Japan is a country with its own unique way of dressing and interacting with others. On certain occasions, they have a strict dress code that visitors must follow to avoid any embarrassment or uncomfortable scenarios. Have a look at these helpful tips to ensure you look your best on your next visit to Japan.
Business Dress Codes in Japan
You want to dress appropriately to be taken seriously in the workplace and gain respect among your colleagues. When dressing in Japan, conservative and neutral tones are your safest dress code guides.
Business dress codes in Japan for men
Men conventionally wear dark suits, a shirt and tie, and slacks. Although some workplaces would socially accept loud colors and patterns, your safest bet would be sticking to solid and neutral colors. Don’t wear a black suit with a black tie as that is something you would wear to a funeral.
Japanese companies don’t allow Japanese men to have shaved hair or beards. Go for a short and clean haircut and shave your facial hair regularly.
Business dress codes in Japan for women
Women’s business dress is constrained and formal. Women can wear a shirt, a cardigan, or a jacket with knee-length skirts or trousers for a more business casual look. On occasion, you should wear upmarket jewelry that doesn’t look flashy. Keep your hair tied back in an up-do, or brush it through nicely so your hair looks nice and clean.
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In the winter, you can add a simple, sharp-looking overcoat to complete your ensemble. For rainy season, specially in June, you can wear Burberry-style short raincoats.
Other things to avoid
Salary men and women should have well-groomed hairstyles. Additionally, they may consider tattoos, colored hair, and piercings taboo. So make sure you cover up with some long sleeves if you have tattoos. Remove any piercings and keep your hair color natural. Do not wear a hat or a cap in the workplace.
What To Wear During A Date In Japan?
Dressing up for a date can be nerve-wracking–and even more so when you’re unsure of the cultural norm regarding dating. You want to impress your date, but you also want to dress comfortably. Your keywords should be clean and polite.
Make sure you put in that extra care and attention to your style and grooming to show your date that you made an effort for them. Here are some more styling tips for going out on a date:
Dress code in Japan for a date – Women
Women can achieve a clean look by combing through their hair, washing their face, and adding a light touch of makeup. Nothing too over the top. As objective as it sounds, aim to look cute rather than sexy. Japanese people are much more conservative when it comes to dating. They tend to take things slow and not show any PDA on the first date.
You’d be surprised how well your hair can carry your fit with the proper styling. Even the most simple outfit can look great for as long as your hair looks nice. For a date, you can never go wrong with a simple top, a skirt, and some nice shoes.
Find an outfit that highlights your best features. Do this, and your date will be sure to compliment you for looking kawaii (cute in Japanese).
Bonus tip: Don’t wear strong fragrances! Using an overpowering perfume can be a turn-off, especially if you decide to eat out at a sushi restaurant. The strong scent may overpower the original flavors of the food.
Dress code in Japan for a date – Men
For men, you want to elevate your everyday casual outfit. Although a clean, comfy look may still look appealing for women, you want to show that you put some effort into your date. A good-fitted polo shirt, t-shirt, or sweater will get your date off to a good start.
When it comes to bottoms, make sure they are not too baggy either. Hold your pants up with a belt and check to see that it’s the proper length.
Japanese women notice how well you’re able to color-coordinate your outfit. Wear simple colors that go well together. You want to avoid clothes with loud prints or show off the brands of the outfit.
Wear whatever makes you feel like yourself and comfortable but keep your fundamentals clean and color coordinated. You can even add simple accessories like a watch to accentuate your outfit a little more.
Hopefully, you’re not feeling too constricted by these detailed dress code rules. Going out on a date is a fun way to get to know someone and see if you’re a good romantic match for each other. As much as you want to dress to impress, loosen up a bit and express who you are through your outfit.
Different people have different preferences when it comes to style and attraction, after all. So focus on having a good time with your date and showing off your best self.
Dress Code In Japan During A Matsuri (summer festivals)
Matsuri is the term used to describe festivals or celebrations held in Japan. Although it is acceptable to wear casual clothes, you may miss out on some unique activities if you’re not wearing traditional festival clothing.
Read More: Best Japanese Matsuri (Festivals)
In the Mikotshi Matsuri, for example, each team or club (ukijo) must wear a special Mikoshi attire associated with their local shrine. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be allowed to hold the shrine and carry it with the rest of the group.
Yukatas for men and women
For the summer festivals, you can wear a simple kimono called a Yukata. They are traditional Japanese clothes made of lighter, thinner material than the usual kimono. You can easily purchase a Yukata at a Japanese Department store. Still, you would save a lot more money if you buy it at a discount store like Don Quijote.
Men’s yukatas usually come in darker colors, while women’s yukatas have more variations in colors and patterns, often including flowers. Some yukatas have pre-made Obi bows, so you won’t need to struggle with tying the bow correctly.
Read Also: Differences Between Kimono And Yukata
Geta and Zori
For footwear, you can wear traditional Japanese platforms like geta or zori. If you’re planning to wear the geta, practice your festival strut in those sandals before you decide to use them. The zori may be a safer option; they’re a less formal version of the geta and much more comfortable.
Complete your festival look with a kinchaku (Japanese drawstring bag) to carry your stuff easily and enjoy the rest of the festival.
Japan is home to many festivals throughout the year, each with its own historical significance and traditional uniforms. Some Matsuris are vehement and lively—like the two-week-long Gion Matsuri and the Awa Odori, Japan’s largest traditional dance festival held in August.
Other Matsuris are quieter, more intimate affairs with their own inviting charm. With Japan’s many matsuris happening year-round, align your itinerary to Japan’s event calendars to maximize your visit and experience one-of-a-kind cultural celebrations in Japan.
What To Wear During A Wedding In Japan?
If you happen to stay long enough in Japan and make some close friends, there’s a good chance you’ll get invited to attend a Japanese wedding. Let the bride and groom know right away whether you’ll be going. Once you’ve RSVP’d your attendance, your next task should be finding an appropriate outfit for the wedding.
What to wear during a wedding in Japan for women?
Women have the option to wear a dress or a kimono. Either way, your outfit shouldn’t show off the shoulders, knees, or toes. It’s also important that your dress is one muted color—no bright colors or animal prints.
If you’re going to wear tights, make sure they are nude. Your shoes can have a subdued heel; as long as you follow the color code and don’t show your toes, you should be alright. Women are encouraged to match their outfit with a small accessory bag. Use a shawl or bolero if you need to add extra layers.
Keep your accessories light and delicate but still a bit fancy. Some small ribbons, pearls, or a bracelet can add a nice touch. Refrain from accessorizing with flowers unless you’re required to wear them; flowers are for the bride.
As with most weddings, you shouldn’t upstage the bride with your outfit. It is their special day after all.
What to wear during a wedding in Japan for men?
The dress code for men is generally straightforward. Keep it formal and wear a dark suit with a white shirt. Be wary of wearing black ties with a dark suit; otherwise, people will question why you’re dressed for a funeral. Add some elegance to your look with some cuff links or a watch. Complete the look with some formal dress shoes that go with your outfit.
For both men and women, it’s a basic rule not to wear white. As long as your clothes aren’t too casual or outlandish, your outfit should pass the dress code (on top of the other tips we’ve given you). When in doubt, ask the bride or groom for advice on what to wear. Just take a picture and ask if it’s okay for you to wear this to your wedding.
What To Wear During A Funeral In Japan?
Dressing appropriately for a funeral is very important. In Japan, black is the color of mourning, and attendees must wear conservative attire.
What to wear during a funeral in Japan for men?
Men should wear a plain, conservative black suit with a simple white shirt, matte black tie, and plain black shoes. Your shoes should not have any shiny buckles on them. Any jewelry is prohibited unless it is your wedding ring.
What to wear during a funeral in Japan for women?
Women wear a black kimono or a plain, matte, black conservative dress to funeral services: no patterned fabrics, lace, or frills. The dress should have a high-cut neckline, not be form-fitting, and cover the knees. You should only wear this with black, opaque stockings.
Your black flats must be completely closed for footwear–no shiny leather or design. Though plain strands of pearls would be acceptable, please refrain from wearing any jewelry unless it is your wedding ring.
Wear as little perfume as possible. Hair should be kept tidy. If you have long hair, pull it up in a bun. If your hair is short, apply hair spray to keep it neat. Bags should also be black. There are specific black bags that you can buy at the department store for a funeral service.
What You Should Avoid To Wear In Japan?
Japanese people tend to be very conservative with their everyday outfits. In the summer, they still cover their shoulders and wear semi-casual shoes. You should avoid wearing flip-flops. Instead, replace flip-flops with sandals or crocs. They don’t usually wear showy or revealing tops either. It would be rare to spot a guy wearing a tank top or a girl wearing spaghetti straps.
Another thing, don’t wear leggings without adding a skirt on top. Leggings are like stockings for the Japanese, so they usually wear a skirt over them. When in Japan, dress appropriately and cover up as they would.
We hope you’ve found this article about Japanese dress codes helpful!
There are many different types of dress codes in Japan, so it can be tricky to know what to wear and how to dress.
As a general rule, Japanese people like to keep their outfits looking, clean, simple, neat, and conservative. Even if you are just a tourist, it’s good to know some general rules of clothing when visiting Japan to show respect to their culture.