Loose socks (pronounced in the Japanese vernacular like "lose socks") is a fashion feature of Japanese junior and senior high school girls.
Loose socks are said to have originated in the wake of high school girls' shortening their skirts toward the end of the last decade, and using baggy socks to mask what are the often stocky calves that many Japanese women are endowed with to make them appear slimmer.
Over ten years after the fashion trend began, loose socks have lost something of the rebellious edge they once had, but, in a country of such fashion inertia as Japan (e.g. where punk stayed alive and kicking right through to the '90s), they have become become somewhat tired and standardized as a fashion statement, but still indicative of a desire to appear at least a little - and naively - out of line.
The non-standard school bags and the photos of what is doubtless a boy pop idol peeking out the top of the bag of one of the girls add slightly more personalized touches of non-conformity.
(Photo snapped in the Tokyo subway.)
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