When are you too old for ribbon pattern tights, furry leg warmers, high heels and sparkly frocks? Late 20s? Early 30s? According to “Glow” magazine, launched last month, women are free to boldly wear these kind of fashions well into their 40s. The front cover of the magazine’s first issue shows one model wearing a short silver lamé dress while the other sports some fake-fur, leopard-print leggings tied at the side with a cute ribbon. The look has been dubbed otona kawaii (adult cute) and it’s been catching on in a big way over the past few years.
The idea is not to religiously copy fashions aimed at a younger market, but to carefully tone down bolder fashions while still maintaining a youthful sense of fun. The editor of Glow states on Asahi.com that they conducted interviews with women in their 40s about fashion before the launch and found out that these ladies were not only interested in brand-name items, but were also keen to buy trendier fast-fashion items. Therefore Glow will be featuring high-class brands such as Hermès and Gucci alongside cheaper fast-fashion names like H&M.
The sexy bold look of Glow closely resembles the teenage gyaru fashions that can be found at stores such as Shibuya’s 109. Indeed, according to Tokyo Kawaii, there are now organized shopping tours for women in their 40s who want to peruse the glittering aisles of 109 together. While embarrassed to shop in the teen paradise alone, the women feel they can shake off their shame in a group.