Buffalo Kawaii

First of all, allow me to apologize for being such a flaky correspondent, but writing is a chore all of its own these days. Furthermore, I am struggling to regain my fashion mojo, not to mention some persistent nameless anxiety about engaging online. The less said about that the better. We shall see how we go.

Anyway, a few things happened lately to rekindle my enthusiasm, one of which being the rediscovery of a long lost jacket. This opened up some possibilities which in turn prompted the assemblage of a new spring outfit capsule. Since I have neither the means nor the motivation to take a decent selfie right now, I decided the thing to do was give you an idea of what I am wearing, as well as record some outfit ideas to get me thinking creatively again.

The jacket, unearthed by Mr Edge during an archeological dig into a hitherto unexplored storage area, was thrifted some twenty years ago. At the turn of the millennium, I liked it enough to change up some nasty gold toggles for wooden beads, and to take it on holiday with me to Italy, which I suspect may be its spiritual home. I had forgotten all about it until a couple of weeks ago, when something reminiscent passed me on the street and I wondered what had happened to it. Days later, it reappeared. I put it straight on, and immediately felt like myself.

It lacks identifying markings, but I think it dates back to the early 1990’s, an era commonly known as the Golden Age of the Factory Shop. Judging by the slope on the shoulders, it was designed to be worn oversized, or maybe a size 38 was much bigger back then. I cannot for the life of me recall any precise moment when something as odd as this was fashionable, but it’s an oddness that appealed to me then, and still appeals to me now.

The inspiration for this look came once again from Japanese streetwear, without which I doubt I could get dressed at all. This is where I learned how to pair the jacket with distressed denim and a printed tee. The kawaii kicks in with the Tokyo Bopper platforms and a purse arrangement small enough to wear inside the jacket. A quirky choice, but the best match I can manage right now. Something slightly less daft is on its way to me from Yoox, which may or may not be an improvement. Mid layers include a Henrik Vibskov cardigan, lately a firm favourite, or a stretch denim jacket from Oska, perpetually orphaned but too nice to pass on. Footwear is a good way to sharpen things up, and I am pondering variants with the Church’s brogues or the Santoni winklepickers. Finished with a cute pin purchased from Jane Weaver at last night’s gig.

And there you have it. The name of my new look is Buffalo Kawaii, although the closest this jacket has been to the Great Planes is Schiphol Airport. Still pretty scruffy, but at least I feel somewhat pulled together. A fistful of silver jewelry and a nice watch may go a long way, but this has to be an improvement on my lockdown concept wardrobe, aka Uniqlo Accessorized.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • RobinF replied 2 years ago

    Haha "archeological dig" love it.

    That is a fabulous jacket, I can see the inspiration. Love your capsule. 

  • Kathie replied 2 years ago

    Amazing combination of textures, and your description brings it to life, even without the selfie.

  • Bijou replied 2 years ago

    It is always a joy to read your posts. You had me at kawaii!

  • BlueJay replied 2 years ago

    I love rediscovering sartorial old friends! The jacket is so beautiful and has lots of interesting details. Awesome with the distressed jeans, which are also amazing!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    What a great jacket and capsule! The jacket looks like soft suede--yum. The beads and buttons are indeed a huge improvement over what I imagine the original gold must have looked like (which would have been kind of a clash with the style, in my mind). Your writing is so engaging. I smiled at your comment "without which I doubt I could dressed at all," regarding your inspiration Japanese streetwear. It's good to have such a valuable source of inspiration! I think your bag looks very Japan-streetwear inspired, too. Not too "daft"!

  • approprio replied 2 years ago

    RobinF, Kathie, thanks! Very glad I’ve hit on a way of sharing outfits without the hassle of the selfie. Writing is fun, but fashion requires the visual aids. 

    Bijou: haha, totally unsurprised you share my enthusiasm. Best served with a helping of death metal, like Aggretsuko’s karaoke habit:

    BlueJay: Yes, always good to come back to things after benching them for a while. In my opinion, it’s the secret to a sustainable closet. This find was a lovely surprise. 

    Firecracker: I love looking at Japanese street style, because people there take fashion seriously and approach it creatively. When I’m stuck, it’s a great source of new ideas. Are you still with Oska, by the way?

    ETA: the suede is not soft at all. In fact, it wears like cardboard. Not so luxe, but adds structure. Part of its weird charm, I suppose. :D

  • slim cat replied 2 years ago

    Great pieces and fab jacket - love those colors and variety of textures!
    Japanese street style is so inspiring and fun ;) .

  • Sloper replied 2 years ago

    Anything indigo please!

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    Great jacket!  I love the way you describe your creative process.  You take fashion to another level.  

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    Quite inspiring! I should maybe take my suede suit for a spin. I like your bag - perhaps because it IS quirky! :)

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    That's a great jacket! No wonder you loved it then and want to wear it again now. 

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    Like Wild Bill Hickok!  Very nice!  I also like your bag.  It looks like a frog, maybe?

    A few years ago we drove from home (the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada), to Minnesota.  In Wyoming and South Dakota we drove through part of the Great Plains.  It was prairie - gently rolling hills with grass waving in the wind.  We did see bison in South Dakota, but we also saw lots of pronghorns.  The vastness was what really struck me.

  • Sal replied 2 years ago

    Great jacket - it would be interesting to know it's journey (to use a reality television phrase).  Aside from the time it spent in hibernation.

    Nice to hear from you.

  • Runcarla replied 2 years ago

    Missed you!  Was hoping for a style report from your trip to London.  Glad you’re back.  Very nice spring capsule!  Cool jacket.  Interestingly feminine detail with the perforations that look like eyelet.  I’m crushing on those heavily textured plaid(?) jeans.

  • Jaime replied 2 years ago

    Wow - well the pink frog (?) makes it for me. Buffalo kawaii indeed! Also curious about the alchemy used on those jeans. I especially like the jacket and shoe shot. If you won't give us a selfie this is the next best thing :) .

  • Sisi replied 2 years ago

    Beautiful capsule! I like every single piece. The jacket is fantastic!

  • approprio replied 2 years ago

    Slim cat, Sloper, thanks for the compliment. I was never much of an indigo fan, but the denim has really come into its own lately.

    Style Fan: why, I do recall you have something far better yourself! I hope you’re still wearing that awesome fringed jacket now and then. In fact, rachylou, perhaps we should have a suede jacket convention…

    Suz, Sal, Sisi, cheers! Yes, I am very curious about the provenance. It was in near-perfect condition when I bought it, so I would suspect dead stock, except I don’t know of anything like this being made locally. At a guess, I would say London factory shop, since English is the first language on the unbranded labels. They were very good back in the day. 

    JAileen, thanks for correcting my deliberate spelling mistake, hehe. That road trip across the US is on my bucket list. 

    Runcarla, ah, so sorry. The UK trip was filled with melancholy family business, and I came back feeling gloomy and slightly grief stricken. As for the jeans, they are Anglomania, bought from Vivienne Westwood’s original store on the Kings Road, which felt like a pilgrimage. A close up  of the fabulous textile, for Jaime. Very RATE and slightly grubby from the bike, I see.

    And the frog purse. Oh, the frog purse. A combination of two very dinky museum shop finds, tied together. Far too wearable. If I’m not careful, I will become the lady with the frog purse.

    ETA PS: Sorry about the lack of selfies. The camera I was using in the past is out of action, I am hopeless with the mobile phone, and I hate posing for other people. 

  • Jenni NZ replied 2 years ago

    Please please a special pic of the Santoni winklepickers by themselves? I still miss the 50c winklepickers I bought when I was 19!

  • approprio replied 2 years ago

    Jenni, here’s to a stellar pair of boots that I do not wear anything like enough.

  • Jenni NZ replied 2 years ago

    Oh they are lovely. Thank you. I still have some boots I don’t wear enough either!

  • replied 2 years ago

    Wear. Those. Boots!! I always pictured Japanese street style as very bright. Interesting to see denim versions!

  • Janet replied 2 years ago

    I love all the texture and layers! The rustic colors and RATE elements absolutely do evoke the plains. And I also love Japanese elements — this seems elevated Kawaii style to me.

    Those boots! Awesome. Definitely deserve to be worn.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    approprio, no I left OSKA in 2021. I stayed until my manager retired. I didn't go to another position, and I don't really miss working! :)

  • approprio replied 2 years ago

    Thanks for all the feedback! Jenni, suntiger, Janet, yes! Those boots deserve more love. I hope to wear them more this year. 

    Firecracker, makes sense I suppose. But maybe you miss the employee discount? ;)

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 2 years ago

    I love this aesthetic, and I think you’ve nailed it!

  • Sally replied 2 years ago

    Great jacket. Yes I can see the Japanese street style there. I lived in Tokyo many years ago and going to Harajuku especially on a Sunday was one of my favourite things to do but the street style is great anywhere in Japan.

  • VioletMyra replied 2 years ago

    I love both jackets and the sweatshirt in pic 1. A terrific capsule and I'm sure you will derive a lot of pleasure from it. Best wishes.

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Fab and fun vintage archeological dig by Mr.Edge! 

    The jacket has a timelessness to it. A boho-lite classic with an adventure integrity. I bet you wear it with the best of them, Rio! What do you have in mind for the buttons and toggles? 

    Liking it with a blue and white support act. Throw in some pink :)

  • Runcarla replied 2 years ago

    Thank you for the update.  Sorry to learn London was a sad occasion. Love Dame Vivienne ♥️

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