What not to wear…in Japan

05 Jun

Packing for my Japan trip feels a bit like being in the “What Not to WearTV show.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have a decent fashion sense.  At the very least, I’m not the worst dresser.  I like my casual “lived-in” clothes, but I can get a bit stylish when I want to.  I “clean up good” and all that.

I’m traveling as part of an educators group and I’m expected to wear business casual, on most days. Nothing scruffy nor too casual.

Since I’ll be there during the rainy season, I also have to wear light clothing, but not shorts nor anything too revealing.  Pants would be too hot.  I have to wear comfortable shoes, since we’ll be walking a lot, but somehow match them to my “not too casual” attire.  Because of the humidity, I have to make sure the clothes do not easily wrinkle.  Linen is recommended.

In other words – I have to wear business casual with comfortable shoes AND be prepared for rain and humidity. On top of that, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothing that may get soaked and muddy.

Will I have to sacrifice my fashion sense and wear some plastic poncho with orthopedic looking shoes and some old lady outfit?

Ah…NO!  Before I’m tempted to dump all my clothes in the “toss it” pile, like on the TV show, I found ideas (from online and elsewhere).  Here goes:

  1. Carry an umbrella (and light rain jacket) with you at all times (in small bag);
  2. Cotton and linen work – as long as it’s breathable fabric;
  3. Don’t wear leather shoes nor sandals; your shoes will get soaked at some point either from puddles or rain;
  4. Skirts work best, although you can wear business capris and the skirts can’t be short nor tight;
  5. Carry socks to change into when you enter almost everywhere;
  6. Light conservative shirts will work and it’s okay to wear sleeveless but no cleavage;
  7. Err on the side of conservative;
  8. Carry a small towel or hanky for wiping sweat; also carry Febreze or extra deodorant;
  9. I found other (non-fashion related) tips here:  Surviving the Rainy Season;
  10. Dresses work too, but not low cut.

After re-reading my list here, it dawned on me that humidity is no stranger to this Miami girl!  I lived in Florida for half my life and my parents didn’t even have air conditioning!  If I survived Florida humidity without A/C, I can survive ANYTHING!

Oh, and here’s a picture of that great group of new friends I mentioned in my previous post.  I can’t wait to get to know them better during the trip::

Now…where’s that travel-sized Febreze?

~~ Maggie


Posted by on June 5, 2012 in travel, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “What not to wear…in Japan

  1. Michelle Isenhoff

    June 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Long, cool, flowing skirts that don’t quite hit the mud would be comfortable if they don’t wrinkle and do dry quickly. (Sheesh! You’ve got your work cut out for you! :))

  2. Blazing Portals

    June 7, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Picking clothing for your trip sounds like a daunting task indeed! Linen, however, wrinkles easily, and therefore, cotton might be best. However, I can’t imagine you ever, wearing orthopedic shoes and a plastic poncho. : )

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      June 8, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      I know, right? I’ll let ya know what I come up with…. 🙂

  3. Haruko-chan

    June 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Indeed dressing for Japanese summer can be quite a challenge, especially if you have to be business casual. A few more tips that crossed my mind while reading this:

    For every piece of clothing, take into account what I like to call ‘the sweatability’. Will embarrassing stains appear if you are sweating like you just ran a marathon? Therefore, black or white tops are safe options. Or wear oversized shirts or a sleeveless top covered by a very sheer sweater (yes, Japanese women wear sweaters in summer!).

    If you don’t want to wear skirts all the time, I recommend capri pants. Everyone was wearing them last summer.

    I like to carry some face wipes in my bag, the paper kind that absorbs all excess shine and leaves your skin matt again.

    Another beauty product that is indispensable: antifrizz product for your hair. Lots of it.

    Good luck and enjoy your time in Japan!

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      June 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      Domo Arigato! I appreciate all your tips and love your blog!


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