Quick Guide: Becoming A Lolita Harajuku Girl In Tokyo, Japan

Gwen Stefani with Harajuku Girls during Gwen Stefani Visits MTV's ''TRL'' - December 10, 2004 at MTV Studios, Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Gwen Stefani with Harajuku Girls (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

If you asked me 10 years ago, why I’d want to go to Tokyo, Japan, the answer would definitely be, “to be a Harajuku Girl!”. To be honest, 10 years ago I didn’t know much about Tokyo or Japan. I could tell you that it’s in Asia (duh), that that’s where sushi comes from and where Hello Kitty was born and that they have Harajuku girls there because Gwen Stefani said so.

When I visited Tokyo, I knew that if there was one single thing I HAD TO DO, it was to become a Harajuku Girl and I found the perfect place to do it, Maison de Julietta, but I’ll get to that in a minute. All I can say is that it was one heck of an experience and I couldn’t stop laughing at myself the whole time. I kinda felt like 30 going on 13, but I also think you’re never too old to play dress up, especially not in Tokyo.

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harajuku girl gwen - hofit kim cohen

What exactly is a Harajuku Girl?

First off, let me clarify something, there seems to be a confusion on what a Harajuku girl is, the term Harajuku isn’t used in Japan as a way of dressing. Harajuku is an actual fashion district in Tokyo, Japan. The real term is a “Lolita”. So if you want to become a “Harajuku Girl”, you really want to become a Lolita and shop at Harajuku for your outfit or if you want to find “Harajuku Girls” you go to Harajuku and you’ll find Lolitas. Gweny, Gwen Gwen got us all confused. So I guess for now I’ll call it both since we are so used to calling it a Harajuku Girl.

I think the best way to describe what a Harajuku Lolita is, is by showing photos because it’s definitely not something normal to describe. Here, look below! 😉

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Lolita’s are girls who dress up in Victorian style dresses with a similar twist of what a doll would wear by wearing dresses and over accessorizing and somehow it works pretty well for them because they look just adorable. You will definitely find some serious eye-catching accessories and looks when visiting Harajuku.

The “Harajuku Girl” look, started in the 1980s and there are a few different types of Lolitas in Tokyo. For example, there are the classic elegant Lolita look and gothic Lolita look.

Becoming a Harajuku girl lolita

Harajuku girls definitely go over the top with their looks and everything they have on is overdone, just like a doll. They wear dramatic eyelashes, makeup, wigs – even pigtails. Their dresses are normally very colorful but they like to go with a color scheme, normally one base color or mix it with 2, like baby pink with baby blue. Some even carry around a stuffed animal and the best part, is that you can be an adult and dress up as a Lolita Harajuku Girl. In fact, if there is one place in the world, where it’s ok to be a kid forever, Tokyo is that one place.

hofit kim cohen - Maison de Julietta - harajuku girl

How to Dress Like a Harajuku Lolita

Hair

  • Lolita tip 101, bows are everything! Most lolitas normally accessorize their hair with a bow or a big headband.
  • They love long hair, they don’t mind wearing wigs and having long bangs is kind of a must.

Makeup

  • Fake lashes are definitely important for the perfect lolita look. Some will even have glitter, hearts and butterflies on their lashes.
  • For the makeup itself, a pale look is just as important as the rest of your look and so is very little makeup (pink color shades), if you’re going for the classic lolita look. No red lipstick ladies.

Clothes

  • A classic lolita wears a bell-shaped dress (past her knees) with (normally) a long blouse undershirt. Then comes the high-knee socks which the girls love to play with and pick funky socks. The finishing touch is doll-like shoes.

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Where to Become a Harajuku Girl & Where to Shop

If you want to become a Harajuku Lolita, there are 2 ways of going about it. The first is by shopping at Harajuku fashion district. The most commercial streets are Meiji Dori and Takeshita street, which is mostly visited by tourist but also locals. This is where you want to go if you want to find real Lolitas as well. If you wonder off in the small streets you will find some pretty cool shops as well. Your other great spots, which I highly recommend, would be at Shibuya 109 and LaForet Harajuku which are malls that feature many small boutiques by designers.

Harajuku Girl Lolita - Alice In Wonderland - vanilla sky dreaming
Playing Alice In Wonderland

Becoming a Harajuku Lolita for an Hour – Maison de Julietta

If you don’t want to spend the money on buying a whole outfit/look and want to dress up as a Harajuku Lolita, your best option is doing what I did, visiting Maison de Julietta in the LaForet mall! While searching for things to do in Tokyo, I knew there had to be a place that dresses you up like a Lolita and I found it!

Harajuku Girl - Maison de Julietta - hofit kim cohen

This place is great, they will make you up as a Harajuku girl and you get a photoshoot! You get to pick your outfit, makeup style, wig and accessories and you get to make your dreams come true, even if it’s just for a single hour. Bucket list item CHECK!

You will get your makeup done, get help with the wig and pick out some pretty cool eyelashes.

Package Includes:

・Dressing up in Lolita dress.
・Make up and hair arrange.
・Download 3 photos.

Appointments are required and there are different photo packages and extra add-ons to your look if you want.

Here is what my experience at Maison de Julietta looked like.

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Quick Guide: Becoming A Lolita Harajuku Girl In Tokyo, Japan

 

*Thank you Maison de Julietta for hosting Vanilla Sky Dreaming. As always, my opinions are of my own. 

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