Dark colors for summer

Are you the kind of person who just can’t pass up another Little Black Dress? Is the majority of your closet a sea of navy and dark neutrals? If so, here’s our special blog post just for you!

Here at kay me, as well as our beautiful prints and gorgeously saturated color jersey dresses, we also have a lot of love for our darker color dresses and know that these tones don’t have to be limited to the colder months of the year.

This week we’re celebrating the versatility of our summer dresses in black and navy…

Dark colors for… the office and formal situations

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(White x navy shoulder venus, Navy x navy dot shoulder venus, Navy venus drape, Black square neck)

kay me stylists know that you can always count on dark colors for workwear, and our specially-selected high-performance fabrics can be easily washed and worn, with no need for ironing.

Our new Shoulder Venus dresses combine a beautifully draped contrasting top with a classic A-line skirt, creating instant office chic with mix-and-match jackets.

Our classic Venus and square neck dresses both feature painstakingly made tucks and fold that effortless flatter the body, and all kay me clothing is crease-resistant making our dresses a great choice for travel as well.

Dark colors for… the weekend and special events

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(Lace stretch, Navy chiffon long, Blue fonce flower waist gather, Navy blue ribbon)

For special occasions, our wonderful stretch lace dress is a surefire hit, and the combination of tech fabric with stunning lace is sure to turn heads. Our chiffon is also soft and stretchy and extra light while remaining opaque, and our long chiffon dress is a wonderful day-to-night option – simply change footwear and accessories for a totally different look.

For florals with a twist, our Fonce Flower print has been updated for 2019 with an ivory tone to contrast with the dark navy, in our popular waist gather style. Made by our team of expert artisans working here in Tokyo, each waist gather dress uses 72 hand-placed tucks and drapes to create our wonderful three-dimension design with charming mermaid flare skirt that moves with each step.

To find your perfect dress, don’t forget that you can filter our dress category pages by color and pattern, as well as size…

We’re also excited to share our customer order service as well: take your pick of skirt and sleeve lengths for our popular dress patterns and fabric colors including black and navy, to have your dream dress specially made here in Tokyo by our team of expert artisans.

Summer styles for the office

It’s June, and the weather is certainly heating up here in Tokyo!

As with every year, it’s a constant battle between keeping cool, defying freezing air-conditioning and looking professional in the office. This timely conundrum isn’t going anywhere, but fear not – kay me stylists are on hand to offer their expert advice.

This week we’ve asked our stylists for their top tips for warm-weather work wear…

Sleeveless/short-sleeve dresses

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(Greige i-line dress, Greige polka dot shoulder venus dress, Navy square-neck dress)

We’re so proud of our great selection of versatile short-sleeve and sleeveless dresses, perfect for work and weekends. Here, we’ve chosen to highlight some of our most office-appropriate dresses, with clean lines and figure-flattering draping.

New for 2019 are our Shoulder Venus dresses, available in four chic color combinations, and pretty square-neck dresses with a retro feel and soft over-layer that showcases the impeccable draping.

Easily pair any of these dresses with matching or contrasting jackets and cardigans for an extra touch of smartness when necessary.

Light outerwear

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(Kanazawa white short cardigan, Blackberry vitamin cardigan, White collarless jacket)

Speaking of outerwear, our stylists recommend our stylish cardigans in light tencel blend knit that’s perfect for hot weather. Our cardigans are breathable and feel soft on the skin, while providing protection from the sun as well as overactive air-conditioning.

For those who need to wear a suit jacket, our unlined jackets are specially made for the summer months, and combine classic tailoring with our machine washable drip-dry fabrics, leaving more time for you to focus on what’s important to you.

Light layers

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(White chiffon top, Lovely pink blouse, Light gray camisole)

Light and airy, there’s nothing better than pretty chiffon for spring and summer – unless it’s our soft and stretchy chiffon!

Specially selected to be hard-wearing as well as a pleasure to wear, our chiffon tops keep you cool in the office, while still providing coverage. Choose from prints and patterns such as our Lovely Pink floral design, and plain colors to mix and match with ease.

While it might sound counterintuitive to add an extra layer in summer, our comfortable underdress can provide a soft solution to layering, and with an extra-absorbent cotton-blend top paired with a lightweight skirt, our camisoles are a wonderful addition to any kay me wardrobe.

New generation bags from kay me

Have you met our two stylish new bags yet?

After the launch of our wonderful line of original Japan-made bags last year, we’ve updated and expanded our line for 2019 and beyond…

Two-way business bag 2.0

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Reimagined and redesigned after extensive testing and feedback, our business bag 2.0 features even more storage and functionality than before, making for a bag that’s a genuine pleasure to use.

Highlighted features include:

1. Quick adjust shoulder straps that can easily be crossed over, or removed entirely

2. Zipped back pocket designed to fit suitcase handles, perfect for travel

3. Extra-wide opening and secure laptop pocket

4. New mini pocket for pens and other delicate items

5. Extra buckle holes for fine-tuned strap adjustments

Available in two new colors, champagne gold and black, as well as navy, taupe, red and silver, our two-way business bags are made with both style and functionality in mind. A fusion of practicality and expert Japanese craftsmanship, our bags have been designed with you in mind – as with all kay me items!

See more about our new business bags here.

29 Pocket Wallet Bag

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A personal favorite of kay me designer and founder Junko Kemi, our new wallet bag has been designed to her exact specifications, and was inspired by her needs as a businesswomen and frequent traveller.

Individually made by hand in Tokyo, our 29 pocket wallet bag is a feat of beautiful craft and functionality – this includes pockets for four different business cards, passport pocket, 14 card pockets, two different IC/smart card holders, and back pocket for easy access to smartphones and other essentials.

This bag is available in eight colors that pair seamlessly with the existing kay me bag range, as well as a logo-free black version for particularly formal occasions.

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To see more about the extensive manufacturing process behind our 29 pocket wallet bag, read the special feature page here, and for more information about this small but might bag, including styling advice and uses, take a look at our 29 pocket wallet bag collection page here.

Stress-free vacation styles

Have you planned your summer vacation yet?

Aside from researching, booking and double checking everything, one of the most stressful aspects of travelling can be the difficult question of what to wear!

This week on the kay me blog, we’ve broken our wardrobe planning into three core sections to create your perfect travel wardrobe.

No matter where you’re off to this summer, or if you choose to stay close to home, find inspiration from our beautiful selection of dresses, skirts and bags – needless to say that all kay me clothing is machine washable, drip-dry and non-iron, as well as being crease-resistant, making kay me a great choice for any travel situation.

On the plane

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(White t-shirt, Light gray t-shirt, Black t-shirt, Petit navy long skirt)

…or on the train, in the car, or elsewhere!

Specially designed by kay me founder, and travel-fan, Junko Kemi, pair our long skirts in pretty prints with soft and wide waistband and handy pockets with our charming t-shirts.

Our new t-shirts feature delicate lace detailing and embroidery, making them a wonderful addition to our easy to wear line-up – kay me stylists even suggest wearing these t-shirts under our chic suits for a casual touch.

Daily wear

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(Optical gray, Orange, Dramatic yellow)

Whether you’re off to the beach or exploring a new city, our fabulous Marilyn dresses are so versatile, and with plenty of colors and prints to choose from, there’s dress for everyone.

Our Marilyn dresses feature handy pockets, a full flared skirt and beautiful ribbon-like gathered bust. Easily wear with kay me cardigans and both casual and tailored jackets for a stylish coverup that’s made to move with you.

Special occasion

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(Aquarium long chiffon, Cherry pink ribbon, Chinoiserie side gather)

If you’ve planned a special night (or more than one!), our stunning selection of dresses is a great place to start for evening outfit inspiration.

Our long dress in stretchy chiffon with eye-catching original print looks fantastic with both kay me summer-weight knit cardigans and light scarves, and our Chinoiserie-inspired red and blue dress is sure to turn heads wherever you go.

For a solid color option, or bold and bright cherry pink ribbon dress with cocoon silhouette and graceful twist detail looks marvellous against a holiday tan.

Travel bags

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(Two-way business bags 2.0)

Our new two-way business bags have been updated for 2019 – and they’re suitable for more than the daily commute!

With handy and easily removable straps, our two-way bag can be carried as a regular handbag or used as a backpack for hands-free style.

We’ve also added a special zip pocket on the reverse that can be used to attached the bag to suitcase handles, and inside you’ll find not only our special laptop section with secure strap, but also a new reinforced small pocket that can be used for pens and other delicate items.

With new colors to choose, from there’s never been a better time to try two our two-way bag.

Discover the beauty of Ryukyu-bingata

Have you seen our gorgeous new Ryukyu-bingata inspired print dresses yet?

Certainly one of our most popular designs this summer, our charming prints are inspired by authentic patterns from Japan’s southernmost Okinawa islands.

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Join us as we take a look at the history and techniques behind our new dresses…

The story of Ryukyu-bingata begins over 500 years ago, with techniques adapted from around Asia, thanks to the geographic location of the Ryukyu (now Okinawa) islands and trade between nations.

Ryukyu-bingata designs are famous for their beautiful rich colors and shading, as well as the natural imagery, inspired by the flora and fauna of the islands.

To create unique colors, many natural materials including shells, plants and even arsenic and sulphur were used, with complex designs involving almost 20 colors – in fact, our bingata design actually uses 22 colors, thanks to modern printing technology!

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Colorful designs were exclusively worn by members of the royal family, with citizens limited to simple indigo patterns.

Our beautiful Ryukyu-bingata dresses are available in three color ways:

なでしこ Nadeshiko (pink)

Ai  (indigo)

あまいろ Amairo (sky blue)

 

The traditional Ryukyu-bingata process involves ten intricate steps:

  1. Stencil cutting – designs are cut with a fine blade into mulberry paper, coated with persimmon for hardness
  2. Stencil resist painting – paste, made from boiled rice, rice bran and water, is applied to the stencil
  3. Freehand resist painting – for large designs, rice paste is painted by hand onto the cloth
  4. Painting – painting starts from light to dark colors, and can vary from monotone to colorful designs in beautiful natural tones
  5. Re-painting – for extra vibrancy, the painting process is repeated
  6. Details – around the edge of the patterns is defined to create extra detail
  7. Background resist – if the background requires painting, rice paste is added to the previously painted areas
  8. Background painting – the entire background of the design is painted
  9. Color setting – the fabric is steamed to set the colors
  10. Washing – finally, the fabric is washed and dried and ready for use

For large designs such as kimono, it can take three people several days to paint and prepare bingata cloth, and accordingly Ryukyu-bingata kimono are a stunning luxury item. Modern uses for bingata include home wear and casual clothing.

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(Nadeshiko gather dress, Ai gather dress, Amairo cache-coeur dress)

Our Ryukyu-bingata dresses utilize the best of modern Japanese technology and craftsmanship to unite traditional techniques and designs with the needs of modern women around the world.

Not only are our dresses a gorgeous example of authentic Japanese design, but they’re also fully machine washable, drip dry and crease-resistant too, making for an elegant and easy way to capture the beauty of Japan.

Discover more from our Ryukyu collection, and our Contemporary Kimono designs.

Print story – Aquarium

Hi everyone! It’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team, here again to tell you all about our beautiful original prints.

Today I’ve chosen to highlight our stunning Aquarium print…

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In spring and summer, we love to wear lots of prints! It’s a great chance to explore wearing lots of different colors and styles. I think our new print is perfect for this exciting season.

Since the launch of kay me, we’ve been collaborating with our special partners in London to create stunning unique print designs that are just as individual and stylish as our customers.

I love designs that look like wearable art, it’s so inspirational and I just love looking at them.

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Our Aquarium print is perfect for early summer, and really captures the beautiful light of this time of year. We chose to create this stunning aqua blue color, the perfect match for our flowing Marilyn dress in light and airy chiffon.

kay me’s chiffon is comfortable against the skin, with a moderate amount of sheerness (of course there’s an inner layer to this dress!), and is wonderfully stretchy. Finding stretch chiffon is actually quite rare, so we’re really happy with our selection.

Every time I see this dress, I think it’s more and more beautiful!

It’s especially enchanting when the chiffon catches the light and sways as you move…

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As well as a long dress, we have also used this fabric to make our regular length Marilyn dress too, for a slightly more toned-down look.

Which length do you prefer? I can’t decide!

Until next time… Yuko.

7 Color cardigans for summer

Have you seen our amazing new collection of seven cardigans yet?

Available in our specially-woven lightweight tencel summer knit, our new cardigans come in a delicious variety of fruity colors that are chosen to pair perfectly with kay me outfits.

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Needless to say, our new cardigans are fully machine washable, and so comfortable to wear. Our breathable knit is especially recommended for hot and humid summer months, and will wash and dry quickly with no need for ironing.

What’s more, our cardigans feature charming crystal buttons in a variety of shapes to add a touch of sparkle to your style!

Keep reading for seven fun and fresh ways to wear our new cardigans…

Peach

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(Peach vitamin cardigan, Ammonite daily dress [from late May])

Pair our pretty peach-pink cardigan with our striking Ammonite dress (coming late May) for a softer take on a geometric design. The peach color highlights the warmer tones in this print, and looks wonderful for cafe brunches and weekday get-togethers.

Blue Hawaii

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(Blue Hawaii vitamin cardigan, Blue fonce flower gather dress)

For a strong contrast with a traditional floral print, the coolness of our Blue Hawaii cardigan gives an unexpected twist, great for sunny days commuting to and from the office.

Raspberry

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(Raspberry vitamin cardigan, Navy blue square neck gather dress)

Add a touch of bold color with our stunning cardigan in Raspberry red, a great match with our retro-feel square neck dress in classic navy. This chic color combination is sure to turn heads!

Coconut White

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(Coconut white vitamin cardigan, Sax blue venus dress)

Fresh white looks fantastic against a summer tan, and the mist-matched buttons of our cardigan add the final sparkle and shine to to our simple cardigan in white. kay me stylists love this look for garden parties and summer weddings.

Blackberry

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(Blackberry vitamin cardigan, Optical pink venus dress)

Black doesn’t have to be boring with our easy-to-wear cardigan. Experiment with different ways of buttoning to change up your style, and use this black cardigan as the perfect coverup in the office.

Lemon

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(Lemon vitamin cardigan, Ammonite venus dress [from late May])

Zesty lemon is a popular choice here in Tokyo, with this light and bright shade capturing the essence of summer. Wear with a geometric print such as our Ammonite dress in blue for a natural contrast.

Mint

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(Mint vitamin cardigan, Optical gray Marilyn dress)

Bring monotone shades to life with a bold color, such as our mint green cardigan. Woven as a single piece including cuffs and placket, our round-neck cardigans are a must-have.

Having seen our fabulous cardigans, the question is: which one (or two, or three…) will you choose?

Three ways to wear prints and patterns at work

Have you taken a look at our print gallery recently? You can find everything from flowing watercolors and pretty polka dots to strong geometrics and authentic Japanese kimono prints. Specially designed for kay me and even further adapted by our in-house design team, all our prints are originals. Read more of our print stories with Yuko from the atelier team.

As much as we love wearing prints and patterns, bringing these bold styles into business situations can sometimes feel like a challenge – as much as your love your new floral dress, is it office-appropriate?

This week, we’ve tasked kay me stylists to come up with three easy ways to wear prints and patterns in the office.

Keep reading for plenty of style inspiration…

Print dresses

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(Blue aztec venus, Optical gray Marilyn, Petit navy daily, Fonce flower waist gather)

For instant elegance, try pairing our striking geometric designs with kay me knitwear such as our Kanazawa-made cardigans or a soft silk blend sweater – the contrasting textures add the finishing chic touch, and help to tone down the look of an all-over print. Choose matching tones for a harmonious style, or a bold contrast to stand out from the crowd.

Continuing the idea of contrasts, wear our charming florals with a beautifully structured hand-tailored jacket for an office outfit with a feminine twist.

Print tops

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(Lovely pink chiffon blouse, Petit navy frill blouse, White geo frill blouse, White geo cache-coeur top)

Our chiffon blouses are light and airy, stretchy and of course fully machine washable. Wear with skirts in different colors for a soft look this spring and summer, and choose from our spring-like pink floral and elegant geometric patterns.

For a more fitted option, our cache-coeur top in rayon jersey is a great choice for transitional seasons – wear with a jacket for cooler days, and enjoy the flattering three-quarter sleeves in the sunshine.

Print accessories

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(Pink tassel two-way bag, White tassel PC bag, Mouse gray cashmere butterfly, Aubergine cashmere motif)

Add the finishing touched to your kay me outfit with our selection of original bags and stoles.

Specially designed for business with plenty of pockets and a dedicated laptop sleeve, our PC bags and 2-way business bags are both available in floral prints to bring a touch of nature and excitement to any outfit.

Our pretty handmade stoles are the perfect way to easily bring color and pattern to your wardrobe. Tie in different ways, use as a lap blanket or even as a bag accessory – the choice is yours. Topping off an outfit of solid colors with a subtly patterned scarf is always a popular style choice here in Tokyo, and a great way to bring prints into a more formal closet.

What to wear this May, from kay me stylists

This month saw the the end of an era here in Japan, quite literally, seeing in a new Emperor and the start of the Reiwa era. Officially translated as “beautiful harmony”, we think our comfortable, easy-care versatile clothing and accessories make this new age a great match for kay me!

This month we asked kay me store stylists at our Ginza flagship for their top seasonal picks for the month of May…

Business with a twist

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(Gray knit jacket, Black knit jacket, Nuance blue lace dress, Navy lace dress)

Our lace dresses are a stunning addition to any wardrobe, and make beautiful use of our washable lace fabric for sheer sleeves and hem detailing. Pair our lace dresses with a kay me tailored jacket for work and swap accessories for an instant day-to-night look.

Add a different touch to your office outfits with our new knit jackets, woven specially in Japan for kay me, and of course fully machine washable! Available in black and light gray, the soft thick knit drapes beautifully and is the perfect partner with matching and contrasting kay me businesswear and other items.

Stylists suggest: drape our knit jackets over your shoulders for a chic spring twist

Travel in style

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(Pink-beige flight riders, Gray flight riders, Dramatic yellow long skirt, Tiny flower long skirt)

It seems like the amount of Tokyo citizen leaving the city for the long Golden Week holiday was more than equaled by the amount of people coming to the capital! Whether you’re travelling by plane, train or automobile this spring and summer, the effortless combination of our long printed skirts and high-tech flight riders jackets is sure to keep you comfortable all day long without compromising on style.

A particular favorite of kay me founder and expert business traveller Junko Kemi, our long skirts feature a wide waistband and handy pockets, and our sporty flight riders jackets are made from a specially-selected tech fabric that’s comfortable and easy to wear.

Stylists suggest: add one of our pretty logo embroidered t-shirts for a feminine travel outfit

Pretty in pink

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(Pink 100% cashmere butterfly crystal, Paris pink silk-wool lace, Rose pink lace jacquard, Pink silk-wool)

Whatever the weather, we love to bring a touch of pink to our outfits by adding a kay me stole! Handwoven exclusively for kay me, our range of scarves are available in comfortable wool-silk blends and luxurious pure cashmere, with hand-placed beading and crystal detailing.

Choose from delicate butterflies, charming paisley and stunning lace, and explore draping and tying for a new look every day of the week!

Not just for colder months, our stoles are beloved by kay me customers who like to use them as lap blankets, to protect from UV rays outdoors and even just to add matching element to tie an outfit together.

Stylists suggest: with a wide variety of shades, there’s a pink for everyone…

Transitional weather

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(White long cardigan, Mist gray long cardigan, Baby blue long cardigan, Black long cardigan)

While Tokyo in May can feel like a balmy summer, not too hot and not too cool, rainy days, north winds and arctic air-conditioning can try the patience of anyone trying to lean in to their summer style.

Enter our long cardigans – available in both winter and summer weights, kay me long cardigans are the perfect layer for difficult spring days. Machine washable and with large pockets that easily accommodate smartphones, our long cardigans keep you looking polished in the office, out for lunch and on the journey home – not to mention weekend walks, chores in town and many other occasions.

Stylists suggest: create contrast by pairing our neutral cardigans with printed dresses

To meet more of the people behind kay me, take a look at our team coordinates!

The most versatile dresses you’ll meet

Time and time again, our fabulous jersey dresses are the star of the show! Don’t get us wrong, we’re certainly no strangers to prints and patterns, but the simple jersey dress in a bold and bright single color is a wardrobe workhorse that is the foundation of kay me’s core values of comfort, stretch, washable and easy to coordinate.

Join us as we take a look at the first part of our new jersey collection, with even more new colors set to be released over the next few weeks…

Marilyn dresses

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Flirty and feminine, the flared skirt of our Marilyn dress looks just perfect with the built-in gathered belt that looks like a ribbon.

Like all our jersey dresses, our Marilyn style is so comfortable to wear every day for any occasion: pair with a tailored jacket and our business bag for easy office elegance, with our indigo riders jacket and tote bag for weekends on the go, or with our Japan-made knitwear and large pouch for an eye-catching twist on a classic style.

Available in orange, navy and khaki.

Ribbon dresses

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Be the belle of the ball in our pretty ribbon dress with hand-gathered bust twist detail.

A compact style that hugs the figure and creates the illusion of length with a slightly higher bustline, our ribbon dress looks just as charming paired with our stylish knit bolero as with a sharp jacket for office cool any day of the week. Choose from our wide range of suit jackets in many colors to easily create new looks.

Available in cherry pink, navy and sax blue.

Venus dresses

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Our Venus dresses are simply divine! The complex tucks and draping that go into each and every dress make this style a true head-turner, and instantly create a dramatic hourglass-like effect.

Pair this stunning style with simple and clean knitwear and jackets for figure-flattering styles with a difference. Our jersey dresses are also fully machine washable and drip-dry with no need to iron, making them the perfect choice for busy days.

Available in sax blue, khaki and navy.

Square neck gather dresses

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A new style for 2019, our square neck gather dresses bring a touch of retro chic to our high tech easy-care fabrics. The strong square neckline contrasts beautifully with the soft side draping for a special and surprisingly versatile look.

Wear our new dresses with everything from long cardigans to knitwear in bold and bright colors. Contrast colors for an extra boost to your mood on rushed mornings – simply zip up the the dress, pop on a cardigan and you’re ready to hit the ground running.

Available in royal blue, navy and black.

Take a look at our fantastic matrix to pinpoint your new favorite dress:

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Don’t forget, if you’re still searching for your dream kay me dress, you can try our custom order service!