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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

Mass-Produced vs Self-Expression Clothing

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

(Japanese translation below)

By Erika Ishida

In Japan, there are two types of clothing fashion: popular mass-produced clothing and self-expression clothing called Jirai-Kei. They are liked by young people, especially young women. The Mass-Production Fashion type of young women coordinate their clothing and make-up with the latest trends. But the Jirai-Kei type of young women's fashion and makeup is based on cute, dark-colored clothing and make-up. Generally speaking, young women who buy mass produced clothing want to impress other people, while those who wear Jirai-Kei clothing do it for themselves.

Mass-Production Fashion clothing and makeup incorporates trends that are considered cute at the time. They are constantly checking fashion magazines and stores listed on the Internet in order to keep up with the latest trends. Many people who wear these clothes are concerned about the eyes of those around them and want to be considered cute or nice.

However, the people around them are also wearing fashionable clothes, so the streets are filled with women wearing similar fashions. There is a point where people think they have no individuality because they wear fashions that are similar to the clothes of the people around them.

Self-Expression clothing incorporates a lot of black items, mainly monotone, and a lot of frills and ribbons. The clothes are very cute, but there is an atmosphere of darkness in these fashions. Many women who prefer these fashions think they look cute when they look at themselves. Mass-Production Fashion is favored by people who are concerned about what others around them think, whereas Jirai-Kei fashion is favored by people who wear clothes that they themselves think are cute without regard to what others around them think. It is also the fashion favored by people with mental instability and is sometimes referred to as “Menhera Fashion” in Japan.

Mass-Production Fashion is often favored by young women, especially college students. Mass-Production Fashion began in 2007. At that time, young women in Japan were united by wearing matching clothes with their friends. This was called the twin-code or similar look, and there was a tendency to think it was cool to wear the same clothes.

The following year, the fashion brand UNIQLO was voted “the number one brand bought by fashion students,” and the streets were filled with people wearing similar clothes. Two years later, in 2010, buying clothes on the Internet became the norm, and more and more people looked up the reputation of clothes on the Internet before deciding on the “right” answer and buying what is considered to be the right choice. This is how Mass-Production Fashion was born.


石田 絵里香






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