9 middle-aged Japanese men come to work in the clothes they’d like their partners to wear

9 middle-aged Japanese men come to work in the clothes they’d like their partners to wear

What do you mean “Why?”

As a responsible Pulitzer-Prize-avoiding news website, we like to constantly exercise our impartiality and empathy towards others. One way to do that is to be aware of how our own personal ideals towards other people may not be shared by them and may even make them uncomfortable.

So, our esteemed writer Yuichiro Wasai suggested that nine of our top writers dress up in the outfit that they wished their significant other would wear from time to time. Hopefully in doing so, we can better understand how what we want might not be what others desire.

▼ The participants

The only constraint is that all outfits must cost under 10,000 yen (US$88), so with out further ado, I do believe I hear Yuichiro himself knocking at the office door.

As he entered the room, Yuichiro just stared at us like we were supposed to know why he chose this particular ensemble and react in awe.

After an awkward moment, he explained that a simple white dress and lightly colored coat was the most powerful fashion combination in the world. He then apologized to the others that his coordination was simply unmatchable.

This was especially surprising since until now Yuichiro never mentioned that this was a competition. Even so, the fact that he didn’t put on any special shoes or accessories – because “they don’t matter” according to him – still makes this a level playing field.

▼ Yuichiro selected a simple white string for his belt

Total Outfit: 5,302 yen ($47)
– Beige Camisole Dress: 1,991 yen ($18)
– Light blue wool-like hooded coat: 3,311 yen ($29)

Our next entry in this empathy-exercise-turned-fashion-contest was the Senbero God himself, Mr. Sato.

Sporting an extremely relaxed look…so relaxed in fact that he looked like a straight-up hippy.

Mr. Sato explained that he was inspired by the style of Janis Joplin and others like her in the ’70s. Although Janis Joplin died in 1970, his basic point stood and we could plainly see that our veteran reporter has some very specific and slightly anachronistic tastes.

Total Outfit: 9,740 yen ($85)
– Second-hand pants, outer shirt, inner shirt, and belt: 8,360 yen ($73)
– Bracelets: 580 yen ($5)
– Scarf: 300 yen ($3)
– Necklace: 500 yen ($4)

With our living acid flashback out of the way, the next entry was Takashi Harada, who timidly entered the office.

It was obvious that Takashi had been to the no-frills retail chain Muji, saying that he prefers a subtle air to a woman rather than flashy clothes and accessories.

Still, even with Muji’s unassuming range of clothes, Takashi had trouble putting together an outfit. He wanted to ask the store’s coordinator, but they weren’t in at the time.

In the end he just quietly watched all the other women from a distance and selected the same things they did.

Not only did he avoid getting arrested for stalking, but the cashier said the clothes he picked out were “cute.” So, all in all, it was a remarkable success.

Total Outfit: 8,970 yen ($79)
– Indian cotton gauze kurta: 3,990 yen ($35)
– Mid-length shirt: 2,990 yen ($26)
– Watch & Wool cap: 1,990 yen ($18)

Our next contestant is Seiji Nakazawa. A self-professed otaku who until only recently never had much luck with the ladies. Who knows what twisted fetishes a lifetime of anime-watching has instilled in that grey matter of his?

Oh, how lovely!

Seiji confessed that his ensemble was inspired by the character Megumi Kato from the anime version of Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend. The main accoutrement was the frilly chest, which he had trouble tracking down.

In the end, he found the closest-looking thing he could on the Uniqlo website. Seiji also stressed that he only likes people who look good in something like this, and doesn’t particularly like to wear clothes like this himself.

Total Outfit: 8,980 yen ($79)
– Double silk frill blouse: 5,990 yen ($53)
– Brushed jersey jumper skirt: 2,990 yen ($26)

The next dolled-up worker on the roster was P.K. Sanjun. A rough-and-tumble reporter from the mean streets of Chiba, P.K. is often more at home in a wrestling singlet than high fashion, so it’ll be interesting to see what floats his boat.

Well, well… It looks like P.K. likes the professional look. Certainly not an uncommon preference among men, and serves as a counterbalance to his normally casual attire.

Oh what’s this? P.K., you minx, you!

Seriously though, P.K. said that he likes formal suits such as those worn by American weather forecasters or knowledgeable executives.

Ideally he wanted the type of uniform seen in the TV show Power Office Girls, but they were very hard to track down.

Total Outfit: 5,990 yen ($53) [Bought as a complete suit]

Still plenty of aging men in dresses to come, and next up we have Go Hatori.

In stark contrast to his co-workers, Go isn’t afraid to show his love of vibrant colors on an equally vibrant partner.

Yes, green certainly means “Go” in this office and his monochrome dress maintains an elegant look with a touch of daring. And get a load of those gams!

He had actually intended to get a more refined-looking gown, but after logging on the Zara website, this bright number just seemed to call out to him. Also, unlike the other guys, his sneakers were a deliberate coordination with the dress to add a sporty touch to the overall look.

Total Outfit: 9,000 yen ($79) [Dress only]

Up next is the founder of this website and a man we can’t say enough good things about…because it’s company policy. Here comes Yoshio!

Wait a minute… Did he forget what we were doing?

After entering the office, Yoshio had to point out that he was indeed wearing a skirt along with his Nike T-shirt.

He said that he liked the way the skirt hid the shape of his lower body, and the draft was nice too. No one knew if Yoshio understood what was going on, but everyone was too afraid to call him out on it, so we just left him to his own devices.

Total Outfit: Don’t-know yen ($Don’t care)

Moving along… Next we have Ahiruneko!

Wow, our reporter really came dressed to impress! A very cute ensemble from head to toe, it was hard to believe he had such fashion sense in him.

However, when questioned about how he did it, Ahiruneko said that he just copied the things that his wife wore, because he wants to be like her…

That’s sweet and all, but not in the spirit of this thought exercise at all. So, it’s with a heavy heart that we had hand him a big fat DQ.

▼ Take a hike, jerk!

Total Outfit: 9,830 yen ($86)
– Shirt dress 3,990 yen ($35)
– Vest: 1,990 yen ($17)
– Pants: 880 yen ($8)
– Turban: 1,980 yen ($17)
– Socks: 990 yen ($9)

I mean seriously, what was he thinking?! We already did the whole dress-as-your-partner thing a while back… Alright, we need to calm down and bring on the final entry in this thing.

Everyone: Masanuki Sunakoma!

Well this is just stunning now. Masanuki seems to have combined all the positive elements of femininity into a single outfit. The refined pants both complement and contrast with the bright pink shirt in a veritable yin-and-yang of style.

Our writer said that the basic model was pro-golfer Hinako Shibuno, dubbed “Smiling Cinderella” by the media. But more importantly it embodied the girlfriend who was willing to try her hand at golfing to strengthen their relationship.

Total Outfit: 8,169 yen ($72)
– Victoria Golf Bridgestone Visor: 2,189 yen ($19)
– Uniqlo Half-Zipper Sweatshirt: 3,990 yen ($35)
– Uniqlo Leggings: 1,990 yen ($18)

And so, these nine brave men, give or take, delved into the psyche of what one might feel like when catering to their own individual tastes.

However, Yuichiro noticed that after the initial reveals were done, everyone pretty much went to work like any other day. Perhaps because they were dressed in their own ideals, they felt perfectly comfortable regardless of gender?

He decided to get one last impression from each writer to see if that was truly the case.

“This dress is obviously the best, but I did worry that it was see-through when out on the street. I realized that this is something a lot of women probably struggle with, and I respect their strength for doing it in the name of such a perfect outfit.”
Yuichiro

“I guess I’m just more manly than I thought, because I really have no idea what women are supposed to wear in the first place.”
Mr. Sato

“I was surprised with how little freedom of movement the legs had in these things and understand how difficult it must be for women every day just to look good. I can’t even imagine having to put on make-up on top of all this.”
Takashi

“Even when I wear this, it’s still cute after all. Honestly, between you and me? I always wanted to try something like this on.”
Seiji

“The skirt felt nice. But when I opened my blouse I could feel everyone’s eyes on my chest. It was both empowering and horrifying at the same time.”
P.K.

“I feel like if Gachapin and Mook fused into one and became a badass kick-boxer. Others said the dress was ‘golf green.’”
Go

“This is fun! And it goes ‘swish, swish’ all the time!”
Yoshio

“I don’t see what the problem is here. I love the way my wife dresses… That’s why I married her!!! I kind of don’t get the turban though.”
Ahiruneko

“I wanted to capture the essence of an up-and-coming golfer in her 20s, but when I looked in the mirror all I saw was a caddie in her 60s and I cried. It was very hard to come into the office like this.”
Masanuki

Indeed, some people were able to reflect and learn a lot about gender roles in society. Others, however, learned absolutely nothing and completely lost the plot. That’s the way the SoraNews24 social experiment crumbles though.

As for whose outfit was best? Well, how about we let you, the gentle reader, decide? Since you made it through all this, you deserve to choose!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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