Japanese Street Fashion: Decora
What is 'Decora'?
Decora is a Japanese fashion style also known as "Dekora" or "Decorer". It is often mistaken for the 'FRUITs' style by people outside of Japan. The best way to identify a Decora-chan from a FRUiTs-y person is by their use of brightly colored toys as accents to their outfits. Unlike FRUiTs, decoras wear more simplistic clothes and instead focus on appearing as kawaii as possible by decorating themselves excessively with cute acessories.
Decora fashion was first seen on the streets of Harajuku in the late 90's, and was said to be initially inspired by fans of Tomoe Shinohara, though the fact is disputed. It's a style that has certainly evolved over the years, and what may look like a horribly matched mess to some, there is a certain level of organized chaos to these loud and eccentric outfits. Despite appearances, it's not about just throwing things together. A close look at some of the girls shows the huge degree of thought that's been put into their loud attire.
Tips for Dressing in Decora Style
- First, plan your outfit. Decora outfits are all about LAYERS. Skirts are great for Decora because they can be layered well with tops, leggings, pants, plus they keep to the youthful and girlish appearance that Decora is based on. In winter, layer t-shirts with sweaters, hoodies, and cute jackets. For the summer, stay cool while still looking cool and Decora by layering several tank tops with different cute colors and prints. For guys, small shirts with well-known logos, sailor shirts, pajama bottoms, large pants, and Mary Jane-type shoes are popular. Also note that leggings, knee-high socks and pretty much socks in general are key to the Decora style for both males and females. It's also important to experiment with fabrics and prints. Plaids, stripes, checkered prints and animal prints are always great!
- Your hair is also extremely important when it comes to effectively pulling off the Decora fashion. Common hair colors are pink, blonde or black, though guys are known to go for the more funky, bright colors and styles combed off to one side. Pigtails with ribbons or other ultra-curly, ultra-cute hairstyles with bangs and often including colored hair extensions are the usual for girls, but this is a style that is certainly open to unique interpretations. But tons of cute little clips, bows and other hair accessories are a must!
- Decora-chan don't wear a lot of make-up.That kind of goes against the appearances of childlike innocents they are trying to convey. If they do, it's only a bit of brightly colored eyeshadow, or mascara. Instead, they use body glitter and put cute stickers on their face instead. Face painting is also popular, along with temporary tattoos.
- Most of all, ACESSORIZE. Tons of necklaces, bracelets or bangles, rings, anything you can think of. Bright, colorful, blinky flashy lights, children's toys, gloves or mittens, custom face masks, sunglasses, ANYTHING. Get creative with it. Use something unconventional... the best accessories are handmade, customized, or altered in some way that makes them unique. A very important accessory is your bag or backpack. An adorable personalize bag or children's backpack [preferably something with a popular cartoon character on it, such as Hello Kitty, Pokémon, or Blue's Clue's] will accent your outfit perfectly. Other accessories include flowers or cuddly plushies for girls, and inflatable guitars or plastic water pistols for guys. Whatever you go with, just be sure to over do it!