Fairy Kei is a kawaii and pastel based style, heavily inspired by 80s pop fashion. The style is closely related to the popular brand SPANK!. [1][2]

Fairy kei is often confused with Decora, Pop Kei, and sometimes Sweet Lolita.

Name[edit | edit source]

Fairy kei (フェアリー系) loosely translates to “fairy-style." It is assumed the name refers to the fairy-like aesthetic of the pastel color scheme and cutesy motifs. However, the origin of the name is unknown. [2] 

History[edit | edit source]

Fairy kei has a long history before its official creation. As early as the 1990s, designers like Sebastian Masuda and Sayuri Tabuchi were curating second-hand and designer stores catering to similar styles to fairy kei. These trends toward the aesthetic grew greatly at the opening of SPANK! in 2004, and jumpstarted the creation of fairy kei fashion. [2]

Although fairy kei is closely tied to SPANK! fashion, the creator of SPANK! sees the two as separate, and considers Pop Kei to be a better reflection of the store's actual style. [3]

Style Basics[edit | edit source]

Fairy kei is focused on creating a cute and vintage look. Specifics for that look are very broad, with no particular silhouette or strict rules. However, there are a few things that remain constant throughout all aspects of the style. [2][4][5]

Color Scheme[edit | edit source]

The style is mostly based around muted pastels and no dark or overly bright colors are used. Color schemes are always light, and pastels are always included. Whites may be used as well to offset the amount of color used, but entirely pastel coordinates are acceptable as well. Popular colors are pastel pink, baby blue, lavender, mint, and light yellow.

Pop Culture[edit | edit source]

Fairy kei is features 80s revivalist cartoons and motifs such as My Little Pony, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, vintage 80s Barbie, etc. The look is very much a ‘fantasy style’, emulating the worlds of 80s girls’ cartoons and early shoujo manga.

Clothing[edit | edit source]

There are no requirements on what type of clothing to wear for fairy kei. However, clothing is usually loose and cute. Traditionally sexy clothing, or form-fitting clothing, is generally discouraged. Popular items are tulle skirts and petticoats, pastel tights (such as you would see in sweet lolita), oversized sweaters and t-shirts, or a-line dresses, and puffy bloomer shorts. Popular motifs of moons on clothing include stars, polka dots, sweets, teddy bears, unicorns, and hearts. Lots of different patterns, details, and colors are also often combined for a more interesting look.

Shoes[edit | edit source]

Any pastel shoe can work for fairy kei, but popular choices are pastel sneakers and boots, such as Doc Martins, rocking-horse shoes, high heels occasionally, and mary janes or tea party shoes.

Accessories[edit | edit source]

Accessories are cute and plentiful in fairy kei. However, they are not as abundant as in Decora. Bows and cute clips are popular. Bunched socks, leg warmers, painted cute nails, cute bracelets, rings, and necklaces, vintage lunchboxes, cute backpacks, and plush purses are also popular.

Hairstyles[edit | edit source]

Pastel-colored hair or natural hair colors are both used in fairy kei. Bangs, ponytails, buns, and twin buns are popular hairstyles. Wigs are popular instead of dying your hair, as well as extensions. 

Makeup[edit | edit source]

Minimal makeup is used in fairy kei. The large eye look with light makeup is most popular, with small amounts of blush or lipgloss.

Brands & Shops[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

  1. "Pastel Pop Darlings: The Fairy-Kei Guide." Parfaitdoll. March 8, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20191130223039/http://www.parfaitdoll.com/2011/03/pastel-pop-darlings-the-fairy-kei-guide.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "What Is Fairy Kei." Little Miss Wonderland. February 3, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2020 from https://littlemisswonderland.com/what-is-fairy-kei/
  3. "Spank! - Japanese "80s Pop Disco" Fashion in Tokyo." Tokyo Fashion. November 16, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2020 from http://tokyofashion.com/spank-japanese-fashion-brand/
  4. "Kawaii-B All About: Fairy Kei." Kawaii-B. August 30, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2020 from http://kawaiibuk.blogspot.com/2014/08/kawaii-b-all-about-fairy-kei.html
  5. Malin. "Fairy Kei Japanese Fashion Style Guide." Mookychick. November 20, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2020 from https://www.mookychick.co.uk/indie-fashion/japanese/fairy-kei-japanese-fashion.php

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