In the last couple weeks, I've shown mad respect for the street style of men in both the UK and Italy. But it's the boundary-crushing, futuristic style of Tokyo's men that may have resonated with and influenced me the most. There are no rules here. Whether it's proportion, color, texture, or gender rules, the men of Tokyo don't hold back in expressing themselves through fashion. Tokyo is so rich with culture: respect for tradition and history, the most amazing subway system in the world, delicious, healthy food. But it's the fashion that stole my heart and has filled the days of my visit. Tokyo, and Japan as a whole, is known for leading the conversation when it comes to several categories such as technology. But the city's men are also illuminating a new sartorial direction for the masses, and you need to catch on now before everyone else is doing it. Here are five moves you need to steal from these guys ASAP:
1. Get in touch with your feminine side.
Everywhere I turned, I saw men carrying bags that were bigger and fiercer than the women's bags. Massive folios, clutches, and oversized handbags ruled the streets of Tokyo. And no one seemed to bat an eye. But the most amazing part of it all is these guys pulled the bags off in a truly stylish and masculine way. Most of the bags were neutral, and while they were quite large, they were never overstuffed or cumbersome. Lesson learned here: sometimes it pays to ignore social constructs and grab the accessory that completes your look the right way. Forget what anyone else thinks.
2. Free your ankles.
Yes, it's winter. Yes, you've been raised to wear full-length pants. But cropped pants were the norm on Tokyo's men. I'm not talking about the cargo capris that you see many tourists jetting around in-that obvious sign that someone is not from your city. These pants are stylish trousers that fit perfectly. They're just a couple inches shorter to show off some ankle or cool socks. The men's cropped pant, famously embraced by designers like Thom Browne, takes bravery, but the style payoff is huge.
3. Don't hold on to your clothing forever.
Harujuku's magnificent thrifting scene, with racks full of Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, and any other luxury designer you can think of, is proof that Tokyo's next level style is often attributed to literally reaching the next level. And doing so frequently. Once the aesthetic of the current season passes, it's time to move on to new collections. This means new shopping trips and dumping off last season's designer duds at the thrift shop of choice. A simple rite of passage for a style maven-a holy treasure for an unsuspecting shopper.
4. Invest in a hat.
The most stylish men in Tokyo all have one thing in common-they all wear hats. And hats of every variety you can think of from fitted caps to fedoras. Curating the perfect outfit isn't just about what you have on from the neck down. Selecting the perfect headpiece is just as crucial, and paying attention to this detail really pays off in the stylish end. No look ever felt convoluted or overcrowded by a hat. Regardless of style or color or texture, it was a style move well played that always felt just right.
5. Wear whatever the f*ck you want!
That's right...you heard me! Wear whatever the fuck you want. If there's one thing that I've learned from the street style of Tokyo's men, it's that there are no rules. There's no color palette, outerwear style, pant fit, or accessory off limits. The reason all of this style is so inspiring is because it's so vast. Despite the seemingly conservative nature of Japan, Tokyo is a city that respects the individual, and when you wake up in the morning, you can wear whatever you want. So yes, steal the style moves I listed above. But in the end, wear what represents you and feel strong about it!