This Japanese subculture is certainly now recognized all over the world, it's not just the Japanese people who accept and integrate this style into their everyday lives but whoever wanted to. It really doesn’t matter where you’re from, if you want to transform yourself just like those people of the kawaii community that you’ve been seeing, you should not hesitate and give it a go.
Kawaii style is known for its elaborate way of wearing clothes and accessorizing them in a very cute way, is what this Japanese word literally means after all; cute.
You don't know where to start but you want to be part of this subculture, so you go to your closet and see what clothes you have on hand. To help with your dilemma, here is a complete guide on how to start your journey to becoming the most kawaii girls on the planet.
1. Decide on your style
You need to choose whatever specific style you want before you start. You can choose from various cultures and subcultures, a few of which are Lolita, Fairy kei and Himekaji.
Lolita in general is one of the most recognizable types. This is influenced by Victorian clothing so this typically consists of wearing frilly skirts, petticoats, however, sweet lolita is full of pastel and bright colors with the same type of style as opposed to gothic lolita, where they wear rather darker colors.
Fairy Kei is all about the colors of neon and pastel, almost the same pallete as kawaii Lolita. This makes you think of rainbows and ponies, and this is the perfect reference for you if you are into that kind of material.
Himekaji is referred to as “casual princess”, this one is quite self explanatory and is very easy to follow. These are more on cute, princess-y type dresses.
These are just a few samples of styles that you can use as an inspiration and there are more out there, and once you decide which one you want, you can go mix and match from there and see how it all works out for you.
2. Look for reference
You can start by looking into social media platforms, search engines and even Japanese style magazines if you have access to them to look for reference so you would know what kind of clothes you should invest in, or if you can just mix and match the clothes you already have and see how you look and feel about the style you chose.
3. Choosing your tops
You can choose from a selection of kawaii tops, the colors should really depend on your choice and the style that you like, whether you want to start with shirts, kawaii sweaters or hoodies. The brighter the hue, the better. Consider colors like pink, purple, sky blue, mint green, and the like. Even jackets can be part of your kawaii get up, just keep mixing and matching until you get the look you are going for. You can also put cute decorative pins on your cardigan, jacket or shirts, if you want a more intricate top.
4. Bottom, cute skirts and shorts all the way
Nothing screams kawaii than those sweet looking skirts and shorts. You can choose to wear pleated or not pleated, it doesn’t matter. All you have got to do is blend and coordinate your skirts with your kawaii tops and see how you feel about it. Tennis skirts are one of the most basic kawaii fashion must haves in your closet, another type is something really frilly or with lace, tulle skirts would be a great addition too. This part is really easy to achieve, there are a lot of types you can wear to incorporate to the kawaii look. It is also best to get a petticoat if you want your round skirts to be a little bit more poofy.
5. Super cute dresses
This is a staple for your kawaii closet, nothing is more kawaii than cute, frilly, even those with cute prints, like this strawberry printed dress. You can go for jumper type dresses which you can layer with an inner shirt or a cardigan of your choice, or full a dress that you can accessorize with ribbons and bows. There are also dresses with cartoon character prints that you can look up.
6. Socks, don’t forget the socks
Choosing a stylish pair of socks is the perfect way to accessorize your outfit or dress, it can be thigh high, knee high, or just short and sweet, as long as it fits and suits your favorite style. It can also be printed with cartoon characters or any other cute prints you would like. Printed stockings are also a good option for you to try.
7. Picking the right shoes
Shoes are somehow unique to this style of fashion, and platforms are the most common type of shoes being used. Usually combined with lace socks or cute printed stockings, platform shoes often come with various styles and colors. It certainly has that school girl vibe going on, adding to the overall cuteness. If you are going for a more casual look, sneakers are also considered, but don't forget to pick those with bright colors such as pink, mint green, or even rainbow colored and you're good to go.
What’s kawaii without cute accessories? For starters, look for something to put on your hair, it can be adorable bows and ribbons, flowers, or even hair clips of cartoon characters like Hello kitty or Pusheen. Maybe miniature desserts or fruity clips, just how cute is that? Go for anything that is cute! It is very vital that you add these to your collection so you can also mix and match your accessories with your kawaii outfit for the day.
Decora, one of the renowned style subcultures in Japan, uses accessories to an extreme amount.
Colorful necklaces and bracelets should be added to your list as well, charm bracelets with cartoon characters or cute animals are just samples that you can go for. What’s important is, if it makes you comfortable and happy, just go for it.
9. Choose a hairstyle
As far as your hair is concerned, you can wear your natural hair color and style and just learn how to kawaii-fy it, or you can consider having a different color. The length does not matter as long as you're happy and content with it. If you want to try a new hair color, but for some reason you cannot dye your hair, consider investing in Lolita wigs. They usually come with curls and large ringlets, some pastel colors, one or two tone in color and that is just the epitome of kawaii.
Also, if you choose this route, you don’t have to worry about wanting to change your hair color every now and then, you can literally incorporate you hairstyle and color to the kind of clothes your wear for the day.
10. Bags, shoulder bags and purses
Let’s not forget about another accessory you need to add to your list. The most commonly used for the kawaii fashion are small backpacks and intricate purses. You can also find some really unique and cute shoulders bags like this, you can also go for plush bags for a more kawaii effect. What's better than carrying your valuable daily items within your bag while still being cute?
11. Unleash your makeup skills
One of the most significant aspects of this fashion statement is Kawaii makeup. It's all about light, pastel shades, it's supposed to be very minimalist but the eyes should be very anime-like, wide and visible. You can see our 10 Kawaii makeup tips to get you started, if you have no idea where to start or how to do that.
12. Personality and gestures
The last phase of this guide is about being kawaii as a person in general, it’s not just the type of clothing but also your lifestyle. It goes to how you talk, walk or laugh, yes, laugh. The cutesy, childlike way of moving is one of the things you have to embrace. Being happy always is just a few of the key elements on becoming the ultimate kawaii girl. You’re like someone whose day can never be ruined under any circumstance, always smiling and carefree.
You can look at yourself in the mirror and practice on how you’re going to talk and your other gestures. Now that you have an idea of where to begin, try to see which of the styles you're going to be really happy with.
Have fun and good luck in your new endeavor.