Skirts blowing in the wind is always a nice touch.
Not too long ago, while I was showing my mom a video of May’n and Megumi Nakajima’s Budokan concert, she made an interesting comment about their outfits. She said that she found the combination of a miniskirt plus long boots, tights, stockings, etc., to be an attractive look. This got me thinking about what an expected, and almost overly generic, appearance this style has become for the average anime female character…
Apparently even in winter skirts prevail. Yuki must be cold…
We know that the main reason the standard clothing for anime girls is school sailor uniforms is because that’s what real school girls actually wear in Japan. Unless the characters aren’t students in Japan, chances are their most common outfits will be their school uniforms. But with this fact aside, I also believe the “short skirt+long leggings” look to be appealing.
Yui’s one of the few whose leggings cover all of her legs. Ritsu and Mugi op for the shorter sock size while Mio is about average for the style.
I’m the farthest thing from a fashion expert, but after giving it some thought, my own interpretation is that such a style accentuates an attractive part of the body – the knees and the lower thighs. This area is the most dynamic part of the lower body and has the most curves (at least, of the parts that are appropriate to show in public anyway =P) The shape and light skin color of the lower thighs below the fluttering of a skirt, contrasted with the (usually) darker toned leggings coming up to at least the knee, makes this part of the body stand out more. If the skirt came below the knees, or if the leggings were too short or not there at all, the rest of the legs would be emphasized rather than just this one part.
Like Yui, Miyuki’s leggings cover all of her legs. The rest of the Lucky Star girls have the average style.
You’ll rarely find an anime girl below the age of 18 without this style. I wonder who it was that first came up with this standard look for Japanese school girl uniforms. My mom said this style of a miniskirt and long boots was considered quite “sexy” in the 60s. Of course, back then it was considered slutty to have your bra strap show, so I’m not sure if that’s a good comparison. But regardless, it seems strange that Japanese school girls, who are conveyed as pure and “de-sexualized” at that age, should have uniforms designed with such a short skirt.
Nagi’s high boots rather than leggings produce the same effect. Tsugumi and Zange’s could be a little longer.
Perhaps the skirts simply look shorter in anime for the sake of otaku appeal. Or perhaps it just looks unique to me since I don’t live in Japan and the “socks worn no higher than the ankle” look is what I’m used to.
Yuri’s leggings are about as high as you can get without covering all of the legs, which I think looks better actually. Kanade’s length is perfect, though I don’t think the white leggings look as good as dark colored ones.
Whatever the reason for this style becoming as common as it has for Japanese school girls and anime girls, I’m sure lots of fans will agree on one thing – that a fluttering skirt, more dynamic and aesthetically appealing than shorts, accentuating the curves of the lower thighs and knees together with the long leggings…with the added bonus of a breast knot, tie, bow, etc., on the chest and some choice of hair piece on the head, together with the usual detail of hair in anime, all of which blow dramatically in a breeze – make for quite an attractive design for a character.
I think Shana’s my favorite example of this. Then again, she has one of my most favorite character designs overall anyway ;)