Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Street fashion for newbies, tips and tricks to get you going!

You can scroll down a bit to get to the guide, but here's a little intro.
I've gotten quite colorful lately, haven't I? 

To avoid "where did you get" questions, let me get that indo for you straight away! Pretty much e v e r y t h i n g is from eBay or Taobao. Exceptions are the spooky t-shirt, which is from HELLCATPUNKS, the black skirt, which I bought second hand, padlock necklace from Sex Pot ReVeNGe, and the black hat that I got somewhere three billion years ago. I don't save links, so I'm afraid I can't help you more than that. Sorry...

Well, to be fair, having dressed all in black and white and grey, jeans, boyish clothes and having had grey or white hair for years, 'colorful' for me is pretty much a piece of clothing with some sort of color mixed in somewhere, wearing a pastel-ish wig, or even a blonde wig or even just transparent tights (?!), is an explosion of colors. 

Yes, I'm weird and damaged that way. It doesn't really matter though, what's important is that I feel quite good about it ♪ Colors and more playful patterns make happy, whereas before I only stuck to Sex Pot's more dark prints and lovely chain details. I still love that, of course, but right now this is more me!

According to me, fashion is only fun when you don't try so hard to fit into a category.

That means it may change appearance and spirit a lot in a short period of time, and that's the beauty of it. It's not a bad thing to bounce around between different styles, and it's certainly not bad to mix things however you want and create your own thing. If you want to wear cult party kei and visual kei, and fairy kei, in the same week, do it. Or if you want to go hardcore on being a fantastic visual kei-kid, do it. Or just throw something on. Whatever makes you happy. I think that's the beauty of the street fashion inspired by the beautiful and creative Harajuku-people! It's so free and playful. No rules or boundaries whatsoever.

Not to be both mean and off-topic, but I think that's what makes street fashion different from gyaru. Sure, gyarus look completely different from each other, it's a very broad type of style, and they're gorgeous as well. But from my point of view it seems more strict. Not to mention all the hate spread on gyaru-secrets. It makes me furious just to think about it. Sigh.

But enough about that. Back to happiness. 

Since I know it can feel quite confusing and "what the hell am I doing?" when you first dive into the deep end of Harajuku street fashion, I thought I'd make this post into a sort of street fashion for dummies-post. Or maybe street fashion for newbies. Yes, that sounds better.

So here we go; 
Street fashion for newbies, tips and tricks to get you going! 

☆ Inspiration and where to find it

Not only is it fun to explore street fashion through pictures, it's also very, very helpful when you feel a bit lost and don't know what you like. If you can, get your hands on some japanese fashion-magazines, like KERA or Zipper.

KERA features more colorful and rock/punk-y fashion, often modelled by Akira and Re:No.
Zipper features AMOYAMO-style fashion.
There's also Gothic Lolita bible, if you're into lolita more than the street fashions I'm talking about here.

Now for some reason I can't change the color for links, but click the names and you'll get some pictures. If you're more interested in visual- and oshare kei, I suggest magazines like Cure, SHOXX, Neo Genesis and Fool's Mate, where there are tons of fashionable bands featured.

If you can't find, afford, or simply don't want to get any magazines, I have some great tumblr blogs you can take a peek at;

Tokyo Fashion
J-fashion magazines
Fuck yeah Monomania

☆ Use your inspiration and get some clothes

Now, first of all, there is not a magical shop where are nice clothes are available. I get "where do you buy your clothes?" a lot, and it's not a question that has just one answer. You have to look around, properly.

Local stores are not to be underestimated. People often make the mistake of staring themselves blind at brands that need to be ordered and waited for, when in fact you can find a lot of great stuff in your nearest mall. It's all about finding those good pieces amongst all the more "usual" clothes.

How do you do that, you ask? Simple; use your inspiration.

Look at pictures, take out the elements you like, and try to find clothes that has the same spirit as those elements. When you but clothes, try to think "this shirt would look good with those tights, and that skirt. And maybe some accessories, what would look good with this? Can I find other things that'll look good with what I have already?" when you go hunting for prey.

Some stores I love, that may or may not exist in your country, are; 
H&M, Cubus, BIK BOK, Gina Tricot, Monki and Top Shop.

Since H&M opened in Japan, there's been an obvious change in the clothes they sell. They have so, so many good pieces right now. So paying a visit to an H&M store is indeed a good idea! Plus, it's Swedish. Yay us vikings.

You will, however, probably want to grab some brands. I don't blame you. Brands are awesome.

Here are some brands, and some shops;
Sex Pot ReVeNGe, SUPER LOVERS, LISTEN FLAVOR, Candy Stripper, h.Naoto, HELLCATPUNKS, Peace Now and Black Peace Now, Monomania, Nadia, Algonquins.

Two other popular ones are; Everything Jeremy scott and Adidas, Vivienne Westwood. 

You can always buy some brands from CDJapan, but if you want to buy things straight from the shops, you will have to go through a shopping service. Unfortunately, I have never used one. But if you google "shopping service", it's fairly easy to find one.

☆ eBay and Taobao

Giving these babies their own star, because they really are golden. I buy almost all my clothes and accessories from eBay and Taobao. Now, searching for these sites can be a "what" experience before you get the hang of it. I wrote a little about it under Shopping Links here on my page, and since Taobao is hell the first time, you can also find a Taobao guide up there. There's also a little bit about searching for things there.

Hot tip: try to search for a piece of clothing you've seen somewhere. It's easier to learn how to search for things if you look for something you've seen. Why? Because then you learn how to hunt by using shitloads of keywords and adjectives to describe an item. 

☆ Wigs and accessories

First of all, click the name and take a look at Iro's Garden, because that's my shop and this is my blog, so taking this opportunity to advertise myself when there are still plenty of things in stock ( ; ´ ω ` )  ~ ♥

Second of all, eBay and Taobao. Heaven for wigs, false lashes, and all kinds of accessories. Hats and bags and such as well. Again, can't stress this enough, keywords. Local shops are also good for these things.

☆ Circle lenses, hair and makeup

These are quite basic things that will finish your look like nothing else. I have a makeup-tutorial, a hair-tutorial, and a twin-bun wig-tutorial, if you look under Tutorials in my links under the header here on this blog. They're all also available on my youtube. So those might be helpful!

Circle lenses and false lashes are also quite important, I'd say.

PinkyParadise is one of the biggest site for both circle lenses and makeup, and makeup tools. And if you do go there to get some nice lenses, you can always apply my username as a coupon code to get some things with your order. Just saying. You can click the banner somewhere on the right side of this blog!

Otherwise, you can find nice lashes on ebay as well. But if you want lashes from popular and lovely japanese brands, such as Dolly Wink, you can find them on PinkyParadise.

And also, don't be worried about circle lenses. They're really comfortable. It might be hard to put them in the first time, but you'll get used to it quickly. I promise.

Enough about that, no more shopping. 
Let's get down to business. 

☆ The wondrous art of outfitting 

I've said "play around, go with your feelings" what feels like a million times by now, but it really is important. Try on your clothes and try out outfits. Try out which shoes, accessories, and what hairstyle or wig you'd think look good with it. Again, it's about what you like. And to figure that out, well, you'll have to figure it out.

It's a good idea to combine outfits by putting them together on your floor, so you can look at how the things go together before you put them on, and avoid freaking out and throwing the entire closet on the floor because the outfit you had in mind didn't look as good as it did in your head once you put it on - this happens to me way too often. So lay things out on your floor and throw some accessories in there, put it all on a hanger once you're happy with what you've created.

I'm going to make a separate post about this I think, since I want to show you different ways to play with outfits, and easy ways to create playful outfits, with lots of pictures as well.

As for now, let's just leave it at "try do create something that makes you feel like a strong, independent black woman who don't need no man."

That is, literally, what a nice outfit should feel like.

☆ It's okay to fail, even if you fail so hard you want to cry

Now, first of all, keep in mind that you are the only one that can decide whether or not you feel like you've failed creating a look you like one day. No one else can decide that for you. Your fashion, your rules. But it's impossible to hit the jackpot with every single outfit. Hell, I have days when I feel like crawling under a rock because of a failed outfit that I have to parade around in.

Just pick yourself up and wear something completely fabulous the next day instead.
With every failed outfit you learn more about what you actually like, and that way you'll develop your style.

☆ Pep talk, i.e. get over yourself, damn it

I know how "wrong" I felt when I started with street fashion, since it confused me to not fit into a stern category. Could I really wear whatever the hell I wanted? Was it really okay? Wouldn't people judge me and think I'm a terrible person and want to shoot me in the head just for trying to be as awesome as those gorgeous street fashionistas you see everywhere oh my god scary world!

And what would strangers think! What would they think! And my parents, they certainly wouldn't love me! Oh my god, someone I have never met before and will never meet again in my life yelled after me that I looked weird, I must cry and punish myself, the end is coming!

Take my advice; tell your brain to shut up.

Firstly. The only rule in street fashion is that there are no rules. If you want to look like a Zipper-girl, look like a Zipper-girl. If KERA is more your thing, well, you get it. Mix and match and think outside all the stupid boxes that makes you feel like you're just weird, or that you're trying to hard, or whatever they make you feel. Stop it, stop it! It's okay, I promise.

Secondly. Yes, people will look. Yes, your parents may shake their heads and wonder why you spend so much money on wigs. But do you really want to spend your youth living their lives instead of your own?

No, you don't.

People sometimes ask me how I feel about people staring at me or saying mean things about the way I look, and my answer is always that I don't feel anything about it. Do you know how many people you meet everyday, that you have absolutely no obligation to talk to, if you don't want to? How many of those people you meet in your life?

I'm not going to give you a number here, because math is my worst enemy, but my point is that strangers will always be strangers. And most of the time, those strangers are just frustrated because seeing you walk by them reminds them that they don't have the guts, and the only way they can trick themselves into thinking they have some sort of balls, is to call you something nasty. I don't think I need to say how pathetic that is. Going to do it anyway. It's very pathetic. Very.

So many nice people will tell you nice things, and those are the people you should listen to. They're honest, and they have balls, unlike the other cowards. Laugh at the idiots and smile at the... niceiots.

Take some pride in it and laugh. Nowadays I literally go "bitch please, I'm fabulous" or scream "NO I'M NOT A CAT I'M SATAN, YOU BAFOON" when I'm wearing my devil horns and boys meow after me.

I've learned to feel like it's even kind of fun when someone say something nasty to me.
The faces you get to see when you make a snappy comeback are just priceless.

As for friends and family;
You're still the same person under your funny clothes and since they loved that person before the funny clothes, they'll still love that person with the funny clothes. So stand up for yourself, damn it, and stop feeling like you need to please them. Hopefully you have friends with similar interests, and then it really shouldn't even be a problem. It'll just be something fun for you to enjoy together.

To sum this all up, all I can say is that the art of street fashion, is an art of becoming a strong independent black woman who don't need no man. You don't need other people's opinions, you're awesome. Okay?

Go for it, counting on you.
If you ever feel like you're not good enough, I will hunt you down and kick your ass. I am not kidding.

Watching you. 
Lots of love until next time, dear readers, I hope I wrote something useful here!



  1. Alltså du är ju seriöst en av världens bästa människor haha, riktigt bra skrivet! ~

    1. Haha men gulle ; A ; massa kramar på dig Shanti! Tack så mycket!

  2. this is so true ^^
    i love how you explained everything so easy to read
    and its true fashion is all about what you like and not what others like

  3. I was gonna say I love you for the noob guide, but then I read you use the word "wondrous". I LOVE YOU FOR USING THAT WORD. I LOVE THAT WORD. Ok? Ok.
    My current closet looks like jeans and hoodies all the way because I spend 4 hours a day on buses on weekdays so that's how I feel like. Then whenever I'm going out and not to class I'm probably overdressed cos I'm gonna wear a dress and doll up cos I never doll up if I don't do it then.
    But I need an emergency closet renovation, like, in all senses of the word "need", and I wanna make it more fun (especially after all this time of lemming after KERA and the like) so all help is welcome. So yeah, I love you for the guide thingie.

    Du skriver så bra och wow man märker att du är A WOMAN WITH GODDAMN EXPERIENCE hahah xD
    Nej men jag älskar hur starkt och bra skrivet det är och alltså jag håller inte riktigt på med streetfashion men det du skrev kan ju licksom tolkas som allting, egentligen. Jag kan inte förklara riktigt men ''it got to me'' ;v;

    Vi måste träffas snart asdfgh!!
    xoxo Vicki

    1. HAHA YOU GO VICKI ! Tackar och bockar höddödu, vad glad jag blir! Massa keysmash här alltså, bububu ♥

      Ja det måste vi ok nu kan vi inte bara säga det!

  5. Woaw... I have nothing else to say... You are so expressive and you give to people, the flavor of being themselves. You have a strong-mind and that's just amazing !

  6. <3 this is the best post i've read in a while and need some confidence in dressing up. you are so lovely, saga~ <3

  7. After reading this I want you to say a BIG THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! Much for myself, I found it interesting and useful. I also subscribed to tumbler accounts all links to which you indicated. Once again,THANK YOU FROM THE HEART!(*^ ▽ ^*)

  8. "NO I'M NOT A CAT I'M SATAN, YOU BAFOON" <- I will use that next when my friends ask me why am I dressed like a cat... So thank you! ^w^

  9. hej, thanks for the little guide, I totally needed some confidence boost because my problem isn't family (cause well they already know I'm totally crazy) but my reputation at university.
    Everyday I'm surrounded by nasty remarks on other people dresses. It doesn't matter what you wear, you're either a rich bitch cause you mastered chanel or a weirdo sociopath because you like punk-ish things.

    SO YES I needed the confidence boost - and to be honest this is quite a funny one, I laughed at the devil remark to the horns OMG I wish I could see that XD

  10. Hello Iro, i know you probably answered this already but I was wondering where you got your black boots from
    (in this photo: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cSgfTIREh6A/UXXUYIaPeyI/AAAAAAAAAdw/KM4UbV72WmU/s1600/tumblr_mk4ybmMoJl1r6tsyzo1_500.jp) are they from taobao or ebay and did you just search for black boots? I've been trying to find a similar pair on both ebay and taobao for a while thanks! really love your style :D

  11. Oh, you're so awesome *A*. Really thanks for this guide it gives so much confidence... The way how people act about strange clothes is the best xD. Their stares are hilarious.

  12. Omg, I feel so flattered that you reccomended my tumblr blog in there ;A; *hug*
    This was such a inspirational and lovely post! Thank you <3 I really enjoy reading your texts, you are so good at writing ^^

    1. I think your blog is a great example of cute and fun fashion! So of course you're on my list, one of my favorites ; u ;
      Thank you, I'm glad you like it dear! And hearing you like my writing makes me even happier! Since I love writing... So; Thank you thank you! ♥ -hugs-

  13. Harajuku fashion is quite avant-garde yet stylish and hip. So, it's very likeable! It's also agreeable that fashion should be free and playful. Thanks for posting such fun and informative blog.

  14. A great post! really enjoyed reading it, I thought you might like this online shop I found recently since they have a horned beanie hat like yours!


    1. Thank you for telling me! Found one of those pearl cat-ear headbands I've wanted to buy for quite some time but have been too lazy to order from taobao, haha ♪

    2. Heya, I just recently got the angel winged backpack like the one in your photo, when your arrived did it have a distinct smell? mine does and I have to air it out before I can use it ;__;

  15. I love your blog and your style Iro ! ♥ Like seriously, you and the lovely Pastelbat made me feel like I didn't need to force myself to wear casual outfits that everybody wears .. Since a little time (months) , I'm following your outfits shots and I'm still amazed by how you became so beautiful ;A; ♥
    (- And I'm extremely confused because I can't put my circle lenses on .. it's really frustrating to have them and cannot archieve to put them on my eyes -)

    Keep being fabulous Iro ♥

    1. ; A ; you are the sweetest ever ♥ thank you! So many hugs. Keep practicing with the lenses, it was like that for me too, you'll get there sweetie!

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  17. this is wonderful, thank you very much for help!! *w*

  18. Thank you!! U are the best ♥♥

  19. I really enjoy your sense of humor and your personality, I m glad I started reading your blog~!(●´∀`●)/♡

  20. This is excellent! I feel like so far full immersion has been the only way I can learn anything about this vein of the fashion world, but your newbie blog, which assumes most helpfully that I have no idea what I'm doing, makes it a lot more manageable. Thanks for posting!