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Japanese Vocabulary for Fashion and Clothing

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Japanese fashion is well-known for its unique blend of traditional culture and contemporary influences. If you’re planning to shop in Japan, looking to describe your own style, or just hoping to expand your vocabulary, learning Japanese fashion and clothing-related words is essential. Here, we’ve compiled a list of must-know terms that will help you navigate the fashionable streets of Tokyo, or any other Japanese-speaking environment, with ease.

服 (ふく – Fuku)
Means “clothes” or “clothing” in general; a basic term used often.
この店は色んな種類の服を売っています。
(This store sells various kinds of clothes.)

着物 (きもの – Kimono)
A traditional Japanese garment, usually worn on special occasions.
結婚式で美しい着物を着るつもりです。
(I plan to wear a beautiful kimono for the wedding ceremony.)

Tシャツ (ティーシャツ – Tīshatsu)
The English loanword for “t-shirt,” casual attire commonly worn worldwide.
今日は暑いから、Tシャツを着ます。
(It’s hot today, so I’ll wear a t-shirt.)

ズボン (ずぼん – Zubon)
Pants or trousers; another word borrowed from a Western language.
新しいズボンを買いたい。
(I want to buy new pants.)

スカート (すかーと – Sukāto)
A borrowed word for “skirt,” a common clothing item for women.
彼女は青いスカートがとても似合っている。
(She looks very good in her blue skirt.)

ワンピース (わんぴーす – Wanpīsu)
Refers to a dress; comes from the English word “one-piece.”
ワンピースを着るときはいつも楽しいです。
(I always feel happy when wearing a dress.)

靴 (くつ – Kutsu)
This term covers all types of footwear, including shoes, sandals, and boots.
新しい靴は最初は少し痛い。
(New shoes are a bit painful at first.)

ジャケット (じゃけっと – Jaketto)
Borrowed from the English “jacket,” it refers to a lighter outer layer of clothing.
寒い日にはジャケットを持っていくべきだ。
(You should bring a jacket on cold days.)

コート (こーと – Kōto)
The Japanese word for “coat,” typically a heavier outer garment than a jacket.
冬は暖かいコートが必要だ。
(You need a warm coat in winter.)

セーター (せーたー – Sētā)
This is the Japanese version of the English word “sweater.”
このセーターは手編みです。
(This sweater is hand-knitted.)

アクセサリー (あくせさりー – Akusesarī)
Similar to English, this term refers to accessories like jewelry.
そのアクセサリーは彼女のドレスによく似合っている。
(That accessory goes well with her dress.)

ファッション (ふぁっしょん – Fasshon)
Directly taken from the English, it translates to “fashion.”
彼のファッションセンスはとてもいい。
(His fashion sense is very good.)

バッグ (ばっぐ – Baggu)
Another loanword, this one meaning “bag” or “handbag.”
新しいバッグをどこに置いたか覚えてますか?
(Do you remember where you put your new bag?)

These terms provide you with the basics you’ll need to discuss fashion and clothing in Japanese. Whether you are shopping for a ワンピース or complimenting someone on their ジャケット, these vocabulary words will be your guide to expressing your style and understanding Japan’s fashion culture. The key to learning these words is consistent practice, so try to incorporate them when speaking or writing in Japanese. Happy learning and stay stylish!

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