Office clothes in Japan

  • If you are thinking of a job in Japan what do you think office people wear?
  • Do they usually wear power suits, or something casual? 
  • Is there a certain dress code?
  • What about shoes?
  • Are open-toed heels or sandals appropriate? Or are covered shoes a must?

If you are in a career type job, managerial position or account manager with a lot of interaction with customers then suit is strongly recommended.
If you are going to be in a assistant position or back office job, then relatively casual as top with skirt for ladies,  a cardigan or a light jacket would be fine. 

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Since it does get pretty cold, as in winter, you would feel comfortable with closed toes. And it’s preferred in seasons other than summer.
Sandals without backstrap, that clanks when you walk down the steps are somewhat frowned upon by elder people. Young people do wear them by now but you know…it’s work not a beach.

About colors, it really depends on the role or function you have, and on the individual work place.

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When you start in a new office, people tend to start out “conservative, ” then later might wear more colorful clothing, observing what is considered norm in that particular work environment.

Colors range in: black, dark charcoal gray, pinstripe gray, light gray, khaki green, sky blue, light beige, a bit darker beige, light brown, dark brown, light blue-gray. Depending on what you wear inside, they all can look very formal or business casual.
A range of twin sweater set (half-sleeved sweater and a long-sleeved cardigan) come in handy.

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In the traveling industry or the media industry a lot of managers wear jeans to the office.
There’s also “casual Friday” that you might want to consider. Even in the most strict companies, they often let employees come with a “no-tie” code on Fridays, and on these days of the week, a lot of workers are pretty colorful.

For job interviews though, a dark blue or gray suit is recommended to play it safe, unless you’re applying for a position to appeal your originality, such as in the fasion industry.

– Are white blazers/suits appropriate?
Yes – unless you are in very conservative industries, such as finance, where light gray (or beige) might be better. Still, if you are coming right in the middle of summer, color-wise no problem, but in terms of stain and perspiration, *some* color might be better.
– I am guessing knee length skirts are shortest appropriate length?
I’d say yes – for business attire, not-too-short is always safe :)