I was always one of those kids who actually wanted to wear school uniforms. I never had to wear one but as a person who has *never* liked mornings the idea of having a ready, made plan of what to wear on five mornings out of the week was immensely appealing. The only downside is that most school uniforms are ugly and were obviously designed by people who pick the worst pattern designs known to man to have mass produced and think nothing of practicality. I nerd out over Character designs…and factoring in my fashion background and tendency to be very practical only makes things worst…might as well buckle in ladies and gents.
Anime, has by and large fixed that flaw as of late and many of them are usually pretty fantastic. But, being the ex-fashion major, with an almost unhealthy obsession with Character designs, that I am I have to split them up based upon male and/female. So let’s begin.
CLAMP School High School Uniform won it for me and has maintained the position since I first met it in the late 90’s. Mainly because I have a thing for Black and silhouettes that complement a majority of body styles. It is actually several parts. The A-line, high wasted skirt, white shirt with bow, a petticoat, and a black close fit mutton sleeved jacket (which is to hold the mutton sleeved shirt underneath). I also enjoy the optional white collar addition and choice of shoes. Petticoats also make the concept of and pervs getting a peak harder. Add tights and boots with an undershirt one would be very warm and still look cute. I dislike the uniforms that look cool but when it’s freakin’ snowing the chick’s walking around in just a cardigan/short coat and thigh highs.
They also look super cute in the wind… The spring summer variation of the uniform uses the same pieces skirt but minus the coat and petticoat (optionally, some wear it anyway) keeping the white blouse. Which still works as the wind could blow and not nessicarily give everyone a peak just because there’s a breeze. Shirts can be tucked or untucked as desired.
Ouran High School
Its’ style isn’t bad but the one piece production doesn’t make it as easily adaptable as CLAMP’s two piece design. In fact, if your curves were not in just the right places it would likely not work at all. BUT due to over-all design being good, not impractical and the fact that it is light colored but not WHITE I thought it deserves a nod too.
Unbreakable machine doll
Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machinart’s male uniform is both simple, utilitarian and bad@ss. For a school that is training that alternate worlds’ future mage puppeteers the uniform both makes sense and looks intimidating in its’ full regalia. Above is the base uniform that is usually worn which consists of a open mandarin collared vest, white long sleeved shirt, fingerless gloves, and a relaxed fit pant that I would argue is not a ‘slack’ but more of a work pant. They do create machines and magically power them in battles…
It’s simple neutral blocking and optional accessories reflect the nessicary need to personalize while maintaining the concept that school uniforms are to lend a sense of structure and unity. Think of this as the ‘casual’ version. But at formal affairs and when attending to serious matters these puppeteers adorn capes.
And it doesn’t end there. If you are a part of the Disciplinary committee (which includes things similar to murder cases…) you wear a caplet on top with a crest and red cording denoting your status. Hats are optional but add to the intimidation factor.
After all you are a mage who has human sized (sometimes larger) dolls murder for you. Moving a lot wouldn’t be a priority but covering up possible grease stains and hand movements would be. Thus a cape actually makes quite a bit of sense. I, for one, still wear capes when it’s very cold out and they are hands down warmer than most of my coats. It simply makes sense to me: Humans hug themselves in an attempt to keep warm and all the body heat in. We have not thrown away blankets to sleep in large coats (Onesies and snuggies are still used in conjunction with what? Blankets). So why would wearing your own portable blanket be a bad thing? It also covers a multitude of sins when I don’t feel like dressing presentably to make a run outside. I think it would look cool as I don’t know what to have you and all you friends climb off the bus wearing this uniform and go strolling down the street in these.
The Irregular at Magic High High First-nine schools. All the schools share the same style uniform. But it ultimately did not win because of First school’s silly choice of WHITE as the base color for a uniform. If you have read by blog for any length of time you would know that I dislike white immensely and struggle to find how people find the color a good choice for anything likely to get dirty (like electronics one holds to their FACE and in their hands or clothing). Though to be fair the other schools 2-9 aren’t as foolish and even under First’s they have a dark gray. Third Highschool uniform is pretty good with a blood red variant. Other schools have shades of green and blue mostly in various combinations.
I do love the outfit without the jacket though. Just can’t get with the white coat. Also for schools that cater t0 the elite, the outer jackets seem a bit ill fitting on most except the most burly of characters and thus lose points in my book. The look is an implied strictness that isn’t fully successfully translated, I feel. But then given what’s going on in the society maybe it’s intentional. Though the addition of belts along the sides and the modified “princess” seams in the coat with inlet colors do help in the illusion of fit that are nice in some illustrations depending on the school’s color scheme. They would also work well to create the look of a tucked waist. This outfit can also be very forgiving…
Yes, I did think about practicality and over all look when choosing my favorite designs. I was trained to take 2-D designs and make them a reality and I personally like designs that can translate to many different body styles.
I can admire a design and still know that it’s nearly impossible in real life without serious modificaitons. Which is why many anime adaptations often forego many of the original designs.
The ones I choose here are not only plausible but also can be reproduced in reality without having to be a magician to pull them off. They are also very forgiving to many body styles and thus are ideal first-time Cosplay attempts as the patterns for these are easy to piece together from readily available patterns and consist of mainly sewing in a straight line (or at least along the seam evenly).
Huh… the answer to this one turned out WAY longer than I thought it would…oh well. Those of you who read me regularly probably should’ve expected this.