I've just recently made it to the island and want to find a job. Unfortunately, I lack professional attire. I've searched up and down the PX exchange type places on Kadena and Foster but they're choices are slim and hideous. Would you happen to know of an affordable place to buy nice work attire off base? I live just off Foster in Chatan-cho but, I mean, the island is small so I wouldn't mind driving. Any info you could give me would be AWESOME!
I thought that this was a great question and wanted to take a moment to write a blog post about this. Before we talk about getting the clothing which is appropriate for "business attire" here in Okinawa. There are two types of clothing which are acceptable business attire here. The first is a business suit, standard three piece. Usually these suits are black and pretty standard looking. These suits are usually worn in the winter months.
In the summer months here in Okinawa there are special shirts which looks similar to hawaiian shirts which are acceptable attire as a top with the standard bottoms of any other suit. They are usually worn to keep everyone cool and from having a few of my own they certainly work.
So where can you get these things? During certain parts of the year you can find sales on these suits at local department stores they can be affordable starting at 10000yen and going up from there. Of course there are also other places in the department stores where you can get these suits which are much more high end and are around year long. Like any other place where you can get a suit you can pick what you would like on your suit and the colors although they are almost always solid black or potentially solid dark blue.
There are also other stores where you can purchase these around the island to include some places which are right on Route 58. Of course there is then the question of being affordable. As I say for almost everything else here in Okinawa it depends on your definition of affordable. For the most part I usually say that if you need something now you will need to deal with your options.
There are some disadvantages to the business clothes that you see here in Okinawa, mainly that they are not as expressive as you might find in the US. The goal is not necessarily to stand out here in the work place and therefore you won't find yourself able to find your bring flashy clothes like you would in the US.
So that's basically all that I have on this topic to be completely honest. If you have any other questions please feel free to let me know and I will do my best to answer your question.