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Tokidoki vs Harajuku Lovers Clothing

Updated on August 30, 2017

Kawaii Japanese Fashion conquers the World

Tokidoki vs Harajuku Lovers Store

Kawaii (cute) Japanese fashion enjoys a great following from shoppers all over the world. Proof of its worldwide appeal? Consider the fact that two prominent kawaii apparel brands - Tokidoki and Harajuku Lovers - were conceptualized by an Italian designer and American singer (respectively), Simone Legno and Gwen Stefani!

From handbags to graphic tee shirts, their designs revolve mainly around adorable characters inspired by old staple brands like Sanrio. From cute cactus dogs to chic girls who know their style, find out how to differentiate Tokidoki and Harajuku Lovers, then pledge your allegiance to the more kawaii and sugoi (wonderful) of the two!

Know the Difference bet. Tokidoki and Harajuku Lovers - A Comparison Between 2 Design Styles

Tokidoki vs Harajuku Lovers Clothing Design Style
Tokidoki vs Harajuku Lovers Clothing Design Style

It's actually very easy to differentiate the style of Tokidoki and the Harajuku Lovers. Despite having the same inspiration - Japan - the designers approached the art work from varied angles. The picture above clearly shows this. Tokidoki characters are very fictional - from milk cartons to red peppers to cats with cactus skin. They are almost always donning cute oval-shaped beady eyes with distinct outlines, very simple but striking details. I say "almost always" because there are exceptions - the Japanese girls who sometimes have tattoos on their arms are just as iconic as the other cute characters, but have a more artistic, subtle look - closed eyes, more complex curves, but still generally simple in the amount of details.

On the other kawaii hand, the Harajuku Lovers brand focuses on 5 characters - Gwen Stefani and her Japanese entourage - Love, Angel, Music, Baby, and G. They have different personalities, which have been keenly used for their fragrance line (more on that later). Only these 5 characters have faces on them. The rest are "props" and extra details on the designs. The artwork is very distinct - details are pretty simple like Tokidoki's, eyes are distinct - small with eyelashes, and the overall result is more serious and subtle. Another defining aspect of Gwen's work is that the characters themselves have a lot of different get-ups so it's almost like wearing an outfit within a shirt.

Which Design Style do you Prefer? - Brand Wars - Ready, set, fight!

Now that you've seen some of the Tokidoki and Harajuku Lovers designs, it's time to pick a side! Which style rocks your boat?

Tokidoki or Harajuku Lovers?

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Where have the Harajuku Lovers Shirts and Accessories Gone?! - The search for an H.L. Store

If you've been a Harajuku Lovers fan from the get go, you must have noticed that the official website of Harajuku Lovers is now only selling its fragrance line and is, in fact, now called the "Harajuku Lovers Fragrance website". I've been scouring the net, trying to figure out why this is the case, but the consolation is that we can still buy the Harajuku Lovers fashion items from other websites - eBay, Amazon, and KarmaLoop.com. In fact, Amazon has its very own Harajuku Lovers Section, complete with bags, jackets, tops, keychains, necklaces, and shoes. I've included some of my personal favorite picks below! You can click on the items below to explore more gorgeous HL items.

Shop for Tokidoki Cutesy Stuff Here!

Those from the Tokidoki camp can check out some awesome items below, including some of the most recent arrivals - the comic strip bags and the collaboration with Marvel Comics, which features famous Marvel superheroes that have been given a Tokidoki kawaii makeover!

Let's Talk Variety and Selections - Tokidoki vs Harajuku Lovers Merch Line

Some HL and Tokidoki Merchandise
Some HL and Tokidoki Merchandise

Variety is the spice of life. Especially when it comes to shopping! It's not enough that the brands offer a ton of different prints to choose from. The cut of the apparel is also as important, as well as other merchandise options apart from clothing. Both brands have really stepped it up on this front, approaching it in different ways.

On the clothing department, Tokidoki offers dresses, tank tops, boat neck tops, hoodies, beanies, etc. Because of its very colorful and fictional characters, the brand is able to offer a lot of collectibles - from PVC toys, key chains, vinyls, journals, headphones, coasters... the list goes on! Collectibles usually come in blind boxes (more on that below!) and they are very popular amongst female and male toy collectors alike. The brand has also explored the make-up line and is also very famous for its collection of bags, some of which are collaborations with the designer bag line, Le Sport Sac.

When it comes to bags, Harajuku Lovers definitely doesn't lose to Tokidoki in terms of variety. From laptop bags to totes to cosmetic pouches to bags with 3D designs (comes with 3D glasses too!), there is a bag for every female personality! What I particularly appreciate about HL's bag collection is that, unlike, Tokidoki, HL offers bags several bags that do not have tiled prints on them. Some are just finished in solid colors with just the brand on it, which are perfect for more formal occasions. The same goes with the clothes - HL offers some very, rock star worthy pieces such as asymmetrical jackets. HL is primarily geared towards women and Gwen seems to have a very good understanding of what women want - from its fragrance line to jewelry to its absolutely chic strappy sandals.

Who wins the Variety Battle? - Who has the better Merch?

Who do you think has the better merchandise line?

What is a Blind Box?

A Blind box is a box with a collectible toy / figurine inside from a particular design series. The catch? You have NO idea which of the toys in the series it contains - an interesting, quirky albeit frustrating catch.

Celebrities dig Tokidoki and Harajuku Lovers - Spotted!

Fergie, Duhamel wearing Tokidoki; Avril, Hilton wearing HL
Fergie, Duhamel wearing Tokidoki; Avril, Hilton wearing HL

Celebrities seem to support both brands just as equally! Some big names who have shown support for Tokidoki include Paris Hilton, Dianna Agron, and Fergie. Personalities like Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, and Hilton have been seen sporting Harajuku Lovers. The fact that these celebrities all have varied fashion sensibilities clearly shows that both brands have a lot of variety to offer.

Brands like Tokidoki and Harajuku Lovers

Here are some less known brands that offer kawaii, Japanese-inspired, colorful, quirky, awesome tees!

Bought any Harajuku Lovers or Tokidoki items lately? A graphic tee perhaps? A neat pair of shoes? Frustrated about a toy you got from a blind box? Met Simone Legno or Gwen for autograph signing? Want more tips on where and what to buy? Share below!

Share your Latest HL / Tokidoki Splurge!

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