Tokyo's streets are world-renowned for being as fashionable as catwalks. From launching the influence of the bold Harajuku aesthetic to inspiring the emergence of androgynous fashion as a subculture even prior to its popularity in the West, Tokyo street style has been a massive contributor to the fashion scene for years. It's also undeniably growing traction even more by means of social media.
Even the expansion of Japanese fast fashion brands like Uniqlo, BAPE, Comme des Garçons and more in the global market is just one of the many manifestations of the world's growing fascination and interest with the fashion popularised by the Land of the Rising Sun's capital. But how exactly do you capture the edge and appeal of Tokyo street style and incorporate it into your own wardrobe? Browse ahead as we share style notes from Japanese influencers on how to channel Tokyo Street Style's avant-garde vibe flawlessly.
Choose your vibe and feel free to experiment
Unlike other fashionable cities with its distinct elements — say New York posh or Parisian chic — Tokyo street style is well-known for embracing maximalist fashion. Every style subculture has a story or an origin, making it edutaining above all else. Two common aesthetics adapted globally are the Kei (genderless style like Nakayama Satsuki's) and the Lolita (Victorian and Edwardian-inspired style as sported by Rinrindoll) subcultures but there's definitely a lot more to explore.
Shoes are a big deal
Tokyo's a massive city and it takes a lot of commuting and walking just to go around. With that, a trusty pair of kicks is a major necessity. But how does one find comfort when maintaining a certain statement style? It seems like the city's fashionistas, like Crystal Toto a.k.a. Churrochaser, found the solution in varying styles of platforms or combat boots. Not only do they provide a vertical lift, chunky soles, no matter how simple the style, ties in a look together while standing out on its own. It complements both a casual or a well-constructed outfit without looking too out-of-place or leaving the ensemble looking unfinished and lacking, making it a more versatile choice than something with a flatter heel.
Minimalism takes a turn
Japan is known for their minimalist lifestyle, but it completely takes a 180-degree turn in definition when it comes to Tokyo street style. Minimalist looks in this aspect mean coordinating your elements and colour palette to a certain degree. From toning down bold makeup, diminishing too many layers, or exaggerated fashion elements like extreme cut-outs or over-accessorising. Still, it inspires the use of print and patterns that are complementary to the look, much like elevating your daily casuals to still make a statement. Just take it from designer and rapper Kaichi Suzuki to show you how it's done.
Don't be afraid to show off your DIY alterations
While a lot of brands all over Tokyo make for great sartorial sources, nothing still beats the vision of the actual wearer. Many Tokyo street style patrons, influencers or not, love showing off pieces that are tweaked and elevated by their very own hands. They're not very particular about perfecting stitches or measurements but focus more on how you're owning your style. Take notes from influencer Chibisuke, who made a familiar handkerchief design ready for the catalogues by being incorporated in a cut-out crop-top with extra long sleeves.
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