Quiet Quitting in Japan

As COVID-19 has brought tremendous change to what we all knew as the ordinary work life, many trends have been adopted as the result of it. Over the years these trends have created what seems to be lasting changes that have created opportunities for new businesses, and for creating a better management of work-life balance. The newest of these trends is Quiet Quitting, a term that was popularized on the viral social media platform TikTok. Quiet Quitting is when employees work within defined work hours and engage solely in activities within those hours. They do not strive for promotions, take on extra work and keep a distinct boundary between their work and personal life, prioritizing their life outside of work. Although this concept has been seamlessly integrated by workers in the western world, centralized around millennials and Gen Z in the US, how has this translated over to countries that value high work ethic like Japan? 

Is Quiet Quitting happening in Japan? Meet the Yutori Generation

Surprisingly, a similar concept to Quiet Quitting, Tang Ping or “lying flat”, was popularized in China back in 2021. Conceptualized by Chinese workers that were burned out from poor management, and began prioritizing their physical and mental well-being. Even before the concept of Tang Ping and Quiet Quitting, the initial cultural shift of the Japanese outlook on society is said to have begun with the upbringing of the “Yutori Generation”, born between the late 1980s-early 2000s.

This generation was brought up with an educational system that was more lenient and student-oriented in order to foster a safer, less stressful school environment. Due to this, many people in older generations argue that the Yutori Generation lacks grit, motivation, and self-discipline. Although this is merely speculation and criticism, there is one thing the Yutori Generation has in common – they prioritize work life balance over all other generations, including Gen Z. In a survey conducted by All About, nearly 80% of workers in their 20’s were not interested in striving for or receiving a promotion. The main reasoning behind this was not wanting additional responsibilities and work at their employment. Other reasons included prioritizing work-life balance, a factor that many people in their 20’s already felt a connection to. As for the Gen Z of Japan, they strive for a work environment that is fun and stimulating but find socializing in workplace settings to be their greatest challenge. This could very well be due to the pandemic taking place during their first few years of employment. causing a great deal of stress and anxiety which may make striving for promotions and higher positions harder to imagine. On the other hand, Gen Z and millennials partaking in Quiet Quitting in the west have done so due to burnout caused by poor management.   

Will Quiet Quitting stay or will it fade?

The possibility of Quiet Quitting being adopted in Japan is a curious concept as tradition and culture often seem to be set in stone, especially in the work scene. Many articles in Japan have explored Quiet Quitting and how it would impact the company and those within it when one partakes in this concept. In an article by Kind’s Service, a human resource service company in Japan, they debate whether people who practice Quiet Quitting are truly happy, explaining how true happiness comes from the appraisal of others and feeling useful, and with Quiet Quitting one will never feel self-fulfillment by only doing the bare minimum at their workplace. With how integrated and delicate many company roles are, when one person only does their necessary tasks, the burden is placed on another worker, ultimately resulting in a troubling situation for the entire company. The potential of burdening another person, even if unintentional, is a cultural taboo especially in Japan and may be the sole reason that Quiet Quitting is not as popularized as it is in other countries. Other critics argue that Quiet Quitting does not resolve any issues and is only a temporary solution for one person. Although the idea may be pondered especially by those who are just entering the workforce, Quiet Quitting may bring flawed management and workplace systems into light which will help bring reform, but it is safe to assume that this will merely be a timely trend for now.

The center of Quiet Quitting appears to be the ability to juggle a healthy work-life balance, whether that entails a passion project, hobby, or spending time with loved ones. To all the Quiet Quitters or busy go-getters – whichever side of the coin you are on, it’s always important to set time aside to recharge and refresh before going into work the next day. Finding the right outfit for work every morning or finding time on your limited days off to drop off workwear at the dry cleaner can take away from those precious moments. Luckily, prioritizing on the things that count is in the kay me DNA. With 2-second office wear, work-to-bar dresses, and saying goodbye to fussy dry cleaner visits, spend that extra time on what you love to do the most!

How to Perfect the Business Casual Dress Code

With restrictions easing up around the world and cases falling, it is no surprise that more and more are making their way back into the office, adapting a new mindset not only in employees but companies too. After the past ‘pandemic-ridden’ years where the lines between work and life have been blurred, we see a new leaf turning in the dress codes in Japan where many companies are loosening their dress codes to be business casual, rather than strictly business.

More specifically, over 50% of Japanese women (in a survey of 464) noted that their workplace dress code was ‘business casual’ – but what exactly is business casual? We explore its defining factors as well as some tips and tricks in solving popular workwear dilemmas that women in Japan are facing.

Throughout the years, especially recently, the Japanese work environment has evolved at a rapid rate due to more efforts made towards SDGs and because of work life changes brought forth by COVID-19.

 ‘Cool Biz’ and its latter counterpart ‘Warm Biz’ are two campaigns with the concept of implementing more casual dress codes for summer and winter, introduced by Japan’s Environment Ministry. This meant people were finally able to wear short sleeves in the summer and sweaters in the winter, rather than the traditional suit and tie set-up. By simply tweaking the dress code to fit the seasons, many companies were able to cut their electricity bills typically used on AC units throughout the offices.

 With the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses switched to remote working where dress codes became more comfort-central and casual, to even non-existent for days without video conferences. These concepts and more have pushed the idea of ‘business casual’ in Japan to be more popular and accepted by bigger companies. Although the definition of business casual varies with each business, here are a few rules that many Japanese women follow:

  • Wearing neutral colors to not disturb the workplace atmosphere, with exception of the “50% rule” – avoiding outfits where more than half of the total coordinate consists of vibrant colors such as red and yellow.
  • Avoiding overexposure of skin by covering decolletage, shoulders, and above the knees.
  • Finding the right fit of clothing that is not too loose but not too tight where the bodyline is visible.
  • Looking formal enough to feel confident meeting clients and attending conferences.
The Dress Code for Females, Image from Kyodo News PR Wire

Here are a few examples of popular business casual outfits based on a survey of 400 Japanese businesspeople around Tokyo, conducted by Monitas. D (Shirt + skirt or trousers) and E (dress) are the most prevalently seen amongst Japanese businesswomen in Tokyo, and G (casualwear) is the most popular style that they wish to see become more popular and accepted in the office. The list above is carefully followed with every single combination, including the use of muted colors and appropriate coverage for the workplace.

According to Biz Hits, the most popular workwear dilemma Japanese women are facing is the monotonousness and the lack of versatility of business wear, as well as the stress of having to coordinate a different outfit every day. Especially with the new ‘business casual’ implementation, more freedom means more choices, which may be a challenge at times.

Mix and match with a Mermaid Skirt

That’s why opting for a small selection of easy to mix-and-match pieces that offers versatility without raising eyebrows has become popular within the business casual scene. With nuanced color staples you can build multiple looks from, you can get the most out of the same item and save yourself time in the morning. For example, the kay me Midi Mermaid Skirt is the perfect companion to create business casual looks! By keeping the bottom of the outfit a neutral solid color like Khaki, it adds possibilities for what can be worn on top while both keeping the 50% rule and providing coverage down below the knees. For occasions that call for more formality, the skirt can be paired with its matching jacket for an instant suit-like appearance!

For those looking to inject more color into their business casual style, opting for a light toned skirt like Beige with a colored top keeps the style fresh yet still sharp, or choosing Pink not only complements a range of skin tones but brings a soft and elegant hue to the office environment.

Easy, breezy with a Docking Dress

Another suggestion would be wearing docking dresses, which cuts the time of deciding an outfit without compromising versatility. Take our White x Gray Docking Twist Dress for example; this dress can be worn on its own, cutting decision-making time down to mere seconds. Throw over and button up a cardigan on top to transform the dress into a skirt-like appearance. And of course for unexpected guest visits or for presentation days, the dress can be coordinated with its matching jacket for an instant suit ensemble! Docking dresses are perfect for those looking for the ease and comfort of simply slipping into a dress with the appearance of a skirt and top. By coordinating the right outerwear for each occasion, docking dresses can drastically change their appearance from chic and intellectual to soft and welcoming!

Or for a dress with a casual-chic touch that plays with textures, our Sophie Faux-leather Docking Dress not only looks sharp, but makes getting ready in the morning even faster – simply slip in and zip up!

Add a splash with colored Pumps

Of course, another challenge that comes with dressing business casual is footwear. Even with the office dress code becoming more lenient and comfort-oriented, allowing flats and lower heels, many Japanese women still opt for heeled pumps for fashion and feeling more confident at work.  However, a concern that many women faced when wearing pumps was how tired and achy their feet became especially after a long day at work. To combat this without compromising the chic style pumps add to an outfit, we recommend pumps designed with extra cushioning and support, like our Puni Puni Pumps collection! Our lightweight pumps have been specially designed for comfortable support and features 10 times the amount of cushioning compared to other brands. Made specifically for working women in mind, these shoes will keep you feeling comfortable and fabulous from morning to night! Although our Puni Puni Pumps are available in 29 shades, why not venture from adding a splash of color to your ordinary business casual outfit to add subtle personality?



With the shift of workwear dress codes becoming more casual, it may seem intimidating at first to make sure you are not dressing too casual, or not enough. Crafting outfits with a larger range of freedom could be overwhelming at first so it’s always best to take inspiration from women around you, or even women you look up to. Here at kay me we wish to be there every step of the way as you step up to looking your best in business casual attire. With our incredible selection of clothing, shoes, and bags, you’ll find your unique business casual style in no time!

Timeless and Classic with a Twist: How to Wear Monochromatics for Summer

As summer peaks around the corner, many people are quick to switch out their wardrobe for bright, vibrant colors to signify the end of cold, gloomy winter. But what if colors aren’t your cup of tea, or doesn’t fit the TPO (Time, Place, Occasion)? Our solution is simple: stick with the timeless and classic combination of black and white, with a twist!

In this article we’ll explore three monochromatic kay me dresses and how you can transform your black and white outfits to be light, airy, and vibrant for the summer season.

Brighten up with White

What better way to look fresh and new for the summer season than with a touch of bright white? Add a white item to instantly lift the complexion of the outfit and effortlessly brighten the look! This also helps to pull out the lighter shades in your monochromatic look and adds a crisp finish that ties the look together. Our Black Herringbone Cache-Coeur Ribbon Dress is the perfect match for any white jacket, featuring a chic and classical monochrome herringbone print complemented by a black ribbon tie at the waistline. The white jacket lifts the heaviness of the black used in the dress, creating a perfectly harmonious balance without straying from the monochromatic spectrum.

Create Harmony with Earthy Tones

Bring roundness to the sharp edge of monochromatic items by pairing them with a soft earth tone such as beige or greige, or gray. By softening the color palette with the introduction of earth tones, the look becomes effortlessly lightweight, perfect for the warmer months. To take this method a step further, we recommend finding a monochromatic item that includes a touch of earth tones, such as our Classical Flower dresses that incorporate a light tone of beige. Our newly introduced Classical Flower print features delicately drawn flowers with detailed hand-drawn strokes of a pen. This pattern is the perfect mix of elegant and versatile, and can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion! Pair this dress with our Kanazawa-made cardigan for additional softness that comes from the luxurious knitting. By adding a knitted item on top the monochromatic sharpness is softened further with the textured fibers.

Add a Juicy Pop of Color

For those daring to be a bit more bold, adding a pop of color to your monochromatic look is the perfect way to celebrate the warmer, brighter months of summer! From fiery red to cheery yellow, kay me’s wide selection of colorful cardigans and items are sure to pair gorgeously with any monochromatic look. Our new Giraffe Geo print takes a chic and modern approach to monochrome prints by incorporating a giraffe print-like geometric pattern in black and brown with an accent of white highlight. By adding an additional pop of color with monochromatic prints, such as our Giraffe Geo series, the color appears more vibrant and fresh than it would on its own. To bring cohesive harmony to the look, focus on just one additional color to incorporate with your accessorization from head to toe, whether adding a bold accent color such as red or something more subtle like champagne pink!

Monochromatic prints are timeless classics that never go out of style and are ideal for any occasion, whether for business, leisure, or even special occasions. At kay me we have a wide array of monochrome dresses, from simple solid items to intricate floral or geometric prints. Our newly added prints, Herringbone, Classical Flower, and Giraffe Geo, take an updated modern twist on the traditional monochrome with the use of unique geometric shapes and hand-drawn flowers, only available at kay me. View our entire dress collection today on our website and don’t forget to use our new Dress Filter feature in order to find your perfect monochrome dress!

Being a Woman Entrepreneur in Japan

Entrepreneurship can come with many challenges, especially as women who continue to face adversities in the world of business. Though this is a global challenge, women in Japan are especially hindered by the gender gap present in the workplace. Despite being a country known for its progressive innovations and technological advancements, Japan placed 120th in World Economic Forum’s ‘The Global Gender Gap Report 2021’, 10 ranks down from 2019, speculated as the result of COVID-19. Despite the setbacks, female entrepreneurship has begun growing at a rapid rate in the past few years, especially in Japan.

The largest issue that seems to be present in pursuing female entrepreneurship in Japan is the lack of mentorship and networking opportunities that women are able to participate in. Aside from the business world globally being catered towards men, women in Japan are entrusted with the responsibility of childcare, domestic chores, and nursing their elderly parents. The result of these three factors creates a challenging environment for women in Japan to pursue entrepreneurship. During an interview with Japan Times, Mizuki Nakajima, CEO of coly Inc. explained how “Female entrepreneurs face hurdles as there are few female seniors whom they can consult about starting and operating businesses”. In order to combat this issue, many successful female CEOs have started up organizations and communities in order to provide mentorship and guidance to upcoming female entrepreneurs.

Women in Law Japan (WILJ), an example of one of these organizations, is a platform for women in legal professions to network in Japan. The importance of networking and building connections is shared with the president of WILJ, Catherine O’Connell, whom we’ve had the opportunity to interview in the past. Aside from starting Japan’s first lawyer-led legal podcast program, she also started her own boutique law firm in Tokyo, winning an Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2020. When asked for advice to share with kay me readers, O’Connell shared her three tips all centered around the most crucial aspect -networking. These three tips covered the value of every connection, the importance of maintaining connections without burning bridges, and stepping out of your comfort zone especially in the introductory stage.

Click here read about Catherine’s professional background as well as tips and tricks on networking:

So where do you start with becoming an entrepreneur and networking in Japan? The first step is to dress for success and attend networking opportunities and events! As Catherine shares in the second part of the interview, dressing for work, especially in Japan, is a “mark of respect not only to ourselves but to the person we are meeting with or the event we are attending”. She even shared with us how in true, respectful fashion she makes sure to dress professionally from head to toe even during online video meetings even if the person on the other end cannot see the full outfit. 

Investing in a classic jacket and a matching skirt or trousers can create a number of looks that can be used for multiple networking events, whether in person or online. When networking in Japan, we recommend soft, timeless colors such as navy, beige, and gray. The kay me Double Jersey Beige Tailored Jacket pairs perfectly with its matching Wrap Skirt to create an effortless suit set. Dare to be a bit bold by wearing a patterned top inside the suit, or aim for a chic look with a solid colored blouse accented with colored accessories for a vibrant pop. As per Catherine’s advice on dressing for online meetings, no need to worry about comfort or wrinkles when seated in your kay me suit as all of our items are stretchy, wrinkle-resistant, and easy care!

To read more tips from Catherine on how to dress, and for an exciting glimpse into her personal life:

How Working Women are Overcoming The Great Resignation

As we reach the second year mark of the initial impact of COVID-19, a global awakening, nicknamed ‘The Great Resignation’, has swept through the entire world in just these past few months. Millions have voluntarily quit their jobs in midst of the pandemic in hopes of better opportunities and fair work environments. This has quickly forced many companies to revise hourly wages, benefits, and other perks in order to attract potential employees. 

The demand of remote work

One ‘perk’ that many companies have made part of their working norm is remote working. First introduced in the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses temporarily closed their offices and shifted to the digital realm where employees quickly adjusted to the new work culture from the comfort of their homes. This new work style has become so important that according to Grow, “more than 1 in 5, 22%, said they would no longer consider working for an employer if work-from-home wasn’t an option”. This had a great impact on society and trends, especially fashion, where comfort became the priority of any everyday outfit. Many parted with their slacks and blazers and began dressing more casual in luxury ‘loungewear’, which according to Google Trends skyrocketed in searches by about 70% within April-December 2020 during the peak of the pandemic.

For days reserved for remote working, we recommend our Relax Wide Trousers, made especially with softness and comfort in mind. Pair it with any of our hoodies, made from the same Double Knit material, for optimum comfort and productivity! Although comfortable and soft as a cloud, these items have been designed and crafted to give the body gorgeous shape and dimension.

New meets old – hybrid working style

For the past two years, remote working has allowed women to balance and take control of their work life as well as their personal and family life. However, with many companies slowly beginning to open their office doors the work style that we have grown accustomed to has begun to morph once again, this time in the form of a ‘hybrid’ style. As employers observed the many benefits that came with remote working, companies have adopted the hybrid remote work style where employees have the freedom to choose days to work from home and at the office. According to a survey conducted by theSkimms, “two-thirds of millennial women say they believe they are missing opportunities by not being in the office, where they can discuss their career goals and development.” By implementing the hybrid work style, women will be able to be able to take control of their work and personal life and craft it to fit their needs.

So what will you wear to your first day back into the office? Nothing says you are naturally confident and ready to take on the new modern age like a pantsuit in pink! Equipped with shoulder pads, clean tailored lines and a silhouette designed to make you look taller, the perfect femme-chic suit should not only be empowering to wear but comfortable too – even for the home office. With stretch, machine washability and wrinkle resistance to make lives easier, it’s a no-brainer we want these always in our suits (and our suits are no exception).

The pursuit of entrepreneurship

With many businesses opening their doors once again and having employees come into work, mothers and many women with special circumstances who cannot leave their homes, have begun considering different career options that allow them more flexibility, one of them being entrepreneurship. According to Legaljobs, “47% of women started a business in the last year, compared to 44% of men”. By pursuing entrepreneurship, many women have regained control of their schedule and work-life balance, being able to fully indulge in their career without the responsibility or pressure of coming into the office and worrying about their children being cared for.

For our entrepreneurs who are ready to take on the world, we recommend our sleek, Kanazawa Peplum Knit Jacket to polish off the look for quick meetings, whether online or in person, without compromising comfort. Made from soft, luxurious and sustainable TENCEL™ material, it’s not only beautiful on the body, but kind to the planet. Choose from black or white to mix and match easily with your wardrobe! All kay me clothing items even our knitwear are of course machine-wash safe to ensure more freedom for your work and personal life without having to worry about visiting the dry cleaners!

Everything at kay me is lovingly made in Japan, with free worldwide delivery. For more lifestyle solutions, visit our online store today.

Three Inspiring Advice for Entrepreneur Women in 2022

2021 is quickly coming to an end and here at kay me we’ve taken time to reflect on a few of our most cherished memories of this year. As our team grew with every new store opening, we celebrated our 10th anniversary with a special collection, as well as many exciting events! Among these were our Exclusive Interviews, hosted by kay me founder Junko Kemi, where we met esteemed guests in the top of their fields in Japan to share their experience and wisdom with us. Here is a recap of our first three remarkable guests who graced us with their abundant knowledge and tips for blossoming female entrepreneurs!

The path to leadership with Ms. Natsumi Akita, Marketing VP of Adobe Japan

On our very first episode, we welcomed our guest Ms. Natsumi Akita, Marketing Vice President of Adobe Japan. Before Adobe, she extended her marketing chops in both the U.S. and Japan (from the likes of Master Card, Citi, HSBC to name a few), handling large-scale global teams. According to Ms. Akita, for ambitious individuals chasing the top, the first step to becoming a leader is to simply envision yourself in that position:

“It’s important to hold an image of how you want to be seen, and planning steps on how to become that version of yourself. If it’s a leadership role you are envisioning, you need to take a step back to see what parts you are missing and slowly take your time to obtain those missing elements.”

From there on with time and experience, you mold into the shoes that you create for yourself.

From large-scale global team management, dealing with cultural differences to male-dominated environments and maintaining leadership, and advancing to the global stage, Ms. Akita shares her seasoned advice in wealth in our exclusive interview below:

Weathering the economic storm with Ms. Sakie Akiyama, founder of Saki Corporation Ltd.

Our next remarkable woman we spoke to is founder of Saki Corporation Ltd., Ms. Sakie Akiyama. Pursuing the path of entrepreneurship in the industrial machinery sector, she has had her fair share of tough times and knows the importance of turning a bad situation into a chance for opportunity – something she has done for the past 25 years to keep her company running.

With the impact of COVID-19, many businesses have exhausted their resources, including their optimism and spirit. Similarly during Ms. Akiyama’s company presidency, she led her entire team through the devastating Lehman Shock of 2008 and not only recovered company earnings, but brought it to a steady increase just simply through a change in mindset. She recalled her toughest memory of the Lehman Shock:  

“During that experience, the least I could do as an entrepreneur and a company president was to look at the situation through numbers. I used this to communicate with my employees for them to understand the situation, and… brainstorm what steps needed to be taken to alleviate it. In order to do this I had to truly believe in what I was going to tell them and to make my mind up prior in order to truly convince them with my words and to win their trust over… I learned quickly how important being able to convey your thoughts is.

That’s when Ms. Akiyama adopted a new approach and what she recommends to those facing adversity and struggling to regain composure: imagine yourself in the worst-case-scenario and realize that it is not so bad. Stepping back to imagine herself in the worst case, where she sat in a dim-lit dingy room, eating a simple bowl of eggs over rice across her husband, she accepted she would be OK even at “rock bottom”. With this new positive outlook and no longer overcome with negativity, it was easier to concentrate on work and for Ms. Akiyama, a turning point both in her life and business from there on.

Check out her story and advice for women seeking global advancement below:

Finding your drive with Ms. Miwa Koyasu, founder of Will Lab Co. Ltd.

Finally we spoke to Ms. Miwa Koyasu, founder of Will Lab Co. Ltd., a company working to promote women with career opportunities, mentorship and development especially in the rural areas of Japan. Founded around the principle of ‘Will’, a term she uses to describe your ideal version of yourself, she walked us through ‘Will’, ‘Can’ (what you can do), and ‘Must’ (what you must do), three key features of drive that allows one to complete tasks and reach goals and explains why any entrepreneur needs to find their ‘Will’:

“There’s a lot to do, a lot of ‘Can’. They possessed skills and knowledge but no ‘Will’, which caused people to become lost, especially in their careers.

Of course I knew the importance of ‘Can’. It’s important to have skills to be able to complete the tasks at hand. But those who had skills but no ‘Will’, from my observation, did not grow as quickly as those who possessed ‘Will’. Although it is important to be able to complete given tasks, without ‘Will’, people lack the drive to push forward, which is key for any entrepreneur who is planning on starting up their own business.“

Pursuing who you want to be and how to find your ambition utilizing ‘will’, to exercising self-reflection, Ms. Koyasu shares her advice she imparts at her very own company in our exclusive interview:

With each interview we felt more motivated and inspired by these powerful women who shared their incredible journeys with us, both in their professional and personal lives! With more stories and advice from remarkable women coming up, visit our Youtube channel and subscribe to stay tuned for future interviews coming in 2022!

Three Outfits to Round Off 2021 Festivities

December has flashed by in blink of an eye and the holiday season is just around the corner! For many here in Japan, the season calls for little celebrations with loved ones and friends, enjoying the romance of the illuminations around the city and big corporate functions to round off the year. For these types of occasions, our Umeda stylist Yumi, has her three outfits recommendations to inspire your style!

Elegant for Romantic Dinner Dates

Being the last month of the year calls for making the occasion grand and extra memorable, and what better way than splurging on a fine dining experience with that special someone. For a romantic date outfit at that dinner rendezvous, we are keeping it warm, elegant with a feminine class.

With a nod to warm Christmas evenings by the fireplace with its rich red tones, a Tartan Print Dress feels just right to match the romantic dinner mood. Especially in our cache-coeur design, the dress brings out a feminine bodyline with its cinched waist and flared skirt. Completed with gold accessories and a clutch, you have a sparkling and glamorous outfit that also looks great with that glass of wine in hand – champagne or red. Don’t forget a thick warm coat (and add faux fur for an extravagant touch) to cover you to and from the restaurant or while you are taking in the colorful lit backdrops of the evening.

Yumi’s Dinner Date recommendations

Chic for After-Office Hours

While it is the month for plans and festivities, it doesn’t mean we don’t have work to think about too! The all too familiar balancing act of work and get-togethers can be a hassle for many, and even more so when you have to put together an party outfit that is office-appropriate too. Because let’s face it – who wants to show up to a party in work attire or have to go back home to get changed? So for the office and the girls night out after, how about something clean, modern and fun with blue and silver?

Hanshin_211221_03


Being a color which portrays trust and reliability, blue is a safe bet for the office and an eye-catching piece to wear every day too. Accented here in our Sapphire Lip Dress, the bold print balances bright colors with neutrals for a easy integration in and out of work. Paired with silver and a lapel jacket in white or black, it softens the print and keeps it sharp for the office environment.

For that extra ‘edge’, here Yumi wears our vegan leather Riders Jacket in white. It’s lightweight, stretchy and easy to wear out all night and machine-washable too for accidental spills!

Yumi’s Work-to-Party recommendations

Poised for Formal Functions

Dinner dates and get-togethers with friends are great, but sometimes the occasion calls for prim and proper dress and formality, such as the end-of-year corporate party or a ceremonial family gathering. During such occasion, it’s easy to go straight for black but if you want to ease up on the strict appearance and still look tidy in front of colleagues and esteemed company, then a simple solution is navy.

Hanshin_211221_04

Evoking an air of confidence, intelligence and authority, a top-to-bottom navy ensemble is perfect for setting the tone. Opt for a jacket with elegant details such as this, with gentle ruffles to frame the face and add feminine touches yet still has you looking sharp and polished. Over an A-line Dress and you have a simple go-to style to keep you comfortable for long evenings and sorted for similar functions to come.

Yumi’s Formal Function recommendations

However you celebrate your year-end, just like our clothes, may you celebrate with elegance, style and ease!

With love from Tokyo,
kay me

How To Wear Prints in the Office

Fashion can be tricky when it comes to balancing personal style with professionalism, especially in the office. Naturally, we have a tendency to stay away from bold prints and colors and our hands reach towards chic, timeless classics like solid navy or black suits. But what if there was a way to add prints and patterns without taking away from the sleek professionalism that is necessary for workwear? With the season of layering upon us, it is the perfect time to take risks by incorporating daring prints! Today we’ll explore a few ways to include printed pieces into your everyday office wardrobe including special items from our newly arrived Autumn-Winter Collection!

Simple and Sleek

For those just beginning their journey of wearing prints and patterns, we recommend starting subtle by still keeping the base of your outfit a classic, professional color such as black or navy. Add a pop of print to serve as the focal point of your look while keeping the rest sleek and cohesive.

To simplify your morning routine, we recommend choosing from our stunning collection of docking dresses, which gives you instant work-ready perfection in 30 seconds. These 2-in-1 dresses relieve the need to coordinate a top with a skirt while still providing the look of one. And they’re the perfect item for those who want to add a splash of pattern to their wardrobe staple. With our incredible range of prints to choose from, you can still add color to your everyday work style without compromising style, ease or comfort!

The Leopard x Black Frill Dress is a gorgeous docking dress from our newest collection, where soft leopard-print chiffon is met with a sleek, shape-supporting black skirt. The black used in the elegant leopard print also ties with the skirt harmoniously. This dress can be paired with your favorite black cardigan for casual days in the office. For days that require an extra chic finish, pair the dress with its matching Smart Stretch Jacket!

Down to Earth

Another way to make a printed pattern appear more mild and muted is by pairing the item with earthy, neutral tones such as brown, gray, or beige. This not only softens the colorway of the outfit, but by incorporating muted accents the bold print is neutralized with earthy elegance.

For example, the Navy Ray Flower Tucked Top pairs gorgeously under a chic black or navy suit, but by opting for milky colors such as greige or beige the look is softened gracefully. This top can be paired with either a skirt or trousers and the colorway of the print opens endless possibilities for coordinating!

Go for Bold

For those who are up for the challenge, we recommend taking a risk and dressing in a fully patterned dress! Although this may seem intimidating at first to wear to the office, with just one extra piece you can feel confident wearing a printed dresses for your go-to work look! Especially for those with plans after work who don’t want the hassle to go home and get changed or show up in something boring, this simple option can let you have your cake and eat it too.

It all comes down to choosing the right layer with the right design – a long knit cardigan! Our range of Kanazawa Side-slit Cardigans are made for just that – cutting just above the knee with its relaxed silhouette and flowy knit, they balance out dynamic patterns and colors and provide the perfect coverage over any daring dress. Since they are machine-washable nor do they lose their shape either, you can have an elegant and cozy office style with them (print or no print) each day of the week – the possibilities are endless.

Whether you are looking to subtly add printed patterns to your usual work wardrobe, or looking to express your personality through fun and daring prints, stepping up to the challenge of your own personal comfort is an amazing accomplishment of its own! Here at kay me we strive to support women through their challenges, big and small, by providing premium quality clothing that are chic, comfortable, and easy-care. So you can focus on enjoying the challenge of finding the perfect prints that fit your lifestyle, without compromising stress-free comfort! To discover your new favorite workwear print, have a look at our latest collection featuring elegant leopard, timeless tartan, chic ray flowers, and more! Visit our online store to view our gorgeous selection of originally designed prints and patterns, with free global shipping for all orders!

Adjusting to New Pandemic Work Routines and Changing Seasons in Japan

With the warm temperatures of summer fleeting, this marks the second year of Japan’s COVID-present autumn just around the corner. Nearly a year and a half later, the effects of the pandemic on work life in Japan are still prevalent but surely recovering. In the beginning, many companies opted for strict teleworking to lessen the chances of contraction during transportation as well as in the office. Compared to the prior year however, we can observe positive changes such as the 26% full-time teleworking rate dropping to 8% (Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.). This means that many people have begun to slowly transition back into their offices with the utmost caution by implementing time-adjusted work hours as well as flex work hours.

Like teleworking, time-adjusted work hours and flex hours in Japan allow people to have more control over their work schedule. Time-adjusted work hours are where employee schedules are separated so their beginning time and ending times are spaced apart to avoid overcrowding. For example, some people may begin their workday from 7:00-15:00, whereas others may begin their workday from 11:00-19:00. In both cases, the employee still follows the typical 9-to-5 workday. On the other hand, flex hours work in a similar way where the company has ‘core hours’ where all employees must be present, and the rest of the hours are scheduled freely as long as they total 40 hours per week.

With the adjusted work hours as well as the changing of seasons the question that arises is how to dress properly for in-office days that are not quite cold enough for heavyweight fibers, but not warm enough for lightweight fibers? Workwear can be tricky during the transitions of seasons, especially in autumn as the mornings and nights are exponentially colder than the daytime. With the newly implemented work style, the temperature difference can be even more extreme than before. Today, we will explore three easy ways to effortlessly transition your summer wardrobe into cozy autumn wear.

Coming back into the office, one stressor people may remember is how many of us cannot change the office thermostat settings. Often times, offices are notorious for being chilly in order to prevent computers and other electronics from overheating, especially during transitioning seasons where it is warm during the day. One way of comfortably transitioning your summer wardrobe for the fall is switching from a light underdress to something more heat-retaining to stay cozy even in a dress around the office. kay me Warm Underdresses are light and breathable, yet heat-retaining. For transitioning months, we recommend the camisole underdress, which can be worn under any of your favorite kay me dresses without worrying about the design being disrupted.

With the rise of time-adjusted work hours, many people opt to leave their house either earlier or later than the rush hour. As an incentive, railway companies such as JR have begun implementing a point system for people who commute during these ‘off-peak’ times. These collected points can be used to pay for items and services within the station malls, or exchanged online for items. For those who leave early, they are met with colder temperatures going to work and warmer weather when leaving from work. Those who leave later in the day are in the opposite situation. As a solution of being exposed to polar opposite temperatures during the workday, an option would be layering with knitted items such as cardigans and knits. Not only will this option provide extra warmth whenever needed, but the look of knit adds an instant look of coziness to any outfit! By choosing rich colors such as bordeaux and mustard, any simple dress can transform into the perfect autumn look. Try our comfortable and soft Kanazawa-knit Crewneck Cardigans available in gorgeous autumn colors such as Mustard and Gray Melange.

For those constantly on the go in and out of the office, sometimes carrying an extra layer like a cardigan or jacket may not be the most convenient. Especially when traveling on foot, the body naturally heats up and the extra layer brought for warmth just becomes a nuisance to carry. In those cases, we suggest wearing materials that can assist in regulating the body temperature for constant, optimal comfort. This dream-like material, called Outlast, has actually been developed for NASA in order to maintain a comfortable temperature even in space. This thermally adaptive material absorbs, stores, and releases heat for optimal comfort. At kay me, we have taken this technologically advanced material and have created a stunning suit collection, perfect for autumn! The Soy Milk x Pinstripe Docking Tuck Dress is a gorgeous piece that features a feminine top complete with delicate tuck detailing at the bustline and ¾ sleeves. The skirt is made from Outlast material that provides soft shape support and warmth when needed. The combination of the two creates a breathtaking ensemble-like dress which can also be paired with its matching jacket to instantly transform the outfit into a suit!

With the new normal of work life in Japan evolving constantly through COVID-19, adapting to and overcoming frequent changes has been a challenge in itself. The last thing that you want on your mind is worrying about how to stay comfortably warm or cool throughout your day as you return to the office. In retrospect, many women have taken the opportunity that teleworking and adjusted work hours have created by indulging in improving their skillsets. According to Paranavi, since the State of Emergency was announced last year, an average of 40% of women displayed an interest in improving their skills for their careers, and 32% of them have used their free time to advance their skills. This incredible statistic holds much hope for the future of women as they still face their challenges no matter what the environment is around them.

At kay me we wish to continue supporting women through these challenges by providing luxurious comfort and providing solutions to all stressors caused by clothing. All our fully machine-washable pieces are stretchy and ethically made in Japan and we offer free global shipping as standard too! Visit us here.

A Sweet Taste of Autumn in Japan: A Historic Guide to Traditional Japanese Autumn Treats

As the days become shorter and the weather begins to cool, autumn arrives in a parade of deep, earthy colors such as crimson, violet, and mustard. The challenging humidity of summer subsides and the crisp, cool air of autumn invites many Japanese residents to enjoy enriching activities such as reading, painting, hiking, and enjoying delicious, hearty dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Though foods such as fresh grilled pacific saury and soul-warming hot pots gain lots of traction, something you cannot miss are the decadent traditional sweets, or wa-gashi, that can be enjoyed especially during this season. Depending on where in Japan you are, these sweets can vary widely, which makes for the perfect gift for a loved one when traveling to these locations! Today we’ll explore a few traditional sweets popular in different Japanese regions during the autumn season, and their unique history!

Kanto 揚げまんじゅう

Image credits: Age-manju from Asakusa Kokonoe


Our first location is the Kanto region, most popular for its cities such as Tokyo and Yokohama. Though there are a plethora of traditional sweets that have their roots here, one of the most popular is the age-manju, which is a deep-fried manju! The chef takes a manju, a small pastry cake filled traditionally with a red bean paste, and lightly coats it in batter before they fry it to a crispy golden brown color. The history of the age-manju dates back to over 100 years ago when people would place manjus as offerings inside of Buddhist altars. After some time, the manju would harden and dry out. Rather than wasting the food, people began to deep fry the manju to reheat the interior and to give it a crispy exterior for a pleasant snack.

 After over 100 years, the age-manju is enjoyed as its own specific treat, now available in a variety of flavors.Both the filling and outer batter options can vary vastly, especially during the autumn time! A few of our favorites are the red bean paste with chopped chestnut, as well as the sweet potato paste with matcha batter. Age-manju can be found in almost any gourmet-centered locations around Tokyo, such as Asakusa and Ueno, where the manju is deep-fried right in front of your eyes. For an elevated experience, we recommend trying the age-manju from the Kikunoya Flagship Store, located in Ginza. Macadamia nuts are sprinkled on top of the manju before it is deep fried to perfection using premium quality oil for a satisfying crunch. Why not enjoy this treat after visiting our flagship store as well, which is only a short 3-minute stroll away!

Kansai ぜんざい

Another epicenter of traditional Japanese sweets is the Kansai region, especially in Kyoto where they are most famous for their deep, robust Uji-matcha. Sweets in the Kansai region oftentimes are more simplistic and use less sugar to truly focus on bringing out the natural flavor of each ingredient. A hearty dessert popular in the colder months is the zenzai, a warm red bean soup accompanied by boiled or grilled mochi. The zenzai is said to have traveled from Izumo to the then-capital of Japan, Kyoto. This dish was served during Jinzaisai, or the Festival of the Visit of the Gods, a Shinto belief where all of the deities would travel to Izumo to gather once a year during the autumn months. During this festival, a special mochi, called Jinzai mochi, and beans would be offered to the dieties. Near the end of the festival, the mochi and beans were placed together in a pot to create a stew which was shared by the people of Izumo. Through the exchange of dialects, by the time the dish reached Kyoto it was known as ‘zenzai’. Limited to the autumn time, many tea houses in Kyoto that serve this dish add soft, roasted chestnuts, or even replace the red beans entirely with a chestnut paste to make a rich, creamy treat that is perfect for the colder months.

Kyoto, known for its gorgeous scenery, is even more breathtaking in the autumn with its abundant Japanese maple leaves that turn crimson red during this season. When visiting Kyoto in the fall be sure to partake in the Japanese tradition of ‘momiji-gari’, which directly translates to “Japanese maple leaf harvesting”. Despite its name, this tradition is simply the act of going outside to observe and admire the colorful leaves of autumn. We highly advise to keep in mind to dress comfortably as the best spots to partake in ‘momiji-gari’ are usually higher in the mountains. In true Kyoto fashion, these mountains have numerous tea houses for visitors to rest at and enjoy a warm cup of tea along with traditional wa-gashi, including zenzai of course!

For a comfortable, yet stylish look perfect for the chic atmosphere of Kyoto, we recommend our Ivory First Class Hoodie paired with our Taupe Relax Wide Trousers. Stay warm and active while you enjoy the mystic scenery of Kyoto without having to worry about feeling underdressed. Both the trousers and hoodie include pockets which can easily store your smartphone and smaller items, making them both the ideal travel partner!

Chubu もみじの衣揚げ

Our final destination is the Chubu Region, famous for the historic city of Nagoya, which is one of our most recent store locations!

Image credits: Ogura Toast by Visit Nagoya

Nagoya is most famous for their unique dessert that is quite simple and consists of three ingredients; toast, butter, and red bean paste. Known as ogura (red bean paste) toast, this dish is enjoyed both as a light snack or even as a breakfast food. Its history originates from the end of World War I where a quaint wa-gashi store was no longer able to purchase mochi rice due to the inflation quadrupling its prices. Simultaneously during this time, there was a ‘bread boom’, which meant an abundant amount of bread and butter were readily available, and for a discounted price. Taking this as an opportunity, the owner converted their wa-gashi store into a ‘kissaten’, or “tea-drinking shop”, which usually serves western-style food and drinks such as coffee and sandwiches, opposed to a traditional Japanese tea shop. The shop owner began serving buttered toast, which was a popular dish at that time. Shortly after, they noticed a trend of younger people ordering buttered toast with zenzai and dipping the bread into the sweet red bean stew. This was when the owner got the idea to incorporate the two dishes, creating the infamous ogura toast!

Speaking of momiji leaves of Kyoto, another Japanese treat is quite unique and perfect for ‘momiji-gari’ season, especially for those who may not be able to partake in the event. This must-try unique snack is deep-fried momiji leaves, perfect for the autumn season! To make these snacks, momiji leaves are harvested and pickled in salt a year prior to them being served. Then, they are deep-fried using a sweet, decadent batter to crispy perfection. This traditional snack is not only enjoyed by locals alongside a cup of warm green tea, but they make wonderfully unique and seasonal gifts! Why not pair the sweets with a warming item from kay me, such as the Peach Pink Silk Wool Cutwork Lace Scarf, for the ultimate autumn gift. The scarf is sure to keep the recipient warm as the colder months come up, and it leaves them with a special keepsake even after the sweets are eaten!

Whether going for a stroll around your local area or traveling for business, be sure to give traditional Japanese sweets a try, especially if they offer fresh seasonal options! Traditional Japanese sweets can be found practically anywhere from the snack aisle at convenience stores to high-end shops located within boutique districts, and don’t forget to share your favorite dishes with loved ones as souvenirs.

After stopping by for a quick sweet treat, be sure to complete your trip by visiting any of our 12 stores all across Japan! All of our store locations can be found here:

https://kayme.com/stores/