The word business casual is gaining popularity in Japan. However, when you look around the world, there is no firm definition for this dress code. Tolerance varies widely depending on countries, industries, or companies. In the US, arguably the birthplace of the concept, several IT companies in Silicon Valley have accepted jeans and T-shirts as acceptable workplace attire. Other companies and industries require khaki pants, collared shirts, and jacket as a minimum for their working professionals.
Before the word business casual was born, there was a movement called casual Friday. It started in the US in the early 1990s. As the name implies, the idea was to wear casual clothes on final workday of the week. Around this time, the rise of IT companies in Silicon Valley began. They forgot the limitation of Friday, made it okay throughout the week, and its tradition continues today.
This casual Friday movement was an adaptation of an earlier movement, which originated in Hawaii in the 1960s. Companies in Hawaii thought it should not be necessary to wear suits and ties on hot summer days. In response, the Hawaiian apparel industry began a campaign that provided an acceptable alternative style – Aloha shirts – for business professionals. In 1966, Bank of Hawaii allowed its workers to wear Alohas on Fridays, accelerating the movement. Today, Aloha shirts have established themselves as daily work clothes. Many companies have even implemented this as their uniform for employees throughout the week.
The history tells that business casual is something you can create. It can be national, regional, or industrial, as long as the group accepts it, that style can be established as a commonly accepted social uniform.
Pae’Aina attempts to creates a new style of business casual that is born from Japanese culture and lifestyle; and disseminate our definition of business casual to the world as a fashion style from Japan.