I think winter is the most exciting time style-wise, all thanks to the idea of layering. Chilly Japan was a perfect wintry destination to pack knitwear and coats in my suitcase and really have some fun with style and layer up. It's that time of the year where you can set your wardrobe free, and dig out those knits, stripes, spots, and checks that have been forgotten about all summer.
This is a blog post by Lauren Yates, editor of Ponytail Journal
Let me start with outerwear, because a good coat or jacket is the basis of a winter wardrobe. Outerwear is completely reflective of your lifestyle, the climate you live in, and may even reference a little bit of your history too. For me, the romance is in detail, like hardware, textile, and the finishing. These elements come together to tell a great story. Look at the duffle jacket for example. This classic coat has popped up through time in iconic moments like as the official clothing of the Royal British Navy. Whenever I travel to Japan in the wintertime, it's this militant functionality that has me looking stylish on the streets while I explore. Investing in timeless style is priceless.
In this light, I'll show you how I like to choose my knits and accessories that give personality to a simple winter outfit. Going back to the Navy, think about those great roll neck knits that dressed sailors and fishermen who sailed the roughest waters – like early cod fishermen in North Atlantic sea. I would definitely take styling advice from photographs of this era — it's all about how you can then make it relevant to your own situation.
Drawing inspiration from the past is a great way to inform your wardrobe. It's exciting to explore your personal style in this way and to make it your own by giving it your own context. When I travel to Japan in winter, I find it refreshing to see such an expression of individuality and a deep appreciation for Japan's rich cultural history, yet everyone has their own distinct style. It's a tip of the hat to identity, and the fact is that we should be allowed to carve out our own.
When I travel to Tokyo for work, I find myself in the neighbouring areas of Daikanyama and Nakameguro most of the time. The area is full of that unique style I mentioned above, and home to many international design houses. So here are some of my favourite hangouts...
My morning coffee at Sidewalk Stand is vibrant thanks to the baristas who are full of personality and very fun to talk to. You might also want to have a cup overlooking the city at Saturdays in Daikanyama, which is a short walk up the hill from Sidewalk Stand.
Don't miss one of the greatest bookstores in town, Tsutaya Books, in the Daikanyama T-site, a stunning latticed building designed by Klein Dytham Architecture. Upstairs you'll find a beautiful bar surrounded by old artefacts and some very special contemporary artworks. Have lunch in the courtyard at the Ivy Place, a classic eatery that serves up American classics in a very green, and very polished setting.
During the springtime, cherry blossoms line the Nakameguro river, and the city is great to experience by bike. That's my last little sneaky tip if you're planning a trip to Tokyo !