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04/08/2006

What Happened to NAKED?

                  UNDERWEAR. An Economic Metric?

Bra1 Japan once prided itself on nearly everybody being middle class. But now, the country is becoming divided into the haves and have-nots, and the most effective index for judging that gap comes from women's underwear.

Atsushi Miura, a Post columnist who writes on how to enjoy being lower class, points out that today's Japanese women have clearly divided along financial lines.

       The bra was made in Japan and valued at $12,000,000.

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Japan's "Millionairesses" splash the cash on "feel good" lingerie

By Ryann Connell

Japan once prided itself on nearly everybody being middle class. But now, the country is becoming divided into the haves and have-nots, and the most effective index for judging that gap comes from women's underwear, according to Shukan Post.

Atsushi Miura, a Post columnist who writes on how to enjoy being lower class, points out that today's Japanese women have clearly divided along financial lines.

Miura argues that growing numbers of women taking home annual salaries of 10 million or more, and are rigid in their fashion demands. These women are, he says, the Millionairesses. Then there are the Kamayatsu Onna, women at the opposite end of the scale who wear whatever feels good regardless of whether it's feminine, modeled after somewhat slovenly middle-aged Japanese rock star Monsieur Kamayatsu.

Kamayatsu Onna are generally wearing bras and panties sold somewhere from 1,000 yen to 1,500 yen (about USD $8.50 - $12.75) a set. Shops selling these super cheap undergarments have popped up everywhere across Japan in recent years. The undies themselves are widely praised for being cheap, cute enough and comfortable.

"They look okay and the price is right, so what more do you need?" a 23-year-old part-time worker tells Shukan Post, referring to her bargain basement bogs. "I can't believe anybody could consider paying 10,000 yen or 20,000 yen (about USD $85.00 - $170.00) for a pair of undies."

She'd better believe it, because even at that price, it's still cheap for many of the Millionairesses, who don't even deign to look at the underpriced underwear and will slip into only the most luxurious lingerie.

That's where Wacoal Dia comes into play. Wacoal Dia is the new top of the line brand released by Wacoal Corp., Japan's biggest purveyor of panties.

Wacoal Dia has recently opened an outlet in the massive Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku following the successful launch last year of an earlier shop in the company's Ginza headquarters. Wacoal Dia sells itself on presenting lingerie of the finest quality, packed with added value.

Wacoal Dia bras sell from 10,000 yen to 30,000 yen, its panties from 4,000 to 10,000 and camisoles from 20,000 to 50,000. A typical undergarment set will put back the buyer well over the 100,000 yen (about USD $850.00) mark for items that nobody else will see.

Wacoal Dia's appeal also comes with the service, with the Ginza outlet employing a Lingerie Concierge to help women find the right item, and fitting rooms more spacious than a lot of homes in the capital. Waiting lists to shop at the store are chock-full.

Store employees say that customers at Wacoal Dia are looking for what looks and feels good, regardless of how much it costs, because they're the types that have money to burn anyway.

A model posing in the steep skids is delighted by them.

"They're totally different (to the cheap brands)," she says. "It doesn't feel as though you're bound up in them."

An Wacoal Dia customer tells a similar story.

"I fell in love with the detailed designs at first sight. They are pricey, but wearing expensive knickers makes you feel classy, too," the 36-year-old brokerage employee tells Shukan Post. "Sure, you can wear them for guys, but rather than that, I tend to view them as a little luxury for myself."   Link

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Comments

There is nothing more risible than a parvenu assuming that because her underpants are expensive she is.

The rudest assholes in our 'young' society are the nouveau riche. Why? Because money does not make 'class'.

The 'class' factor is seldomly measured in underpants or Beamers or butlers. It's measured in grace - with or without great wealth. And yep, it's inherited.

'Inherited'?

If by that you mean genetics, I have to disagree.

Class itself is learned from class.

And yet, even the most thugish of parents can wind up with children who exhibit class.

So too, can the most well bred have the most thugish of children.

I do agree completely that money has little to do with either outcome.

Money is NOT a measure, it is a side effect or an outright ailment.

No. I'm talking about the inherited class of our founders. America doesn't have a class system. But we 'inherited' people of class from Britain. For sure, they are a tiny minority now, but they have tried hard to maintain their legacy.

You can define 'class' all kinds of ways. I used the old fashioned definition.

And there is no question that, in my definition of class, there are some of the worst miscreants in history. What made them the worst was that they had the distinction of 'class' and felt they could get away with anything because of it.

My use of 'grace' is my own interpretation of true class, but I still say it is inherited.

It it were made in Sweden, it would need to be at least 5 times as pricy, no? (start ducking now!)

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