Photo by Hallie-Blair Quatro

Photo by Hallie-Blair Quatro

You know about THREADS on campus, but what’s going on fashion-wise around the world? This is your guide to current fashion trends in Tokyo, Japan— thanks to a trip I took with my family to the beautiful country in May of 2018.

You must first know that everything, and everyone, is as put together as humanly possible. It’s 8:00 a.m. and while most of us are struggling to put on jeans and a reasonably clean shirt, Japanese women in Tokyo are walking briskly down the streets in stunningly-cut dresses and delicate heels. The men all seem to have a “one size fits all” uniform (which can conveniently be bought in your local Tokyo 7/11 drug store) consisting of black dress pants, button down shirt, and tie. Apparently, business casual is the only casual there is.

In Tokyo, the umbrella is an important part of any daily outfit, and is used in both rain and shine. The parasol holds a high place of honor, and you better not get caught without one while in Tokyo.

Another thing that seems to be a very important part of the fashion is the white or black surgical mask. While I was there, I saw them everywhere, with mostly teens and young adults wearing them. While some just want to avoid getting sick, it has become popular to only show half of the face. While some also wear it to cover their teeth or facial expressions, it has increasingly become an important fashion trend in Tokyo.

And not to disregard the more colorful parts of the fashion, it is important to note that many women were also rocking long, colorful pleated skirts (the light pink color is everything). If you’re looking to travel somewhere in Japan, or anywhere in Asia soon, here are some quick fashion tips (disclaimer: Since I was visiting in May, the fashion choices are more aligned with Spring/Summer weather).

I found that the safest way to keep with the fashion trends was to keep a sort of “uniform” that would never fail: long, flowy pants or pleated skirt with a striped or plain colored shirt/turtleneck tucked in. Shoes were either white sneakers or birkenstocks. Carry around a tote bag with some kind of artistic print, or a very small purse (backpacks aren’t as much of a thing there). If you’re a guy, your safest bet is to stick with black or dark-colored jeans, an equally dark long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt, your best pair of sneakers, and a sling, or cross-body bag (like a fanny pack but better). Keep it minimal with everything, but don’t be afraid to show off those brand names— these are an important part of Tokyo street style.

Oh, and be sure to check out the 12-floor Uniqlo and the thrift shops in the smaller, more bohemian district of Shimokitazawa.

P.S.//A NOTE FROM YOURS TRULY: If you know of any fellow Scots-folks who are killing it in the fashion area of life, don’t hesitate to send their names to me at We’d love to feature you in the next THREADS!