Gyaru style has a long history in Japanese fashion. Although it is most commonly known by the rendition that peaked in the 1990s, it has actually existed in different forms since the creation of its name in 1968. [1] At its height in the 1990s, the style was popular with music groups and actresses. The style is known for its rebellious outfits that went against popular Japanese beauty standards, such as tanned skin and big hair. Although old looks were extreme, the style became less extreme as time went on. [2]

Currently, the style is considered inactive due to an extreme decline in popularity, but the name is still well known and small groups of gyaru do still exist in Japan and around the world. [3]


The name gyaru (ギャル) comes from a Japanese transliteration of the English slang word 'gal'. The term originated from a Levi Jeans commercial with the slogan "Levi's for Gals". [4]

Style BasicsEdit

Gyaru has many substyles, and many different variations in what can be considered gyaru or not. However, across almost all styles, there are some basic features that help to define the term "gyaru". [5]

Clothing Edit

Generally, gyaru is a more sexy style. Although the type of styles can be sporty, cute, romantic, goth, or any other type of style imaginable, they generally feature clothing that flatters thin bodies and is figure-flattering. Some common aspects of clothing across all style is shorter skirt lengths and fashionable clothing that relates to modern trends.

Hairstyles Edit

Classic gyaru hairstyles are big hair, whether teased, curled, or with extensions. Generally, natural Western hair colors are most popular. Blonde and light brown hair colors are the most prominent. Although other colors, including unnatural colors, can also be seen in some substyles.

Accessories Edit

Gyaru accessories are numerous, but purposeful. Although gyarus may accessorize more than other fashion styles, they never overcrowd or overwhelm the outfit.

Popular accessories include long, false nails elaborately decorated with bright colors and charms. Arm warmers, bangles, necklaces, and stylish hats or hair clip have also been popular at one time or another.

Shoes Edit

Heels and platform shoes of all types are most popular across all types of gyaru. Some substyles will have flats or boots, but very rarely.

Makeup Edit

Gyaru makeup is essential to completing a gyaru look. The large eye look with false lashes and contact lenses is popular with gyaru, tanned skin is also popular in most style, and heavier makeup with more noticeable eyeshadow, colored lipsticks, and blush. The amount of makeup will vary from style to style, with more exaggerated styles using larger quantities of these things.

Lifestyle Edit

Gyaru has a lifestyle that has been attached to the style from the very beginning. Although not all gyaru will participate in all gyaru activities, most still remain popular with those who wear the style. The main aspects of the gyaru lifestyle are a focus on materialism, things such as having the newest phone to take selfies with, and reading magazines on the latest styles. Having a rebellious attitude is also common in gyaru.

Past gyaru activities have also included dancing parapara (パラパラ) to Eurobeat music or Jpop, and various types of gyaru slang, called gyaru-go have also existed throughout the years.

Another essential part to the gyaru lifestyle is hanging out with other gyaru, in what was called a "gal circle" (ギャルサークル). There were two types of types of gal circles during gyaru's height, nagasa (長さ) which were casual groups to hang out with each-other and ibesa (イベサ) which would plan, host, and have events with each-other. Nowadays with the decline in popularity of gyaru most gal circles have ceased meeting. However, there are still a few active gal circles, such as the Manba gyaru group "Black Diamond".

Brands & ShopsEdit

  • Alba Rosa
  • Cecil McBee
  • Coco*Lulu
  • DaTuRa
  • D.I.A.
  • GOLDS Infinty
  • Ghost of Harlem
  • Jesus Diamante
  • MA*RS
  • MarpleQ
  • ListenFlavour
  • Love Boat

Substyles Edit

Gyaru, because of its long history, has many substyles. Some are more extreme, such as Manba, while others could pass more as mainstream fashion, such as Bohemian gyaru. However, all of these styles hold true to the core aspects of gyaru style.


External LinksEdit

  1. thedressco - Gyaru
  2. Youtube user Hime Hime Star - Beginner Guide to Gyaru: History of Gal, and Wikipedia - Gyaru
  3. Information confirmed across many sources and from interviews with those in the Gyaru community, as well as lack of new information and pictures in Japan and abroad
  4. thedressco Cont.
  5. All sources Cont., and Yabai - Defining The Gyaru Girl: A Look Into Japan's Gyaru Culture
  6. Wikipedia - Gyaruo

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