The street style of Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood has had influence on fashion worldwide for decades. Our brand, Lolita Royalty Clothing, has always drawn inspiration from Harajuku fashion subcultures, particularly the Lolita and Decora Girl styles, which I’ve also written about! However, these styles can often be shown as extreme- requiring tons of different accessories, with all kinds of rules to adhere to. This often makes them expensive to get into, and means that they take a ton of dedication to maintain every day. Not to mention, a completed look may not exactly be suited for your trip to the grocery store. So this week I’ll be focusing on tips and tricks to use the trends of Harajuku streetwear to inspire your own looks.
Layering is essential to most Harajuku styles. A Lolita look requires a petticoat, and usually a layered shirt and dress combination as well, but I don’t imagine many are breaking out a petticoat for casual wear! If you’re looking for a similar silhouette, a full, voluminous skirt is a great option. Decora girl style uses lots of layering too, especially layering large jackets over outfits, tops over dresses, or wearing high socks and leg warmers. These are all possibilities for your own style as well, especially as fall comes. For an more casual look, I reccomend layering a sweater over a t-shirt dress, or finishing your outfit off with an oversized hoodie or cardigan.
The Harajuku Streetwear look on the right is a great example of layering. Yuria has on a mesh top, colorful dress, and an embellished bomber jacket all layered on top of each other. I love that even though this is still a complex look, it is still layered and styled in a way that looks cool and put-together. The aesthetics are all wildly different, but still feel cohesive.
Harajuku streetwear is all about the accessories! Decora girls in particular are famous for covering every inch of themselves in barrettes, bows, and plastic jewelry. Of course you can’t always go overboard with the hello kitty hair clips in your day to day life (as much as you may want to) but there are plenty of options to subtly incorporate these inspirations into your closet!
You can always spice up a look with hair clips, a statement necklace, or layers of bracelets and rings. To follow the bold Japanese style you can do this with bright colors, or go for a more subtle look by layering gold or silver jewelry. Right now, brightly colored and patterned masks are a great way to add to your look and find some fun in it!
Poyo is wearing a green maxi dress, with a vinyl heart-shaped purse, a frog ring, and a decora girl necklace. I love that this look uses the traditional decora girl jewelry in a new and interesting way. I especially love the star necklace, as jewelry with plastic beads is a staple of the decora girl look, so it was great to see it used in a new way. I always enjoyed the accessories used in decora girl style, and this look proves that it’s possible to tone them down for regular wear.
Brightly Colored Hair
Dyed hair is another trend in Japanese streetwear you can try out for yourself. Every color of the rainbow is represented somewhere on the streets of Japan, from this bold green bob to hot pink ombre. I’ve always loved dyeing my hair (in fact it’s newly purple right now) so this is definitely a fun way to incorporate Harajuku style into your everyday look. I always recommend semi-permanent hair dye for bright colors that wash out after a few weeks, so you can explore different colors without having to commit to your new look forever.
Right now in Harajuku, there’s tons of goth and punk streetwear. If you’re not as into the bright colors of decora girl style, you might prefer the more grunge looks that are trending. This is also very similar to the eboy/egirl looks that we’ve been seeing in the United States lately. Statement earrings, silver chains, fishnets, distressed tees, and oversized flannels are all making a comeback here as well.
I especially love the two looks on the left. They use black and white with clever pops of color, and more interesting layering techniques. The asymmetrical cut of the dress balances the red turtleneck and leather jacket perfectly, and the clever matching socks tie the whole look together. I definitely want those triangle earrings for my own closet, along with the deconstructed track pant. And the outfits on the right are great inspiration on how to style your own oversized tees.
For more fashion inspiration out of Harajuku, Japan, I recommend taking a look through the street snaps from Tokyo Fashion. The site is updated constantly with new pictures taken on the streets of Japan, for a look at the ever-evolving fashion culture of Japan.