Street Style Shots for Grown Up Women: Tokyo Trends

TOKYO BOYSLast week in Tokyo, while twentysomethingsons and middleagedad went to the baseball, I nipped out to take a few street style shots of Japanese grown up women -and a couple of men -couldn’t resist these cute boys above.

As well as having a society with proportionally more older people in it than any other country, older Japanese people are a stylish bunch. Their slender frames look good in most things (I saw almost no overweight people in two weeks, despite all those amazing cake shops…why are they not all enormous?) and although they have (mostly) conservative taste, they seem to know what suits them. Street style blogs often focus on Japanese youngsters looking a tad eccentric or wearing denim  head to toe (they are mad about it) but I spotted lots of tailored smartness everywhere, with plenty of older women looking pretty cool too….

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO 11White looks right.

Japanese women favour a neat, tailored look and can rock that Chanel-style combo of easy jacket and pencil skirt -topped off with (Japanese) pearls. They are good at ‘neat’ and I always feel clumsy and scruffy when I’m walking around Tokyo in comparison. It might not be cutting edge but it does look great on smaller frames. And white tailoring for the summer does look classically cool.

It also looks great with white hair, one of my favourite images was of this stylish woman below, who had teamed her lightweight soft cotton tunic blouse -it had a gorgeous gathered back too- with white jeans and lace ups, all topped off with a sweep of white fringe. The patterned scarf is a great neck-disguiser too, if you’re a bit Nora Ephron about yours.


tokyo street trends againStripes

I think it must be a FACT that the Japanese invented the stripe because it’s practically everyone’s uniform for casual wear, old and young alike. I loved this woman’s take on the classic navy striped T -wearing it with smart floral slimline trousers – and generally showing the youngsters how to dress with style. Don’t you love how the navy trim around the neckline of the T balances it with the lower half of the design?

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO 05Another current style trend that could have been invented by the Japanese is androgyny, Perhaps because of their slender frames, Tokyo women really look good with boyish cropped hair and a no-frills aesthetic. I loved this pair below, the T shirt is from Comme des Garcons I think.

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO-01And since many street style shooters look to Japan for future trends, it maybe worth noting that I saw loads of wide denim jeans last week, such as these below, it seemed like it was the edgy way to wear them, although I’m not convinced yet. Also check out the alternative stripes, loving these!

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO 09Black with pastels.

Sneakily caught on a train ride, below, I loved how this elegant woman’s simple black shift dress was lifted by a powder pink chiffon jacket. The Japanese are partial to pastels.

tokyo-styleTunics, trousers and a trilby

This tunic dress over trousers look was everywhere, and I love how it was finished off below, with a great trilby hat-the Japanese are brilliant at hats. This is such an easy way to wear shorter summer dresses too, if you aren’t wild about your knees or don’t want to flash too much leg.

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO 02I saw lots of older Japanese women -clearly the more affluent ones -wearing top-to-toe Pleats Please, by Issey Miyake, below. I’ve got a Pleats Please shirt I’ve had since about 1990 and it’s still in fantastic condition.

OUSIDE COMME TOKYO 03Green florals

More a coincidence than a trend, but I loved both of these green-hued floral outfits. The tunic dress below is gorgeous, but i was fascinated by the pearls, which look like they have in part been wrapped in a cloth tube.

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO 06And I stalked this woman below for a while as she looked fabulous, not sure you get the whole impact of her coordinated hat (with textural floral corsage) and trousers in the image below, but she did look well turned out. The cardigan-coat was in a sage green silk and had a textural edge to the hemline, weighting it slightly and her beads picked up all her shades of neutrals and greens.

OUTSIDE COMME TOKYO 10ABlack and white and gingham

Jut like here in the UK, gingham is a big story this season, I loved these voluminous culottes in tiny black and white gingham check below, topped off with a perfectly coordinated straw hat. The Japanese are unbeatable at socks and whenever I go I always buy loads of pairs. The quality for the price is fab and the huge variety of design is hard to resist. The ankle socks below add a feminine vibe to the trainers (worn by everyone in Tokyo, it seems that’s another trend that’s travelled.

TOKYO 01And another great hat, the bow was appliqued on.

street style tokyoMore chic black and white…with another thin white scarf.

tokyo street styleAnd in case I’ve given the impression there was not much colour, there was a splash here and there, often worn with neutrals so as not to be too loud (very un-Japanese). And with more hats.



  • sally says:

    Love this post Amanda. Thank you.

    The candid shots perfectly pitched. Those cheeky boys a real tonic and the black and white gingham trousers are FAB…I have to wear thick compression tights and am constantly on the look out for suitable legwear so these are totally inspirational…dusting off that sewing machine later.

    Fortunately the overcast skies leave me feeling not too envious! What a great trip…

  • Liz Shedden says:

    Fabulous – real inspiration – well you know how I love a stripe – I’ve even done a painting called that – see in my window on my website, I think the ‘staggered’ stripe t shirt is by Petit Bateau? Lovely to see great style – thank you!

  • Sue says:

    These are my absolute favourite type of posts – esp like the lady in the tunic over trousers. Would love to have a tiny framed body still. It’s causing me quite a lot of angst currently, that I don’t. Also, remember wearing loads of Pleats Please when I was pregnant at some point in the nineties. Not sure I could revisit it, but it looks great on other people. Amanda, you’ve been to so many places recently. Thank you for your diligence in photographing all the outfits.

  • Amanda says:

    Glad it’s inspiring y’all, that’s it for travelling for a bit, so I’d better find some interesting home based women to photograph next! A

  • Jan says:

    Thank you for the interesting pictures. I think it’s always fascinating to see photos of non-celebrity folk looking good. Love dresses over trousers for all the reasons you suggest. Light leggings have the same effect. It’s a great shame that despite the shops being full to bursting with lovely clothes (you’ve featured many in your blogs) so few folk seem to wear any of them out and about. Maybe in cities it’s different but here, in rural England, I suspect there’s still the culture of keeping your ‘nice clothes’ for best. Make every day a best day I say!

  • Mary says:

    Those green florals are delicious.! You know when you absolutely love something but never consciously realise it? And now I can name it!

  • [email protected] says:

    I love your photos and I’d love to dress like these women but sadly I do;t have the Japanese body shape that I think you need for head to toe Pleats Please….

  • Amanda says:

    Japan doesn’t have many larger people, they are all mostly slender, it’s vey interesting.And thrilled we’ve exposed a love of green florals! Ax

  • katy says:

    I love this peek into real fashion.Thank you for sharing.

  • Sarah says:

    After seeing these fabulous photos I think us Brit women need to seriously up our game, but as you say most things looks good on a slender frame.

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