The term is split into two words, Sailor referring to the overall aesthetic of the dress, and Fuku translating to dress in English.
Romanized from katakana, “Sailor Fuku” may also be written as serafuku.
The “Sailor Fuku” started emerging in Japan through Western influence in the late 19th century, taking on the trend of Western courts to dress their children into easy to sew dresses, modeled after sailor uniforms.
Throughout the 20th century, more and more illustrations of female characters and/or protagonists in manga and anime series started featuring a “Sailor fuku”.
While initially in the 70’s and 80’s, these renditions included long skirts, over time, they got shorter and shorter, boosting the popularity of Japanese media among curious fans.
The “Sailor Fuku” became a closely tied association with anime and manga, with many Shounen Anime series featuring girls in revealing school dresses.
It also gained a lot of popularity in hentai, where “Sailor Fuku” became more widespread than Programming Socks among its fans.
With iconic anime such as Sailor Moon, and the ever-growing prevalence of Otaku culture, “Sailor Fuku” is a concept to stay.