowered Boots

Since moving to the countryside of Japan I’ve had to let go of many things. Some were more difficult than others to let go of. I’ve learned though that sometimes when you finally just let go you find that the end result isn’t so bad after all.

I used to like dressing up a bit. Not too much but, I did like to look nice. I liked low-key fashionable clothing. Colorful fun blouses and jeans, casual “dress-up” was my favorite. In Saipan you’d probably see me in Roxy, Billabong or O’Neill board shorts and a cute tank top…flipp-flopping in my Scotts…or maybe wrapped in a cute lavalava-a plumeria tucked behind one ear….

And then we moved here…..

I’ll tell you right now our area will never make news in the fashion world. At least not in a positive way. I’m usually very positive about what I say but I have to be gut level honest and say I’ve never seen so many people that have no idea stripes and plaids do not match…neither does a sweater tucked into a polyester skirt. I’ve never seen so many odd mismatched clothing styles. The fashion police would be really busy here.

At first it used to bother me. I always felt way over dressed. I’ve also noticed that most women and men for that matter do not wear bright fun colors. Dark and dreary is in. Black, dark blue, brown, gold (not yellow), maroon, olive green….it’s always the dark end of the color spectrum-dark and muted.

My purples and reds and yellows and oranges…turquoise and bright greens..well…they made me stand out more than I wanted to. I already stand out enough.

Several times my sister sent me some really nice clothes but because of the bright colors I found myself only wearing them in my house.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that clothes shopping, something I really liked doing before, would turn into a stress-filled nightmare. In the first place everything is miniature – I’m an American size 8-sometimes 10 depending upon style but the clothing is SO small here that it’s hard to fit into an L or even  LL . The bigger the size the stranger the style. They don’t make them proportioned.  It’s almost impossible to find anything that fits right.

But it doesn’t really matter anyhow because most styles leave a lot to be desired.

I can’t always order online because I need to “try it on” first. I’ve never had luck with buying online. Ever.

So-what do you do? Stress? Or do you let it go?

I can’t remember when I got to the point where I just surrendered. I have a few-nice things for “going out”- like very few because many times our “going out” means some formal occasion like a wedding or a funeral and there are dress codes for those events and you better believe I follow them. The fallout for not following them isn’t worth “just being me”.

My everyday clothing choices have drastically changed. Now I try to wear fashionable aprons-ha. Every housewife here wears an apron. Many wear them to the store to do the grocery shopping.

I don’t wear much color anymore either.

This post isn’t really about my clothing choices-it’s about just being happy and content with what is.

Today I noticed that I had finally become content with the situation. It rained today and I needed to walk to the gym/pool. The last time I walked in the rain I got my nice running shoes totally soaked. Everyone else wears rain-boots. Not nice rain boots-frumpy ugly rain-boots. So I had a choice today. I could either soak my good shoes again or …just wear my garden boots which are actually rain boots but I have used them in the garden for a while now.

All of a sudden I thought-who cares? No one will even care if I stomp down the street in my blue-flowered garden/rain-boots.

So that’s what I did. It was nice to have dry feet. I walked through every single puddle I could find-on purpose and I enjoyed it.

Author:

Loving life in rural Japan-writer,gardener,hiker, photographer,crochet artist, chief cook and bottle washer!

12 thoughts on “Blue Flowered Boots

  1. When we first moved back to Japan, I wore a nice red wool suit to my daughter’s preschool entrance ceremony. I left the house thinking I looked very nice and professional, but was floored to find all the other mother’s in either kimono or black suits. Black for preschool? How morbid! In the class photo, I stand out like a sore thumb. I ended up throwing that suit away, which is a shame. It would be just fine back home, but not here…

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    1. What a shame!! I know exactly how you feel. I wear the same old basic colors all the time … But sometimes I wear something pretty- and my husband always says – oh.. You look so nice! When I’m with him in a casual situation I will wear more color but when I’m alone I tend to conform…

      Where did this ” ban” against color come from?!

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  2. I know what you mean! I have been told that bright colors are not as chic as darker colors, that is why Japanese women wear the darker colors. I personally wear a lot of bright colors because most of my clothes are from the U.S. (Because I can’t fit into cute Japanese clothes. Fat clothes here are really ugly.) Anyhoo…. I get comments on my bright colors….not really good ones. I think Japanese people are bothered because it makes the person stick out. A young person, okay. But once you reach a certain age…..

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    1. I wonder if they know how frumpy and old most of them look? Recently I’ve taken to wearing a lot of outdoor/ sporty clothes. My daughter gave me a lots of her hand me downs. She wears The Northface, Underarmor, etc… I’m comfortable and I look sporty! They aren’t bright colored- most are earth toned or black but AT LEAST they aren’t frumpy ! I don’t like the style here- most are as you said- UGLY !! I refuse to wear the shirts with writing in them- they don’t even name sense! Lol

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  3. Yes, I agree. So frumpy! And plain. I think, of course, everybody thinks this…..that black can most certainly look very chick. But it takes panache. And if you don’t got that! Well….then it’s just old and boring. I have had some shirts with writing that Baba has given us…. not usually for me, but mostly for my son. Yeah, it’s horrible!

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  4. Is it at all possible you will start a new trend with your blue flowered rain boots? Surely all women love pretty things and blue flowered boots would fit that bill I would think. But maybe tradition is just too strong for anyone to dare flaunt it? Cultures are so different around the world aren’t they. On the other hand, you may have a few secret admirers for your courage in wearing those boots instead of some more dreary version.

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    1. I think it’s near impossible for a foreign woman to start a new trend in this area. Our area is very conservative and old-fashioned As a matter of fact I’ve been ” hammered down” a few times for not conforming.

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  5. I like this better. The other one was a little confusing. Do you get free layouts? Mine are free. We are kind of limited with choices when it is free.

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    1. Hi – I get free themes but I pay a yearly fee which removes the ads and allows me for more customization. The other one was actually more organized in many ways but it was a magazine layout which doesn’t really fit my personality. This one is kind of standard but it still allows me to do portfolios – which I like. It doesn’t have the magazine look which I like- but not for my ” ordinary” blog.

      This one is a little whimsical which I DO like… The other one was too ” office” for me. Just didn’t fit my personality. Im glad you like this one. 🙂

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