Containing many different themes within its boundaries, Lolita has become one of the larger, more recognizable styles in Japanese street fashion and is now gaining interest worldwide. The more well-known styles within Lolita fashion are as follows:
- Gothic Lolita - is Lolita with a heavy influence from the Eastern and Victorian Goth style. Often characterized by dark colors, crosses, bats and spiders, as well as other popular gothic 'icons'. Victorian iron gates and architectural designs are also often seen in dress prints. Skirts are usually worn knee length with petticoats beneath for volume. Blouses or shirts are lace-trimmed or ruffled in the Victorian style. Knee length socks with boots, bonnets, brooches, and a parasol finish out this style of Lolita.
- Sweet Lolita - is the most childlike style, mostly characterized by baby animals, fairy tale themes and innocent, childlike attire. It was originally inspired by Victorian children's clothing and Alice in Wonderland. Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma and other cute pop culture characters are popular among the Sweet lolitas. Pastel colors are used, as well as other muted colors like black and dark reds and blues. Large headbows, cute purses, elegant parasols and stuffed animals are popular accessories for Sweet Lolita.
- Punk Lolita - An experimental style, mixing the influences of Punk with Lolita. It can sometimes look deconstructed or crazy, while keeping most of the 'Lolita silhouette'.
- Kodona, a.k.a. 'boystyle' and ouji, is a more masculine counterpart of lolita, influenced by Victorian boys' clothing. 'Prince pants', which are short capri-style pants that are cut off the knee, usually with some sort of detail (such as lace-edged cuffs) are commonly worn with masculine blouses, top hats, knee socks etc.
Gyaru, which is sometimes known as, which is actually a subcategory of gyaru, is a type of Japanese street fashion that originated in the 1970s. Gyaru focuses on girly-glam style, dwelling on man-made beauty (wigs, fake lashes, fake nails etc.). Gyaru is also heavily inspired by Western fashion.
Two style of Japanese street fashion became popular among Japanese girls in the early 1990s and peaked in the early 2000s. Ganguro falls into the larger subculture of fashion. Ganguro typically includes brightly coloured outfits, mini-skirts, and tie-dyed sarongs. The ganguro style consists of bleached hair, a deep tan, fake eyelashes, black and white eyeliner, bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces and platform shoes.
A kogal identified by her loose socks and shortened skirt
The kogal (kogyaru) look is based on a high school uniform, but with a shorter skirt, loose socks, and often dyed hair and a scarf as well. The girls sometimes call themselves gyaru (gals). This style was prominent in the 1990s, but has since declined.
Japanese cosplayers dressed up in bōsōzoku-style outfits
While bōsōzoku fashion has not been popular since the 1990s, the stereotypical bōsōzoku look is often portrayed, and even caricatured, in many forms of Japanese media such as anime, manga and films. The typical bōsōzoku member is often depicted in a uniform consisting of a jumpsuit like those worn by manual laborers or a tokko-fuku (特攻服), a type of military issued over-coat with kanji slogans. These are usually worn open, with no shirt underneath, showing off bandaged torsos and matching baggy pants tucked inside tall boots.
The Decora style originated in the late 1990s/early 2000s and rose to great popularity both in and outside Japan. The clothes are usually in black, dark pink or baby pink, but other neon colors were also acceptable. A plain shirt and hoodie was often worn with short tutu-like skirts. The hair (often worn in low ponytails with long bangs) and make-up itself tends to be quite plain. However, the most significant part of decora is to pile on many layers of cute accessories until the bangs and shirt are barely visible. Stockings, legwarmers, armwarmers, and knee socks are also worn over each other in different layers. Common details also include leopard prints and patterned dental masks. The style was eventually merged/replaced in the late 2000s by fairy kei and OTT (over-the-top) lolita in Japan, though it is still a relatively popular style overseas.
Visual kei is a style created in the mid-1980s by Japanese musicians consisting of striking makeup, unusual hair styles and flamboyant costumes, similar to Western glam rock and glam metal. Androgyny is also a popular aspect of the style. Some of the more well-known and influential artists of the style include X Japan, Luna Sea, Versailles, The Gazette, Mejibray, Royz, L'Arc en Ciel, An Cafe, Malice Mizer, and Diaura.
Oshare kei is a version of Visual kei and is seen as the most fashionable and cutting edge of the styles. The style focuses a lot on mixing different patterns, bright colors and punk elements to create a unique look. Unlike Visual kei, the make-up is toned down a bit and focuses more on the eyes alone. Facial piercings are also common. Just like Visual kei, Oshare kei has been largely influenced by musical artists. Some of those include An Cafe, Panic Channel, Ichigo69, Lolita23q, SuG, Delacroix, LM.C, and Aicle.