In some of my past men’s fashion articles, I have made references to the fashion crazes that are currently sweeping the country of Japan. Although sometimes out there, Japanese men’s fashion trends seem to be catching on in other parts of the world this season. From men’s straight-legged chinos, to form fitting button down shirts, even to bright and flowery shorts, never before have Japanese fashion trends been making their way into American retailers to this extent.
Japan used to consume Western fashion trends, but the flow has reversed for the summer of 2012. Below I have listed some of the coolest, most fashionable, and somewhat questionable fashion trends in America this summer…that actually originated on the streets of Tokyo.
Bracelets. To begin, one of the most basic of fashion trends for men is making a major resurgence this summer among stylish young men nationwide. More than ever, high-fashion retailers are pushing bracelets of all kinds this summer. These are not your average bracelets, however. They can run from $40-200 each, and must be of the utmost quality. Japanese men are all about woven bracelets this year, and retailers such as J. Crew have picked up on this trend. My favorite is the Miansai Nantucket Silver Bracelet sold through J. Crew. It is the classiest accessory for any summer outfit, and reeks of Tokyo high fashion. The only problem is it retails for nearly $90. Much cheaper versions can be found at fast fashion retailers like H&M.
Trilby Hat. Perhaps my own personal enemy of the Japanese fashion world, the trilby hat, has made its presence known in malls across the United States this season. Known as one of the classic hats, it is polished straw woven together with sketch trim into a strange fedora shape. These hats can be found on older men throughout Japan, and they are somehow now being marketed for young American men. Although this trend is popular in Japan, it should be avoided at all costs in America. Rather than looking classy at the backyard barbecue, you will inevitably resemble a creepy older Japanese man who just got back from a long night at the bar. Besides, they are priced at nearly $50.
Japanese selvedge chambray utility shirts. Literally referred to with Japanese in the title at stores around the United States, this fashionable top has deep roots in Japan. In fact, this style of shirt can be seen on fashionable young men in just about every city in Japan. It is said to be inspired by work wear from the 1900’s, and is made from Japanese cotton chambray fabric. Although on the expensive side ($100), it is a must have this season.
Board Shorts. Board shorts in tacky aloha prints are all the rage among Japanese young men during the excruciatingly hot summer months in Japan. Known as “Aloha short” in Japan, this trend is making its way slowly to America. Beware, though – the crazier and bolder the pattern, the more stares you will receive. Maybe this trend should stay in Japan.