It’s not unusual to search for clothes from Japan only to see that they are “one-size” – as in, “one size fits all”. Now we know that one size doesn’t really fit all, and that people come in all shapes and sizes which is why I wanted to have a chat with Danielle, co-leader of QueenE gyarusa, on her top tips on how to do gyaru for plus-size gals!
Hey Danielle! Thank you so much for joining me today. I wanna’ start how I start all of my interviews – what’s your gyaru story?
I found out about gyaru through my friend Cecelia, who wore lolita at the time, and she showed me hime gyaru. I fell in love but didn’t think I could ever do it! Then some lovely girls at Hyper Japan were offering makeovers and put lashes on me for the first time and I never looked back!
Aaah that’s so amazing! How long ago was that?
That was actually eight years ago! I’ve only really entered the gal comm about three or four years ago though.
Wow that’s quite a while ago – and hime gyaru was my introductory style, too! What made you fall in love with it?
I’d always loved princesses and very feminine elaborate outfits and it was the perfect way to be that princess. The coords I saw looked exactly how I would want to look in my imagination and I just felt like I needed to wear that style.
And how did you go about wearing it? Did you have any struggles being plus-size (especially with the whole “one size” thing)?
I did have a lot of struggles in the beginning. I couldn’t afford gal brand, and even if I could, even at my smallest I could never have worn La Pafait or Jesus Diamanté. I completely wrote hime gyaru off for a long time, I just accepted it would be impossible for me to wear. I did try other styles of gal that I could wear with different brands or offbrand clothes but my heart wasn’t in it. Eventually I realised the dresses I wanted to wear could be easily customised from offbrand dresses and once I’d made my first dress I never looked back.
Wow – that is so inspiring. I am so happy that you didn’t let the brands deter you from wanting to do what you love, especially in a Japanese fashion where models/shop staff have a certain body type. We need different body representations! So have you always known how to modify and create your own clothes or did you have to learn from scratch?
I think it really is important to remember that everyone deserves to look and feel beautiful in their body and I didn’t want to hold myself back just because of measurements! I actually am really terrible at sewing – I did Textiles for a while at school and my poor teacher despaired of me – but as I had been cosplaying for a while I had absorbed second-hand knowledge from friends who created their own costumes and were amazing seamstresses. My step-mum also knew a lot about sewing so she helped me out if I had any questions. The work I do is very basic and definitely not store quality but it does the job, and that’s all it needs to do for me. There are also hundreds of tutorials and YouTube videos that I watch when anything gets confusing.
Oooh that’s an absolutely brilliant idea! Especially when it comes to hime gyaru as it has a very set look. So let’s try and create a scenario here: there’s a new gaijin gyaru on the block who’s plus-size and really wants to get into gyaru. What kind of suggestions would you make for her?
If there was a new plus size gal entering the comm I’d probably suggest that she practice her makeup before anything else (I’d recommend this to any newbie), it has no size limits and you can get to grips with lashes and wear anything you want! After that, I’d suggest picking one substyle and narrowing down a few inspiration coordinates and then narrow THOSE down – for example, can you get a similar skirt online? Is there a shop in your town that sells shirts a little bit like that? After you’ve been in fashion a while it’s easy to build up your wardrobe, but when you’re beginning it’s fine to take it slow. And it saves spending lots of money on a style if you find out it’s not for you. And I’d advise them to always remember it’s attitude and make up that makes the gal, not the clothes!
Yessss I totally agree! Makeup ALWAYS comes first. And finding alternatives from local shops will be so much cheaper than buying Japanese brands… But what if they do want to buy Japanese brand?
If they do want to buy Japanese brands, I highly recommend looking for pieces that are over sized and double check the measurements, or find gals close to your size and see what they are wearing! I have pieces from Golds Infinity, d.i.a and Ghosts of Harlem that fit – Liz Lisa also does some plus-sized friendly clothing. Really I would just pay close attention to measurements.
Okay let’s quickly round up this post before we go; what are your top tips for plus-size gyaru?
- Don’t get too worried about clothing and brand – make up and attitude is where it’s at!
- If you want to wear any gal style, there are always ways to do it if you put your mind to it, whether it’s customising, offbrand or being savvy with your purchases
- Find some plus-sized inspiration – even outside of gal – and bring your own flavour to it
- Know that your size will never affect your gal-ness and you can inspire others too with your own gal style!
That’s so perfect! Gosh, thank you so much. Now quickly before you go – what’s your favourite dessert?
Ooh, my favourite dessert would be doughnuts!
What do you think? Are you plus size? What struggles do you face?
ShinMarch 23, 2020
I love this! Danielle always looks so on point ❤
hellolizziebeeMarch 29, 2020
Thanks so much! And she really does! <3
AmyMarch 24, 2020
Loved this post! Thank you for publishing! The ‘free size’ in Japanese clothes is super depressing 😥 ‘one size’ that barely fits anyone :’) but it’s soo cool that Danielle modifies her own clothes and she looks absolutely flawless- hair makeup and clothes are all on point ❤ ❤
hellolizziebeeMarch 29, 2020
Awh you’re very welcome! And gosh I know right? I wish they had more of a variety in clothes sizes…
I think the most important thing which Danielle has highlighted is how much she focussed on hair and makeup first before the clothes, and I think that’s what makes her look pop!
LenaMarch 25, 2020
I love this interview, and it’s so nice to get to know Danielle a little bit more! Definoteøy one of my gyaru inspirations ❤️❤️❤️
hellolizziebeeMarch 29, 2020
Awh thanks so much, Lena!
Lala 🌺March 28, 2020
Love this interview so much!! Danielle has been one of my fave gyaru to follow since I got back into the style 💖 Hope we can see even more plus sized gyaru join the comm in the future 😍❤❤❤
hellolizziebeeMarch 29, 2020
She’s such an inspiration! And thank you so much <3 I really hope so, too!
KaeApril 11, 2020
This post was so helpful and encouraging!! I’ve been really into Gyaru for some years now, my favorite style being Hime Gal, but never really thought I could pull it off as I am plus sized too. Gonna start working on my makeup during quarantine now haha ♡
B.B.June 19, 2021
I looked up “plus size gyaru” and this is what popped up! This post is old but I hope you see it anyway!
I’m a baby gyaru and I’m a size 16/18 US and 5’10. It’s hard for me as it is to find clothes, much less gyaru-type clothes. I’d love to get full into gyaru but it’s so difficult because I’ll feel like the odd one out.
I read in some old anon gyaru confessions the other day that were calling out plus size and gaijin gyaru and calling them whales 😦 It made me scared because I want to get into blogging and gyaru soooo bad but I’m also a people pleaser. I want to be true to myself but also want to be good for others, you know?
But thankfully, this post gave me a lot of confidence and makes me want to go full into gyaru! I think I might try it out soon. Thank you for this post. I’ve been lurking on your blog and watching your videos for the last week and I’ve been obsessed!!!
hellolizziebeeJune 19, 2021
Hey cutie pie! Awh I’m so so glad that you’ve decided to just go ahead because honestly gyaru is such an amazing fashion! And ignoring all of the haters and doing what you love is very gyaru-esque. I can’t wait to see you grow ❤️ feel free to drop me a DM or something if you ever get stuck! And thank you so much for such a lovely comment xx
cony!!September 26, 2021
loved this interview so much! i’m considering getting into gyaru but was sad that i wasn’t as thin as everyone, but this inspired me so much, thank you!!