This intriguing clothing item transforms into another practical and “packable” accessory.

In light of declining sales throughout the pandemic, Japanese business attire companies have begun experimenting with innovative options to adapt during these telecommuting times. For instance, Japanese suit chain Aoki introduced the professional-looking yet comfortable Pajama Suit, which our fashion-boundaries-pushing Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato recently delighted in modeling. Similarly, suit retailer Yofuku no Aoyama also recently released their own unique take on the basic suit jacket–but with a hidden secret inside.

The product in question went on sale at 170 Yofuku no Aoyama stores as well as its online shop on April 23. At the physical store locations, the suit jacket retails for 14,300 yen (US$132) while the separately sold pants cost 6,490 yen. At the online store, the jacket is currently reduced to 12,870 yen while the pants are 5,841 yen.

Mr. Sato had learned that only the jacket portion of the ensemble was equipped with a functional design element so he opted to purchase only that. It came in two colors–khaki and black–and four sizes–small through XL. Upon receiving his purchase, it really looked like an ordinary suit jacket.

▼ Mr. Sato was drawn to the khaki version.

On the reverse side, however, was an interesting horizontal fabric crease in the mid-back area. Viewed only from this angle the jacket almost appeared like it was part of military fatigues–but otherwise, there wasn’t anything really striking about it. Again, just an ordinary suit jacket.

After trying it on, Mr. Sato definitely felt that it paired stylishly well with his jeans. He’d probably look especially dapper if he had purchased the suit pants as well.

From the back, that puzzling fabric crease still served as a focal point. Was exactly was it there for?

Okay, it’s time to reveal the jacket’s secret functionality now. An inspection of its inner lining revealed a strange bag-like area affixed to the back area. However, there was no way to open it up from the inside, and it was too large to be a pocket.

A closer look at the horizontal fabric crease on the back of the jacket then revealed that the flap was actually concealing a zipper–but a zipper to what, exactly?

Mr. Sato zipped it open and pulled out the contents to discover two loop handles.

He continued turning the jacket inside out to eventually reveal its transformation into a reusable bag!

“What an interesting concept,” he mused. How did such an idea come about? He then referred back to the official product release from Yofuku no Aoyama:

“Because the number of people who bring their own reusable bags while shopping has increased lately, we designed this handy item to be used for light shopping on the way home from work. We are the first company to release a suit jacket that turns into a bag.”

▼ Mr. Sato modeling the converted jacket-bag

Mr. Sato observed that true to the product announcement, the bag really was intended for light shopping because the rest of the folded jacket itself was taking up space on the inside.

Rather than size, however, the more concerning issue was what he might potentially put inside of the bag. He didn’t think he’d be alone in hesitating to use it to carry fish, meat, or other odorous food products when they’d be touching the exterior of the jacket. On the plus side, though, it was supposed to be waterproof and washable at home, and was quite light and comfortable to wear–perfect for this current season-bridging spring and summer.

Depending on your needs, you may be better off purchasing a reversible jacket and a much cheaper separate reusable bag (or trying out this wearable grocery bag). Perhaps Aoyama’s offering is most perfect for those who have a hard time remembering to bring their reusable shopping bags with them.

Reference: Yofuku no Aoyama
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