The Fashion Related answers
Wow a lot of questions in this bunch. There have been some really interesting ones raised here. Although I will admit a bit of ire when being asked questions a simple net search could answer. Please do not takes advantage of your Mitsu, she only luvs Besides it takes away from my time writing about other gal things that are probably more useful to readers.
With that being said, please keep the questions coming. I’ll be answering until February 12. Please keep asking the questions ONLY in the Ask Anything 2 original post so I can keep track. If you already wrote a question that’s fashion-related and it’s not yet answered it means I’m taking time either researching or formatting my response, but I haven’t forgotten about you.
Reasoning on why some questions make it into topics and some don’t
Other than posting about recent fashion trends or coordinates talking about certain issues of gal on The Doll is balanced by 4 motivations:
- How knowledgeable I am on the subject
- How much it interests me
- How much the topic will appeal to readers at large
- How much does it have to do with shape of current gal
A topic like gay gyaru I am pretty knowledgeable about, I’m interested in, and I feel it is an issue within current gal. However, I am suspecting I don’t have a giant lesbian audience, but I decided it might be interesting to those even non-lesbian and bisexual readers.
A thing like picspam of such though you will probably not find me doing, unless I’m using it to demonstrate how real gals look or something like make-up etc… that needs pictures. After seeing girls who dress gal since Summer 2007 in person most days in Japan, I really feel no need to save images on my harddrive unless I myself took them.
The Doll is meant to inform, pics can do that. However without text behind them I find issue a bit meaningless.
Some of the Questions answered below: Gaijin shopstaff, working at 109, shoe sizes, what is freesize, busty gal help, tall gal help, gals and heels, trend nails, trend deco, corporate gal, b-gal, gal without 100% commitment, resort-kei, gal brows, etc…
edit: 2/4 updated with 5 more questions & answers below~
have you ever seen a gaijin gal shop staff? I would love to see one though I kind of doubt I will…?
An African American gal worked for Baby Shoop (a b-gal brand located on the 7th floor) for a long time. I am sure her look was considered more acceptable since Baby Shoop likes hip hop culture and attaches that to people of color. However once there, she was one of the highest selling women within 109 and amazingly fluent. Baby Shoop also worked as the guarantor for her apartment. She was a friend of a friend. I am pretty sure she stopped working there and went back to a Japanese college.
I was wondering if you knew stores which carried 25.5 cm shoes.
Most gal shoe companies only run to 25, but it’s worth checking Randa (located on Takeshita above a lingere shop and in Kabukicho slightly diagonal from the Mar*s/MeJane store) to see how their LL sizing works with your foot.
I think you said somewhere that some gals can take up to three hours to do their hair and make. how long does it take you personally to get all dolled up?
It depends. For school times I’m about an hour. When it’s not school I’m more 2 hours on hair and make-up (much to the consternation of my exceedingly patient man )
As a girl who also has a larger chest and isn’t stick thin, what are your suggestions as far as finding clothing? Such as; is free-size really free? As, does it actually accommodate your chest? Which Japanese brands actually fit a larger chested girl?
What other places (excluding Japanese clothing) would you suggest for finding clothing the accommodates a larger chest without that “tent” look but, still provides a looser fit that seems to be popular in gal style at the moment.
Hmmm freesize is usually not free. It just depends on the item in question.
But really I never head to 109 and go omg nothing fits me. As a size 6/8 5’7″ girl the biggest thing I worry about is will that dress wear more like a top because my height is rare in Japan. Thank god for mise-pants or I’d be ass-out many times
I find clothing that suits my style. I usally tend to ignore things that are fitted or button up in the chest, because the same thing happens to me that happens with American clothing, my shirts gape. My interview shirt (white button-up snorefest from Banana Republic) is 2 sizes bigger because of this issue.
There’s no special trick that means you see it on-line and you’ll know the item will fit you (this goes for other issues such as broad shoulders, big hips etc…) Other than if it looks tight on the model and it’s onesize, chances are your healthy BMI self might have issues. Most manufacturers don’t have to consider large busted women in Japan because it’s usually not a genetic issue. Low cut tops will make you look more boobs-out, but I find nothing wrong with boobs
A 32D girl can probably find more shirts that fit than a 38D girl, so your rib width has something to do with it, too.
Let’s do a test with 3 dresses from Lip Service. Which one do you think would suit a chesty girl the best, which one would be fine, and which one is a no-no.
Hopefully you answered choice 3 as the best, choice 1 as okay and choice 2 as hell no. Choice 3 has gathering which will stop most tenting. Choice 1 will tent a little, but the bell sleeves help balance that. Choice 2 has bands that go across the chest and would make anyone with larger boobs look downright horrid. If you could figure that out, then you’re okay
I find Liz Lisa is the least kind to busted areas, but most stores are pretty on par with each other otherwise. But, really don’t worry. If you’re in a healthy weight for your frame and height, you won’t have many issues if you ignore buttons and fitting.
Excluding gal clothing though, you’re talking to the wrong chica. Honestly 95% of my wardrobe is from gal stores and the rest is either before I moved to Japan or work related stuff.
This may seem kind of silly, but with all the spring looks coming out lately, I’ve been wondering…when do you switch from winter style to spring style? Winter where I am can sometimes last through the end of March (I’ve seen a few March blizzards, even!), so it’s hard to judge sometimes when to pack away the coats and pull out the lighter clothing.
Well you heading to Sapporo might have to deal with this, but Houston and Japan are similar climatically that really it goes cold/snowy/cold/chilly/rainyseason/humid/hell/humidhot/cold. Mainly it’s best to start buying accessories, light jackets, and shirts that you can layer into your look and then when actual Spring comes out you won’t feel like you’re behind.
Okay, and, now I’m just being greedy but, one last question! Recently for some reason I’ve been kind of interested in resort-kei… is it still popular? Or did it just kinda morph into boho/marine?
Resort-kei is always popular for the practical reason that Japan is surrounded by decently inexpensive tropical resort destinations. Many gals prefer to save up their money and visit with friends and wear resort wear. I went to Guam in October ’08 and it was a perfect time to pull out resort gear.
These two I do have no real interest in doing pic spam other than when it includes brands or styles. Tanning is going out of fashion (sure some more will pop-up in summer), and it’s dead to working Agejos so probably won’t see any. Silver hair is pretty hard to come by, you’ll only see models in magazines want to afford/keep it up since they’re trying to distinguish themselves while most people of a style don’t.
Since this is an English-language discussion about Japanese things, I encourage you to use the abbreviation “jpn”, since “jap” has some negative connotations around American-Japanese and is an insult. Most gals use MAC or CanMake. I never search up a dark foundation, since even at my most tan I’m probably people’s default shade without tanning.
On-line might, but really if they’ve invented something better than ugly colors, they’ll have it everywhere which they don’t.
I am thinking someplace on-line, Donki, or a sex-shop. Poplife out of the Electric Town exit of Akihabara is 6 stores of sex shop. If you can’t find it there, you will have to look on-line.
Would you also be so kind as to show how you can be gal and still be presentable in the corporate world? Or does gal simply =/= corporate world? Been trying to be oneegyaru but I seem to be doing something wrong.
Hmmm I don’t think they fit as well as they could, but I think there are some definite gal brands you should pay attention to as you shop for your corporate life (for example: Me Jane, Duras, and Rienda). Also the set range of hair colors that gals have transfer well in simple golden blondes and natural browns that would not look out of place on a white head in the corporate world. Now other races have issues with this and it might be pushing the boundaries too much to go too far bleached on an asian/black/hispanic head.
As for good brands to take notice of: Rienda often has some ideas that could transfer over. This button up with edging is something easily copyable to work. This MeJane outer also would work fine. A little daring, but different this pantsuit could work well with heels and a blazer. Thissharp waisted BQB (Bon Kyuu Bon) style is also good with corporate style. This look from Duras could also work with a knee length skirt that possible has a back frill. It’s also important to see how trends can copy over to corporate pieces, these three skirts by Rienda seem too short for the corporate world but could find counterparts by professional clothing makers. The romantic trend could work well with button-up shirts hidden under an austere blazer and pants set.
Another way to look at it is, invest in the pieces you could transfer to your out-of-office life and be cheap on items you’ll never wear out of the office. My white interview shirt and blazer have all gotten rotation inside my gal wardrobe just paired with more gal things. The set-up of damage denim, white button up, and a fedora have been in most gal magazines for fall. I imagine the blazer trend will continue, too as I’ve seen Spring lines with it in.
Is it possible to be gal and still wear flats since i’m going to greece in a couple of weeks i can only take one pair of heels sad times [for 3 1/2 months]?
Hmmm well to be 100% honest in this, I see a western gal post her outfit post and if she’s not wearing heels of some kind I think why?!! It’s the easiest, most accessible way of working gal more into your wardrobe. No that does not mean I think all heels or gal or gals not in heels are not gal, but it’s so freakin’ easy!
That being said; gladiators, mutton boots such as Uggs, and engineer boots have all been flat trends. However, even then gals have chosen gladiators with heels, engineer boots with a small 4-5cm heel or Uggs and tennis shoes with 5cm hidden heel insoles. So is it possible to for you to wear a slight heel? Nothing extreme, just a pip? If not, wear tennis shoes and go kaji. Also, use it as your fault and think that the rest of your wardrobe should look so smashing to hold it up.
Is have you got any style tips for short haired girls mine is about the length of mori maya’s ?
Regarding hair I think the big thing for short hair is volume and switching up your style. I’ll be providing a few tutorials on how to make you hair have natural unteased volume and how to do rock gal styles on short hair.
I was wondering if you could write something about b-gals and the hiphop influenses in “regular” gal fashion?
There’s not much hiphop influences in regular gal fashion. The current trend has become more celeb-kei as a prevailing interest.
B-gals tend to stay by themselves and some I know don’t consider themselves gyaru at all. They typically go to different salons than gals, shop at 109, but also other stores to create a look. Hip Hop culture in Japan in general is a very odd thing. If you haven’t read them, oddly enough Ian Condry from MIT did an amazing study on hip hop in Japan and while his articles seem a bit dated they are interesting and worth a read.
I’m not really interested in b-gyaru and I don’t know why. I love hip hop, I love to shake my booty, but I dunno the b-gal brands don’t appeal to me. I think because they often get stuck in this ideal or they mix a hip hop style with a reggae look. I’ll try to do some more reporting of b-gal brands in the future, though.
I would like to see something about the used clothing trend! Maybe the shibuhara trend!
I’ll try to write about this, and it’s rising a bit as WEGO helps a lot of gal brands, but we’ll see. Shibuhara needs to evolve a bit more, it’s still pretty infantile. I feel like I keep seeing the same 4 looks in Pop Sister without any evolution, but let’s see if the next issue provides some more.
Are there any winter friendly gyaru coats/clothing/outfits?
Of course, there’s tons! Have you not see all the coats wafting around?? Hokkaido gals need warmth and love, too. Winter issues of all gal magazines are dedicated to this, check one and see what styles you like.
Ive heard so much about eyebrows on gals, like that you aint a proper gal unless you more or less shave off 90% of your eyebrows and paint them on. So it seems like keeping them tweezed and fine isn’t enough?
This would be a bigger issue if most gals didn’t rock bangs. I am sure these gals still keep up with the eyebrow trends, which are cutting them down and powdering/brushing them in. However, for many gals it’s not a big issue. I think there’s a wide range of brow shapes though, but since most gals have dyed hair they’re just trying to keep it matching. At salons I’ve been to it’s a toss up about eyebrow dying. They’ve never asked me, but as a blondey I’m pretty in the clear.
Personally I like a natural brow, too thin and I think it has a tendency to age a person’s face. I also get mine waxed, but I’m a bang girl so that’s mainly just for my own personal hygiene preference. I do powder mine in at the beginning of my bang cycle, but usually only the first week of my haircut.
Can I also shop for shoes at 109 although I have the size of 25.5 ? Would be a pity if I couldn’t.
You cannot. See above question about other options.
I’d really like to know some gal hairstyles for girls without bangs. I rarely see any gals without bangs; so is it even possible to create a nice hairstyles without them?
There’s quite a few gals without bangs, even though the prevailing fashion is to have some. I just showed a few in my hair article, and I am possibly thinking of doing a breakdown of short hair gal looks for people. I will keep your desire about no-bangs ones in mind when/if I do so. In the meantime, any gal magazine of your choice is bound to have one or two situated in the monthly hair section.
I would like to hear your opinion [sic] on whether or not you can be a Gal without a 100% commitment?
It seems everyone in the fashion dresses up perfectly everyday and I find myself thinking I don’t have such motivation/dedication!
I gave this question a bit of thought before I wrote a response.
For Western gals: While I do believe repetition helps your gal look get stronger, I am downright tired of seeing post after post of myspace angles with close-ups of faces saying “this is my gyaru look”. And I am thinking to myself, wow she bought some white eyeshadow, put on some top eyelashes, and has a natural tan… uhhhh great? Then when some show outfit shots they’re wearing nothing close to a trend I’ve seen in a store in 3 years of gluttonous shopping around Tokyo.
GYARU IS A FASHION meaning the things you put on your body! Don’t get me wrong, hair and make-up are integral and a good start, but ignore clothes and I will yet again lament.
Instead of quantity, I’d rather see some excellent quality and thought put into a look. Blooomzy recently discussed her inspiration around her birthday outfit. This is great! It’s one day, but she’s putting real effort into making that one look strong as possible.
About regular everyday Japanese gals: Many take compromises, especially Agejos. Women working as hostesses and the like have to have their hair styled and damaged for work, and wear make-up that is quite thick. These women often prefer to keep their hair tied back during the day and face only containing base with giant sunglasses covering a lack of eye make-up. It’s not uncommon to head to a nail salon and see 3 of the 5 clients in sunglasses since they’re going in for beauty treatment and possibly not going to a place to be seen. Gals also need to rest their eyes from circle lens, so sunglasses are a good alternative to that.
Is it possible to work as ryuugakusei in a shop (maybe even somewhere at 109)???? Shopping can get expensive that why i would like to work (ps. is there any kind of staff discount???)
a) If your Japanese conversational is obscenely good and you have a great grasp of kanji. The 109 staff-chan who was a gaijin I mentioned earlier had to also do account books which required some heavy kanji experiences.
b) Most do not want to hire students. Not saying all, but most.
c) You have two strikes against you as a gaijin and a student, don’t think it will be easy or possible. But compared to other people with neither of those knocks against them, you’re looking at slim odds.
d) There is a discount, they’re pretty secretive about it though.
Re: Circle lens, I’ve been having trouble finding an “unbiased” source for info because people are either all for them or dead-set against them. Are they really that dangerous/what are the real risks? How can you go about preventing problems?
I made a post on my opinions of circle lens here. Feel free to do some solid research for yourself, and decide whether you want to take the risks and upkeep involved for your body. As a non-medical professional who has only casual contact with circle lens, I do not feel the Doll is or should be a place for medical advice of any kind.
Hair post, please! I have been vacillating on cutting my hair short, but can’t risk it not staying with my Gal love! help, please! plus, i dont know how I would like to style it regularly. Thank you!
A few tutorials on the way specifically regarding short hair on the way! If there’s anything specific you’d like to hear about please let me know!
In fashion, gyaru being no exception, trends come and go. however, which are the recurrent trends that you have seen emerge season after season?
Leopard print dies and comes back, cowboy boots seem to do the same thing (although in different heel heights, leg heights and toe shapes), mutton boots like Uggs are strong, ski hats with a pom-pom are big since 2007, the dress above as “choice 3” with the banded bottom keeps repeating, yuru (meaning loose) styles, trad jackets (blazers), denim hotpants and peacoats all seem to endure.
Care to share your most hated and loved fashion trends?
I really don’t hate most trends. I think I love fashion too much to dislike much within it.
– The denim shirt in the upcoming Spring trends seems a bit boring to me.
– Going a bit too “Native” seems a bit wrong to me since I dated a Native American for quite a while and his thoughts on such weigh in my brain, but on other people I think it’s quite cute.
– The short, high vest Backs trend, I didn’t like only because it would look silly on my busty frame.
– Lip Service’s empire waist dresses I could buy in every color, every print and every style.
– Texture: the moko-moko from 2008, the furry styles on boots and jackets in 2009, anything 3-d I get a kick out of.
– Monotone. When monotone keeps continuing it really allows you bring out last years purchases and they’re still current. Although this flies in the face of my w*c love hehehe
Any interesting nail trends that have caught your eye? I know stiletto nails and large gems have been popular for some time, but is there anything new we should know about?
Not yet. Leopard nails of course are a big trend, and winter-themes always come up during the winter. I think 3-d art is making a resurgence with people wanting more character-based things on their nails. Seeing Sakurina’s recent nails have thrown me for a loop with their non-Mori and very simplistic style. Marine was a huge summer trend and of course went on nails. I am curious if Romantic, Dots, Floral or Western will prevail as the biggest trend. Whatever is the big trend in fashion should turn to nails.
Have you noticed any emerging trends in deco? Specifically, what sort of design motifs or techniques have been popping up lately.
I think there’s been a big rise in “adult” and “chara” deco. Adult relies on simple motifs such as leopard print, plaid, or stars in very elegant colors like champagne or gold. Chara is really popping up with the bear trend. Also Glam Baby last year released their Disney x Glam Baby seals so it was very easy to get your favorite character on your phone.
Any brands that like tall girls?
Love Boat tends to cut its skirts and such longer so you are not ass-out. For the most part, since tunic and longer style shirts have been trendy it’s not been much of an issue with tops. Although I think w*c does a lot of shirts meant to stop at the waist (shame!). As for dresses, Mar*s is not too kind since it loves doing micro-mini skirts. One*Spo loves to do mini as well, but they have built in misepants in their set-ups so it’s not a big deal. SpiralGirl tends to be kind and make dresses a bit longer. Liz Lisa can often make dresses longer, although it just depends with them. I was admiring their recent floral print dress, but it’s definitely too short for us tall girls.