A substyle is a minor style that falls under a large umbrella style. These styles still follow a larger style and are not unique enough to be considered their own style. A substyle can be created when a style is unique or of a different nature than what is considered normal for the style it originated from. Substyles are also formed when a style is split into two or more minor styles based on color, theme or other aspects.

Some styles may have a large number of substyles whereas other styles may not have any.

(This page is incomplete! If you see a missing substyle, please add it here!)

Ametora[edit | edit source]

Ametora, or American Traditional is not a style in its own right, but rather describes any Japanese fashion that emulates American, and occasionally British or other western countries, fashions. It originally applied only to Japanese Preppy, but is used in a much broader context today. [1]

Cult Party Kei[edit | edit source]

Cult Party Kei only has one official substyle, and it is closely related to the original style.

Decora[edit | edit source]

Decora substyles are very closely tied to the original style, and feature small variations.

Girly Styles[edit | edit source]

A number of styles fall under the "girly" umbrella. They are tied together by their "cute" styles, but have many differences between them.[2]

Gothic Fashions[edit | edit source]

Just as there are many variations of gothic fashion within the western world, there are many Japanese fashions that also have a darker color scheme, or a darker twist.

Gyaru Substyles[edit | edit source]

Gyaru substyles all fall closely under the Gyaru title, and are more different trends within the style than actual distinct styles in their own right.

Kawaii Fashions[edit | edit source]

Kawaii (可愛い/かわいい), or "cute," fashions are various styles focused around a childish, cute aesthetic. These styles will feature brighter or pastel color palettes, as well as cute characters and motifs.

Lolita Substyles[edit | edit source]

Lolita substyles come in three variations: established, unestablished, and crossover.[3]

Established substyles are the three big names of Lolita substyles. These styles have a strong consensus and recognition behind them both in Japan and internationally.

Unestablished styles are generally still recognized as substyles or microstyles, but some believe they are simply themes within the three larger substyles. Certain substyles are considered less viable than others depending on the person or community's personal feelings and geographical location.

Crossover Lolita substyles are simply lolita coordinates inspired by various other styles and trends, or styles loosely tied to Lolita.

Otome is also sometimes considered to be a substyle of Lolita, as well as being its own style.

Natural Fashion Styles[edit | edit source]

Natural fashion substyles are generally styles that also have a focus on natural fashion. Some are considered their own style outright as well as a substyle, while others are directly tied to mori kei or other fashions.

"Sickly Cute" Styles[edit | edit source]

Sickly Cute styles share a focus on "taboo" topics like mental health, as well as a focus on a "cute-sick" makeup style.

Visual Kei[edit | edit source]

Visual kei has various substyles, many of which are their own established styles as well as substyles.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. You can find more about Ametora here and here.
  2. "What is Girly Fashion? (translated title)" myNAVI. October 15, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2021 from
  3. You can learn more about Lolita substyles here.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.