Geek chic in Japan has always been a very different beast from that in the West, potentially because Japanese character designers have a tendency to incorporate actual fashion trends in the designs (best example: Tetsuya Nomura). Certainly apart from the cliched images of Otaku beloved by the Japanese media, those fans of games, manga and anime who take their sartorial calls from the commodity in question tend to dress quite well, after all they are inspired by a character who in turn was inspired by a designers creation. As it happens in recent years the increasingly stylish denizens of Akihabara have hi-jacked Onii-kei fashion and Visual-kei fashion to such an extent that they have actually caused it to become rather tainted for everyone else. Hence the pointy shoes, boot-cut flared jeans replete with a healthy amount of cheap accessories that might have been the toast of Shibuya in the late 2000s, has now become a new nerd staple. Not that that is a problem at all, in fact seeing someone strut around with hints of a Final Fantasy character in their outfit is infinitely preferable to cosplay in a street setting as far as I am concerned.
This kind of “half cosplay” is certainly nothing new and while there are literal costumes that you could wear in a fashionable context(N.B. Shadows of the Damned x Tornado Mart), the best examples of this cross over are those that take the iconic elements from a design and subtly incorporate them in an item of clothing – with the emphasis on the subtle.
I just love those instantly iconic colours:
Now, obviously that screams Eva from the hills, and would only work in a pretty extroverted ensemble. On the other hand their basic Nerv models or Plug-suit models could fit into a pretty basic street fit.
That is actually some pretty nice geometric pattern cutting on this one, along with that great collar. I don’t think many people who were not familiar with Eva would think there was anything of the anime nerd about this one, but yet the shapes and the colours are all anime iconography.
However, these Nerv worker set-ups are a little bit harder to make work (especially in the orange):
These are produced with Tora (industrial workwear suppliers) so you could probably work quite safely in all elements in one of these.
A nice idea, but not in my wardrobe.
Animation Addict have also covered a couple of other series, including Redline:
And also Star Driver:
That last Sukajyan reminds me that there are a couple of Gundam souvenir jackets out there as well – now that I might wear…
If you are in the mood for more Animation Addict designs including Professor Leyton they have a site, but as for actually buying any of this… I am afraid you might struggle. Most of the above sold out pretty instantly, I guess I am not alone in admiring them.