10 Japanese fashion flops

10 Japanese fashion flops

Wherever fashion goes, faux pas follow. Here is a collection of Tokyo’s doozies

Compared to the hey-days of FRUiTS magazine, Japanese fashion has calmed down considerably. Ganguro and yamamba have gone back to their mountain huts, leaving the watered-down gyaru in their wake.

That doesn’t mean the streets are safe from missteps though. Here are 10 that persist:

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionThese hosts are not here to please your sartorial whims.

1. The 'host' look

Slim, polyester suit, check. Silver pendant necklace, check. Fluffy fried hair and M-shaped bangs, check. It’s a pandemic of vampiric proportions!

Just ignore it, and perhaps they will stop feeding on the streets and fade into legend.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionSomeone get these shoes into the ER!

2. Shoes beyond repair

Despite all of the walking that is a necessity in Tokyo, many women insist on wearing stiletto heels, running the rubber down to the nails.

And shoe repair is apparently passé; they are more wont to wobble around like a pigeon all day.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionThe eyes? The better to see you with, my dear.

3. Ringed color contacts

These contacts add an extra millimeter or two to the size of one’s iris, creating the look of a bigger eye that maybe-kinda-sorta looks OK in anime cosplay circles.

Unfortunately, talking face to face with someone wearing these is like talking to a creepy, talking doll: It’s impossible to tell if the person is looking at you, around you, or even right through you.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionDroop is in, and we’re not just talking about granny dresses.

4. Tare-me (droopy eyes)

In the continuing quest for doll-like eyes, the gyaru and lolitas alike have perfected a system of placing fake lashes so far down on their bottom lids that it appears their eyes are melting at the corners.

Well, at least Dali would be appreciative.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionNail fail.

5. Glamour nails

Some of the fake nails we see on women of the gyaru persuasion are so excessive, so blinged out, and so over the top, they should each come with their own serial numbers and security guard.

One can tell the difference between an OL and a hostess by how razzle-dazzle their nails are; you know those girls aren’t typing on a keyboard anytime soon.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionIt’s too much effort to put the shoe on all the way?

6. Flat tires

When a toddler can’t put on their shoes properly, flopping them about, it’s adorable.

When middle and high-school students do the same thing, it’s considered lazy. Boys, we’re looking at you too. D for effort.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionEngrish T-shirts may be the least of this man’s sartorial problems.

7. Engrish shirts

We know this is beating a dead horse, but could this die already? Every single person has a mobile phone which is connected to the Internet or has a dictionary built right in. 

Simply look up the words before buying something that makes you look like a dunce!

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionFuroku’s are the new Louis Vuitton. Everyone has one.

8. Furoku bag

A furoku is a free gift that comes with the purchase of a magazine or catalog.

The Cher (that’s “shell”) brand furoku bag in particular is carried by so many women it has become the new Louis Vuitton. Except this one will end up in the trash in a year.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionShe could have easily stepped off a wilderness exploration en route to the conbini.

9. Mori girl

With the sweet wash of nostalgia and touch of natural bohemia, the “mori” (forest) girl look is sometimes cute.

And with the discolored macramé vests, ill-advised layering and dusty accessories, the mori girl look sometimes teeters into obaachan cat-lady territory.

gyaru culture, host clubs, Tokyo fashionSkirts are in, so gender determination from behind is going to be moot.

10. Skirting with faux-pas

The new thing from Harajuku are the cool men who fancy themselves a skirt or two to wear with their holier-than-thou attitude.

Well boys, be our guest, but if you’re going to wear them you must suffer along with the women: now go home and shave, lotion and tan those caveman legs!


Misha Janette is a fashion reporter, stylist and translator who runs the fashion commentary site, Frivolite. She is a graduate of Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College.
Read more about Misha Janette