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Dress into Harajuku Style in 8 Easy Steps

Dress into Harajuku Style in 8 Easy Steps

Dec 18
Dress into Harajuku Style in 8 Easy Steps

Dress into Harajuku Style in 8 Easy Steps

“You Harajuku girls
Damn, you’ve got some wicked style” – Gwen Stefani

The term “Harajuku” was made world-known because of Gwen Stefani, but not many of us know what Harajuku actually means. This article is going to give you an insight as to where Harajuku comes from, and the do’s and the don’ts when dressing in true Harajuku fashion.

Harajuku Shopping District, Tokyo. This is where it all began, and this is where it all goes down. The Shopping District “Harajuku” is located between Shinjuku and Shibuya, and is most definitely a must-see when visiting Japan, mostly because of the amazing street fashion that can be seen here. Omotesand? and Takeshita Street(Takeshita-d?ri) are two names that you would be wise to remember – these are the two main shopping streets in this area. Harajuku is a fashion style that’s hard to characterize, because it’s constantly changing. If you want to be part of the Harajuku Girls (or Guys) you need to keep yourself frequently updated. Of course there are some basic rules or fashion statements that are universal and never change.

3D Red Ribbon Tie Striped Marine Anchor Denim Hair Band $6.99

3D Red Ribbon Tie Striped Marine Anchor Denim Hair Band $6.99

These are the 8 easy steps you can follow in order to dress Harajuku, and who knows, maybe you’ll get accepted in Gwen Stefani’s entourage.

Step 1. Mix and (mis)match different fashions.

Once upon a time in Japan, teens started to combine the traditional Japanese attire – kimonos, getas and what not – with their “everyday” clothes, meaning western-inspired garments. Mixing traditional and modern fashion in the end created a new fashion style. Yup, you guessed correctly – Harajuku.

Red Suede Rhinestones Bow Tie Shiny Celebrity Shoulder Tote Handbag

Red Suede Rhinestones Bow Tie Shiny Celebrity Shoulder Tote Handbag

Step 2. Become familiar with variations of style in the Harajuku district.

There are different styles in Harajuku, so be sure to check out the different styles if you want to find something that appeals to you. Here are a few examples.

Gothic Lolita is a fashion that involves wearing gothic, feminine, and elegant clothes to the extent that you look like a living Victorian Doll. Please note that there are a ton of different subgenres in the Lolita Fashion, e.g. Punk Lolita, White Lolita, Black Lolita and Country Lolita. Find out what kind of doll you want to resemble.

Cosplay entails dressing up as your favourite anime or game characters, which can be quite the adventure.

Decora style favours bright colours, flamboyance, and accessories from head to toe.  Decorate yourself with plastic toys and jewellery and you’re well on your way to dress Decora.  If  you hear a – click click-  when you move, then that means you’re doing something right. It’s not uncommon to have so many plastic toys and such on you that you can hear them click together whenever the person moves. So get clicking!

Visual Kei usually involves striking make-up, unusual hair styles and elaborate costumes, and sometimes all this is coupled with androgynous appearances.

Dress into Harajuku Style

Dress into Harajuku Style

Step 3. Layers people, layers!

Should not be necessary to tell you that the fashion-industry loves layering, and just because Harajuku is a crazy-wild fashion to some, it doesn’t mean they hate layering either.

Step 4. Customize your clothes.

Second-hand clothing and do-it-yourself styles are popular ingredients in a Harajuku outfit. If you’re not a total dork at sewing, you could make your own clothes. Unfortunately that option has been permanently terminated for some (most) of us.

Step 5. Accessorize.

Add any wild accessories you have, such as belts, earrings, hair clips, jewellery, and  handbags. Remember, make them click!

Step 6. Go nuts with your hair and make-up.

Pigtails (remember those?) and other “cute” hairstyles are particularly popular, so is dying your hair in vibrant colours. Creative, even theatrical makeup can be a fun addition.

Step 7.  Wear whatever looks good to you.

Sweet Playful Lightweight Solid Silk Scarf Harajuku Style 15 Colors

Sweet Playful Lightweight Solid Silk Scarf Harajuku Style 15 Colors

If you think mismatched rainbow and polka-dot leggings look good with a plaid dress, go for it!

Step 8. Smile

Smile and pose for the camera in true Japanese style. Please remember the hand sign “V” for victory, we’re all very familiar with that one. If you aren’t, then get started.

Final note:

Don’t just throw things together, put some thought into it. If you follow these 8 steps, then you should have no problem putting together a Harajuku set that appeals solely to you, and remember, this style is not exclusive for girls –  guys can do it too! I can almost feel the delight radiating towards me =_=’. High heels aren’t entirely banned either, for both sexes, so work on your runway skills boys!

Author: Maya Yhman @ Renmin Shimbun