Last spring I went to Japan for the first time. It’s no secret that I fell in love from the moment I arrived. Similar to Korean style, Japanese women are elegant and feminine. Unlike Korea however, there was an edge to Japanese street fashion, and I’m not just talking about Harajuku.
I felt at home with my patterns and bold lips in Osaka and Tokyo. I noticed women really experimented with their makeup and weren’t afraid to have their own unique style.
It was mid-April when we arrived and I wasn’t sure exactly how chilly it was going to be. I brought a coat, but rarely wore it and ditched it all together after a few days. It was warm enough to go without a jacket or sweater during the day, but by nightfall, I needed another layer.
Here’s what to wear in Japan in the spring.
A Real Rain Jacket
Not a thin little wind breaker that you picked up from a Korean outlet mall that looked cute, but didn’t come with a hood. It rained a lot while we were in Japan. It’s Spring, that’s just what happens. There were so many times where I wished I’d packed a good waterproof jacket. Make sure it’s light-weight though, because it’s still very warm even though it’s wet.
Blouses that Cover You Up
Similar to Korea, I found that most women wear tops that cover their chest entirely and not once did I see a woman in spaghetti straps. It’s simply not done. Keep cool with t-shirts and sleeveless blouses that still cover the shoulder, steer clear of anything sheer and always pack a little cardigan in your day bag so that when the evening chill creeps in you’re ready.
I packed about 57 dresses for my trip and I wore all of them in Japan. I never felt underdressed and with a simple swap from flip flops to flats I was ready for any restaurant. I brought a few different thin belts as well, so that I could keep things interesting and make myself feel all sorts of accessorized. Bring a few pairs of tights for days when bare legs simply won’t do.
It still felt a little bit too cold for shorts. On the days where it was too chilly for dresses I threw on skinny jeans and a lightweight blouse. If I got warm I could cuff my jeans and still feel put together.
I’m a lover of cardigans, especially these 3/4 length JCrew beauties. I brought a black one so it went with everything and I always had it crumpled up in my bag ready for a heavily air-conditioned restaurant, to cover my shoulders in a temple or when the sun went down and I wasn’t ready to stop sipping beers along the river.
My Other Essentials?
I wore red lipstick as often as I could remember. I wore sunglasses every day – although it rained a lot, it would only be for short periods of time. The sun was out every day and sunglasses were a must. I wore Rainbow flip flops and these JCrew flats most days. We did a lot of walking so I wanted to be comfortable. If Japan had been the only stop on this trip I probably would have brought nicer sandals instead of just flip flops. Sometimes I felt like I was slightly underdressed in them. Japanese women, especially in cities like Osaka, Tokyo, and Kyoto, dress incredibly well.