How to Dress Harajuku Style

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Harajuku style is a fashion subculture that originated in Japan, known for its vibrant colors, bold patterns, and unconventional mix-and-match of various styles. It’s a unique and creative way of dressing that has gained popularity worldwide. In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on how to dress Harajuku style, including who can wear it, what it is, when to wear it, how to achieve the look, the pros and cons, alternatives, step-by-step instructions, comparisons with other styles, tips, and the best places to buy Harajuku fashion.



How to Dress Harajuku Style

Who Can Wear Harajuku Style?

Anyone can wear Harajuku style, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. The beauty of this style is that it allows people to express their individuality and creativity through fashion. Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, male or female, Japanese or non-Japanese, you can rock the Harajuku look as long as you have an open mind and a willingness to experiment with different fashion elements.

Key Characteristics of Harajuku Fashion

  • Bold colors and patterns
  • Mixing and matching different styles
  • Layering
  • Loose and baggy clothing
  • Oversized accessories
  • Playful and cute elements
  • DIY and handmade items

What Is Harajuku Style?

Harajuku style is a fashion subculture that emerged in the Harajuku district of Tokyo in the 1980s and has since evolved into a global phenomenon. It’s a style that celebrates self-expression, individuality, and creativity through fashion. Harajuku fashion is characterized by mixing and matching various styles, colors, patterns, and textures to create a unique and eye-catching look.

Origins of Harajuku Fashion

The origins of Harajuku fashion can be traced back to the 1980s when young people in Tokyo started to rebel against the mainstream fashion industry and create their own unique styles. They would gather in the Harajuku district on weekends to show off their outfits, which were a mix of different subcultures such as punk, goth, Lolita, and cosplay. The term “Harajuku fashion” was coined by Western media in the 1990s to describe this eclectic and unconventional style.

When to Wear Harajuku Style?

Harajuku style is not just limited to special occasions or events. It can be worn anytime and anywhere, whether you’re going out with friends, attending a festival, or simply running errands. However, since Harajuku fashion is often associated with bold and eye-catching outfits, it may not be suitable for formal occasions such as weddings or business meetings.

Harajuku Fashion for Different Seasons

  • Spring: Pastel colors, floral patterns, light layers
  • Summer: Bright colors, lightweight fabrics, crop tops, shorts
  • Fall: Earthy tones, plaid patterns, layering, oversized sweaters
  • Winter: Dark colors, warm fabrics, layering, fuzzy hats and scarves

How to Achieve the Harajuku Look?

Achieving the Harajuku look may seem daunting at first, but it’s all about experimenting with different styles and having fun with fashion. Here are some tips on how to achieve the perfect Harajuku outfit:

  1. Mix and Match Different Styles: Experiment with different styles such as punk, streetwear, Lolita, and cosplay. Don’t be afraid to mix and match them to create a unique look.
  1. Play with Colors and Patterns: Harajuku fashion is all about bold colors and patterns, so don’t be afraid to mix and match them to create a vibrant outfit.
  1. Layering is Key: Layering is an essential aspect of Harajuku fashion. Mix and match different textures and fabrics to create a unique and eye-catching outfit.
  1. Accessorize with Oversized Items: Oversized accessories such as hats, bags, and jewelry are a staple of Harajuku fashion. They add a playful and cute element to the outfit.
  1. DIY and Handmade Items: Harajuku fashion is all about self-expression and creativity, so don’t be afraid to make your own clothes or accessories.

Pros and Cons of Harajuku Fashion

As with any fashion style, Harajuku fashion has its pros and cons. Here are some of them:


  • Allows for self-expression and creativity
  • Celebrates individuality and uniqueness
  • Fun and playful
  • Bold and eye-catching


  • Can be expensive
  • May not be suitable for all occasions
  • Can be difficult to find Harajuku fashion items in certain areas

Alternatives to Harajuku Style

If Harajuku fashion is not your cup of tea, there are other fashion styles that you can try. Here are some alternatives:

  • Boho Chic: A style that incorporates flowy fabrics, earthy tones, and nature-inspired elements.
  • Preppy: A style that is characterized by classic and timeless pieces such as collared shirts, pleated skirts, and blazers.
  • Streetwear: A style that draws inspiration from urban fashion and hip-hop culture. It includes oversized clothing, athletic wear, and graphic tees.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dressing Harajuku Style

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dress Harajuku style:

  1. Start with a base layer: Choose a solid-colored t-shirt or tank top as your base layer.
  1. Add a second layer: Layer a denim jacket or cardigan over your base layer.
  1. Choose bottoms: Opt for baggy pants or a skirt in a bold color or pattern.
  1. Accessorize: Add oversized accessories such as a beanie, sunglasses, or a backpack. You can also add DIY or handmade accessories to make your outfit more unique.
  1. Shoes: Finish off your outfit with a pair of platform sneakers or boots.

Comparison of Harajuku Style with Other Styles

Harajuku fashion is often compared to other fashion styles such as punk, goth, Lolita, and cosplay. Here’s a comparison of Harajuku style with these styles:

  • Punk: Harajuku fashion incorporates some punk elements such as leather jackets and studded accessories, but it’s more playful and colorful than punk fashion.
  • Goth: While both Harajuku and goth fashion are characterized by dark colors, Harajuku fashion incorporates bright colors and bold patterns, whereas goth fashion is typically all black.
  • Lolita: Both Harajuku and Lolita fashion incorporate cute and girly elements, but Lolita fashion is more focused on Victorian and Rococo-inspired clothing.
  • Cosplay: Harajuku fashion and cosplay share some similarities such as mixing and matching different styles, but cosplay is often more costume-like and specific to a certain character or theme.

Tips for Wearing Harajuku Style

  1. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and colors.
  1. Layering is key to achieving the perfect Harajuku outfit.
  1. Oversized accessories are a staple of Harajuku fashion.
  1. DIY and handmade items add a unique touch to your outfit.
  1. Have fun with fashion and express your individuality!

The Best Places to Buy Harajuku Fashion

If you’re looking to buy Harajuku fashion items, here are some of the best places to shop:

  • Takeshita Street in Tokyo: This street in the Harajuku district is lined with shops selling Harajuku fashion.
  • Online stores: Websites such as Tokyo Otaku Mode, YesStyle, and Kawaii Nation sell Harajuku fashion items.
  • Thrift stores: You can find unique and affordable Harajuku fashion items at thrift stores.


Q1. Is Harajuku style only for young people? A1. No, anyone can wear Harajuku style regardless of age.

Q2. What are some key characteristics of Harajuku fashion? A2. Bold colors and patterns, mixing and matching different styles, layering, oversized accessories, playful and cute elements, and DIY and handmade items.

Q3. Is Harajuku fashion expensive? A3. It can be expensive, but there are also affordable options available.

Q4. Can Harajuku style be worn to formal occasions? A4. Harajuku fashion is often associated with bold and eye-catching outfits, so it may not be suitable for formal occasions such as weddings or business meetings.

Q5. What are some alternatives to Harajuku style? A5. Alternatives to Harajuku style include boho chic, preppy, and streetwear.


Harajuku style is a unique and creative way of dressing that allows people to express their individuality through fashion. With the tips and advice provided in this article, you can achieve the perfect Harajuku outfit and rock this fun and playful fashion subculture. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles, colors, and patterns, and most importantly, have fun with fashion!





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