New summer prints, from kay me

Did you know that our original prints are created specially by and for kay me – you won’t find them anywhere else!

Our in-house team work closely with award-winning London-based print designers to come up with the perfect prints to match our seasons and put a smile of the face of everyone who sees them.

Join us as we take a look at two of our favorite new print designs for summer 2019…

Party in Style with Crayon Berry

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(Crayon Berry ribbon, Crayon Berry gather)

This charming print looks like it was hand-drawn with a crayon – and it originally was!

A riot of richly-colored flowers and berries on a pale background make this one of our most popular designs of the season already. The reds and purples are a feature of our seasonal color palette for 2019, and harmonize beautifully with our Japan-made knitwear.

Available as both a ribbon dress with hand-gathered front twist and cocoon silhouette, and waist-gather dress with flattering tucks and mermaid line skirt.

Read the full story here

Get to Work with Tricolor

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(Red Tricolor Marilyn, Black Tricolor Venus, Red Tricolor x navy, Black Tricolor x black)

Give yourself a boost of motivation that’s sure sure to last well beyond your Monday morning meeting with our Tricolor series!

Available in three of our popular dress styles, Marilyn, Venus and docking, and two colorways, Tricolor has been designed to fit seamlessly in with your kay me work wardrobe.

Choose from classic red, white and navy, or monotone black, white and gray, and wear with matching colors to easily create new outfits with existing favorites.

kay me stylists recommend pairing these with our hand-tailored jackets and long cardigans for comfortable office styles.

See the full collection here

PS: Eagle-eyed kay me fans will notice a small and subtle logo in both of these prints… have you spotted it yet?

Summer suit setups, with a touch of Japan

Summer is in full swing here in Japan, and we know that work doesn’t slow down despite the rising temperatures…

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Have you heard of Japan’s “cool biz” initiative? Initially as a way to conserve energy by reducing the need for air-conditioning, cools biz sees office workers in Japan say goodbye to their suit jackets and embrace short sleeves and light fabrics for the hot and humid summer months.

Here are kay me, we love our high performance office wear that’s suitable for summer as well as transitional months. Comprising a mini collection of dresses, tops, skirts and jackets, our summer suit setups are designed to keep you cool with breathable and fully washable fabrics, as well as stylish with our easy to coordinate colors and beautiful original prints.

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This season, our suits also feature our striking Ryukyu-bingata prints, inspired by authentic designs from Japan’s southernmost islands, and using 22 colors to create our charming choice of two tops and one dress.

Pair our prints with matching tones including the navy and gray of our suit jackets and skirts, with other options such as off-white and beige, or contrasting colors including with bold and bright shades of our Vitamin cardigan series.

kay me stylists suggest playing with our mix-and-match collection as a great way to start your own work wardrobe capsule of versatile items that can effortlessly be worn in a wide variety of ways with each other as well as other kay me clothing, including our Kanazawa-made cardigans, full Ryukyu-bingata print dresses and matching solid color dresses.

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Simply add a jacket, such as our featured bolero and classic tailored styles, for an instant suit setup that transitions from the morning commute to meetings and out for dinner.

Plus, our crease-resistant fabric keep you looking your best all day long and well beyond.

Discover more from our summer suit setup collection, with free global shipping as standard.

Wedding guest dresses – and beyond!

Wedding season is here again, and there’s nothing better than a fresh new outfit to mark a special occasion. However, we also love making the most of our purchases and considering “cost per wear” – the cost of the item vs how often it’s worn.

In our effort to create versatile and stylish dresses and clothing can be worn for a variety of occasions, we tasked kay me stylists with reimagining looks for four of our favorite summer dresses that look just as great on the dance floor as on the daily commute…

The dresses…

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(Aquarium chiffon marilyn, Royal blue square neck, Ammonite venus, Lemon waist gather)

To start with, our stylists chose a selection of pretty prints and colors. Our Aquarium dress is made from a beautiful chiffon fabric that’s light and airy as well as being stretchy and opaque with a built-in under layer, and gathered ribbon-like waist detail.

Our new square neck design is elegant and simple with a flattering line of gathers that highlights your natural figure, while our classic Venus drape style is the perfect partner for our new ammonite print, inspired by the mysterious depths of the ocean.

Finally, our popular waist gather style with 72 hand-placed tucks meets our vibrant and fun lemon print – great for a destination wedding in the sunshine.

With knits…

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(kay me knitwear)

Wear our selected dresses with kay me’s made in Japan knitwear for a variety of situations!

Our bolero cardigan is thick and soft with a dense weave and a beautiful drape that skims the body, and paired with our silver pouch makes for a glamorous layer.

Our long cardigan is great for busy days on the go both in and out of the office, featuring a kimono-inspired shawl collar and useful deep pockets on either side.

For a splash of color, our vitamin cardigans are fantastic choice for warm weather, with a tencel blend that’s light and cool, and a selection of variously shaped crystal buttons for a final sparkling touch.

With jackets…

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(kay me jackets and setups)

For formal occasions, in the office and for cool weather, you just can’t go wrong with a well tailored classic jacket. All kay me jackets are handmade here in Tokyo, using our specially selected stretch fabric and stitching that allows greater freedom of movement and day-long comfort.

Contrast the bold and bright aquatic colors of our Aquarium print with a cool gray bolero jacket for maximum style points, or play up color-blocking with our simple jacket in black – kay me’s bolero jackets are a slightly cropped length with raised waist seam and hidden pockets, making them a great outerwear option.

If you’ve never tried a white jacket before, now’s your chance! A lovely choice for the summer, white jackets add a touch of fresh elegance to every outfit. There’s no need to worry about accidents, as naturally all our jackets are also fully machine washable at home, drip dry and do not need ironing. In fact, our fabrics are chosen to be crease-resistant, making them perfect for travel as well.

Thanks to our stylists for their simple and stylish solutions for making the most of your kay me dresses!

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?