What do J-fashion graduates get?

As Bibliotheca ponders the topic of “graduation” this month, one particular thought struck me relating to the very word. Not why people graduate out of certain styles or fashions, not what would I have worn to my graduation had I had the right pieces (my university has a strict formal dress code, which nonetheless allows for some flexibility), not whether I think I’ll ever graduate out of the fashions that I wear now. Graduating implies that you get something out of it, usually a diploma, a certificate or some sort of a qualification that recognises your achievements at that particular institution. So what do people graduating out of J-fashion take with them into their life beyond J-fashion? Do you actually get anything useful from wearing J-fashion, other than maybe some money from selling your stuff? I think so!

Photo by Ekrulila.

It may not be a piece of paper that you could mention on your CV, but I feel that those who have the experience of wearing J-fashion take out a lot of really useful life skills that they may not even realise. And some of those you probably could put on your CV if you phrase them carefully enough.

Resilience and confidence

The biggest ones by far are resilience and confidence. The more flashy the J-fashion that you wear, the more guts it takes to wear it out in public. Sure, most people who do wear it will vouch that positive interactions with the public outweigh the negative ones - but you still have to overcome your own anxiety before even stepping out of the house. And while in the minority, unpleasant interactions can and do still happen. Knowing how to hold yourself whilst attracting a lot of attention and how to ignore the negativity are really invaluable skills. They can help you ace delivering a presentation at school or work by making you comfortable with being in the centre of attention. They can help you stand up for yourself when someone is talking over you or ignoring you by reminding you of what it feels like to be seen and reclaiming that. They can even help you by simply building your confidence in yourself, building your sense of worth that you can carry with you into any type of situation out there.

Budgeting and finances

The sad fact of life is that most of us have to learn those ‘adulting’ skills on the go, as life throws them at us. Many countries either don’t include home economics or practical life skills in their curriculum or have cut those out. However, thanks to J-fashion you will have a glimpse into what it’s like to manage your money better. Putting money aside for a dream dress is just another version of having a savings account with funds for big things (mortgage, wedding, moving etc.) or for emergencies. Setting up a payment plan and following through with it is not too dissimilar from paying off a loan. Working out how much money you can dedicate towards J-fashion each month is exactly the same as working out how much you can spend on any other thing in life. Planning going to a meetup by budgeting for all costs included, i.e. meetup ticket, commute, food there and some spending money means that you can do that with pretty much any outing or trip. And if you’ve ever been in that painful position of suddenly having to shell out extra because you haven’t factored in import charges and customs fees - I feel you. It’s a painful lesson to experience first hand, but it sure teaches you to pay attention to things like taxes.

Planning in general

Not everyone is naturally inclined to planning. That’s ok, as long as you realise that about yourself and take it into account to ensure that this trait doesn’t get in the way of you having a good life. But whether you realise it or not, J-fashion can involve a lot of planning. What should I wear to this meetup next month? That’s planning. How can I get to that event? That’s planning. What sort of blouses I should be looking for to match my dresses? That’s planning. The word “planning” can feel a bit overwhelming to people who don’t actively enjoy it, but if you manage to ignore how loaded it can be, you’ll find that it’s nothing but making a decision about something in the future. So just like you can break down planning your outfit to smaller components, you can do the same with anything in life. And if you get stuck, then just like with J-fashion (actually, probably a lot more than with J-fashion) there will be some sort of a guide online. Trust me, Google is your friend and don’t be afraid to search for what seems to be obvious. It’s clearly not obvious to you and I guarantee you that there will have been others before you to whom it also wasn’t obvious, who have left a step-by-step for you to find.

Finding out more about yourself

Knowing yourself may seem obvious, but so often we genuinely don’t. Not until we put ourselves in certain situations and find out. And sometimes you simply have to go through a particular phase in order to find out certain things about yourself. That’s ok, that’s how life works. So if you find yourself graduating out of the J-fashion style that you chose, you’re definitely coming out of it knowing yourself that little bit better. Maybe now you know for sure whether you’re a sociable introvert or genuinely prefer to be left alone. It could be that you’ve discovered that attracting this much attention through your clothing makes you extremely uncomfortable and that you feel better in something less flashy. Those who were active community members could have discovered that they love organising events and have found a potential career path for themselves. And there is always the possibility of making deep and profound discoveries that otherwise you wouldn’t have made without counselling or therapy that you can now use to get closer to the version of yourself that you want to be, through embracing or letting go of certain things. J-fashion truly has that sort of power.

No doubts the list could go on. Just like everyone graduates from schools with different experiences, so do people graduating out of different fashion styles. And whilst, of course, I wish you all that your chosen J-fashion style brings you joy and comfort for years to come, if life works out in a way that leads to your graduating out of it, may you do so with lots of beautiful memories and with great experiences to tackle the next chapter of your life with.


  1. I love this take on the "graduation" theme! For me, the one thing I've definitely loved about J-fashion and lolita is that it's basically the one place where I've been able to successfully make friends as an adult, and so I've always thought about how if for any reason I wanted to leave the fashion at least I would still have friends (yes I am saying the real lolita is the friendship we made along the way)

    1. I agree 100%! You can go anywhere in the world and thanks to J-fashion (especially lolita) you will find someone at your destination who will be happy to show you around or introduce you further. And not having that instant barrier of "What do I talk to people about?" means that making friends is a lot smoother. This is always the most painfully awkward part whenever I change jobs, like, what do non-J-fashion people talk about?


Powered by Blogger.