4 of Our Favorite Dresses to Wear this Summer in Tokyo

Slip into something chic and cool for the hot summer months ahead

Despite the sweltering heat, oppressive humidity, and — TBH — relentless sweating, Tokyo somehow still manages to be one of the most well-dressed cities in the world during the summer months.

Inspired by the S/S19 collections from young female designers that breezed down the runway at Tokyo Amazon Fashion Week as well as what we’re seeing on Instagram, here’s our pick of trends to try out that will have you feeling fabulous and fresh — whatever the thermostat says.

1. The Neutral Dress

For summer, neutral colors are great for hot sunny days as they reflect rather than absorb those strong UV rays, while loose floppy fabrics help to keep you cool when commuting through the city. Hot, clingy polyester blend that sticks to the body? Thank u, next. Invest in 100% light organic cotton or linen materials that allow your skin to breathe — the extra yennies will be worth it.

Savvy Styling Tip

The great thing about neutral dresses is that they can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on which summer accessories, hairstyle, and of course shoes you decide to pair them with. Try pairing a boho-pretty cotton dress with a headscarf and gladiator sandals for an effortless yet elegant look, or go cool-pretty with some stompy heavy-soled boots.

5 of Our Favorite Dress Trends to Wear this Summer in Tokyo United Arrows

UWSC A-line maxi dress by United Arrows | ¥20,520.

More than half of the spring/summer collection pieces featured at Tokyo Fashion Week were distinctly muted with neutral hues dominating. Long and light fabrics pervaded the collection of newcomers like Aoi Wanaka, as well as designer-to-watch Haori de TiTi. A classic look for all the seasons, make sure your closet has at least three neutral dresses to carry you through tsuyu (rainy season) into summer and beyond.

Haori de Titi S:S Collection Summer Dress Trends Tokyo

A muted evening dress from Haori de TiTi’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection.

Where to wear it

Instagram your neutral boho look against a backdrop of green with a matcha-themed afternoon tea at the ANA Intercontinental Tokyo. Say green teeeeaa!

2. The Floral Dress

As soon as we begin to see sunnier and warmer days, we also start to see colors and patterns re-emerge from the dark and wooly depths of our closets. Florals are always a great way to cheer up your look – and this summer, flower power is back and stronger than ever.

Savvy Styling Tip

Don’t be afraid to take your florals to work by wearing a floral dress under a sharp blazer for a feminine take on corporate power dressing. Really, anything goes with florals this summer so have fun with it!

Uniqlo Floral Print Dress by Sanderson 4 Summer Dresses

Floral one-piece with bra insert by Studio Sanderson for Uniqlo | ¥1,990.

Punyus Floral Dress Summer Dresses Trends Tokyo

Floral print chiffon romper by plus-size brand Punyus | ¥7,549. (Okay, not technically a dress but this was too cute not to include!)

Where to wear it:

Since florals are the theme, why not match your outfit to the occasion at the Bunkyo Ajisai Festival, a gorgeous display of 3,000 blooming ajisai (hydrangea) taking place at Hakusan Jinja Shrine in Bunkyo Ward this weekend.

3. The Tie-Dye Dress

Up until recently, tie-dye was a trend that belonged in the realm of hippie-themed cosplay. But thanks to a few star fashionistas, tie-dye is back and a hot style trend for this summer. From over-sized t-shirt dresses to tropical assembles, tie-dye has crept off the runway and onto the racks of everywhere from high-end luxury boutiques to beachy surfer shops.

Savvy Styling Tip

For a fun and playful weekend outfit, commit fully to your colorful tie-dye minidress with layers of necklaces and bangles, and team it with a tousled half up-do. This dress can also double up as a statement top – just add some slim cropped trousers or leggings and a pair of gladiator sandals and you’re ready to go!

Tie-dye dress from Zara Summer Dress Trends Tokyo

Tie-dye print dress by Zara | ¥3,990.

Summer Dress Trends Tokyo Dior Tie Dye Dress

Kaléidiorscope printed silk scarf dress by Dior | $6,600/¥715,000 (We balked at the price as well but it’s SO pretty).

Where to wear it:

Outdoor music festivals are a great place to show off bold colors and tie-dyes. If you’re a music lover and love to dance, check out the Songkran Music Festival. The Japanese-version of the famous Thai music festival takes place at Makuhari Seaside Park, combining water showers with live dance music.

4. The Animal Print Dress

Season after season we keep on seeing the return of animal print prowl down the runways of fashion week either draped on models from head to toe with flowing fabrics or clutched in their hand as beautifully constructed pochettes.

Savvy Styling Tip

There’s no denying the attraction we seem to have to animal patterns – they are bold, daring, and sexy. Wear as a fully patterned dress with just a hint of sparkle in your accessories and a bold lip.

Animal Print Dress by Zara 4 summer dress trends Japan

Animal print wrap dress by Zara | ¥7,990.

This summer, animal prints are crossing the entire-animal kingdom spectrum. Going beyond just the classics of leopard, zebra, pythons, and giraffe, we’re seeing more and more pieces inspired by less exotic species, including Dalmatian, cow, and even deer.

Whether rocked head-to-toe as seen on Japanese model and actress Rola (on a recent work trip to Hawaii… as you do) or worn via a funky pleated skirt, it’s time to find your inner spirit animal!

Where to wear it:

For dinner and wine at gourmet Vietnamese bistro An Di with your pack of untameable girlfriends.

How to accessorize your look

Sculpted Heels for Summer Dressing in Tokyo

Dress up your summer with these essential easy-to-coordinate and on-trend accessories.

Scarves: Worn as a headband or tied around your neck in a large bowtie, scarves are a great way to add a punch of color to any dress.

Round pochette: Find a cute, geometrically stand-out pochette and wear with something tailored.

Mirrored sunnies: They are EVERYWHERE. Rose-tinted, gold-colored lenses seem to be what it’s all about this summer. Time to pick yourself up a pair and join the club.

Rings: Whoever said that you can only wear one ring per finger? If Game of Thrones characters can do it, why can’t you? Just don’t try to open any car doors.

Sculpted Heels: Funky geometric and sculptured heels are the “It” shoe of the season. Your feet need their time to shine too!

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