After a few years dressing Gyaru and trying to incorporate it in the best way possible to my lifestyle, I discovered and tried Himekaji for the first time and that made me connect with my cute and princessy self for the first time.
Since then there was no turning back so today I want to share with you all my love for the style and all you need to know to incorporate it in your life too!
What is "Himekaji"?
Himekaji (姫カジ), as the name in Japanese says, means Hime (princess) + Kaji (casual). So it’s basically the Gyaru substyle where gals dress as daily princesses with casual but cute outfits full of ruffles, lace, ribbons… All things cute!
It’s not known how it was born, the Himekaji boom was around 2008 ~ 2012 and since then and thanks to the Larme magazine, this substyle grew exponentially as its own, leaving Gyaru behind.
But if we want to talk about brands, we could say the oldest Himekaji brand is Liz Lisa and it was born just before the 2000s so it’s been a long way for Himekaji until now and there’s been many eras and trend shifters along the way.
Anatomy of a Himekaji Gal
Let’s start with makeup, because there’s not one specific way to do your makeup as in Manba or Yamanba. For Himekaji, as long as your makeup is Gyaru, that’s perfect! However some things you should take in consideration to make your look cuter could be:
- Intense pink blush
- Nude to pink lip gloss
- Dolly eyelashes up and down
- Rounder eye shape with no cat eyeliner.
I remember I started with softer looks and more natural lashes, however lately I’ve been enjoying more dramatic eye makeup with intense glittery eye bags and my red lipstick trademark. I could say that with the years and once you develop your personal style, you will be able to make it work with your favorite styles.
Then we have hair, and as in general Gyaru rule: The bigger, the better. Curls and waves with accessories like ribbons or hats are the favorites in the style. In the past it was really common to have huge curls with loose hair, however there are way more options now. Pony tails, piggy tails, loose braids or huge buns are amazing options you can decorate with accessories.
And now let’s talk about the most important thing of all: Clothes. Just like the key point in Yamanba is the makeup, here it’s the clothes. We could say we have 2 main types of co*des if you’re thinking about starting your Himekaji wardrobe: Dresses (OPs and JKS) and blouses with skirts.
However there are plenty of shorts, maxi dresses, maxi blouses with bloomers, vests, coats and all the extra layers you can imagine to complete your coordinates. The important thing is to have an eye on Himekaji details as: Ribbons, ruffles, floral prints, fuwa fuwa (fluffy) and knitted elements, charms and more in the main colors: White, ivory, camel, baby pink and more recently denim.
Where to find Himekaji brands?
First things first, you should start with the Himekaji holy trinity: Liz Lisa, DreamV (now Dear My Love) and Ank Rouge. Those three used to be the top old-school Himekaji brands. And for this it is important to know that when we talk about old-school Himekaji, we’re talking about Gyaru. And when we talk about the current one, then it’s not Gyaru anymore.
In the past those three were the brands that lead the Himekaji trends, runways and models. However now that Himekaji is not Gyaru anymore, but has become even more popular, we have many more brands you can wear too with the correct styling, hair and makeup. Brands like: Swankiss, Evelyn, Lodispotto, Honey Cinnamon and MonLily.
All those brands have their online shops and Instagram accounts to share every new release and news. However you can find second-hand items on Mercari, Fril or Yahoo Auctions too. I highly recommend you to look around second-hand items if you’re going for a Gyaru aesthetic. However sometimes it’s hard to find some discontinued items, so in those cases Taobao could be a good option for replicas too.
My three tips to acquire the style
Here I’ll share with you my top three tips to achieve a recognizably Himekaji Gyaru look.
- Go all the way with your makeup. It’s a common misconception to believe Himekaji has one of the most natural makeup looks. However you should remember: It’s natural for Gyaru, not for the rest of the world. So don’t hesitate and go 100% with your makeup. It’s easier to tone down once you know how to work with your face, rather than trying to go up feeling there’s always something that feels off.
- Don’t forget your hair. Something that never goes wrong is curling your hair. Overnight braids, buns, an iron, or many other techniques to get different curl patterns. They won’t let you down. You add a hat or some hair clips and you’re done and ready to not go out.
- Keep it coquettish! The main difference between Himekaji Gyaru and the current one is that now Himekaji looks passive and innocent. It wasn’t like that in the past. Remember Gyaru is wild, rebellious and sexy. Even in Himekaji, we would achieve a cute look with a flirtatious and coquettish feel on it. So always keep that in mind.