Photo: SoraNews24
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Uniqlo outfits might become Saitama high school’s official uniforms

48 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Among the things the staff of Saitama City’s Omiya Kita High School discussed with parents at its last orientation session was the school’s uniform policy. That’s pretty standard for Japan, since parents want to know what their kids will have to wear and where they can purchase it.

And for the 2022 school year, they just might be able to purchase their uniforms at Uniqlo.

As iconic as they may be, Japanese school uniforms come with some serious downsides, and the biggest one is how much they cost. Price-wise, buying a teenager’s school uniform is similar to buying a business suit, and up until now parents of Omiya Kita students have been dropping around 40,000 to 60,000 yen for their kids’ uniforms, which consist of a black gakuran jacket and slacks for boys and a blazer and skirt for girls. “We started wondering if there wasn’t a way to move away from the assumption that uniforms have to cost so much,” vice principal Kenji Tsutsui says, and now the school in considering letting students put together their school uniforms with items from Uniqlo.

▼ Omiya Kita’s current uniforms (left) and some of their proposed Uniqlo-sourced replacements (right)

Screen-Shot-2021-10-.png

While Uniqlo is best known for their casual fashions, they also carry dressier items like blazers and dress shirts, which are still affordably priced. The ensembles Omiya Kita is considering would allow students to put together a uniform for about 10,000 yen, a much smaller hit to the wallet than the current uniforms.

Another potential plus: the current 100-percent wool uniforms have to be dry cleaned, and the time and expense involved means that uniforms can go weeks, or even months, without being cleaned. Uniqlo’s lighter fabrics and more washing machine-friendly, and probably also much more comfortable to wear during a hot, humid Japanese summer.

Omiya Kita is even mulling the open-minded idea of giving students some leeway in the exact colors they choose for their uniform components on a day-by-day basis.

Reactions to the proposal, though, have been mixed on Twitter, with comments ranging from:

“Affordable uniforms that you can wash? I’m jealous.”

“When I was in school, I hated how hot my uniform was in summer, and how I couldn’t wash it when it got dirty or smelly.”

“Aren’t those Uniqlo outfits they put together kind of lame-looking?”

“I understand parents think regular uniforms are too expensive, but what about the kids who want to wear cute uniforms?”

“Uniforms are also a security measure. If the uniforms are made up with commercially available items from Uniqlo, how will the school be able to spot an intruder?”

“The only people complaining about this idea are people who aren’t students at the school or parents.”

“I bet Workman will start making school uniforms next.”

Omiya Kita says it will be leaving the ultimate decision of whether or not to switch over to Uniqlo uniforms up to the parents and students, but if that decision is reached, the new outfits would become the dress code starting with the new academic year in April.

Source: Saitama Shinbun via Yahoo! Japan News via Golden Times, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Snappy as they look, Japanese school uniforms can be an extremely expensive hassle for parents

-- Petition to allow students to choose what they wear to school gathers almost 19,000 signatures

-- Japanese public school to allow male students to wear skirts, chest ribbons as part of uniform

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
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Excellent! Well done, 大宮北高!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I like the idea but those outfits in the picture look lame. They can snazz it up a little, can't they?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Or just eliminate them all together and let them wear what they want?

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Good. Uniforms here are a racket. A monopolised shafting of hard working people by the "recognised" uniform supplier. ALL schools need to go UNIQLO.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

If girls have to wear skirts then boys should too.

Get with reality kids.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

They have dropped by 40.000 to 60.000, and that still way to high, in the Uk you buy school kids clothes ie skirt, blouse, socks, jumper, tie, for around 7500 yen may be more 10,000 if you get some shoes, and these are from the high street shops, they might not be the same quality as the Japanese clothes, some independent smaller shops that supply school direct are slightly dearer, but still no where near these ludicrious prices. I cant work out why they are so high, these items dont cost that much make, is there a monopoly on these makers and retailers? it needs to be broken, to give the public a chance to buy unfiorms at a sensible price. If the school has logo or emblermem on the chest pocket, you could manufacture a peice of material and embroider that logo onto it and you choice a grey, blue blazer and then stich the material onto the chest pocket. could this have an impact on peoples decision only to have 1 or 2 children? any more they will know that they will be bankrupt if they have 3 children, what happens when a couple seperate? if they have 2 children from each relationship, so when they start a new romance, there could be 4 children in that house!!!! how do you afford 4 uniforms? if they sent the children to chool in normal cloathes, would they be sent home? i bet they would be bullied,

7 ( +9 / -2 )

what happens when a couple separate? if they have 2 children from each relationship, so when they start a new romance, there could be 4 children in that house!!!!

@Brian Wheway In Japan this is a very unlikely scenario.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jeez, I had no idea the uniforms were that expensive. Definitely not worth that much, what a cruel rip off. The first time I saw those elementary school bags, randoseru, for sale in a store I thought they'd added an extra 0 by mistake.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

60,000 yen for kids’ uniforms?

Just another reminder how this place is a great scam trying to take every penny out of you from cradle to grave (literally), it works with the japanese who've never been abroad, they are indoctrinated to buy these ripoffs because the whole herd does without any objection, god forbid you dont want to stand out do you? No wonder whenever salespeople are talking to my wife (pushing 80.000 yen baby strollers, among other absurds) they literally flinch when I arrive at the scene

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Uniforms here are a racket. A monopolised shafting of hard working people by the "recognised" uniform supplier. 

Originally it was intended to keep local tailors and merchants in business. You know, the hipster thing that’s popular in the west, now.

Most schools have a stockpile of uniforms for underprivileged kids; from graduated students who donated their uniform, or surplus from the tailors.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Anything school related I. Japan is a bloody rip off with a way over the top markup...about time it got changed.

Finally rich...nice one mate, couldn't agree more.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The there's the buy the ランドセル (randoseru) rip off for elementary school.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If they're going that far, why not just make it a dress code instead of a uniform?

Any dark jacket or blazer, slacks or skirt, shirt or blouse/t-shirt. Put a limit on how long or short the slacks/skirt can be, etc.

It has always amazed me how hot Japanese summer uniforms are. We used to have cotton dresses in the UK.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

How about at first giving the students a voice? They surely know best what is practical and also a bit fashionable, as they have to wear it then the whole and every day, of course setting some common quality requirements and an upper price limit, not that they come out with a famous French designer’s proposal , made with poly acrylic fibers. lol

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Neither the old uniforms nor the Uniqlo uniforms are well designed at all, so either way, this school will not be a school with attractive uniforms.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

School bags are durable enough that you can use the same one for six years in elementary school, so the price comparison is not bad.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Idea: Ditch uniforms and let the kids wear what they choose. Oooo how 21st Century. W/O the fax machines of course.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Foreigners who don't have a uniform culture wouldn't know how much having a uniform helps parents and children.

Abolishing seifuku would be painful for both parents and students because they would have to choose what to wear to come to school every day.

It costs more than buying uniforms because you have to buy a large amount of clothes.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Skirt uniforms are very attractive to female students.

Middle and high school girls go out on the town or to Disney with their uniforms on.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

AWSOME, the uniforms Rip Off might be over in Japan soon.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Zichi! Would love to see the hand me down on the fourth-youngest brother. Would be like watching Spanky and his Gang.

Your mom must have been a very talented seemstress.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Colloquially referred to as “Spanky, Alfalfa and their pals” Our Gang aka The Little Rascals or* ***Hal Roach's Rascals was an American series of 1922-44 comedy short films chronicling a group of poor* neighborhood children and their adventures. Roach paid tribute to Brit Sir Charles Chaplin in many of his characterizations with Laurel & Hardy. He produced Our Gang after Harold Lloyd*’s prop accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi...

When my three brothers and I went to school in the 1960s our mother made all of our uniforms. Jackets, trousers, shirts which we passed down from the eldest, me.

Passed down clothes... luxury! We used to dream of passed down clothes. We used to go to school dressed in dirty rags. And when I say school I mean coal mine!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Reckless....

I had one dollar shoes

Shoes? We were so poor we had one shoe to share between six of us. We took it in turns to wear it and at night our father would beat us to sleep with it.

Tell kids today and they don't believe you.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I originally thought this store made its name, carrying oversize men's clothing. The store has an interesting sign in both English and Kana.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shoes? We were so poor we had one shoe to share between six of us.

A whole shoe??

My two brothers and I had to share a shoelace between us.

And they let yer go’t’t’ coal mine? You were lucky.

We ‘ad t’go scavenging ont’ slag ‘eaps for bits o’slate for our dinner.

Kids today don’t know they’re born.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Has Uniqlo already been cleared about the allegation of forced labors in Uyghur? Saitama school kids should not become genocide collaborateurs.

France probes claims that Uniqlo, Skechers, Zara used forced Uyghur labor

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-07-05/skechers-uniqlo-zara-uhghur-labor

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fast fashion industry that Uniqlo is part of is the 2nd largest polluter on the planet, the 2nd largest polluter of fresh water on the planet, vomits 10% of all carbon emissions on the planet (more than all international shipping and air traffic combined) and it's estimated that 20% of finished product is thrown away when it's not sold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi thank goodness you didnt have two older sisters!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I like the idea, but not Uniqlo. Uniqlo uses cotton fabrics from China produced by Uyghur slave labor. I love Uniqlo’s cotton, but stopped buying anything at all from them when I found out where it comes from.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Reckless....

I had one dollar shoes

One dollar shoes? Ha! I had 50 cent shoes and I'd wear one of them on my head cuz I didn't have a hat.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh... It's fine for Cleo to joke about poor people now, isn't it?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Who's joking about poor people? The joke is about one-downmanship. You never watched the Python Yorkshiremen sketch?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue7wM0QC5LE

I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down the mill, and pay the mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home... our dad would kill us and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

And you try to tell the young people of today that ... they won't believe you.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

School supplies and uniforms in Japan is highway robbery. I mean those bags that elementary school kids have to buy cost what, 800 bucks or so? That's lunacy. My parents would have laughed themselves sick then pulled me out of the school if the teacher or whatnot told them that I had to buy such a bag.

I got my school bag, supplies and uniforms from my local hypermarket. The uniforms were all generic shirts, slacks, blazers etc. without the school logo and all you had to do was iron the logo onto the clothes. My school bag cost 10 bucks at most and it lasted me years.

Parents and students are being ripped off in Japan. Here's hoping that with the start of cheaper alternatives, prices for school stuff become more economical.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

finally richOct. 7  04:13 pm JST

60,000 yen for kids’ uniforms?

Just another reminder how this place is a great scam trying to take every penny out of you from cradle to grave (literally), it works with the japanese who've never been abroad, they are indoctrinated to buy these ripoffs because the whole herd does without any objection, god forbid you dont want to stand out do you?

You lose your individuality that way. Just get rid of the damn things and let kids be kids. Let them (and their parents) figure what they truly are, with what they where.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

*You lose your individuality that way. Just get rid of the damn things and let kids be kids. Let them (and their parents) figure what they truly are, with what they where.*

School uniforms were introduced to eliminate class-discrimination. Such as affluent students expressing their LV “individualism” on other “Uniqlo” or, god forbid, “Shimamura” students.

Some Tokyo schools introduced “virtual fashion” clubs as a way for students to express their individualism.

The students are free to use the school computers to create renderings of whatever attire they prefer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The students are free to use the school computers to create renderings of whatever attire they prefer.

That's no substitute for the real thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's no substitute for the real thing.

I know, but it’s at least an attempt.

I went to high school with a red Mohawk, pink tutu and leather biker jacket…

Maybe if I kept it virtual, I’d have had more friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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