I am a huge advocate for wearing offbrand items, especially over the past couple of years when my favourite gyaru brands like DaTuRa closed down or completely changed their look (MA*RS, I’m looking at you…). Here are some of my favourite non-gyaru brands that can totally pass as gyaru, as well as some tips and tricks I use whenever I go (online) shopping!
Tips for going offbrand and using local brands for gyaru
So how do we know what to buy? Here are some tips when it comes to using local brands for gyaru.
1. Create outfit breakdowns
Grab an outfit that inspires you and break it down – like this!
This was something that I did a lot when I was a beginner gyaru and boy it really helped me to create gyaru-able clothes without brand items. It allowed me to study the overall aesthetic rather than focusing on the clothing label.
Okay let’s use this picture as another example:
Huge shoutout to my bby Kieli for this magazine scan! So we can break down this outfit into the following:
- Camouflage crop top
- Silver jewellery
- Black platform sandals (or wedge heel)
- Black belt
- Flared denim jeans
It’s so much easier than you think!
2. Take inspiration from gyaru models and magazine scans
This kind of ties in to my previous point but one of the best things you can do, especially as a newbie, is to replicate outfits shown in old magazine scans. EGG, Ranzuki and Popteen are perfect for this.
Speaking of EGG… The new EGG models wear a lot of clothes that can be easily adapted from local brands, so use them as inspiration!
3. Don’t limit to specific brands
Instead, focus on the overall aesthetic of the item. This will be a lot easier after you’ve done a bit of an outfit breakdown (as I’ve demonstrated above).
4. Always look in the “partywear” sections
Gyaru are the party girls of the Jfashion world, so always look in the partywear sections in online shops! They’re often very easy to adapt for gyaru. Things like neon in particular or any “loud” designs screams gyaru!
My Favourite Non-Gyaru Brands
Sooooo now that that part is out of the way, below are a few of my favourite non-gyaru (aka offbrand) brands!
Ah, boohoo, where do I start? I have more items from boohoo than I do from any other brand (including MA*RS which is a feat in itself). They always have some relatively gal-inspired items and did some really good animal print items this season. They ship items really quickly and it’s the first place I look when I go online shopping!
Quiz do really nice cocktail dresses – perfect for those inspired by kyabajo (hostess) style clothes! They’re also really good for onee gyaru and I have bought plenty of nice jumpers from there in the past.
Missguided is the second place I head to if I can’t find anything from boohoo, as their stuff is quite similar! I would say their clothes are better for those who like going out clubbing or partying as they have a sexier silhouette, which means it’s perfect for gyaru.
Miss Selfridge often releases items that are really good for himekaji, as the silhouettes are a lot softer and less-party-girl than other brands. The quality is pretty good, too! I used to buy a lot from there when I first started getting into himekaji.
Not a shop that I’ve bought from before, but a shop that some of my QueenE gals regularly buy from and I had to include it because everything is so darn cheap. Great if you’re trying to do gyaru on a budget! You might have to do a bit of digging to find something in their clothes range but their shoe range is amazing.
I have only just recently started purchasing from Pretty Little Thing, but I love how diverse their instagram feed is and they’ve done some great wardrobe pieces (I bought these zebra trousers from them!)
Offbrand Outfit Examples
Here are some examples of my offbrand gyaru outfits!
One last thing before I go – please remember that at the end of the day the makeup and hair are more important in gyaru, so don’t stress too much about needing to buy lots of new clothes to fit in. Work with what you have and focus on the overall gyaru look!