Japan has got to be one of the most diverse and some would say, weird, when in comes to street fashion. There are styles that you would normally see there that you don't see anywhere else, especially in the streets of Harajuku, where a lot of fashionistas from different subcultures gather and flaunt their insanely creative but otherwise cool looks. If you want to know more about different Harajuku street fashion, you can click here. Otherwise, we can move on to the main topic.
This blog post is going to focus on one style in particular, the one that mostly stands out because of its look and nature and you'll see what I mean in a while. If you see an individual or group wearing rather over the top, really show-stopping set of clothes and accessories, well, you're looking at the Decora street style.
Photo: Intro Travel
The origin of the name Decora is pretty obvious, it directly came from the English word Decoration. And that name sounds about right, for they focus mainly on how decorative their outfits and accessories would be. This style took Japan by storm during the late 1990s to early 2000s but it eventually died down and is no longer a trend in present times, but it is still seen in Harajuku as of date from time to time. This is inspired mostly by cartoons of the 80s so if would be normal to see them wearing shirts printed with cartoon characters like Hello Kitty, Strawberry Shortcake or Keroppi.
Let's break down everything to see how this cute and creative trend is put together and you may think that is the most complicated thing that you have seen when it comes to fashion, but it's a lot easier to pull off than you may think.
This look is mainly focused on being "childlike" and over-the-top, the amount of accessories they use is never enough but that's not such a bad thing. The style celebrates vibrant colors and rainbows, it's what its about anyway. From hot pinks, to neons and pretty much everything that is really striking for the eyesight, and the more eye catching that you are, the better. This is just an unusual but fun way for someone to express their individuality.
There's no such thing as too many
Photos: Tokyo Fashion
Decora clothing style is all about layering and many, many colors combined. From the way they dress to the way they accessorize themselves, and also how they style their hair, everything is really excessive. The pieces they usually put together are shirts (long or short sleeved) printed with kawaii cartoon characters, jacket or cardigan, scarves, skirts, leggings, leg warmers, mismatched colored shoes, etc., everything that they can throw together to produce a super cute, human rainbow. It's better for each piece to be really colorful and that's what makes them really stand out on the streets. Even on a gloomy weather and when everything else is dull, you can easily spot someone donning this trend, even when they're far away from you.
A parade of colors
Photo: Amino Apps
Members of this subculture are really the most diverse bunch, not only because of how they are cutely decorated from head to foot, but also for the striking colors of their hair (though casual decora usually have their natural hair color, but more of that later). What's better than matching your colorful outfits with brightly colored hair, right? They really take this seriously that they want almost every inch of themselves be drenched in all these super kawaii and vibrant colors.
Hair accessories are very important and should never be left out. Colorful hair clips and pins of all kinds (as long as they're kawaii) are placed strategically all over their hair and bangs, sometimes too many that you barely see their fringe. Other stuff like headbands, bows are also used, just very hair accessory you can think of.
Photos: TheJFashStash, Japanese Fashion, Tokyo Fashion
I know I already mentioned about hair accessories, but let's not forget about the other types as well, like bracelets, necklaces and rings. An insane amount of colorful accessories is a must for this look, gigantic rings, cute rainbow beads, rainbow rubber bracelets, you name it. It's always more than one.
Colorful and kawaii nail art is also done, of course. This is to go with their already kawaii set of accessories and overall look. Like we said, the more decorative everything is, the better.
Photo: Pinterest, NailPro, Rebloggy
Photo: Pinterest, Tokyo Fashion
As you can see, in Decora fashion, you can never be "too bright" or too "exaggerated", you can wear just as much color and accessories you want because there's no such thing as limitations to this trend.
Exploring the other types
Having introduced with the style, you should know that there are actually "toned down" versions or substyles of this look. Let's go and find out what these substyles are below.
The names are;
- Pink Decora
- Dark Decora