Photo/IllutrationThe new standard school wear designed by Armani for Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo’s Ginza district (Provided by Taimei Elementary School)

To the principal of a public elementary school in Tokyo's Ginza district, it seemed only fitting that his students dress in a way worthy of its upscale surroundings.

However, the new school wear from the Italian fashion house Armani, double the price of a current one, doesn't suit all the parents' budgets.

Taimei Elementary School, operated by Chuo Ward, plans to introduce the new standard school wear, virtually treated as a uniform, from the next school year starting in April.

The current standard school wear of size 130 costs just over 17,000 yen ($155) for boys and 19,000 yen for girls--for a set of jacket, pants or skirt, shirt or blouse, and hat.

The new attire would cost more than 40,000 yen for the same set of items. If dressed in Armani head to toe, including optional school bag, vest, sweater and socks, the total cost would exceed 80,000 yen.

The parents of the new students learned the price tag only in mid-November. In a letter, Principal Toshitsugu Wada explained how he hit upon the idea to have a tony fashion brand design new clothing to express the identity of "a school in the Ginza."

His letter set off a parental backlash, generating a number of e-mails to the education board complaining of the financial burden.

The new clothing will be introduced for students entering the school in April, while existing students can continue wearing their current attire.

According to the ward's education board, while the standard school wear is not compulsory, wearing it is “desirable,” and there is probably no student who does not wear one.

At the end of November, a concerned education board asked Wada about the possibility of scrapping the new clothing.

The principal said the current school clothing is no longer being produced, leading the board to conclude that the changeover could not be postponed.

“A thorough discussion between the PTA, parents and other parties involved should have been held,” an education board official said.

On Feb. 8, Wada posted a statement on the school's website.

“I made the decision for the future of Taimei Elementary School,” Wada wrote. “I was humbled by the complaints about the lack of explanation and the belated announcement, and I will put my best effort to properly explain it (to gain understanding).”

Taimei Elementary School had 334 students enrolled as of April and expects to have 60 first-graders for the next school year.