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I came across the expression 攻めた格好 recently, and I'd like to know what exactly it means. The original sentence was uttered by a character that was surprised to see another in a wildly different place and outfit than expected of them:

それに 結構攻めた恰好してるんすね

At first, I thought it meant something like "outrageous outfit"; but looking it up on google, I came across pictures of outfits that didn't seem outrageous to me - some were rather modest, even though they were tagged as 攻めた服, which I'd guess has a similar meaning. So, what does it mean exactly when used in this context?

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攻めた/攻めてる basically means "aggressive" in a positive sense. It's an antonym of "modest" or "conservative".

What is considered 攻めてる格好 largely depends on the context. If someone's outfit is relatively more eye-catching or fashionable than usual, that alone can be a reason one would say 攻めてる. An otaku might be told "攻めてる!" just by dressing like a normal person. And it can be closer to "outrageous" if used sarcastically and euphemistically. Try an image search for 攻めた服装, and you'll find a lot of people dressed in extraordinary ways.

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  • So "assertive" maybe? Feb 8 at 16:10
  • @TeleportingGoat Sorry, I don't know how "assertive" is used in fashion contexts.
    – naruto
    Feb 8 at 16:18
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デジタル大辞泉 has a relevant definition in its entry for the verb "攻める".

2 俗に、物事を無難にすませず、積極的な態度をとる。「―・めてるファッション」

So "攻めた格好" would mean a fashion style that is 積極的 -- 'bold', 'daring', 'enterprising' -- rather than 無難 -- 'tame', 'conservative', 'playing it safe' -- though it does not necessarily implicate the sense of extremeness or impropriety as I think "outrageous" does.

And I'm pretty sure that is the sense in which "攻めた格好" is used by the character and in which "攻めた服" is used by the people who assigned that label to the images you found.

The problem is that even if the sense or definition of a word/phrase is agreed upon, the matter of what things actually fit that definition may be left to subjective judgement. In such cases, trying to figure out the meaning of the word/phrase from things it is applied to can be a less-than-ideal way.

Even though people share the same understanding of the meaning of, say, "おいしい食べ物" ('delicious food') -- 'edible things that are pleasant to the sense of taste' -- the set of things that actually fit that description varies somewhat from person to person. Anyone's list will be largely made up of things you do consider are indeed delicious foods, but it is bound to contain a few that you don't, and if you are not too sure about the meaning of the phrase, that can make you think twice.

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IMO 攻める implies someone is intentionally taking additional risk to get a bigger reward. In fashion, it would mean someone is choosing something that could backfire in order to look good.

It's also often used in a sarcastic manner (なかなか攻めてきたね笑 etc.).

I can't agree with @naruto's statement that "An otaku might be told "攻めてる!" just by dressing like a normal person.". IMO if it really is normal clothes it can't be classified as additional risk. Though if an otaku dresses especially fashionably then I think that would work.

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    人やコミュニティによっては、この程度の事を考えただけで100%「攻めた、頑張った」感じになって周りから茶化される覚悟しないといけないので、十分 additional risk に該当します。茶髪とかもっての外、みたいなとこですね。
    – naruto
    Feb 8 at 0:18

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