Hey cutie! How are you? Today I wanted to do a little himekaji Q&A with you! I recently asked my friends over on my sns to ask me questions related to this style, and I had a lot of amazing feedback from it which makes me so happy as I absolutely love talking about himekaji. It also means that this is going to be quite a big post so I’ve included a little list so that you can click to see the answers you’re most interested in. I also did a YouTube video about this if you wanna watch it at the bottom of the post!
Okay, let’s go! Here’s everything you need to know about himekaji…
What are the basic must-have items for himekaji?
Here’s what immediately comes to mind when I think of basic must-have items:
- White/cream sweater
- Brown boots for Winter
- White/cream heels
- Frilly ankle socks
- Brown over-the-knee socks for Winter
- Cute white/cream bag
- A layered white/cream tulle skirt
If you want to go for a more old-school himekaji vibe, then UGGs work perfectly as well. Jewellery-wise, I would recommend going for pearls and delicate-looking jewellery. Can be in either gold or silver! I personally love things with “girly” details like flowers and hearts. And then for hair accessories I’d go for bows (although I prefer pompoms but that’s a personal preference!)
Most common elements of himekaji makeup?
Deeeefinitely the pink blusher! The limit does not exist when it comes to how much blusher you put on. The lashes are also very important (because it is a gyaru style, after all!) and softer eye makeup made up of shimmery browns is popular amongst himekaji gals.
Himekaji gyaru brands other than Liz Lisa?
Ank Rouge, Axes Femme, Tralala’s Penderie, Bobon21, Candy Rain and DreamV (Dear My Love).
… Okay, what about non-Japanese brands?
There aren’t really any brands that give off specific himekaji vibes to me, so what I usually look for the overall aesthetic rather than a brand. For example, in my first big himekaji haul I did, I bought a lot of stuff from local brands. You can find himekaji pieces anywhere in Spring/Summer because a lot of local stores release floral patterns and cute blouses. Winter is a bit harder but still possible, especially for basic items i.e. cable knit jumpers, plaid trousers, fluffy skirts etc.
Do you think it’s the hair and makeup styling of the LL (Liz Lisa) girls that makes them not gyaru? Or do you think the new clothing releases wouldn’t work with himekaji?
PHEW, BOY. Okay so this is a topic I’m very passionate about.
So it’s kind of both reasons, really. Hair and makeup is so important to the overall gyaru aesthetic and without them you’re really lacking in the gyaru look. Liz Lisa has now lost that fun and sexy vibe it used to have back in early 2010s, which really made it a gyaru style. Skirts and dresses are a lot longer nowadays (near to knee length) and there’s that overall…. Well, timidness to the appearance which is the complete opposite of gyaru.
But I’m not saying that all Liz Lisa pieces wouldn’t work. You’ve just got to properly style them in a gyaru way (if you are going for the gyaru look that is). I wrote a lil’ blog post about how the meaning of “himekaji” itself has changed now which very much focuses on this topic.
How do you balance the voluminous silhouette?
I usually look for pieces that are either elasticated on the bottom to create that “bubble” effect… I don’t know what the proper term for it is haha or has many layers but at different lengths. This is the main reason I prefer Japanese brands to UK brands – I find in skirts, for example, that even if they have loads of layers they’re at the same length so it doesn’t really create that puffy and cute effect I want.
What are your favourite colour combos for himekaji?
White, creams, and browns! Honestly I absolutely love wearing it in autumn purely because of these colours.
Is himekaji popular in Japan?
One of my friend’s very kindly answered this question and unfortunately – no. Himekaji isn’t worn by anyone other than shop staff.
When did you start dressing in himekaji? And how did you find out about the style?
Himekaji was one of the first gyaru styles that I found after my failed attempt at Lolita back in 2010. I remember seeing a picture of Yui Kanno in this beautiful floral dress and really wanted to dress like that, but at the time I didn’t really have any money and options to buy gyaru brand were quite limited. Gosh, that takes me back! Since then I’ve been in-and-out of himekaji and it’s always had a special place in my heart, but now I’m determined to be a himekaji gyaru!
Do you often run into people’s misconceptions based on himekaji being very princess-like and assumptions surrounding that?
My friend has gone on to say: “e.g. people often tell me they were intimidated by me at first despite also saying that I have a friendly expression, or assuming that I spend a lot of money.”
Yep, the fact that all himekaji gals have a lot of money is a biiiig stereotype, and my friend Cheerie is not the first person I’ve heard who has received comments like this. I would say that it is a huge lie but to be honest… Liz Lisa is super expensive (brand new, that is) so it’s no wonder that we have that misconception. But regardless of whether or not himekaji is expensive – it’s none of their business what you spend your money on!
Another good ol’ stereotype that we used to have (and probably still do) is that we’re really sweet and kind… Or absolute bitches behind people’s back haha.
But whatever, I don’t really care what strangers think. So I’d pay them no mind!
Is there a himekaji personality like there is a gyaru personality?
This is kinda’ linked to my previous point but himekaji gals are often sweeter and cuter and not as wild as the other gyaru counterparts. I guess himekaji gals are very similar to hime gyaru in that sense and it’s probably to do with the princess-like appearance. But, again, that might just be a stereotype.
Who was the first gyaru to create this style?
I can’t say for sure who was the first gyaru, but models such as Okarie, Kumicky and Yui Kanno (who wore a lot of Liz Lisa) definitely made it popular. They were featured heavily in Popteen in 2007-2010 onwards, as well as other magazines such as Skawaii. Liz Lisa as a brand definitely boosted sales, and it’s one of the very few gyaru brands that still exists today (as looking cute is a huge thing over in Japan).
Any himekaji bedroom ideas?
Go for things like cute florals and general cutesy girly vibes! Liz Lisa have done a couple of bedroom ideas and I would also recommend looking up Romantic Princess (roma_pri on insta). Just think: what would a princess’ room look like? And do that!
Other than old magazine scans, where do you find inspiration?
Blog posts! I spend a lot of time scrolling through Liz Lisa blogs and other gyaru blogs for inspiration. Sadly there aren’t many active ones anymore so I tend to spend hours just trawling through google to look for pictures haha.
What are the best hair colours for himekaji?
Lighter colours such as caramel blondes and light browns! Obviously you can rock it with darker hair colours (I mean… I’m a dark brunette… So….) but lighter colours would just look better.
How do you make wearing heels comfortable all day long?
I’ll be honest… I don’t really wear heels unless it’s for photos haha, and I think the same applies to a lot of people (not just himekaji!) I know that in the influencer world, most people would take photos in their heels and then immediately swap to flat shoes.
But I guess that answer really isn’t that helpful, so I would recommend going for more platform styles and go for a softer, maybe even padded, insole. I would also recommend going for shoes that have quite a tall platform in the front so that there’s less of a height difference between that and the heel. Also, it is a lot easier to walk in heels with a thicker, well, heel than a thin stiletto. (gosh that was a lot of “heels”…)
What tips would you give to a beginner?
DO YOUR RESEARCH. Honestly, Pinterest is my best friend, and I loooove saving lots and lots of himekaji inspo! The more inspiration you have, the better. If it helps, copy outfits until you get the general idea of the himekaji aesthetic. I would also suggest not to jump straight into brand but to instead try to imitate looks using local brands… Only buy brand when you’re definitely set on himekaji. Because you don’t want to buy a lot of stuff only to lost interest 6 months later!
And there we have it!
I have to admit… I am pretty exhausted after that tehe, but I hope it answers all of your questions! Please let me know if there’s anything else you’re stuck on.