Gyaru Fashion: Things to Know and Substyles

Gyaru fashion, a unique and captivating Japanese phenomenon, has captured the imagination of fashion enthusiasts around the world. n this article, we will explore the origins and evolution of Gyaru fashion, the key elements that define this inimitable style, and the influence it continues to have on Japanese culture and fashion. Let's dive into the fascinating world of Gyaru, where individual expression and extravagance are celebrated.

The Origins of This Unique Japanese Fashion

Gyaru girl in a tokyo street

The origins of Gyaru fashion date back to the 1990s in Japan. The term "Gyaru" derives from the English word "gal" and is often used to describe a young woman with exuberant fashion and taste. Gyaru fashion emerged as a reaction to Japanese tradition and conventional beauty standards, seeking to create a unique and provocative identity for young women. The influence of Western culture, particularly that of the United States, played a key role in the formation of Gyaru style. Young Japanese women were attracted to the images of celebrities and Western fashion. As a result, Gyaru fashion developed by combining elements of Western culture and fashion with Japanese touches.

The Gyaru style was also popularized by Japanese fashion magazines such as "egg" and "Popteen", which featured models with the Gyaru look and offered tips on how to adopt this style. These magazines helped spread the Gyaru phenomenon throughout Japan and inspired many young women to adopt this look. Although the popularity of the Gyaru style has declined since its peak in the 2000s, it continues to influence Japanese fashion and culture. New sub-styles and trends continue to emerge, demonstrating Gyaru fashion's ability to reinvent itself and adapt over time.

The Different Gyaru Sub-Styles

Gyaru in kawaii outfits

Ganguro: this style is characterized by an intense tan, bleached or dyed hair in bright colors, and bold makeup including light lips and heavily made-up eyes. Ganguro was particularly popular in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Kogal: Kogal focuses on school uniform and short skirts, often paired with high socks and heels. This Gyaru sub-style seeks to mimic the look of Japanese college girls, while adding a touch of fashion and boldness.

Hime Gyaru: Inspired by the aesthetics of princesses, Hime Gyaru focuses on elegant dresses, luxurious accessories and voluminous hairstyles. Fans of this style prefer pastel colors, lace, floral patterns and sparkling elements.

Agejo: The Agejo style emphasizes femininity, seduction, and glamour. Clothes are often tight, with plunging necklines, short skirts and high heels. Accessories include sparkling jewelry and expensive handbags.

Gyaru-kei: This is a more general Gyaru style that encompasses a variety of trends and influences, including designer clothing, fashion accessories, and elaborate hairstyles. Gyaru-kei is often considered the "classic" Gyaru style.

His Great influence on Japanese society

Fashion: gyaru style has brought a bold, non-conformist approach to Japanese fashion, challenging traditional beauty standards. The popularity of this style has prompted clothing brands and designers to create specific collections to meet the demand. Fashion magazines dedicated to Gyaru have also contributed to the diffusion of these trends and the creation of a community of fans.

Music: gyaru have also had an impact on the Japanese music scene, notably through the "para-para" music genre. This synchronized and energetic dance, often performed in groups, is closely linked to Gyaru culture and has been popularized by clubs and dedicated events.

Media: fashion was widely represented in the Japanese media, including television shows, movies and advertisements. These representations helped popularize the style and bring it to a wider audience. Gyaru models have also gained notoriety, becoming fashion icons and influential personalities

Sociological: gyaru fashion reflects the aspirations and attitudes of young Japanese women seeking individual expression and empowerment. By challenging beauty standards and social expectations, Gyaru has helped create a space for young women to assert and differentiate themselves.

Language: the style has also influenced the language and slang of young people in Japan. Gyaru have developed their own slang, called "Gal-speak" or "Gyaru-go", which is a mixture of English words, Japanese terms and expressions specific to the Gyaru culture.

The Key Elements of the Gyaru Style

Japanese gyaru in public

Clothing: gyaru clothing is often characterized by bright colors, bold patterns and trendy cuts. Short skirts, tight dresses, skinny jeans and faux fur are common pieces in a Gyaru's wardrobe. Outfits are often coordinated and layered, with accessories that complement and enhance the look.

Accessories: accessories play an essential role in Gyaru fashion, adding touches of personalization and extravagance to each outfit. Costume jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings, are very popular, as are designer handbags and high-heeled shoes. High socks and patterned tights are also commonly worn to accentuate the style.

Hairstyles: gyaru hairstyles are often voluminous and elaborate, with bleached or brightly dyed hair. Hair extensions and hair accessories, such as barrettes, ribbons and tiaras, are commonly used to create unique and eye-catching looks. Hairstyles vary according to sub-styles, from romantic curls and elegant buns for Hime Gyaru to sleek hair and high ponytails for Kogal.

The Evolution of Gyaru Fashion Through Time

The evolution of Gyaru style over time is a testament to its ability to adapt and reinvent itself. From its beginnings in the 1990s to the present day, Gyaru fashion has gone through several phases and spawned many sub-styles. Here is an overview of the evolution of the Gyaru style over the years

In the 90's the first gyaru adopted a bold and provocative look, with fashionable clothes, bleached hairstyles and heavy makeup. Ganguro and Kogal were among the first Gyaru sub-styles to emerge. An era that perfectly reflects the essence of the Gyaru style, which is to break away from the norms imposed by Japanese society.

In the early 2000s, Gyaru style reached its peak in terms of popularity. Fashion magazines such as "egg" and "Popteen" helped to spread Gyaru culture throughout Japan and inspire new trends. It was during this period that sub-styles such as Hime Gyaru and Agejo began to develop, offering a more diverse range of looks and influences.

By the mid to late 2000s, the popularity of the Gyaru style began to wane, although new sub-styles and trends continued to emerge. Gyaru fashion has evolved to incorporate elements of global fashion and adopt a more sophisticated and mature look. Gyaru clothing brands have also begun to diversify their offerings, targeting different market segments and lifestyles.

Since the 2010s Gyaru sub-styles have continued to evolve, adapting to current trends and incorporating elements of international fashion. Online communities dedicated to Gyaru fashion have also developed, allowing fans to share their looks and discuss trends. It was also during these years that gyaru gained a worldwide following.


Gyaru fashion remains a true phenomenon in the Japanese fashion world. Although its popularity has fluctuated over the decades, it continues to fascinate and inspire with its boldness, diversity and non-conformist spirit. Beyond trends and sub-styles, Gyaru fashion celebrates individual expression and self-affirmation, offering its followers a space to stand out and express their personality.

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