On and off style, with kay me

Everyone loves clothes that can do double duty and can be worn for both work and weekends, transitioning from long days in the office to evening events and everything in between.

Today we’ve taken our top pick of items and, thanks to kay me stylists, have suggested different ways to wear the same key pieces. With all kay me looks being machine washable at home, with no need to tumble dry or iron, our principles of style, comfort and instant elegance are well covered.

Keep reading for outfit inspiration…

Cardigans

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Baby blue Kanazawa long cardigan – in the office // after-work drinks

Mist grey Kanazawa long cardigan – team meeting // brunch with friends

Our favourite transitional layer for autumn and beyond, we love our made-in-Japan long cardigans. Knitted specially in the city of Kanazawa for kay me, our long cardigans feature large size pockets and side slit for ease of movement. The shawl collar drapes beautifully, and is a nod to traditional Japanese kimono design.

Wear our long cardigans with solid colour dresses, or add texture and detail with tops and skirts.

Print dresses

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Safari sunset waist-gathered dress – dinner date // al fresco lunch

Coffee beans daily dress – weekly presentation // errands in town

We are no strangers to a print dress here at kay me, and today we’ve chosen to highlight our Safari Sunset and Coffee Beans dresses with vibrant tribal-inspired prints. While a print dress can feel like the star of the show, with careful styling a single dress can be adapted to a great variety of situations and outfits simply by changing up your outer layers.

Wear our prints with suit jackets and bolero cardigans for formal occasions, and our “first class” parkers for casual days.

Navy dresses

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Navy sack dress – city shopping // catch-up cocktails

Navy rib zip front dress – independent theatre // to and from the gym

Our neutral of choice, navy dresses are wardrobe workhorses and genuine chameleons that can be dressed up and down as you see fit. We’ve chosen to highlight our loose-fitting sack dress with wide collar and mid sleeves, as well as our rib dress with front zip and contrasting fabrics panels.

Wear our solid navy dresses with handmade kay me Select scarves, or for warmth and stretch add our indigo riders jacket for that extra cool factor.

Three ways to wear florals this autumn

As follow up to our popular post featuring top tips on how to wear florals in the office, kay me stylists are back and ready to share with you three easy ways to wear florals in the fall season.

While summer suits bright colours and bold prints, and certainly we have no shortage of these at kay me, autumn provides us with a more mellow colour palette and chance to explore a softer side to our favourite florals…

With darker colours

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(Tribal black, Monotone leaf piping, Iris waist-gathered)

With the nights drawing in week by week, bring out the richer tones in our floral prints by pairing them with darker colours. Wear our Tribal Black venus drape dress with our cropped black bolero cardigan, and our Monotone Leaf piping dress with wool skirt and contrasting top with matching black tailored jacket. To bring our richness of the navy, our super stretchy Japanese indigo denim jacket is a great partner to our charming Iris dress.

Tailored jackets in black and navy are never out of style, and kay me’s easy-care fabrics can be washed and worn as often as you like.

With neutrals

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(Plume sack, Shisa terrace, Safari sunset)

For a modern look, try wearing darker floral prints with lighter colours to add contrast to your outfit. Our Shisa Terrace and Safari Sunset prints feature autumnal shades that capture the colours of the season here in Japan, and our Plume dress in grey watercolour tones is a grown-up take on a traditional floral design. Our stylists paired these items with our pure white lace stole and simple white knitwear to bring out the contrast present in these prints.

Discover more ways to wear our handmade stoles for every occasion.

As a contemporary kimono

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(Tokiwa midori 100% silk, Japan wrap, Otsukimi purple)

As with all aspects of traditional Japanese culture, from food to written greetings, kimono are seasonal too. Our top pick has to be our signature Otsukimi purple dress, named after the Japanese traditional of moon-viewing that takes place in October – just add mochi (rice cakes)! For a more dramatic look, try our Japan wrap dress in bold red, gold and black with distinctive kimono-style collar, or our patented washable silk dresses, such as Tokiwa Midori.

Learn more about the unique story behind our silk.

Autumn travel wear, from kay me

Our new travel capsule collection is now available online and in stores – where you will you wear yours?

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Inspired by the idea of an outfit that was as comfortable as pyjamas but elegant enough to wear from the airplane to the hotel, kay me founder Junko Kemi created our new hoodies and long dresses with this concept at the forefront of her mind.

From her history of traveling throughout Japan in her previous role as a consultant, to founding and designing kay me requiring international travel during the year, Junko is an expert when it comes to clothing that combines functionality with style.

Indeed, this was one of the principles that kay me was built on, and remains close to our heart today.

Our new hoodies and dresses both feature our original Petit print in navy and lavender, hand-painted in France with beautifully delicate watercolour flowers in shades of purple.

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Our travel dresses are available in pretty Petit Lavender print, as well as denim blue and grey, and feature a maxi-length skirt with soft mermaid flare and asymmetric seams that flatter the body. Made from the softest of materials, move with ease and grace, and pair with sneakers for days on the go.

Choose from our new ‘first class’ parkers in Petit Navy and Petit Lavender print, as well as white and navy. All hoodies feature luxurious satin ribbons and side and sleeve stretchy rib detail, as well as our exciting original zip pulls with the new kay me rose logo.

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Level up your travel style by mixing and matching our long dresses and parkers with kay me t-shirts and long skirts, and don’t forget to check our travel category for more made in Japan clothing that’s elegant and practical no matter where you’re going.

Three ways to dress for transitional weather

After several months of summer, we’re looking forward to cooler autumn temperatures here in Tokyo!

However, it’s all too easy to get caught out in this type of transitional weather: cool breezes, Indian summer days, different attitudes to air-conditioning, sudden showers, among others. We tasked kay me stylists with tackling this seasonal conundrum, and here are their three top tips…

Transitional layers

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Tip one: utilising various layers is the smartest way to both regulate your temperature and stay stylish all day long.

Great for those who love variety, choose from our made in Japan knitwear, tailored jackets and frill jackets for outer layers.

Wear our handmade jackets to the office and for commuting, with plenty of stretch you’ll be able to stay on the go all day long. For parties and events, try our charming frilled jacket, available in black and white, and the perfect topper to a special dress.

Our washable top-quality knitwear is made individually in Kanazawa on the coast of Japan, and looks just as effortless elegant in the office as on a brunch date or weekend at home.

Finally, our range of underdresses are on hand to provide the foundation for any outfit – from warm fabrics to smooth satin, these under-layers are the perfect match for kay me dresses and skirts.

Transitional scarves

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Tip two: add colour and interest with a scarf.

Specially selected in person by kay me founder Junko Kemi, our beautiful kay me Select scarves are made by hand by artisans in India.

Luxurious and ethically made, our range of stoles are a wonderful option for transitional days – wear around the neck, drape over the shoulders and even fold on the lap – the possibilities are endless. We hardly know what we did before our scarves!

Choose from wool and silk, and cashmere blends and bring sophistication and colour every day.

Transitional dresses

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Tip three: choose materials and colours for the season.

Transitional dressing is epitomised by our docking dresses that combine a skirt and top in contrasting fabrics to great effect. Our Chainon navy piping dress features a pure wool skirt and blended top to combine the best of both worlds in one stylish dress.

With a vast range of colours and prints, our patterned dresses offer a great array of options suitable for the changing seasons – just remember that these items are often limited, so be sure to secure your favourite new dress by signing up for our newsletter online.

This year, kay me stylists particularly recommend our abstract floral Tassel Flower dresses that look just as lovely with cool pastels as warm neutrals and darker colours, as well as our Tribal Black venus drape dress in black and beige – wear with a white jacket for warm days or a black jacket for chilly evenings.

Print story – Iris and Lavender

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

Today I’m here to tell you all about our new original floral print…

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In early July, we held a special anniversary party to commemorate the opening of our Shinjuku store and club lounge, and seven years of kay as a company. As well as a lovely speech from kay me founder and lead designer Junko Kemi, we also previewed some of our new autumn collection, including this popular new print….

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Lavender! It’s an elegant and pretty flower bouquet print, available in soft pink with purple flowers.

How about another colour? Well, we tried a few other variations, aren’t they all so charming?

Of course, we chose a navy version too! Although kay me has many popular navy prints, our Iris design with blue flowers has quite a different taste. It’s very fresh, and might be my favourite!

This new print comes directly from a French workshop, where they create beautiful watercolours by hand especially for kay me.

In the print world, various elements including design, method, colour and material are combined to make the finished look. It’s so deep and interesting.

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(Iris waist-gathered dress, Lavender waist-gathered dress, Iris side-drape dress)

Naturally, the dress designer also plays a large role – the same print in the hands of two designers will look totally different…

We just love our original prints!

Until next time… Yuko.

Looking forward to early autumn

Even as Tokyo sizzles in the late August/early September heat, we’re looking forward to autumn…

In winter we love to layer up with our wool knits, spring brings new life and blooming flowers, and the summer sunshine keeps up smiling, but autumn has a special glow all its own.

It’s a while until we’ll be enjoying the changing leaves and cool breezes, but in the meantime we’ll be planning our autumn wardrobes with an eye to the next season.

Join us as we take a look at a few of our autumnal favourites…

Florals

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(Beige pink leaf chiffon long dress, Safari sunset waist-gathered, Shisa terrace wrap, Tassel flower daily)

It’s no secret that we just love a floral prints every day of the week here at kay me! While we can’t deny the versatility of our solid colour dresses, a charming flower will always make us feel feminine and confident.

Channel the best of the autumn with our florals in rich colours: wear our abstract Tassel Flower print to work, and fall for our Beige Pink Leaf long dress in chiffon for glamorous travel.

Knitwear

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(Navy cardigan, Mist grey cardigan, Baby blue long cardigan, White long cardigan)

Our light and airy knits are individually made in Kanazawa on the coast of Japan. Re-worked for the summer season and beyond, our new Tencel blend allows air to circulate, making great use of this nature-derived fabric.

Choose our short cardigans with elegant shawl collar, or our long cardigans with handy pockets and side slit for easy movement and just a glimpse of a printed skirt of dress beneath.

Outerwear

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(Beige tailored jacket, Light beige tailored jacket, Beige-pink collarless spring coat, Navy collarless spring coat)

It may be a few weeks before we reach for a jacket after steamy September Tokyo, but nonetheless we like to be prepared – our stretchy suit jackets in shades of beige combine timeless chic with modern practicality, the perfect addition to any work wardrobe, or instantly smarten up casual clothing.

Don’t be fooled by the name – our light spring coats are just as useful for the autumn too, with a striking A-line shape that looks just as good open as closed.

Three ways to keep cool in the office

As the long hot summer just keeps on going here in Tokyo, we’ve been brainstorming our favourite ways to keep cool in the office. Staff from all departments shared great advice, including portable desk fans, re-freezable ice-packs and handy thermos bottles.

As much as we’re looking forward to unpacking our autumn knitwear, there’s still time to enjoy the summer season before fall arrives.

Aside from battling with the air-conditioner and making frequent trips to the office freezer for ice-cream, here are three of our top ways to stay cool and stylish:

Wear light colours

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(White tailored jacket, White mermaid flare skirt, Beige tailored jacket, White lace peplum dress, Pink chiffon top, Shell white design tuck skirt)

As much as we love navy, in summer light colours are a better choice as they reflect light rather than absorbing it.

Play with pastels and wear with our white suit jackets and skirts for easy styles that are as fresh as they look – a hint of pale pink adds femininity to workwear, and light beige instantly creates a grown-up image.

No need to worry about white: our stretchy jackets and skirts are made to move with you, and are all fully machine washable, drip-dry and non-iron.

Choose short sleeves

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(Pink lace peplum, Peach sleeveless flare, Light grey future flare, White chiffon top, Shell white design tuck skirt)

Continuing with our theme of light colours, pick a light and airy dress with a little flare, literally and figuratively, with short sleeves a must in sunny weather.

Shape up in our peplum dress, or choose a touch of retro style with our sleeveless flare and future flare dresses. Alternatively, our chiffon tops are a lovely choice for the office, with layered cap sleeves and an opaque under-layer that can be tucked into a skirt or kept over the waistband.

Try a Tencel knit cardigan

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(Navy, Baby blue, Mist grey, White)

Cool and airy, Tencel is made from natural cellulose fibres making it a wonderful choice for a light summer cover-up that doesn’t compromise on style or practicality.

Choose from four colours: navy, baby blue, mist grey and white. Pair with a light-coloured kay me dress or suit set-up for an elegant look every day.

Crease resistant and easy to look after, our long cardigans are also lovely for travel, whether you’re speeding on the Shinkansen or relaxing on the beach.

Print story – tassel flowers

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

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This time, I’d like to share with you the story behind our new dynamic Tassel Flower print, an elegant pattern with core strength that shines through.

Now available in kay me stores, this print has proved to be very popular – thank you so much, and I’m glad you like it as much as I do!

I likened this design to a lady leading a busy life: she’s dynamic and you can really feel her strength when she walks into a room.

Capture the feeling of our original print and channel the energy and dynamism of this lady – energetic brushstrokes create petal-like patterns and use a variety of tones.

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This print is available in cool black and white in our Venus drape style made from a single piece of draped fabric, and also our daily dress with ribbon tie to define your waist.

In pretty prink, our new print is available in our ribbon dress style, with a front bust twist that feels light and feminine. A great choice for the summer!

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Style with stretchy tailored suit jackets for the office, or with our special Japan-made knitwear for elegant evenings.

Stay cool in the heat…

Until next time… Yuko.

Around and about in Tokyo: Shinjuku

Rounding off our Tokyo trip, today on the kay me blog, we’re off to Shinjuku to visit our beautiful Club lounge and store, and discover the vibrancy of Tokyo life.

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Stop by our Club lounge for exclusive kay me events (check our Japanese Facebook page and staff blogs for more information) and as a place to unwind in the heart of one of busiest areas of Tokyo. Customers at our Shinjuku 3-chome store can also take advantage of our custom dress ordering service, also now available online for those outside Japan.

Famed for it’s nightlife, Shinjuku has bars and restaurants to suit all tastes, with homemade style Coffee Lounge Lemon and French import Mariage Freres situated directly opposite our 3-chome store. Stop in for sandwich platters at the former, and afternoon tea at the latter.

For a change of pace that may seem at odds with the rest of Shinjuku, head over to the charming Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, an extensive park with plenty of benches perfect for admiring the view, as well as a large greenhouse and Japanese style tea room. Nearby Shinjuku station is known as the world’s busiest train station, so be sure to take this chance to relax in serene nature.

What to wear in Shinjuku: bright colours

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(Amaranth cross, Pink grapefruit asymmetry, Aurora wrap, Royal blue shell)

Take a cue from the neon surrounding you, and opt for bright and bold colours in this frenetic part of the city. Soft, stretchy and comfortable, our dresses, jackets and skirts will ensure that you can keep on enjoying Shinjuku all day and night without worrying about uncomfortable clothing.

Around and about in Tokyo: Nihombashi

Today on the kay me blog, we take a trip to Nihombashi, Tokyo’s historic city centre and home to our store inside the world-famous Nihombashi Mitsukoshi department store.

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Quite literally in the centre of Tokyo, Nihombashi’s famous river and bridge have been somewhat lost amongst the highways and skyscrapers of this bustling district, but worry not as plans are underway to re-route the overpass and restore Nihombashi back to it’s former Edo-era glory.

Discover hidden cafes and traditional Japanese treats just around the corner, with one of our favourites being cake-maker extraordinaire Bunmeido cafe’s “french castella” – the Japanese take on the Portuguese cake this time cooked like French toast. For coffee lovers, a trip to the MIkado flagship cafe is a great chance to taste the original Nihombashi blend, created in 1948.

Of course, a trip to the Mitsukoshi department store is a must – as you explore the store don’t forget to appreciate the marble facings that have been specifically protected, as well as the giant wooden statue of a Japanese angel, unveiled in 1960.

A store of many firsts dating all the way back to 1673, including Japan’s first fashion show in 1927, as well as kay me, you can also find stationery, homewear and even a perfectly preserved small theatre.

What to wear in Nihombashi: kimono

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Feel the history of Nihombashi under your feet, and take the chance to bring Japanese prints and patterns into your life (and wardrobe) with our Contemporary Kimono dresses. Inspired by the legacy of kay me founder Junko Kemi’s grandmother’s kimono boutique, our Contemporary Kimono dresses combine unique prints with easy-care fabrics and styles that are a pleasure to wear.