What’s your fashion philosophy?

This is the fashion philosophy of a professor (of philosophy) at the University of Chicago. I enjoyed her approach to “dress like the giant kindergartener I am”.

I particularly liked #4:

“Heels are gorgeous but impractical.  What if I need to run away?  I content myself with admiring them on others.”

Wanting to learn more about this woman, I found a couple of great tweets:


More than just books

The New York Public Library lets you check out more than just books. You can also borrow neckties, briefcases and bags to help you dress appropriately for job interviews. The program is to help students and other people who may not be able to afford such things.

“Time to Dress Up: Introducing the NYPL Grow Up Work Fashion Library”

To write about and discuss:

Do you think this service would be popular in Japan? Would you use it? What kinds of other things do you think students in Japan would like to borrow? Would you donate?

The name of this program is called “Grow Up”. One commenter suggested this wasn’t a great name. Can you think of a better name?

Another commenter says that neckties should no longer be part of a job interview “uniform”. What do you think about that? What is the “uniform” for job interviews in Japan? Do you think the customary wardrobe (and undyed hair) should change?



Mixing kawaii and grotesque

Comedian Naomi Watanabe may be “the Japanese Beyonce” (also here) and people have for years been saying that Hayao Miyazaki is “the Japanese Walt Disney” (see this and this and this for example). Now this article from the BBC asks, “Is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Japan’s Lady Gaga?” (it’s mostly an interview with the eccentric Japanese singer and fashion icon).

Some highlights:

  • Her image is called a combination of “kawaii and grotesque”. (That’s similar to Gaga.)
  • She likes Starbucks but doesn’t like coffee. (Maybe not so uncommon these days?)
  • Her private look is not as colorful as her public persona. (Makes sense.)
  • She doeesn’t mind being compared to Gaga, but they are both evolving, she says.

Summary task: Continue reading the interview and summarize your own “highlights”.


Watch this very beautifully filmed video and think about the care and effort that goes into making these traditional shoes the next time you go shoe-shopping:

Her YouTube channel has equally beatiful videos of her making other crafts and foods. There’s not much English practice here, but you could try explaining some of these in English, and it’s one way you could do your demonstration task, by making a video of your own.

For people studying Chinese, some of these videos can be practice for your vocabulary recognition. I particularly liked this explanation  on the video showing how to make Lanzhou beef noodles: “Knead flour like playing with cats”

Writing prompt: What Japanese traditions (or those in your major language country) do you think should be preserved? Which would you like to learn how to do yourself?