Crazy little red-headed Pippi Longstocking (or 長靴下のピッピ) may not be everyone’s idea of a fashion inspiration, but she has been around since 1945… and it kind of feels like the trend for long socks have been around for almost that amount of time too! I seem to remember a few years ago that literally 95% of the female population were wearing black over-knee socks (I remember a Japan Times article, but I can’t find it!), and hey, who does long socks better than lolita brands?

(Socks from Angelic Pretty, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright & Innocent World)

The humble sock has been a fashion favourite for many a year: as well as the aforementioned black over-knee socks, vast loose white socks were popularised by ganguro schoolgirls across the country, and we mustn’t forget the humble tabi sock – snow white against black geta sandals, or ornately embroidered with traditional motifs.

This year socks have been short (see here), but now the long variety are coming back with a vengeance. Chunky knitted and layered over stockings, or tight-fitting and thigh-high, there’s a sock for everyone this season! Aside from mainstream fashion, long socks have had continued popularity in the lolita fashion world, and it’s easy to see why when looking at the gorgeous array of patterns and colours produced by brands. No matter the lolita sub-style, there’s a sock to match! I love the wild lilac & mint combination from Angelic Pretty, the girly ribbons from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, and the classic maroon pair from Innocent World.

Long socks are not the only trend to reappear this season. Animal prints have always has a place in seasonal gyaru fashion, and leopard print is never far from the grasp of any gyaru. We’ve also seen other prints such as snake and dalmation find favour before, but leopard has real tenacity. This is due in part to the continued use of the print by high-end brands, and of course couture-loving Japan is happy to replicate this. Berets are also a continuing trend – headwear is highly popular, and what better way to capture the latest trend than to showcase it in hat form? Leopard print berets are a perennial favourite, and I think that with the popularity of fur this season we’ll be seeing more furry heads than ever before!


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