Japanese Cosplay

Photo: すしぱく on Pakutaso

The Weirdest Fashion Trends of Japan

Fashion trends are always changing all the time. Fashion styles are usually determined by the characters, occupations and hobbies of one person that can ultimately affect the fashion styles of others.

Japan is home to some of the most unique and creative minds when it comes to fashion. Japanese fashion trends can also be regarded as something weird but still popular. Here are some of the strangest fashion trends originating in Japan that might be your inspiration for a new fashion style.


Photo by すしぱく on Pakutaso.

Cosplay (コスプレ Kosupure) is an abbreviation of the words costume and play. Cosplay is a fashion trend in which the person wearing the clothes, accessories, and makeup like the characters of anime, manga, games and Tokusatsu (movies with sci-fi/fantasy/horror/live-action genre from Japan). Cosplay was first exhibited at masked ball science fiction conventions Nihon SF Taikai 17th in Ashinoko, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1978. Furthermore, cosplay contests were used as fixed events since Nihon SF Taikai 19th in 1980. Since then, Cosplay has often been published in magazines and became more popular and widespread from 1985 until now.

Visual Kei

Photo by Jacob Ehnmark from Tokyo, Japan on Wikimedia Commons.

Fashion trend Visual Kei (ヴィジュアル系 vijuaru kei) is derived from the words Visual and Kei (Japanese word for “Style”). Visual Kei can be called a punk style that originated in Japan. It refers to the popular J-Rock bands that began in 1990s. The Visual Kei’s performers wear elaborate band costumes, colored hair that is formed in a wild manner and striking makeup.


Shiro gyaru. Photo by Danny Choo on Wikimedia Commons.
Kuro gyaru. Photo by Tinou Bao on Wikimedia Commons.

Gyaru (ギャル) is a gairaigo (words from a foreign language in Japanese) from the word gal (English slang of girl). Gyaru is a term commonly used for fashionable Japanese girls aged 10 to 20 years. This style is classified into two groups, namely white gyaru (白 ギャル, shiro gyaru) and black gyaru (黒 ギャル, kuro gyaru). If shiro gyaru let their skin look natural and white, kuro gyaru prefer to tan their skin through dark foundation or go to a tanning salon. Gyaru fashion style influenced by the Western fashion trends which uses a mini-skirt, makeup and unique accessories, the selection of a controversial clothes, and golden brown colored hair.


Photo by チャレンジ馬鹿 誠 ちょっとエベレストへ行ってきます !! 登頂まで毎日 on Wikimedia Commons.

Decora is a Japanese street fashion. Decora fashion trend gained popularity in the 1990s and is grew further into the millennium. This fashion style is displayed in their light-colored clothing, decorative hair styles, along with a wide range of colorful accessories such as stockings, hair bands, bracelets, necklace, and ribbons with funny and cute colors.


Photo by Greg on Wikimedia Commons.

Lolita (ロリータ · ファッション Roriita fasshon) is a classic fashion style influenced by European fashion. Lolita has a characteristic of the wrinkled and laced dresses, parasols, high socks, shoes and European headwears. This fashion style can also be interpreted as young school-age girl clothing worn by adult women.

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