What is Seiso?

Seiso (清楚) is a more codified style but also more of a feeling. The kanji itself meaning “neat and clean” or “polished”. It’s a fashion style that also has its origins in Akamojikei magazines. It’s a style for both youth and young adults, the age range being around 16-35. Its exact history isn’t well known because “polished” has been a concept since there’s been clothing and many of the brands supporting it have been around for a long time. However the look as it is codified now started around 2006.

Seiso is for girls and women who want to look cute yet in a clean style. The style doesn’t really look at the opposite sex as a starting point (unlike Motekei or Akamojikei). Instead it’s about your own look of polish and feeling feminine. It’s a very popular style especially with young girls. The youth magazines that support it selling very well (Seventeen and Popteen).

 


 

Seiso vs. Otona Kawaii

Seiso is similar to Otona Kawaii, however it’s not Otona Kawaii. Otona Kawaii focuses on a softer look and less tailored.

fint Seiso vs. Otona Kawaii

A great example are these Fint (brand post 1 | 2 ) coordinates. A shop staff on their blog put together two coordinates featuring the same skirt. To the left is her Seiso coordinate and the right is her Otona Kawaii coordinate. With Seiso the hair is simple and the outfit is smooth to the body.

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Seiso vs. Otona Kawaii

Similar length and cut hair but different styles. To the left is very Seiso hair. Smooth, girly, polished.  No curl or bottom curl is more popular than all throughout curl. Side parted bangs are very common. To the right is Otona Kawaii hair with volume and softness and a light messiness.

Makeup tends to be pretty similar between both trends with a soft natural feeling, although Seiso wearing less is better.


Breaking down Seiso

Unlike say gyaru or lolita you won’t see magazines saying “Top 10 Seiso Coordinates” instead it’s more of a feeling of “that’s really Seiso” or Seiso-kei (清楚系). Girls often won’t say they’re this style, but instead will say an outfit or hairstyle is “Seiso” or they like to dress in a polished fashion. The more common term for girls who follow this style is “Seiso Joshi” (清楚女子).

Seiso is often called “Retro Kawaii” in magazines. It’s also a term used to describe Idol-kei, especially AKB48’s rival Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46).

seiso-nogizaka

Nogizaka46 in very smooth “polished” hair.

 

Seiso themes:

A big word I like to use to describe the style is tailored. If the outfit looks girly yet tailored, than chances are its this style.

Common themes no matter the season are:

Hair – black or brown hair, bottom undercurl or straight hair with bangs,

Make-up – simple natural make-up

Colors – neutral tones especially browns, whites and beiges, use of one pastel, pinks, preppy colors such as red, navy and green. In the coordinates you’ll see there’s not a lot of black, instead navy or grey is a more common color.

Coordinate themes – a trad jacket over a onepiece, a cardigan or knit set, flared not tight skirt, blouses instead of t-shirts, tailored instead of casual.

Seiso-style magazines :

Seiso magazines are varied because it’s a youth and adult fashion look: Seventeen and Popteen are youth fashion magazines. More and Mina are both older magazines. All magazines listed above do not just feature Seiso style. I chronicled Popteen’s move to SeisoGyaru previously here.

Seiso-style brands:

Rope, Earth Music Ecology, Nice Claup, Fint, Allamanda by INGNI, Lowry’s Farm, Mystic, Axes Femmes, Mysty Woman, Apuweiser-Riche, Minirdees, Amavel. Sweet gyaru brands such as Ank Rouge and Ingni can also be worn more Seiso.


Shop Staff Coordinates in Seiso Style

All of the coordinates shown are by shop staff who titled their looks Seiso.

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Fint shop staff in the same onepiece.

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MystyWoman (left) and Earth Music Ecology (right) shop staff

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EHyphen World Gallery (left) and Lodispotto (right) wearing neat-and-clean items

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Two Nice Claup shop staff

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Classic Seiso hair: straight with a curl

okarie

Ank Rouge Director Okarie posted her summer Seiso coordinate.

Style points to note: simple beiges and whites, hair half up, straight hair with side fringe

Although all the coordinates feature shorter skirts or ones right above the knee with the maxi and flare skirt trends of this season expect to see longer skirt coordinates. However they will probably be paired with a tailored blouse and the same simple hair.

Seiso Coordinates

Thanks to Coordisnap there’s over 1,000 posts of Seiso coordinates by everyday girls.

everyday everyday

This is all from summer so you can see there’s more of a summer silhouette, but the look remains similar. You can see most of the girls have smooth, straight semi-long dark hair. That’s the default Seiso-style hair for everyday girls who aren’t shop staff, but highschool or college age.

With Larme-kei emerging a lot of the youth brands of Seiso are starting to cater towards it. However most of the outfits in Larme magazine aren’t Seiso even if some of the seis0-like brands are in Larme, it’s all about styling and color choices. Again the keys for this look are simple, tailored with smooth hair which isn’t Larme style.


More resources?

Hair – A link of Seiso hairstyles tagged by hairstylists on Kirei Style

Adult Seiso – Here’s a good Naver of adult Seiso coordinates: http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2139096041313775401

An amusing article about a girl who won the Love SunShine Gyaru model competition last year who turned Seiso

This was a Japanese Fashion University post. Want to learn more in depth about Japanese fashion? Click here.

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Two shop staff from Dazzlin and EHyphen Gallery last Spring I forgot to post with wonderfully girly outfits that fit the current Larme/Sweet month this blog is. I’m so behind on shop staff so in between Larme series and Japanese terms and finishing up the hair salon series I’ll be shop staff posting and trendcasting. The blog is picking up speed so please stayed tuned!

Dazzlin in Tachikawa Lumine

This cute Dazzlin shop staff just had to be snapped. I took her shots at Tachikawa Lumine along with the Secret Honey shop staff. It’s so rare I talk about Dazzlin (previous post in 2011) but with shop staff as charming as this I should talk about them more.

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 Classic Dazzlin, youthful girly and stylish. They’ve gone so retro lately and their cute silhouettes are adorable. I absolutely love her ash blonde hair combined with her dark circle lens contacts. The contrast makes her look so striking. What a cutey!


EHyphen Gallery at Hep 5 Osaka

I didn’t intend to go into EHyphen Gallery at the cute Hep 5 Osaka and get anything but with their Bon Bon line  just booming I couldn’t resist.

The craziness of Hello Kitty possibly yet maybe not being a human ringing in my brain, but Hello Kitty will always be queen. Hello Kitty has done a lot of clothing collaborations especially with gyaru brands and has her own store in Shibuya 109 with Club KT.

So while it’s over saturated any Hello Kitty is fine with me! (upcoming Hello Kitty pop-up cafe in Tokyo post too)

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Just like EHyphen to do such cute yet casual style. I regret not buying that dress because it looks really comfortable. I also like how she paired it with some mannish hiking boots to make the outfit look not to overly girly. EHyphen girls are always so casual cute.

Want to see more EHyphen Gallery? Check out other shop staff photos and the Bon Bon intro here

Want to see more Dazzlin? Check out a few posts about the brand here

Need more Japanese shop staffs? Approaching 120 shop staff photos

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I love Ehyphen BonBon girls! I profiled the singular store in La Foret Harajuku previously. You can also check out regular EHyphen Gallery girls I’ve shop staff snapped before. Each one always has that one detail that makes me really like their look.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This shop staff is wearing full EHyphen BonBon x Amo collaboration items. Model Amo always designs the cutest stuff, patiently waiting for her to open up her own brand!

My favorite part of the outfit? Her candy drip nails. Sure they’ve been worn a lot, but the chocolate with sprinkles ones are so cute and well done! I also really love how she curled her side fringe and made her whole look soft.

 

yearofthehorse-disneysea

Happy new year everyone!! Enjoy this derpy Horse from Tokyo Disney Sea merchandise. Isn’t great/horrible  :lolpastel: I was sick for the last week and missed out on a good Christmas post. I may post it anyways, but for now let’s keep partying and being fabulous in the new year!  :loveword:

EHyphen World Gallery was a store I mentioned in the new seiso gyaru style of Popteen and I was a shopper before the magazine came out. I was at the Chiba Lalaport mall to go to the Popteen Cafe be sure to check out all my reviews and pictures of the super cute sweets cafe from the gyaru magazine. Of course while at a mall I might as well do a little shopping and check out the stores, right? I was happy when the first store I popped into was EHyphen World Gallery and the shop staff was so quirky and cute.

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ehyphen world gallery

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Doesn’t she have a cute demeanor. I love when you can see that people are happy with their whole heart. It portrays how sweet she was as a shop staff. Not to mention her style is super cute!

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I always love seeing nail color combinations I would have never thought of. Somehow the baby blue and red are successful. Maybe because of the pretty gold stickers on them?

She’s wearing the fabulous cross earrings that were an Amo produced item from EHyphen BonBon they’re such a great size. I also love their light jade color that isn’t quite mint but more of a mineral. It makes them seem a bit more jewelry style and weighty.