Try out one of these “Super Cool Biz” looks as the temperatures start rising.

By Vivian Morelli

With the Cool Biz movement already kicking off its tenth year, the air conditioner temperatures have lowered and the salarymen have shed a few layers. Established back in 2005 by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, the campaign was initially set up to help reduce electricity consumption, and following the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, it turned into the (enthusiastically named) “Super Cool Biz.” This latest installment encourages workers to wear garments that are both appropriate for the office and for the blazing summer heat. In other words, polos, trainers and necktie-free collars have replaced the repetitive black and white uniforms.

Tokyo Weekender scoured the latest trends at fast retailing giant Uniqlo, which undoubtedly presents the most interesting collections, and made a round up of this year’s Super Cool Biz trends for men (sorry ladies, seems like it’s not as difficult to get dressed for the office!). Now, keep an eye on the salarymen sitting next to you on the train to see if they’ve adopted any of those looks…

1. The Trendy Businessman


With the madras check linen shirt peeking from underneath the jacket and slim fit jeans, this look conveys a bit of a hipster vibe. We’re not sure too many businessmen will be rocking jeans at the office, but if they could, we think that’s the outfit they’d pick. The jacket seems heavy but it’s in fact a ‘dry comfort’ jacket, so with the rolled sleeves and lightweight shirt it’s a good combination to survive a day at the office and a crowded commute—and maybe even grab a few post-work brews without looking too stuffy.

2. The Nautical Businessman


Although we love the short trousers and boat shoes, we fear this look is a tad too ‘nautical’ for the office and should be reserved for weekends. Shorts are considered a bit of a fashion faux-pas for grown men in general (in Japan, at least), but in the past few years they’ve been turning up a bit more on the runway and in the streets. As long as they’re not paired with socks, we think shorts for men should be embraced. The dry ‘easy care’ shirt is a staple for the summer months, and can be paired with trousers and loafers for the office.

3. The Classic Businessman (with a twist)


Pink on men? Yes, please. The hue flatters most, and we think a hint of color goes hand-in-hand with summertime—a nice break from all the black and white. This shirt is a fine version of the classic Oxford shirt, which means it’s light and breathable. We suggest wearing a T-shirt underneath, such as the AIRism variety from Uniqlo, and the traditional Japanese undergarment suteteko, which has been revamped by the major clothing chains to keep you sweat-free under all those pleats.

Images courtesy of Uniqlo