Fashion and style

ut of the series' cast, Naoto is one of the characters who changes outfits quite often. Although I'm admittedly not very good at writing about fashion, it's fun to see all the different kinds of clothing Naoto dons throughout the series.

Generally, Naoto dresses rather conservatively. Common themes across many of her outfits include high collars, scarves, coats or jackets and black boots. While her attire comes across as practical, lace and other feminine embellishments are used quite frequently, though they only really start appearing in Dogs: Bullets & Carnage.

Naoto's garb is mostly comprised of dark colors, namely black. The color black is associated with quite a number of different meanings, including:

  1. power, strength, authority
  2. elegance
  3. formality
  1. death
  2. evil, grim tidings
  3. mystery, fear, the unknown

More generally speaking, black can illustrate the dark and hostile world Dogs is set in. Most, if not all, the characters wear dark shades of clothing. Nearly everyone has their own share of traumatic experiences, and Naoto is certainly no different.

When associated with Naoto specifically, however, black may represent her ambiguous past and unknown identity. Similarly, it may also represent her forceful nature and tenacious personality. She never shirks from a challenge and, even when she finds herself struck by fear, she does not hesitate to pursue her goals.

Of course, there is certainly a lighter and gentler side to Naoto's personality—one that Granny Liza seems to realize, too, even if she does express it in a rather colorful way.

Naoto-chan, I've thought this ever since I first met you... Your fashion sense is entirely too plain! You are a much more light-hearted girl than that!! I can't stand it anymore! I'm going to put all my skills to use and make you into a special princess! Prepare yourself!!
  • Granny Liza
    Chapter 35: "Armored train & Conductor I"
    Dogs: Bullets & Carnage
Thus, the generous wardrobe Naoto has can be traced back to this wonderful seamstress. Indeed, in certain artwork, Naoto can be seen wearing lighter colors, including white.
In the beginning of Dogs: Stray dogs howling in the dark, Naoto generally wears t-shirts and shorts. As a child she wears a pair of sneakers, but years later wears black boots instead.

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By the end, however, Naoto is wearing a coat and a black dress with a high collar. Her outfit is practically entirely all black, even down to her socks. Slung on her back is a large black case, carrying her katana.

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In her first appearance in Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, Naoto seems to be wearing a similar attire to the one in the finale of her part in the prequel. Gloves adorn her hands, and although she still dons black boots, they seem to come up considerably higher than her previous ones. There seems to be a new addition as well: a scarf.

If one looks closely at her last appearance in the prequel, the scarf doesn't seem to be there. Where did it come from? How did she get it? I don't have the faintest clue, but it's probably an awesome story. One that no one will ever know, sadly.

The title page of the chapter suggests that she is wearing a skirt and a kind of zippered top underneath the trench coat.

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When she visits the church for the first time, Naoto is wearing a light-colored coat dress with a high collar. A black belt encircles her waist, and for bottoms she wears black tights. This is one of the outfits Naoto tends to reuse.

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Here, underneath her typical coat and scarf, she is wearing a top and a skirt. Around her waist is an intricate belt. Under her top, she wears an undergarment: a camisole with a black decorative trimming.

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In much later chapters, she appears to wearing the same outfit, making it one of her more recurring ones. Sometimes she wears it without the coat, and other times she wears it paired with black tights or leggings.

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While Nill is trying to repair her clothing, Naoto borrows one of her dresses. It is a black single piece dress with a high collar. Lace decorates the edges of the collar, the sleeves and the bottom of the dress.

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Although rather rare, Naoto sometimes wears pants instead of her usual skirt or dress. Paired with the pants is a high-collared jacket. Underneath is a no-sleeve top with a lace collar. Fastened around the collar is a decorative striped bow. She seems to forgo boots in favor of heeled shoes or booties of some sort.

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Simple yet detailed, this is probably one of my favorites of Naoto's outfits so far!

Designed by Granny Liza for Naoto, this outfit is likely the most elaborate of them all. She wears a light-colored blouse with a pinned collar; attached to it is a striped and solid-colored ribbon. Wrapped around her waist is a dark cloth sash or belt of some sort. For bottoms, she wears a ruffled skirt with black stockings and black boots.

As outerwear, she wears a pinstriped coat with large cuffs. The sleeves and edges are embellished with lace.

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When Einstürzen appears and causes Naoto to go berserk, parts of her clothing become somewhat tattered. The ribbon around the collar is also missing, and the buttons of the blouse are undone to reveal the scar on her chest.

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This is probably another one of my favorite outfits because of how detailed it is. Rise, my special princess!

Sewing Problems

o I know that this scene is supposed to be humorous and is probably not meant to be taken seriously at all, but... I just want to talk about it for a second. Because these thoughts don't really fit anywhere else (yet?), I thought that this page would be as good as any.

Sewing. Patching up holes. Replacing buttons.

Naoto doesn't know how to do any of it, and that's perfectly fine. When Nill struggles to repair Naoto's clothes for her, Badou intervenes and sews it up with finesse. Noticing how shocked Naoto, Nill and Heine are, Badou gets flustered and responds with:

If you had older siblings who didn't know how to do any housework you'd learn stuff like this, too. And anyway, you should be doing this yourself! Instead of waving swords around, you should be more lady-like, and at least be able to repair your worn-out clothes yourself you muscled lady!!
  • Badou Nails
    Chapter 26: "Blind bishop & Strongest elder"
    Dogs: Bullets & Carnage
I like Badou; he's a cool character and absolutely hilarious. But, uh, let's not forget that Naoto's main purpose in life is to hunt and kill the person who slaughtered her family and left her for dead. Although sewing is, indeed, useful, there is just little to no chance that Naoto—hellbent on slaying Fuyumine at the time—would ever pick it up.

The only way a needle would hold even the slightest of interest to her is if she could stab someone to death with it (again, namely Fuyumine). With a needle being what it is, sewing just holds no value to her. Just because she can't sew, however, doesn't mean she isn't a woman or "lady-like," and just because she is a woman doesn't mean she needs to learn how to sew or be "lady-like" in the traditional sense.

An indignant, blushing Naoto!
Moreover, Heine—who has probably been in more battles than Naoto has, by the way—also finds his clothes getting ruined just as easily. Despite this fact, Badou doesn't scold him for his lack of sewing knowledge.

In the end, it's still a pretty funny scene, and readers get to see another expression of Naoto's—one that seems half indignant and half embarrassed. Also, Badou's and Naoto's shenanigans make Nill laugh, and Nill deserves all the honey happiness and rainbow sunshine in the world.

Honestly, though, what this scene really means is that both Naoto and Heine should take sewing lessons with Badou—to help out Nill, if anything. Wouldn't that be fun?