Kawaii fashion stands for “cute” in Japanese. When you think about it like that, it’s pretty easy to guess what Kawaii fashion looks like. This kind of fashion isn’t very mainstream, but is still popular enough that most people know about it.
Known for it’s references to loved childhood characters and memories, the bright and layered outfits and colorful hair, as well as the layered clothes, Kawaii fashion has many sub-categories. These categories include gothic lolita, plain lolita, fairy kei, and decora styles. Kawaii isn’t even just about clothes – it’s a whole aesthetic and is a style to decorate cakes, for different kinds of stationery, and even home decor in some cases.
If you want to incorporate Kawaii fashion into your looks, you don’t really have to start with a whole new wardrobe. One thing here and there is usually enough for you to start experimenting, and gradually you can even figure out what subgenre of the fashion you like more.
You might have noticed in a lot of fashion blogs that it’s very easy to change the whole aesthetic of an outfit or a basic garment – like a shirt or jacket – by pairing it with the right accessories. That white button down shirt can be paired with a shiny red handbag and some faux leather pants for a night out with friends, or it can be paired with cotton pants and a no-nonsense coat when you’re headed to the office.
The same applies to when you’re changing your aesthetic. Instead of focusing on changing all of your clothes, start by buying a lot of cute accessories that you feel would fit Kawaii and Lolita themes. In fact, one subculture of Kawaii called Decora is based on exactly this idea – any kind of outfit paired with an abundance of cute accessories.
If you do it right, you might end up with decora kei outfits, all while not having to change most of your wardrobe at all.
As time goes on and you’re getting more comfortable with the aesthetic, try starting to buy clothes that are lighter in color. Pastels and bright colors are a common theme in all kinds of Kawaii fashion, and you can incorporate this in your outfits.
You can even apply the same to makeup and hair. Instead of leaning towards darker eye makeup, go for looks that make your eyes seem bigger and are lighter in color. Make your lips light as well, and you can even use highlighter and colorful blush ons to give your face a youthful glow.
As for your hair, maybe color it a light color or invest in wigs if you don’t want to change your look temporarily or commit to bubblegum pink hair. Colors like blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange, and even light green can be really good matches for a lot of Kawaii aesthetics.
If you’re going for a darker aesthetic, consider darker shades of these colors – like red, dark blue, etc. You can even pair neon hair with darker Kawaii aesthetics like Goth Kawaii.
Layers and Nostalgia
When shopping for clothes, keep in mind that Kawaii Fashion is all about layers and nostalgia. Buy jackets, gloves, thigh high socks, and shirts that you can layer one on top of another for interesting looks.
In addition, you might want to make a point of buying things that are cute or reference to childhood nostalgia, like t-shirts depicting drawings of loved childhood cartoons. Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, Care Bears, and many other cartoons fall under this category and so does a lot of art like playful, cartoon style doodles.
More Feminine Fashion
Another common feature in almost all Kawaii fashion is that it’s usually hyper-feminine. This is what you should focus on as well, so ditch those pants and maybe buy a cute skirt with ruffles instead.
Incorporating bows, ruffles, and even glitters in your outfits is a great way to lean into a more feminine style, and sundresses and other cute dresses paired with high socks, boots, and stockings is another great way to do the same.