I can’t really remember how I started gyaru, but I made so many mistakes at the beginning! This helped me to grow my gyaru style and even though I think “wow I was such a mess”, I actually treasure those moments because of the amount of love and support I received. If it wasn’t for those who helped guide me on my gyaru journey, I wouldn’t even be here. So now it’s my turn to be here for you! Here’s a lil’ step-by-step guide on how to get started in gyaru fashion.
Study the history of gal
I’ve written a brief history of gal here, but you can know more about the wonderful fashion of gyaru through this YouTube series my friend Heather put together along with other gaijin gyaru (including myself!) Even if you don’t know it word for word, it’s good to have a brief overview of the fashion and how it came to be, as us gyaru still retain the original rebellious vibe of going against the norm and to “get wild and be sexy!”
Learn of the different substyles
One of the things that makes gyaru so amazingly versatile is the numerous substyles it has. You can go for a sweet look such as himekaji or something a bit more outrageous like manba, and it’ll still be gal! Don’t feel pressured to find ‘your style’ right away – this comes with experimenting and trying out different outfits, to see which one reflects you the most (although kudos to those who find their style almost immediately!). So take time to learn of the different substyles and what differentiates them from each other.
Look up old magazine scans, instagram and TokyoFashion for inspo
This is quite a tricky one, as I used to suggest downloading them from Zasshiko, but it seems like their download links don’t exist anymore which isn’t very helpful, is it? But there are still old magazine scans floating around on the internet that you could use for inspiration, and I’d recommend looking out for EGG magazine as their outfits are a lot more wearable. TokyoFashion is an amazing website where they’ve stored all of their street snaps, and there’s a section specifically on Shibuya where you can spot some amazing gyaru there! I’d also check out some gyaru instagram accounts such as Sakurina, Chie and Chika, as well as EGG.
Create a moodboard of your favourite images
During your search for old magazine scans and insta photos, put them all together in a moodboard for some gyaru inspo! I do this a lot when I try to figure out my gyaru style (as it changes all of the time) and it really helps me get inspired when I’m feeling low! I have started saving gyaru inspo on my Pinterest board as I’ve ditched my tumblr account.
Practice gyaru makeup (+ buy those lashes!)
The makeup is the most important thing about gyaru; without it, you’re not gyaru. So buy a pair of false lashes (either from somewhere local like Primark or online) and try them out! I’ve written a lil’ blog post on where you can buy false lashes that are perfect for gal here. Key tip – do not go for onee gyaru makeup, as those are normally reserved for gyaru who have done it for a very long time. The more dramatic the makeup, the better, especially when you’re just starting out. You can always tone down later when you’re more experienced.
Experiment with gyaru hairstyles
It’s important to know how to curl your hair, as quite a lot of gyaru hairstyles are based on this. The curlier, the better! I’ve shared a few easy gyaru hair tutorials and I use these 90% of the time!
Put together your first gyaru coord
It doesn’t really matter what you wear – as long as you have the gyaru makeup and hair done, then you are gyaru, but it does help to put together some ‘gyaru coords’. Take inspiration from the old magazines and instagram pictures you’ve gathered in the previous step to create some new outfits with the items you already have in your wardrobe (or buy new clothes if you have the budget for it). At this point you probably would’ve already chosen your gyaru style, but no worries if you haven’t as it’s good to try out as many styles as you can in the beginning so that you can determine which is more you. Tip – I wouldn’t suggest jumping straight to brand as you’d want to develop a good eye to putting coordinates together.
Join the online gal community
When you’re ready, join us online! Our ‘home’ is in Sekai No Gyarusa, a Facebook specifically for gyaru! Here you can share your outfits and selfies, much like the older generation of gals used to do via everyday_gyaru on livejournal, and get advice from fellow gaijin gyaru. It’s a closed group though as it’s exclusive for those who are into gyaru, and we also have an Amino board where we like to hang out. If those two aren’t your cup of tea, then there’s always instagram! You can be sure to find us through the gyaru hashtag, and here’s my insta profile if you wanna’ connect on there.
Post your first pic of you in gal!
The best way to learn is to post a picture of you in gal, and get advice from other gyaru through Facebook groups or Amino. I learnt so much by doing this, especially when it came to my outfits! It’ll help boost your confidence as well so that you’re ready to wear gal in the outside world.
Optional – Watch ‘Super Gals’ (or read the manga)
Gals! (aka Super Gals! anime) is a staple gyaru manga, and it teaches you about the true meaning of what it is to be gyaru. Ran Kotobuki is iconic, and her fierce nature and amazing sense of style makes her Shibuya’s number one gyaru! I would always recommend it to those who haven’t watched this because it gives you so many good vibes afterwards. You can read it online through sites like Manga Rock.
And don’t forget to have fun!
One of the most important things in gyaru is your gyaru spirit, so while it’s good to know how to do your makeup, it’s also important that you enjoy gal and have fun while doing it!
You can also get this as a download checklist to make it easier! Click the image below to claim it.
And there you have it! If you have any more questions or if you’re stuck, feel free to drop me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Good luck!