Distinct Style of Construction Site Workers
The Japanese construction workers have their uniform, which is an adaptation of the western 'knickerbockers.' While the style has continued amongst workers, it has evolved to suit the construction sites and has become a distinct style of its own.
Published August 25th 2018 on the former blog
The Japanese Nikkapokka were inspired by the “Knickerbockers” fashion movements in the early 20th century. Before World War I boys would wear knickerbockers until puberty and then transitioned to long pants.
Baseball players still wear a stylized version of Knickerbockers today although they have become less baggy and many players these days pull them down to their ankles.
Although completely out of fashion in the western world, the trend has survived in Japan as a uniform for construction workers. Over time the Japanese made the style their own by making them even baggier and often pairing them with jikatabi footware, a variation of the traditional tabi socks.
Photographer Matsuda Tadao took it upon himself to beautifully document the unique fashion style that you’ll see all over Japan when you just look closer when passing construction sites.
Nikkapokka, often shortened to “Nikka”, have especially found adaption with high-rise workers called “tobi" who often need to climb up and down which is where the loose fit comes in handy. Keeping them tight at the ends is also key since it keeps the pants from catching on to equipment. One might think, tighter elastic pants would be even more functional but the photographer tells us that the pants even help the “tobi” to detect wind and it’s direction.
If you enjoy this post I encourage you to check out Nippon.com where you can see the rest of the photo collection.
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