Pop kei is an 80s inspired fashion style popularized by the aesthetic of the clothing store SPANK! in Harajuku. The style first gained widespread popularity soon after the store's opening in 2004. [1]

The style is similar to, and often confused with, Decora and Fairy Kei.

Name Edit

The name pop kei refers to the pop culture inspirations from the 1980s that are prevalent in the style. It is also said to mean the way the brightly colored clothing "pop's" on an outfit.

The style is also known as spank fashion, named after the store. Some say the two terms are separate styles, but spank fashion has never been documented or developed enough as its own term to carry its own fashion style, and so the two are often intertwined. [2]

History Edit

Pop 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 the fashion. [3]

Both pop kei and fairy kei are considered to have come from SPANK!, but the creator of spank considers pop kei to be a more accurate representation of the shop's style. [4]

Style Basics Edit

Pop Kei is focused on creating a cute and vintage look. Specifics for that look are very broad, with no particular silhouette or strict rules, even broader than its similar style Fairy Kei. However, there are some similarities and trends across the style. [5]

Color Schemes Edit

The color scheme of pop kei is what sets it apart from its similar style, fairy kei. Where fairy kei is exclusively pastels, pop kei includes both pastels, as well as neons and blacks accents. Bright colors and pastels, as well as black, are often mixed in the same outfit, creating a darker or more vibrant look.

Clothing Edit

Prints are very popular in pop kei. Things such as clouds, stars, and other 80s inspired prints are used in abundance, often with many prints being used in the same outfit. 80s characters are also popular, with characters like Care Bears, My Little Pony, Sailor Moon, Barbie, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, and Popples often being used.

Like fairy kei, pop kei is loose and cute, not sexy. Popular clothing items include jean jackets, boots, tututs, t-shirts, leggings, sporty trainers, baseball caps, and bomber jackets.

Accessories Edit

Bows and cute clips are popular in pop kei. Bunched socks, leg warmers, painted cute nails, cute bracelets, rings, and necklaces, vintage lunchboxes, cute backpacks, and plush purses are also popular.

Hairstyles Edit

Colored hair in bright colors is very popular in pop kei. Colors like bright blue and pink, or pastels, are commonly seen. Natural hair is also sometimes used, but with less frequency. Popular hairstyles include bangs, ponytails, buns, and twin buns.

Makeup Edit

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

Brands & Shops Edit

As the clothing store SPANK! created the style, it is the most popular brand with those who wear it. Anything from the store could be used for pop kei.

Gallery Edit

External Links Edit

  1. Tokyo Fashion - Spank! – Japanese “80s Pop Disco” Fashion in Tokyo
  2. Cont. and Kawaii-B - All About: Pop Kei Style!
  3. Tokyo Fashion Cont.
  4. Cont.
  5. All Sources Cont., and Glitter Puffs - How to wear SPANK!/Pop Kei Fashion~, and Kawaii-B - All About: Fairy Kei
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