You people have it "made in the shade"!
Over here - blue gi top, black pants, hakama.
About a 1000 different belts, including red, green, purple, white belt with brown stripe through the centre etc. Infact, I'm not even sure those!
What worse - same dojo, 3 arts (Aikido, JJJ, silat)= 3 different belt systems. So...someone doing both JJJ and aikido might wear a belt from one art to the other without being that grade. I have a friend with the aforementioned brown belt / white stripe combo. I was worried he'd trounce the crap out of me. Turns out that is the second belt given out in JJJ.
Basically a casual observer ends up not knowing what grade a person is based on belt.
(plus the fact that the belt is hidden by the hakama)You get to be quite good at guessing by obseving body movement tho. Or, to use my rule of thumb - "everyone is a higher grade than me. Even the guy in the track suit a tee shirt. Watch yourself."
On the downside, the whole purpose of belts is kind of diluted. Not much reason to go through gradings etc.