Megan Thee Stallion Dressed Up as a Kawaii Character — Here's How You Can, Too
Japan has always been a source of style inspiration, with many fashion aesthetics emerging from Tokyo. The Lolita aesthetic, for instance, represents themes like cuteness, sweetness, elegance, and modesty. The popular look originated from the fashionable Harajuku district in the early 1980s, but its potential precursor is likely Kawaii fashion. The term, which is Japanese for "cute," stems from a subculture that developed in Japan in the 1970s. It captures a form of self-expression that became widely adopted by young people in the country.
Kawaii clothes usually feature bold colors, eye-catching motifs, and intricate accents. This could include babydoll dresses, bow-embellished sweaters, or bouffant skirts (like those seen on many spring 2023 catwalks). Similar to the kidcore aesthetic, it can be a little playful and lighthearted (picture a seashell-shaped clutch or cat-ear hoodie) or slightly sporty (think a tennis skirt or striped sweater vest). The aesthetic gives an outlet to those who aren't afraid to take sartorial risks.
A fun way to tap into Kawaii fashion is to dress up as a character. Take inspiration from Megan Thee Stallion, who recently wore a Sailor Moon-inspired corset top and skirt while touring in Japan. Some other popular costume ideas include Sakura Kinomoto or Hatsune Miku. Whether you're curious about Harajuku fashion styles or want to experiment with elements of the Kawaii aesthetic, read on to learn how to achieve the look.
What Is the Kawaii Aesthetic?
Taken from Japanese consumer culture, the Kawaii aesthetic consists of playful, pretty-to-look-at pieces infused with a childlike sensibility. Kawaii clothes range from strawberry-print sweater vests to gingham skirts in shades of lavender, pink, and blue. However, there is also the Dark Kawaii aesthetic (also known as Yami Kawaii), which embraces navy, black, and darker colors, as the name suggests.
What Does It Mean to Be Called Kawaii?
If you have an eye for all things cute — like designs in vibrant colors, loud prints, and sweet shapes — then your wardrobe choices may be called Kawaii or Kawaii influenced. To learn how your wardrobe can channel even more Kawaii themes, keep reading for clothes and accessories that incorporate hallmarks of the aesthetic in practical ways.
Megan Thee Stallion's Sailor Moon-Inspired Look
Kawaii Aesthetic: UO Hallie Faux Fur Trim Cardigan
Go ahead and embrace the aesthetic in this UO Hallie Faux Fur Trim Cardigan ($69). From the collar to the eye-catching shade of blue, this sweater is equal parts sweet and playful. Style yours with tailored trousers and low-heeled mules for an elegant fall look.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Alice and Olivia Carter Vegan Leather Mini Skirt
For a dose of sporty and cool mixed with some Kawaii vibes, turn to this Alice and Olivia Carter Vegan Leather Mini Skirt ($100, originally $250). The pleated style is playful, while the leather material gives it a dressier feel. Style it with a matching tube top and sneakers for a practical outfit that works for all occasions.
Kawaii Aesthetic: UO Randi Shrunken Sweater Vest
Sweaters vests are solid layers to have on hand as temperatures fall, and this UO Randi Shrunken Sweater Vest ($25, originally $49) channels the Kawaii aesthetic. It's ideal for wearing over a long-sleeve top or rocking on its own with jeans.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Bridal by Eloquii Mixed Tulle Gown
Want the wedding ballgown of your dreams with a Kawaii-inspired twist? This Bridal by Eloquii Mixed Tulle Gown ($699) is the one with its whimsical construction and adorable appearance. The layers of tulle also lend it a romantic look that will make a statement at your nontraditional wedding.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Jumz Accessories Maya Bead Bag
The Jumz Accessories Maya Bead Bag ($160) will help you achieve peak Kawaii thanks to its playful construction and colorful palette. Pair it with equally loud pieces for an eye-catching statement, or keep the rest of the look pared down.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Kai Collective Gaia Tube Mesh Dress
This Kai Collective Gaia Tube Mesh Dress ($163) is a fun iteration of the aesthetic. With the strapless silhouette and eye-catching print, it's all but guaranteed to deliver a memorable entrance at brunch, date night, or anywhere else.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Kurt Geiger Quilted Rainbow Bucket Hat
Kawaii fashion fans will appreciate this versatile Kurt Geiger Quilted Rainbow Tie-Dye Bucket Hat ($58), which works well with any top-and-jeans combo for a casual day out. Be prepared to receive all the compliments on this colorful piece of headwear.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Cult Gaia Esme Clutch
Looking for a sea-inspired accessory? Then check out the Cult Gaia Esme Clutch ($698). The seashell construction conjures up images of mermaid movies, making it a fit for the Kawaii aesthetic. Even with an understated black dress, adding this bag will make the outfit really pop.
Kawaii Aesthetic: Clio Peppiatt Quartz Beaded Bag
From the playful shape to the beaded design, many elements about this Clio Peppiatt Quartz Beaded Bag ($370) are giving Kawaii vibes. The pink color is right on trend, though it also comes in an ombre blue or green.