After returning from a long Golden Week, a subtle shift in people's dress can be found all across the country. If you don't live in Japan, you definitely won't recognize this small difference even upon visiting the country, but its the start of a very particular season. And no, its not summer. Its "クールビズ シーズン/Cool Biz Season"!
Introduced in 2005 by the Environment Ministry, Cool Biz is an initiative to lower energy consumption and combat climate change by reducing our carbon footprint. Japan gets extraordinarily hot and humid during the summer months, so all corporate businesses and governement agencies adopt a slightly more relaxed dress code. Cool Biz Season, or just "Cool Biz", is the coined term for the period of time between May 1st and October 31 used to acknowledge that break in dress code. During the first few weeks of May, you will notice more and more salarymen leaving the necktie at home. Around June, it typically becomes very rainy, and therefore very humid, so most people will leave for work without a suit jacket. By July and August, most men begin wearing short-sleeve dress shirts if they haven't already. Of course, women also participate in Cool Biz, but I never notice many changes in attire with the exception of color and material.
Since クールビズ does not have any kanji, solely written in katakana, I will go over the 2 components of this compound word as it relates to what is acceptable dress.
How's the weather in your region? Is it heating up? Does your governement have a national protocol for how people should be dressing for work during various parts of the year? What do you think about this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. As always, please like and share this post~
Until next time,