Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Japan-related Links of the Week: 29 May 2010

Posted 29 May 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Food, Japan, Japanese Politics, Links of the Week, News, Only in Japan, Style, Tokyo

A roundup of some of the best Japan-related links from this week.

Asahi Shimbun Co. said Monday that it incurred its first ever group operating loss last year due to falls in advertising revenue.

Asahi Shimbun suffers operating loss
The Japan Times (Kyodo News)


The [Japanese] government released a study on fish consumption on May 21 in which salmon emerged as the most popular to eat at home, followed by squid and tuna, all of which are straightforward to turn into a meal.

Salmon takes over as top table treat in Japan
The Independent (Relaxnews)


[Tokyo] is an unexpected city, not a homogenised J G Ballard city of the future but a series of small and distinct neighbourhoods. It can be startlingly beautiful.

Tokyo, Japan: My kind of town (an interview with author Edmund de Waal)
The Daily Telegraph


After being mauled in the media for sartorial crimes … Hatoyama will be buoyed by the news that a Shanghai-based shirt-maker is selling copies of his most infamous garment as a tribute to his “individuality”.

Shirt-maker cashes in on Japanese PM’s unique dress sense
The Guardian (Justin McCurry)


Twenty years ago, there was one retiree for every six working-age Japanese. By 2025, the government projects that the ratio will decrease to one retiree for every two people employed.

Does Japan’s decline foretell our future?
CTV News (Alexandra Seno)

Cool Biz and clothing for the modern Japanese gent

Posted 25 May 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Entertainment, Only in Japan, Shopping in Japan, Style, Tokyo, Work

I received an email from the HR department this morning to announce the beginning of Cool Biz. This means that male employees can forego neckties for the next three months, while office air conditioners are turned up to 28°C to reduce running costs (and ultimately help the environment).

Cool Biz is a fantastic idea: it means fewer sweaty old men on the streets and a considerable reduction in the amount of CO2 that power stations pump out. It also has the knock-on effect of producing more than a few comedy moments as bamboozled salarymen adjust to the brave new world of dressing in a smart-casual manner. Their plight is worsened by the prime minister, who is legally obliged to dress like an extra from Magnum, P.I. all summer long:

Of course, not all salarymen dress like aliens trying to blend into a middle-class American family circa 1985. A quick peruse of magazine racks in local bookshops reveals a bewildering variety of style-related magazines for the modern gent.


Middle-aged chaps who are looking to add a bit of edge to their look should turn to Leon. The key phrase here is choiwaru oyaji, which (sort of) translates as “bad-but-cool old guy”. Put simply, Leon is for forty- and fifty-something lady-killing dandies who want to look like they’ve just stepped out of a Milanese cafe. Check out those white jeans! Gaze in dumbstruck awe at those medallions!

Men's Ex

Slightly younger fellows should take a gander at Men’s Ex, which has considerably fewer photos of George Clooney wannabies with twenty-something women. It’s fairly conservative in its recommendations, leaning more towards classic business attire and the preppy look than its Italian-inspired rival.

Men's Ex Maintenance Guide

There is also a phenomenal number of one-off magazines – called mooks (magazine+book=mook) – which cover all kinds of style-related issues. Men’s Ex recently produced a guide to looking after and tailoring clothes which is proving very popular in this current economic climate of belt-tightening. Its article on how to properly clean leather shoes came in very handy after I got caught in a nasty downpour:

Cleaning shoes

The Shirt and Tie

Another big-selling mook is this one on shirts. It contains all you need to know about the humble dress shirt and tie, including a dizzying array of ways to tie neckties…

How to tie your tie

… and a handy guide for coordinating shirts with ties and suits:

Coordinating, for t' men, like

If you’re expecting well-written, thought provoking articles on a par with GQ or Esquire in these magazines then you’re in for a shock. The line between advertising and editorial is virtually nonexistent. In fact they are, pretty much, 200-page advertorials. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, per se: they do have some very interesting content, and some sections – especially those on maintenance – go into absolutely staggering detail.

Jil Sander returns to Uniqlo for Spring 2010

Posted 22 Dec 2009 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category News, Shopping in Japan, Style, Tokyo

Jil Sander and Uniqlo clearly know when they’re on to a good thing: from tomorrow (23rd December) those of you living in Japan will be able to get your paws on items from the +J Spring/Summer 2010 collection. The UK gets the collection on the 7th January, with the US following a week later on the 14th.

+J Uniqlo x Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2010 Collection

Official press release:

The season introduces fresh perspectives on volume, teamed with perfect harmony in fibre, colour, optics, and touch. Experimentation is essential, but subtle, leading to new interplays of material and motion.

Iconic simplicity
Leaving sporty stereotypes behind, +J endorses functional elegance, dynamic textiles, and distinctive shapes. Softly articulated, silhouettes give free reign to movement and ease. Fabrics are straightforward, expertly woven, alluringly sculptured, neat and subtle. Initiating marriages of convenience between structure and fluidity, delicacy and determination, coupling strong characters for the common good.

Natural nobility
The collection quietly bridges the emotional and the formal, femininity and masculinity, experience and evolution. Luxury lies in inspiration and discreet perfectionism, applied to truly modern tailoring. Environmental concerns move to the heart of research, engaging in clothing that is both responsible and innovative.

Clarity and Lightness
Opting for the precision of airy colours, white and pure ivory feature as the radiant centre of energy and confidence. Pastel hues, pearly reflections, and chalked out acids create luminous lightness. Waterproof textiles become more feminine, made of ultra-fine cotton, tech-satins and sumptuous wools with an overwhelming impression of liquidity.

Prices (for Japan):
Outerwear, Coats & Jackets  4,990円 ~ 14,900円
Bottoms  3,990円 ~ 5,990円
Shirts  3,990円 ~ 4,990円
Cut & Sewn  1,990円 ~ 4,990円
Knitwear  2,990円 ~ 9,900円

Uniqlo +J sites in Japan, the UK (press release) and the US (press release).

Four of the Best: Men’s Clothes Shops in Japan

Posted 27 Nov 2009 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Only in Japan, Shopping in Japan, Style, Tokyo

Splashing Out


If you’re looking for a well-crafted Italian suit, new shirt for work or a nice tie or two then Beams is the place for you. The January sales provide a good opportunity to pick up items at half price, as well.


Not quite as highfalutin as Beams, with much of their stuff coming in at a lower price point. Ships is a great place for casual items, especially classic American workwear -plaid shirts, etc – and British country gear (by country gear I mean wax jackets and so on, not Land Rovers, clay pigeons and field spaniels).

Buying the Basics


The best bet for everyday staples like socks and underwear. Uniqlo has seasonal collaborations with well-known designers – most recently Jil Sander – but don’t expect the quality to be up there with the best. Their HeatTech line of thermal clothing has received wide acclaim and is proving incredibly popular with the frozen masses.

Universal Language

Universal Language
The new kid on the block (ie, I didn’t know about it until a few weeks ago), Universal Language is a bit like Ships but much cheaper. I believe it’s owned by high-street chain The Suit Company.

Uniqlo Designers’ Invitation Project: Gilded Age

Posted 30 Apr 2009 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Entertainment, Events, News, Shopping in Japan, Style


Every few months Uniqlo introduces a new range of clothes in conjunction with famous design types. One of this season’s collaborations is with Gilded Age, whose clothing is “inspired by the craftsmanship of the Gilded Age and assembled from artisanal fabrics.”

Blimey. Well, a bit of Googling reveals that the Gilded Age (1878-1889) was shaped by America’s greatest industrialists – men like John D. Rockerfeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan. These chaps created the modern industrial economy and helped America’s manufacturing capacity dwarf the likes of Britain, Germany and France.

What does this mean for the clothes, then? The Uniqlo collection utilises natural, earthy colours and light, comfortable fabrics, with jackets boasting a deconstructed smart-yet-casual cut that would normally cost you a lot more than ¥5,900. The only problem is finding a store that hasn’t already sold out!

More: The Designers’ Invitation Project at (in English)