Asian street fashion is rarely exotic, extreme or too far out (perhaps with the exception of Tokyo’s Harajuku tribe – which is a whole separate story). Signature outfits for a specific place/region/country may develop from multiple trends and can even repeat year after year. One day, pieces from designer collections half a world away spark interest, then a month, a year or a decade or more later, they are prototypes for what becomes new or recycled ready-to-wear garments and accessories that appear in department stores, malls and boutiques near you. While these pieces individually may or may not be so special, something often happens to them in the translation. Let’s look at how the following basic pieces-- high waisted shorts and slacks paired with crop tops -- are translated into Asian street fashion.

This look, taken in a Seoul park in early April, is an example of how simple pieces are selected to create a unified look – black shorts, a white crop top, and patterned jacket. She adds a black cap, white socks and black strap sandals to complete the look. Coincidental or not, the matching bike looks great too.

Photo Credit:사랑 하지 마

Get a standout daytime look by starting with a white short crop top and adding high waist denim jeans rolled up to mid calf, a black shoulder bag, and platform black lace up boots. Or opt for a tribute to the 80s with high cut denim bell bottom slacks, white short-sleeved crop top and elevator sandals.

Photo Credit:사랑 하지 마

Celebrities are getting in on the trend too. Park Shin Hye (The Heirs, You’re Beautiful, Heartstrings, Flower Boy Next Door) looks very put together for Spring in a yellow long sleeved crop top sweater and white cuffed short shorts.

Photo Credit: Drama Fever

Im Yoon Ah of Girls’ Generation (The Prime Minister and I, Love Rain) strikes a pose in black shorts, matching midriff top and white jacket.

Photo credit:

Taeyeon of Girls' Generation makes a public appearance wearing denim shorts and a white short sleeved crop top gathered on one side.


Japanese fashion magazine Vivi demonstrates another way to interpret the look by pairing gingham check capri pencil slacks with a white drop shoulder top and slim leather braided suspenders.Black heels complete this casual daytime look.

Photo credit: Vivi (April 2014)

Gamers interested in taking this trend to the next level might be inspired to recreate the commanding presence of Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII, as this Cat Street (Tokyo) pedestrian did, with black leather shorts, suspenders, and white sleeveless crop top. A few basic changes will transform this look from theatrical cosplay to extraordinary make-heads-turn street wear, such as sunglasses, a small clutch, and white platform sneakers instead of combat boots.

Photo Credits:

(Left): Runway Channel / Pinterest (Right): Gamer / Pinterest

What's your favorite look? Comment below!

LilySuzuki is an American who lived in Japan for 6 years, and considers Tokyo a second home. She also worked in Bali, Indonesia for 2 years. A blogger on Asian cultures and trends, she’s an avid fan of Kpop, Jpop, anime and Korean dramas.

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