There are a lot of popular fashion aesthetics in Japan but one of the most popular that has spread internationally is kawaii. Kawaii is one style almost always associated with Japan and could be the style for you – but how can you try it out for yourself?
If you love immersing yourself in Japanese culture and want to try out the kawaii style for yourself, this is the guide for you. Here, you can discover how to be kawaii in just a few easy steps. Check out the guide below and give it a try! Good luck!
What Is Kawaii?
Japan has a very strong culture of ‘cuteness’ and this is closely related to kawaii.
Kawaii is a fashion aesthetic centered around being ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’. Those who want to be kawaii often dress and act in a certain way so they appear shy and childlike.
This vulnerability brings a cute charm that many people love!
The word ‘kawaii’ itself roughly translates into ‘cute’ or ‘cuteness’ in Japanese and has become one of the most widely used Japanese words in the world.
Because of the popularity of the kawaii aesthetic, it’s grown beyond fashion and now extends to entertainment, toys, food, and more.
This fashion trend is typically female-dominated but it’s possible for men to try out the kawaii style too! All you need to do to be kawaii is to follow a few basic rules to get the right aesthetic.
5 Steps To Being Kawaii
So, if you want to be kawaii, you will want to follow this guide to get the fashion aesthetic and mannerisms right!
1. Be Sweet And Kind
One of the easiest ways you can channel this aesthetic is to change your mannerisms to be more ‘kawaii’.
Classic kawaii mannerisms and behavior include a general positivity to keep things light and upbeat, as well as being kind to others.
Offer to share your things and help out with projects, listen to others, and be supportive. Being shy will work in your favor too as it helps sell the vulnerable, child-like character you hope to convey.
Remember – your aesthetics may look kawaii but unless you act sweet and empathetic to others, then your appearance will mean nothing!
2. Stick To Pastels
Once you have the mannerisms down, you can start making changes to your outfits to help better convey the kawaii aesthetic.
Kawaii clothes almost exclusively stick to pastel shades. Pale pink dominates this aesthetic and is often paired with whites and very pale creams. Other popular shades include lilac and baby blue.
Black can be used as a nice contrast against the pastels to help give your look a more rebellious touch. However, most true kawaii outfits stick with pastels.
3. Wear Cute Clothing
The whole point of kawaii is to look cute and child-like so wearing the right clothes will have a huge influence over your aesthetic.
Items like oversized hoodies, short flowy skirts, and long socks are popular choices. Anything with frills and ribbons will also work well. Try to stick to softer materials like taffeta or cotton while avoiding more ‘mature’ materials like silk or leather.
Accessories are also a huge part of this aesthetic. From beret hats to gloves, cat ears to keychains, backpacks and more – the more cute accessories you wear, the better you will convey this aesthetic through your appearance!
4. Try Kawaii Make-Up
Make-up can also be used to help you achieve that classic kawaii look.
Many people love to give themselves rosy cheeks and wear lots of shimmery highlighter for a more youthful appearance. Add a few dotted freckles to their nose and if you can, stick on some long eyelash extensions. Finish it all off with a coat of light lip gloss!
The goal is to make yourself look rosy and shiny with unnaturally large eyes!
5. Change Your Hair
Finally, we have come to the hair.
You will want to stick to youthful hairstyles when aiming for a kawaii look. Pigtails are a very popular choice but adding accessories like bows or headbands to your hair can help make you look more youthful.
You can also consider dying your hair pastel colors (shades of pink and lilac are the most trendy) and adding highlights to make your hair even more colorful!
You can also try white or platinum blonde hair if you prefer something that is more natural and suitable for everyday wear too.
If you don’t want to commit to dying your hair, then you can always wear a wig!
And that’s it! If you want to try the kawaii aesthetic for yourself then all you have to do is follow the steps outlined above! Bring them all together and soon, you will be a prime example of the kawaii style!
We hope that this guide helped you out, and enjoy your new kawaii style!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most people associate the kawaii style with teenage Japanese girls. In fact, most kawaii marketing is aimed directly at the female age group between 15 and 18 years of age.
Despite this, anyone can be kawaii – it’s a style after all and as long as you follow the right steps, you too can be kawaii no matter your age, race, gender, etc.
Kawaii is a cute, light fashion aesthetic but it has a polar opposite known as yamikawaii. ‘Yami’ in Japanese means ‘dark’ and is often added to words to describe the darker, ‘evil’ version of it.
So, the opposite of kawaii is yamikawaii – ‘dark-cute’ or ‘sickly cute’.
This fashion style combines the pastel colors associated with kawaii with black for a more gothic or punk look.
It also uses more serious, darker iconography like skulls, guns, syringes, and bandages.
There’s a strong link between yamikawaii and some very mature themes like self-harm and illness which has led it to become a very controversial fashion aesthetic as some people believe it makes light of such serious topics.