A little inspiration from Japan for your summer wardrobe, the Jinbei. Think cotton, hemp, sugar cane, or linen, soft washed and cut into a loose wrap around shirt that’s fastened with small ties on your side. Shorts are matching with an ultra loose fit and ties giving you the option for folding them up without falling. This is quite the ultimate garment for homewear or daywear to me, and seeing that it’s averaging 36 Celsius with a thick humidity that sticks to you here in Bangkok, I couldn’t have brought my Jinbei out any sooner.
The Jinbei is a unisex outfit, and you can find some really beautiful antique ones if you scour hard. A beautiful story behind the name, the garment is actually named after the whale shark because of its patterned skin that you see on the truly classic versions. They were usually indigo dyed with a range of different patterns, in darker and more natural hues for men, and brighter colours for women. Seams on the classic Jinbei should be loosely bound, allowing for air flow… Because it is genuinely engineered for the hot and sticky climate of a Japanese summer. It’s that old school kind of logical thinking that makes this garment so great, but the romance exists in those that are made with natural fibres and characterised by subtle designs.
It’s my workwear for battling heat. Below I’m in a cotton / linen men’s Jinbei with handmade sandals made from recycled tyres. An extra strip of fabric is tied around my head to keep my hair off my face. It’s how I do.