kay me’s holiday gift guide for 2018

Welcome to kay me’s guide to finding the right gift for the special person in your life.

Whether you’re searching for clothing, accessories or bags to give as presents (or making a list for yourself!), we’ve put together a selection of our favorite items for loved ones, coworkers, and (almost) everyone in between.

Our gift guide is of course by no means binding, but our simple suggestions to get you started…

For friends

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(Red tote bag, Gray silk wool scarf, Silver PC bag, Lavender long cardigan)

There’s nothing better than a cheery red bag to brighten up winter days, and our surprisingly roomy tote bag is a great way to put a smile on anyone’s face. For a friend who has received a promotion, why not treat them to our silver PC bag, specially designed to carry laptops and documents with minimum strain on the body.

A cosy knit is always in style, and our long cardigans woven here in Japan are perfect for when the temperature drops. The finishing touch is our silk and wool blend scarf, hand-dyed in a gray graduation, a little luxury for every day.

For coworkers

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(Pink tassel large pouch, Mosaic cardigan, Valuables pouch, Pink silk wool scarf)

If you’re searching for a thoughtful gift for a coworker, our essentials cases and pouches are a great choice – with an extra large opening and inside zips, our original pouches are the perfect partner to any kay me bag, while our essentials cases are just the right size for business cards, small electronics and other daily items.

If your office is known for its particularly chilly air-conditioning, then our mosaic cardigan and silk and wool blend scarf in pink are a hit regardless of season. Wear our cardigan with mosaic jacquard design weave in black, gray and white over any matching or contrasting outfit, and enjoy draping and knotting our pretty pink handwoven scarf in a variety of different ways.

For someone special

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(Mouse gray butterfly cashmere scarf, Red Venus dress, White tassel tote bag, Bordeaux satin butterfly camisole)

When it comes to the leading lady in your life, make an impression with our stunning Venus Drape dress in bold red, naturally complimented by our satin underdress in rich bordeaux with elegant butterfly-like lace.

For accessories, our tote bag in white tassel print can be used for any occasion from work to weekends, and the unrivalled softness of our hand-brushed pure 100% cashmere scarf with individually-placed crystals making fluttering butterflies is sure to be a hit with any recipient.

Are you feeling inspired by our gift guide? Don’t forget that kay me offers free global shipping as standard, with all customs fees included too!

Styling tips for party season

As we edge closer towards the end of the year, party season is fast approaching in its blaze of lights, canapés and clinking glasses.

As tempting as it is to splurge on one party dress for one specific occasion, here at key me we love being able to style our dresses, jackets and suits in different ways to make the most of each item.

Yes, we’re all about cost-per-wear (the price of the item divided by how many time it’s worn), and our versatile designs and easy-care fabrics encourage you to make the most of your beautiful kay me clothing.

This week on the kay me blog, we’ve rounded up our selection of party outfits for different occasions from work to casual, and have asked our team of expert store stylists in and around Tokyo for their top tips and tricks for styling your way through the season and beyond…

Business party

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While this party may be obligatory, sombre clothing is not. Stand out from the crowd in our stunning frill docking dresses in vivid pink and warm mustard, designed to look like and have all the convenience of a one-piece dress. These special dresses wonderfully utilize contrasting materials, with a stretch chiffon for the top and our washable wool blend for the skirt.

Remember that suits don’t have to be characterless – try our pretty frilled jacket for a feminine and sculptural look, or our new lace peplum suits, available in lilac blue and navy, for a suit setup with an elegant retro twist.

Styling tip: keep accessories simple with bright colors, and re-wear our lace slit skirts with blouses and knitwear for 9-to-5 in the office.

Family and friends

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A true kay me classic, our cache-coeur dresses have been painstakingly developed from scratch by our atelier team to create the most flattering fit-and-flare design with built-in waist sash and cross-over bust, making for a truly versatile dress that’s a pleasure to wear again and again.

Choose from our range of colors updated for 2018, including red, royal blue, navy and green, all rich hues designed to be dressed up and down as you like.

Styling tip: wear these feminine and comfortable dresses with our stretchy riders jackets for weekend outings, and simply pop on a matching or contrasting kay me tailored jacket for the work week.

Festive fun

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For those that love to make an impression, our loose-fitting bold red V-neck dress is a must for the festive season, along with our Baby Emerald print dress that captures the frosty florals of winter. This print in particular also looks stylish well into spring with the addition of light knitwear.

For a touch of Japanese elegance, our unique washable 100% silk kimono dresses are a timeless choice. Enjoy the beauty of traditional Japanese design and craftsmanship with the ease of our practical easy-care fabrics for a dress that’s sure to be closet staple for years to come.

Styling tip: our kimono dresses look just as pretty with kay me made in Japan knitwear for hosting at home as with a tailored jacket for outings including wedding parties.

Discover a wide variety of clothing and styles specially selected by kay me for seasonal parties and more social occasion on our newly-relaunched online store – three cheers and season’s greetings!

Fall for autumn leaves, with kay me

Autumn in Japan means one of our favorite things – it’s time to admire the beautiful ever-changing autumn leaves, known as both koyo and momiji in Japanese.

Celebrated for centuries as part of the countrywide appreciation of the four seasons, seen in food, clothing, literature and more, autumn is a time for reflection on the passing year before the harshness of winter creeps in and the leaves change from their vibrant colors and fall to the ground.

We’ve rounded up a selection of our dresses that capture some of the dramatic shades and tones that the fall season in Japan is known for.

Enjoy our selection of bold colors and take your spot amongst the trees…

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(Primitive Art, Y-Genic, Venus Drape red, Shisa Terrace, Jupiter 100% silk)

As the weather cools down, it’s also time to start thinking about outerwear for chilly evenings.

Naturally, kay me has you covered for any autumn occasion with our knitwear, jackets, soft hoodies and coats.

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(Milky White short cardigan, Snow Gray long cardigan, Lavender soft hoodie, Taupe riders jacket, Navy trench coat)

Time for the finishing touch – our selection of handwoven stoles, specially chosen for kay me fans by founder Junko Kemi.

Choose from lace, cashmere and crystal detailing to add warmth and depth to any outfit.

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(Coral I-lace, Marigold I-lace, Ivory lace gradation, Aubergine cashmere, Camel cashmere butterfly)

Don’t forget that our new online store offers free global shipping with customs charges included – whatever the season!

What to wear to… a presentation

For a presentation or pitch, preparation is key!

But once you’ve memorised what you want to say and brainstormed potential questions, there comes the inevitable question: what should I wear?

As kay me founder Junko Kemi is no stranger to public speaking, you can be sure that kay me clothing is perfectly suited to pitching – our easy-care fabrics are crease-resistant and machine washable, as well as soft and stretchy, making sure you look and feel your best when it comes to the crunch.

To find the presentation outfit that works for you, we’ve broken our styles into three groups based on your goal. Keep reading below and discover your new favourite go-to outfit…

I want to… stand out from the crowd

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Choose bright colors to make yourself the center of everyone’s attention. This technique is great for creatives and those who aren’t shy about playing with color.

Try our dresses with pretty frilled blouses in bright pink and mustard for an eye-catching look that will make sure all eyes stay fixed on you.

I want to… celebrate my femininity

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For situations when you wish to highlights your feminine side, pick our pretty pastels and pale colors, for suit separates as well as print dresses.

Mix and match dresses, jackets, skirts and tops to create different looks, and explore different fabrics including lace and chiffon.

I want to… inspire confidence

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Far from somber and dull, kay me’s darker tones, such as navy and charcoal gray, are available in a variety of fabrics including our washable wool which has a beautiful soft shine to the weave.

To change things up, pair with long cardigans for a more relaxed style, or our frilled jackets for a sculptural touch.

Discover more clothing suggestions for presentation and pitches on our newly-relaunched online store!

Introducing: kay me bags for business and every day

Here at kay me in Tokyo, we’re incredibly excited to share our wonderful new range of original bags and pouches, designed and made in Japan by kay me.

Our bags are available for pre-order now, with shipping in early November – mark your calendar now!

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As you may already be aware, the story of kay me starts with founder and lead designer Junko Kemi’s search for stylish and functional business wear that was also comfortable and suitable for many situations. We’re very happy to say that our bags are no different – after extensive research, design and testing, we’re now ready to share our amazing bags with the world!

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First in the line-up is our two-way business bag, which can be worn as a rucksack for commuting or carried as a handbag when meeting with clients.

This bag is specially designed to sit slightly higher on the back, alleviating extra pressure on the back.

Available in silver, taupe, navy, red, white, pink Tassel, and white Tassel.

 

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Our PC bag can also be worn as a cross-by bag, or carried as a handbag.

Fitting laptops up to 13 inches as well as A4 papers, the inside features a special pocket to ensure computers and electronics are kept safe and secure.

Available in taupe, navy, red, white, silver, white Tassel and pink Tassel.

 

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Next is our tote bag, also with different strap options for carrying.

A deceptively roomy design this bag also features a D-ring inside that attaches to our essentials case.

The perfect accompaniment to our business and PC bags, our Japanese customers love carrying these tote bags with matching and even contrasting larger kay me bags.

Available in red, taupe, navy, white, silver, white Tassel and pink Tassel.

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Last but not least are our pouches in large and small sizes, and our essentials cases.

kay me pouches have an especially wide mouth to ensure that every item inside can be easily found, and our essentials case comes complete with a clip that attaches to any other kay me bag for safety and security.

Pouches available in large and small sizes, in gold, silver, white Tassel and pink Tassel.

Essentials cases available in taupe, navy, white, red, silver, white Tassel and pink Tassel.

All our bags and pouches are made from top-quality faux-leather, ensuring that no animals are harmed at any point of production. This faux-leather is soft and durable, and waterproof too. The straps for our bags contain a foam-like material, making them extra soft and comfortable to wear for long hours or when carrying heavy items.

Inside our pouches you’ll find an extra zipped pocket, and as well as a special laptop holder inside our PC bag and business, you’ll also see outer side pockets too.

To learn more about the development behind kay me me bags, click here to discover the full story.

Click here to see all bags.

Wearing work dresses in three easy steps

Hi everyone, it’s Ikue from kay me’s online team in Tokyo!

Did you know that before working with kay me, I was a member of a major international IT company here in Japan? I often wore kay me dresses and jackets in the office, and now I get to bring my skills to one of my favourite fashion companies.

Today I’d like to share with you some tips for dressing for business…

So, do you often wear print dresses? “Of course, I love them!” I hear you say! But for those working in a more conservative industry, it takes a little more courage to wear something bold (I felt the same way too).

kay me dresses are so easy to wear and such a time-saver when working long hours, so it’s a shame not to wear your favourite dresses every day…

Today’s theme is: stepping up your work dresses!

Step 1: Start with neutral solid colours

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First of all, try basic neutral colours such as white, grey, navy and black. (Why not try filtering by colour on our dresses page…)

I also recommend wearing these colours in our daily and Venus drape dress styles. With our I-line dresses, the silhouette is so crisp, it’s easy and comfortable to wear in a suit-like way.

All our dresses pair beautifully with kay me suit jackets – choose from matching or contrasting colours.

Step 2: Play with colour and shape

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When you get used to your new dress style, try branching out with different colours and shapes.

For example, our popular new blue-grey shade is so pretty and flattering. It’s not as strong or sombre as navy or black, but it’s soft with a sense of neatness, a great alternative for the office.

Here I’ve chosen to highlight our Marilyn short-sleeve dresses with cache-coeur bust and flared hem – this style adds just a touch of grown-up femininity.

Step 3: Two-colour print challenge

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Even for “print beginners”, a classic combination such as black and off-white is easy to wear and coordinate. Just pick one colour to highlight from the print, in the case of our Tassel Flower print off-white, and use this as the main colour for your jacket.

This dress also looks wonderful with black, or even bringing out the hints of grey in the print.

Also, by wearing a jacket it constrains the print a little, just in case you’re still nervous!

So, what do you think? Instant elegance, with lots of styling ideas for you try this week at work!

Ikue.

Discover kay me Riders Jackets’ Four Key Features

Here at the kay me atelier in Tokyo, we’re excited to show off our latest collection of riders jackets, specially made in Japan and designed for those on the go. With three colours to choose from, taupe, grey and ivory, our riders jackets can be worn with everything from our washable knitwear and suit set ups to feminine floral dresses. Add a little edge to your outfit with an instant dash of classic biker style!

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Stretchy

Unlike traditional materials, our new riders jackets are made from soft, stretchy and flexible fabrics: everything from the lining and stitching to the outer faux-leather is made to move and bend and flex with you.

These jackets are so comfortable, you can even try out a few yoga poses in them – that’s how we tested them in the atelier!

 

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Washable

One of the key concepts behind kay me was the idea that all items could be easily washed at home, thus eliminating expensive dry-cleaning bills. Our riders jackets are no exception, and be popped in the washing machine at your convenience (please see the tags for detailed instructions).

These jackets are also waterproof, making them a great choice for changeable weather in autumn and beyond.

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Made in Japan

Proudly supporting the Japanese sewing industry, and local expert craftspeople here in Tokyo, our riders jackets are also made in Japan.

The vast majority of kay me items are created individually in Tokyo, with a few other collections created outside the city, such as our soft knitwear, woven in Kanazawa on the coast of Japan.

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Design

Reimagined for the modern woman, our riders jackets take on classic biker elements, such as the distinctive zip, notched collar and cuff details.

Using 3D patterning technology, we redesigned our jackets to specially move with you as you go about your day, and to create a more feminine and compact silhouette.

 

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Print story – Instagram-worthy pink!

Hi everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team again!

Today I’d like to share with you a little about the development behind our Tassel print in pink. You may recognise it from my previous post here!

By the way, from now until the end of the year, we often have a lot of formal events to attend, right? I have to mention that kay me prints are always popular for this type of occasion.

Consider bold pink, the perfect colour for gorgeous situations!

When we say pink, the tonal range is quite broad, beginning with light shades, adding a little touch of blue, and gradually increasing the saturation. Here’s an example of some of the variations we made for consideration:

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It’s a challenge to balance the colors correctly, as even just changing the tone of the flower gradation will also change the impression. If we make it too dark, it looks very strange to me!

In the atelier team, we always check our print colors against our team’s skin to see how the color reflects. If it looks good on many people, we know it’s a good choice for our customers too.

Here’s the final print colour we chose, with a touch of bordeaux for the flowers for a more grown-up feeling:

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Here at kay me in Tokyo, both pink dresses and floral dresses are always popular, so I’m really excited about this pink floral dress! I recommend wearing our Lovely Tassel print with white kay me knitwear and jackets, and lots of sparkling accessories too.

Until next time… Yuko.

Discover new stoles from kay me Select

Our latest range of world-class luxury artisan made scarves is now available here at kay me!

Continuing our kay me Select line, founder Junko Kemi travelled to India to visit the atelier responsible for hand-weaving, dyeing and embellishing our beautiful stoles. Narrowing down the choice to just 6 lines was a tough choice, but we’re confident that you’ll find a scarf for every occasion…

Lace jacquard stoles

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Always popular in Tokyo, our amazing lace jacquard scarves feature layers of lace, gauze and jacquard fabric, all handwoven together on a specialist loom, ensuring the reverse looks just as beautiful as the front.

Delicate beading and sequin details compliment the rich design.

Choose from sakura late, olive grey and indigo shades.

Silk-wool stoles

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Our new stoles are a lovely soft blend of silk and pure wool, light and soft but lovely to wear on chilly days.

To create the stunning ombre effect, scarves are dip dyed in dark then light colours, with the overlap being hand-brushed to ensure a smooth blend between the two shades.

Choose from purple, grey, blue and pink options.

I-lace gradation stoles

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Using ‘shibori’ tie-dye techniques also found in Japan, the lace for these unusual scarves is expertly painted with a variety of dyes in complimentary and contrasting colours creating a unique effect every time.

The diamond weave fabric layer behind the central lace panel is removed, making for a light and semi-transparent look.

Choose from plum (off-white), marigold (blue) and coral (grey) stoles.

100% cashmere butterfly stoles

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The loose weave of this 100% cashmere scarf is so incredibly soft we can’t keep our hands off it!

The secret is in the brushing of the knit which leads to the felting of extra soft fibres. Take flight with the hand-placed crystal butterflies, with each crystal added individually for a subtly unique finish.

Choose from pink, blue-grey, grey and camel tones.

Lace gradation stoles

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Will you choose a matching or contrasting ombre effect?

The lace and diamond weave silk-wool base of our gradation scarves are dyed separately then painstakingly hand sewn together using the smallest of hand-stitches. Just like our silk-wool stoles, the fabric is brushed wet to create the final soft effect.

Choose from powder blue and ivory scarves.

Aubergine 100% cashmere motif stole

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Last by no means least is our luxurious 100% cashmere stole in rich aubergine purple.

This scarf features a series of original Indian floral designs picked out in crystals, and is a wonderful way to add that special finishing touch to an outfit for an exceptional evening.

Introducing the new kayme.com

As you may have noticed, our online store recently had a beautiful makeover, and we’re excited to announce the re-opening of our beautiful new online shopping destination, kayme.com

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With free global shipping and customs charges included, there’s never been a better time to start your journey with kay me by your side.

Join us now and discover the story behind kay me’s stretchy, washable and stylish clothing, the skilled artisans that make every item here in Japan, and more about founder and award-winning entrepreneur Junko Kemi’s inspiration for kay me.

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We’re also introducing our exciting new line-up of original kay me bags for business and every day, made with the same key features that make kay me such a great choice for busy women around the world.
Our new bags and pouches are available for pre-order now, with delivery in November.

Fall in love with “instant elegance, day-long comfort” from the all-new kayme.com

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