Branding: Design choice: Japanese schoolgirl's uniform

Ask a copywriter to review anything remotely to do with design and what do you expect? A purist piece on the design aesthetics of a pretentious chair from Europe or something? Fat chance. After giving it much thought and about a minute later, I picked the Japanese schoolgirl uniform.

Now, I can already hear the politically correct shouting "twisted pervert!".

Let me assure you, I'm anything but. For the sake of this review, and my reputation, I'm going to take a purely objective look at what is probably the most popular bit of fashion design in Japan. Well, among salary men, anyway.

So: apart from the obvious knee-high socks, which I've heard some girls sell for anywhere between Y20,000 to Y40,000 (US$180 to $360) to people unlike myself, it's the tartan that really defines the uniform. And you don't need to have a schoolgirl fantasy to appreciate tartan. Look at what Vivian Westwood did for it. The tartan skirt, complete with pleats, combined with the short-sleeved white sailor shirt and regulation tie, creates a simple yet timeless sense of style. Add leg warmers to the ensemble and you have one of the cutest uniforms this side of a Catholic girl's schoolyard.

Visit Tokyo and discover the joy of this unique fashion design for yourself.

And if you like what you see, they're available in selected stores for sale, along with other unmentionable uniforms.

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