Japanese culture has a superpower to turn anything into everything extra and unique. And with fashion trends, they have no limit. Definitely, Japan is one of the richest countries when we talk about fashion styles since you can find a wide range of variety from the most fairytale styles to the sweetest, in every corner. Most of these Japanese fashion trends were born in the district of Harajuku in Tokyo then expanding to the rest of the country.
The Harajuku district is described as an exciting theme park for adventurous fashion lovers since you can find from eccentric styles to the childish ones and a store or boutique for each one in between where you can shop accessories, clothes or shoes to compliment your whatever style you decided to rock. So, get ready to jump in a whole new world of fashion with this Japanese fashion trends you might have never heard about!
1. Dolly Kei Fashion
Dolly Kei is a Japanese fashion trend inspired by antique and vintage fashion resulting in a fairy kind of look and sometimes described as a creepy dressing style. The outfits used in this trend are characterized by long layers of light fabric in muted colors including black, white or grey. In the Dolly Kei trend is super common to accessorize with lace, tassels or doll pieces. This trend was born around 2010 in Tokyo with the influence of the vintage boutique Grimoire. It’s one of the easiest styles to live by since you can find the clothes that match this Japanese fashion trend even on thrift stores!
2. Lolita Fashion
This Japanese fashion trend emerged around 1980 as a form of rebellion against the strict and repressive role of women in the Japanese society of that time. A typical Lolita dresses up to express innocence, cuteness and a certain elegance using accessories like high-knee socks, frilly skirts, headbands, and poofed blouses.
There are different types of Lolitas you can find in Japan, each one with its unique vibe and styling, such as the Sweet Lolita, the Gothic Lolita, the Classic Lolita, the Punk Lolita, the Aristocrat Lolita, the Kuro, and Shiro Lolita, the Cosplay Lolita and the Wa and Qi Lolita. You can even find brands that offer clothes especially thought to follow the Lolita trend. A big yes on this Japanese fashion trends is the inclusion of tea parties!
3. Gyaru Fashion
Gyaru means girl in a native Japanese language, which means that when you are a gyaru girl, you are basically a girl, girl. Sometimes you can also hear the term gyaru gal, which is used to describe a cooler and trendier girl. This gyaru culture was established in Japan around the 1970s but there is no exact story as to how this Japanese fashion trend was born.
Gyaru fashion is characterized by having a heavily bleached or dyed hair with shades from dark brown to blond, highly decorated nails, most of the time fake ones and dramatic makeup. This makeup consists of fake eyelashes, dark eyeliner and contouring the face to get a slimming effect. The clothes a gyaru girl wears varies depending on the style or subcategory they choose. Some gyaru icons include Hikari Shiina and Sayoko Ozaki.
4. Decora-Chan Fashion
Originally from Harajuku in the late ’90s, Decora or Decora-chan, a Japanese fashion trend that can only be described as a playful and childlike style. This style should not be confused with being a Lolita, sin Decora-chan is inspired more by characters from the ’80s. There are four main subcategories of a Decora, including Casual decora, Dark Decora, Decora Lolita, and Pink Decora. The dressing style of a Decora usually involves a plain t-shirt, hoodies, tutu-like skirts, layers of colorful clothing items, leg warmers, arm warmers, stockings or high knee socks.
Any of the clothing items that this Japanese fashion trend includes has a print on it that involves characters such as Strawberry Shortcake, the Care Bears, The Smurfs, Hello Kitty and a wide range of other cartoons. Decora girls are characterized by their use of layers, bright colors and combining lots of textures and colors on their outfits.
5. Fairy Kei Fashion
Known as the pastel princesses of Japan this Japanese fashion trend emphasizes on a retro style from 1980’s full of cuteness and pastel tones such as lavender, mint, seafoam or neon tones like neon orange or electric blue. This style can also be inspired by cartoons such as My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, and the Care Bears. There is a plus in the Fairy Kei fashion since you can adapt vintage fashion to this Japanese fashion trend without having to buy a whole new closet.
One of the essential pieces to be a part of the Fairy Kei fashion is to own a tutu, you can wear over thighs, high knee socks or whatever you decided to throw under. This Japanese fashion trend also involves adding elements such as kittens, moons, stars, candies, hearts, and unicorns which are an absolute favorite among the community, to your garments.
6. Cult Party Kei
Sharing similarities with the Dolly Kei Japanese fashion trends, Cult Party Kei is essentially based on layering fabrics and accessories to create an overload silhouette, but these two styles should not be confused. Cult Party Kei tends to be a have a cuter vibe than an antique one to its looks. This Japanese fashion trend originally started with a boutique in the Harajuku district in Tokyo, named Cult Party, that is now known as Virgin Mary.
Cult Party Kei’s are characterized by using a nightgown with patterns or in simple colors whenever they go out. They also use pajamas and lingerie like babydolls or bloomers, basically all kinds of sleepwear to daily dress. This Japanese fashion trend also involves religious elements to their outfits such as crosses made out of materials like dry or fake flowers or seashells.