#1 Best Guide: Business Attire In Japan

#1 Best Guide Business Attire In Japan

Gearing up to work in the Land of the Rising Sun? Ohh la la! But before you go pack your bags, let’s talk about something super important: business attire in Japan.

As someone who’s been there and done that (yep, I worked in Tokyo!), trust me when I say that nailing your work outfit is absolutely essential. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “But I’m used to rocking hoodies and jeans at work!”

Well, it’s time to swap those comfy clothes for something a bit more… shall we say, refined? In Japan, it’s all about business suits, crisp long-sleeve blouses, and sleek black pants. And when I say “all,” I mean every single day. No exceptions!


In this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about business attire in Japan. From the general principles of conservatism and formality to the specific do’s and don’ts for both men and women, I’ve got you covered. We’ll even discuss some words in the Japanese language to help you navigate company-specific dress codes.

General Principles Of Business Attire In Japan

When it comes to style, the Japanese keep things mellow and professional in the workplace. You won’t catch ’em sporting wild, crazy colors or showing much skin on the job. Nah, it’s all about looking neat, tidy, and put together. Dudes suit up in crisp shirts and ties even for ordinary days at the office. And the ladies don their smart blouses, pants or skirts.

I know, I know – sounds potentially stiff and boring to some of ya’ll. But hear me out. In Japan, how you dress reflects the level of respect you’ve got for your work, your colleagues and your clients. By dressing sharp and keeping it conservative, you’re saying “I mean business and I’m here to crush it.”

Now sure, every company’s different and has their own vibe and dress code. But generally speaking, if you stick to classy business attire, you’ll be golden. Look pulled together, but don’t go crazy loud or show too much skin. Seem reasonable enough? It’s just how they roll in Japan when it comes to office style!

business attire in japan for men

Business Attire For Men

Fellas, when it comes to lookin’ sharp for business in Japan, it’s all about precision. You wanna resemble a dapper James Bond, sophisticated yet ready to tackle anything. Let me break it down for you below.


A well-fitted suit in a dark, subtle tone like black, navy, or charcoal gray is your best bet for a classic, professional vibe. These shades work year-round for all occasions. And bro, make sure that sucker fits you right! No baggy sleeves or saggy pants allowed – keep it streamlined.

If you’re suit shopping in Tokyo, plan to drop around 40,000 yen for a quality one that fits perfectly. You may also get some in thrift stores, but the sizing options may vary. If you’re unsure about sizes or need tailoring, hit up a legit tailor. Worth it to get that smooth silhouette, trust me.

When you’ve got the right suit and fit, you’ll emanate Bond-level polish, my friend. The Japanese will respect that you took the time to look sharp AF!


Button-up shirts are your stalwarts. Invest in crisp white or light blue, as these are tremendously versatile. Feel like diversifying? Try subtle pastel tones, avoiding anything excessively bold.

For collars, favor button-downs or point collars to project an executive polish. Keep collars crisply starched and steered away from button accouterments.


For Japanese business meetings, always choose a tie with a subtle, classic pattern. A simple, elegant design is best to avoid looking flashy or distracting. Dark, conservative colors like navy, burgundy, or deep green are ideal for conveying sophistication and professionalism.

Although high-quality silk ties are preferred, if you’re on a budget, you can find well-made silk blend ties at affordable shops like Daiso. Just make sure the tie falls right at your beltline – not shorter or longer. This small detail shows you understand and respect professional standards.

Shoes And Accessories

In Japanese business culture, the state of your shoes speaks volumes about your professionalism and personal grooming. My advice? Invest in high-quality dress shoes and cleaning kits, as the locals are crazy meticulous about keeping shoes scuff-free and polished.

As for accessories, keep them minimal, functional, and refined. Start with a basic black leather belt holds up them slacks while sending an “I got it together” vibe. And a minimal watch in silver, gold or black helps you respect everyone’s time while subtly flexing.

Can’t forget them socks either! Navy, black, dark colors only. None of them funky patterns or colors to distract from your power. And make sure they high enough that crossing your legs don’t flash no ankle skin.

business attire in japan for women

Business Attire For Women

Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Do I have to trade in my fabulous sense of style for a boring old suit?” But fear not, my fashionable girlies! There’s plenty of room for you to express yourself while still nailing the Japanese business dress code.


When suiting up for business in Japan, think tailored and polished. My Japanese girlfriends recommend finding a feminine silhouette that fits you just right. You want your blazer nipping your waist without straining the buttons. And make sure it’s good quality all around, solid buttons and linings make a difference.

Skirt suits should hit right below the knees. Anything shorter might not align with Japan’s traditional take on professionalism. With pantsuits, go for a slim straight leg to elongate.


Blouse-wise, you can’t go wrong with timeless colors like white, ivory, or soft pastels. They give off that “I have my act together” vibe. Plus those subtle shades mix n’ match with any suit or jacket.

As for the actual blouse, avoid anything too sheer or clingy as these can be seen as unprofessional or even inappropriate in the workplace. Save the scandalous fabrics for the weekend! Instead, go for shirts with some structure – crispy cotton, smooth silky blends. Those say you respect boundaries while still having impeccable taste.

Shoes And Accessories

When it comes to accessories, my Japanese colleagues recommend keeping them simple and elegant. A classic pair of black pumps, an understated leather bag, and minimal jewelry are all you need to complete your professional look. This concept pretty much fits the classic “less is often more.”

Japanese Words For Fashion

If you’re planning to work in Japan, you might want to brush up on your Japanese fashion vocabulary. After all, you never know when you might need to compliment a colleague’s new outfit or go shopping for some business attire of your own!

EnglishJapanese ScriptJapanese Pronunciation
Casual wearカジュアルウェアKajuaru uea

Ace Your Next Japanese Business Meeting With Ling!

You’ve got the lingo for Japanese business style down pat! Now rock into that meeting and wow ’em. But let’s level for a sec here… there’s more to it than clothes. All the bowing, exchanging of biz cards, after work drinks – it can get nuanced quick!

No need to stress though!

Mastering the language and cultural details is totally doable with the Ling app. It’s a super fun app for learning Japanese through games, simulated convos, and more. Lessons come in bite-sized packages so you can learn on the go between meetings about mergers, acquisitions, or whatever corporate ishk you got cookin’!

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