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Decora Fashion – Kawaii, Colorful, and Fun Styles

Exploring in order to find one’s true self identity, traditionally, is not quite acceptable in Japan but some groups find their place in breaking those norms. This is the reason why there are such diverse street fashion styles in Japan. For people outside the country, they might find some of the fashion styles quite unusual, but there are many dedicated followers out there that think of it as a passion. A lifestyle even. One of the most unique street fashion style is called Decora. The name Decora is a shortened form of the word 'Decoration' and, like most street fashion styles in Japan, is now considered as one of Japan’s subcultures. Decora began as a unique fashion statement before rising to become one of Japan’s most popular subcultures. While present day, not as many people dress in Decora style as they did two decades ago, Decora fashion is now recognized as synonymous with Harajuku Street. So now let’s learn more about Decora shall we?

Introduction to Decora


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The Decora style first came up in the late '90s, being inspired by cartoons of the 1980s. It remained popular until the 2000s. With the rise of the Internet, it has gained a following both in and outside of Japan, especially in Tokyo's Harajuku District where it first originated. This style is best described as playful and childlike, compared to it's other equally popular fashion trend Lolita, which is more inspired by Victorian era fashion.

Decora: How to Dress

The clothing colors of this style are usually in many shades of pink, because it gives out the child-like and girly aura. Neon colors are also often worn. Decora’s usual “uniform” may include a plain shirt (usually long sleeved) or hoodie, tutu-like skirts, and layers of colorful clothing items like stockings, leg warmers, arm warmers, and knee socks. It’s all about the mish-mash of varieties of colors and textures. The clothing items usually have prints inspired by 80’s cartoon characters like Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, Care Bears and Smurfs. So to be noted, the dress code for Decora is layers and bright colors!

Decora: How to Makeup and Hair

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Sometimes they wear patterned dental masks, and band aids with colorful patterns on the bridge of their nose. They usually wear little to no makeup, this is to emphasize the child-like aura even more. Some wear glitters, stickers and crystals under their eyes in the shape of hearts, star, etc like a child would. Their hair is usually dyed in bright colors like orange, pink, blonde, or even combinations of two to three colors. After that they will style it in simple in pigtails, braids, or curls. Decora also wear playful and childish head gears, or ribbons and bows in their hair.

Decora: How to Accesorize


The key to this look though, is to pile on as many bright colored accessories as possible. A Decora girl will wear bracelets, hair clips, necklaces, rings,– any cute accessories, you name it. And the best part is that there is no such thing as “too much”. They will only stop piling on accessories when they feel like stopping, not because there are any limitations on just about how much they should wear. A Decora gives out the air of innocence and playfulness. For them, dressing up is all about having fun. As for their shoes, they usually wear Mary Jane shoes, sneakers, high tops, or Dr. Martins.

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