The New ‘Normal’ of Working Women

As we pass the one-year mark of the spread of COVID-19, there have been quite a few changes with our lives here in Japan, especially when it comes to daily activities such as work. As office meetings and conferences have shifted to virtual ones, the way we prepare for them from formulating outlines to planning what to wear has also shifted tremendously. Trousers and skirts have been replaced with sweatpants and loungewear, and classic work colors such as navy and gray have been opted out for fresh, bright colors such as yellow and red. Aside from appearance, another shift that has been observed is that consumers in Japan are opting for sustainable, domestically made clothing. Today, we’ll take a look at a few work fashion trends popular amongst women in Japan directly due to COVID-19, as well as a few predictions we have for the near future as the new ‘normal’ is established.

Going bright and bold

This past year has been full of teleworking rather than going into the office. Although in-office days have begun to trickle back, teleworking is still as popular as a year ago. According to a survey conducted by career support company Waris, a one of the most stressful aspects for women working from home has been the lack of communication and connection they have felt within their workplace. To combat this issue, many workplaces have increased online meetings. As these online meetings are still the main mode of communication for workplace teams, why not make it a special opportunity to boost morale and uplift the atmosphere – perhaps through the use of ‘color therapy’?

Interestingly, a trend that has become popular in the past year in Japan is the use of bright, bold colors which can easily provide extra liveliness during virtual meetings. For example, try adding a pop of color to your work wardrobe with a solid-color cardigan, like our vibrant Yellow Fresh Cardigan. As one of the Pantone Color of the Year 2021, bright yellow pieces have risen in popularity and worn to bring out one’s strength and positivity. Or for an instant boost of fiery confidence, try a rich red like our Berry Crewneck Cardigan or Red V-neck Cardigan. These gorgeous pieces can be worn over any outfit and are perfect for team meetings or presentations.

Comfort from underneath

As the restrictions have slowly (but surely) begun to lift here in Japan, days in the office have become more prevalent than this time last year.

Upon research, we discovered that in 2020 our most popular items came from our underdress collection, and we predict that they will continue to stay as our bestsellers in the upcoming months! Our versatile underdresses are available in an array of different sleeve lengths and material to fit any season or occasion. They’ve also been carefully crafted in order to fit perfectly under kay me dresses to optimize day-long comfort that all of our items guarantee. The shift from wearing loungewear and comfortable clothes during telework days has slowly returned to business attire and formalwear, but that doesn’t mean your clothes cannot be just as comfortable as your favorite pair of sweatpants, especially as these underdresses eliminate the need for girdles.

Traveling after COVID

According to a consumer survey conducted by Itochu Fashion System (IFS), 63% of all surveyees showed interest in traveling once the current situation with COVID-19 was alleviated. As options to travel will open in the near future, why not prepare by looking the part? Our loungewear collection makes the perfect companion for travel, whether the trip is hours away or just around the block.

Our Ivory Soft Hoodie, newly added to our First-Class Hoodie Collection, not only specializes in providing comfort for future trips, but pairs perfectly with our Relax Wide Trousers for a luxurious loungewear set. Whether for business or leisure, the kay me loungewear collection will have you traveling in style, and with stress-free comfort.

With a recent wave of consciousness on social media and a new light shone upon SDGs in Japan, it is reported that Japanese consumers are 68.5% more likely to choose an ethically made clothing item over its alternatives even if that means paying more (FUMIKODA). Due to the pandemic, there has also been a surge of demand for domestically-made items as well. Thankfully, when choosing kay me items, these factors are guaranteed for all of our collections so you can simply shop for your favorite items without worrying. As a new ‘normal’ has slowly established itself this past year, our mission is to continue supporting women in any and every challenge that comes their way. Since our establishment, we have worked towards providing women with sustainable clothing, including animal-friendly leather alternatives and bio-conscious triacetate chiffon. Whether purchasing our items online for our international customers, or in-store for those located in Japan, we hope that our items will provide you with familiar comfort and easy-care.

Whether searching for a classic jersey dress or a chic loungewear set, kay me is sure to have the perfect item that will fit the occasion even as the world faces constant changes.

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