Monday, November 28, 2022

29 Most Popular Japanese Fashion Trends of 2021 in Harajuku – The VOU

Centered around culture, community, self-expression, and risk-taking, these are the most popular Japanese fashion trends of 2021.
Risk-taking, as Japanese don’t shy away from mixing and matching prints, or adorning kitschy accessories.
The 2021 Japanese fashion trends are also inspired by Tokyo’s everyday life and styles.
Particularly, Harajuku streets, hence the bold colors, oversized proportions, experimental layers, clashing prints, and tactile materials.

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Spearheaded by streetwear brands like BAPE and HARE – known for complex materials and dramatic silhouettes – Japanese fashion trends are taking over the global fashion runways.
As the local designers never gave up on their heritage, the latest Japanese fashion trends showcase a blend of traditional couture and materials, which translate into unique styles and modern fashion statements.
2021 brings new clothing styles – such as plaids on plaids, chic clogs, and patent leather jackets – reimagined in Harajuku ways, somehow attainable only by the bold ones.
If anything, these daring stylistic ensembles prove that there’s a formula one has to follow, in order to nail the latest Japanese fashion trends.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration to give your wardrobes a seasonal refresh, check out this cherry-picked compilation of the top 29 Japanese fashion trends in 2021.
Plus, each Japanese fashion trend on this list is accompanied by a curated selection of the most popular clothes in that style, ready for you to buy.
Without further ado, and right from the streets of Tokyo, these are the top 29 Japanese fashion trends that’ll reshape your dressing style and taste for good!
Wearing facemasks in Japan has never been a strange thing.
In a country that puts community at its core, wearing a mask is nothing but another way of protecting and caring for others.
However, that does not stop the Japanese from turning the humble face mask into a fashion statement and, thus, the most popular Japanese fashion trend right now.
Designer face masks are the most popular choices, thanks to their unique cutouts, logos, and colors, allowing the wearers to match them for a total aesthetic vibe.

Marine Serre moon-print face mask

Off-White jacquard Arrows motif face mask
If early grunge styles of the late 80s were purchased from thrift stores, somehow in rejection of the fashions of those times, Japanese grunge styles are a world apart.
Driven by the “Punk is not fashion but a statement,’” moto, Japanese stylists use the goth grunge aesthetic to create powerful visual messages in 2021.
As a side note, some of the trendiest outfits right now are on the goth clothing side. Fairy grunge clothing, an attempt to clash grunge with the fairy-core style, is also very popular in the US right now.

Comme Des Garçons 1999 crochet-insert midi dress (Pre-Owned)

Jordan Air Jordan 1 High Comme Des Garçons
The trend of baggy clothes started on the streets of Tokyo – later on translating into oversized hoodies, much know as the symbol of the American hip-hop revolution.
Re-unplugged into the stylistic culture by the Japanese street fashion trends, we see the return of oversized hoodies to Japan, this year.
Essy to match with skinny pants, tight-fit dresses, or even muscle-hugging shirts, loose hoodies in bold colors are the way forward right now.
Comfortable, baggy, chunky, relaxed, versatile, and above all, unisex, hyperbolical hoodie silhouettes are here to stay.
Note1: Make sure your oversized hoodie is in hyper-bold colors.
Note 2: For extra sartorial impact, pair your oversized hoodie with a lolita style miniskirt.

Come Back As A Flower drawstring tie-dye hoodie

Paco Rabanne Lose Yourself tie-dye hoodie
The E-girl aesthetic exists (and it is growing fast) driven by a vibe and style that can’t be mistaken with anything else.
Introduced in the 2000s, the current E-girl concept reflects the modern lifestyle of the early ‘electronic girls,’ but through the lens of K-Pop fashion and rave cultures.
As such, E-girl outfits are a unique blend of doll-like anime looks mixed with gothic, grunge, vaporwave, and skater styles.
The diversity allows the aesthetic to be interpreted in various ways and adjusted to suit the most distinctive brands of electronic cool.

Khrisjoy Khris Vellus Puffer Jacket

Nike Ambush colourblock tapered trousers

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Thanks to unique aesthetics worthy of the high street stores, Japanese techwear brands are booming on Reddit and social media right now.
And, it makes a lot of sense as Japanese techwear designers are excellent at using innovative materials to create avant-garde aesthetics.
Simply put, the techwear clothes that emerge from the streets of Tokyo, not just now in 2021, but every year, are downright badass.
One of the trendiest Japanese fashions this year, you can say that Tokyo’s streets are the primary source of techwear styles worldwide.

Y-3 zipped cropped top

Adidas BY Stella McCartney white Vento sneakers
Shop at SSENSE
Another big trend, initially promoted by the Japanese fashion magazines at the end of 2020 and early 2021, is the printed shirts; but with a twist.
In the past, Japanese designers adorned shirts with boho-like florals and traditional elements, such as snakes, dragons, cherry trees, and bamboo sticks.
However, the 2021 Japanese shirts are all about a mix of western culture patterns and traditional elements.
Anything but subtle, the louder, the better – so this is a year of vibrant prints, crazy patterns, and solid statement pieces.

Ports V graphic-print long-sleeve shirt

Monki Luca ecovero tropic print shirt in multi
Shop at ASOS
Arguably inspired by lolita fashion, blending plaids in a single outfit is rocking the Asian fashion trends right now.
Known for mixing and matching prints, the Japanese street fashion designers prove that there’s no such thing as clashing.
As long as you complement, rather than compete in colors and styles, plaid on plaid looks impressive.
For the best street style look or a visual kei effect, pair with platform shoes.

R13 Blue Plaid Pieced Shirt

The Ragged Priest mom jeans in mixed plaid
Shop at ASOS
Making its way back from the 80s and influenced by the retro-futurist aesthetic, metallic and silver (materials and colors) is a fast-rising Japanese fashion trend right now.
A shiny metallic statement piece will add personality to your wardrobe.
Some of the most worn pieces of clothing are sexy metallic tops, shimmering pleated skirts, paillettes, cropped pants, and mini skirts.
In some cases, you’ll have to balance out the glitters, so thrown in some neutrals and solid basics.
Pair your look with metallic shoes, shiny clutches, metallic makeup, cheeks, silvery eyeshadow, and sparkling hair.
The aim is to create a futuristic and powerful look that’s both sophisticated and sexy.

Gucci metallic effect bodysuit

MM6 Maison Margiela silver metallic triangle tote bag
Shop at SSENSE
And the freshest Japanese fashion trend of all is the dalmatian dots.
There’s no secret that Japanese designers draw a lot of inspiration for Great Britain’s history and heritage.
And, as a country that often blurs the lines between reality and fantasy, anything British, even cartoons or movies, matters.
The dalmatian dots trend has taken off after the launch of the movie Cruella, launched this May in the UK with great success.
The movie is a return to Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, an animated film launched in 1961.

Daisy Street Plus relaxed Dalmatian spot knit cardigan
Shop at ASOS

Burberry Dalmatian print pumps

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Inspired by the androgynous and gender-free movements of 2020, Japanese fashion trends of this year are bathing in rainbow hues and shades.
Pair your classic pants or e-girl pencil skirts with shades at the opposites segment of the color wheel.
However, avoid sharp contrasts and pair shades of similar intensity levels.
For example, pink looks amazing with orange, but the same pink combination with light green will not paint a pretty picture.
Material-wise, if each piece does not have a similar textural finesse, the final look may feel a bit unbalanced.

SweatyRocks long sleeve block color print hoodie
Shop at AMAZON

Prada color-block nylon hooded jacket
Camo, camo, and camo again.
From the boots to the sleeves…Japanese youth adore camo outfits, especially in dark colors.
Hailed as one of the trendiest styles of the past few years, camo has finally reached Japan’s fashion streets.
Outfits in military-based camo hues showcase concise and flamboyant personalities, ready to stand out from the crowd.
Some of the most wanted camo outfits are in olive shades, dry grass, and black on gothic-like black shades.

Maje camouflage-print cargo trousers

Khaki Ripped Pocket Denim Camo Cargo Jeans
Shop at BOOHOO

Camo stitch detail catsuit
Shop at BOOHOO

Sexy Cherry casual camouflage jacket
Shop at AMAZON
Timeless and practical, trench coats are a staple in everybody’s closet and a vestimentary garment impossible to go wrong with it.
This year though, Japanese street fashionistas have found ways to reinvent the ever-so-classic trench.
Taken apart, reversed, upside-down, with supersized elements and logos over logos, this year brings the Japanese fashion trend of deconstructed trench coats.
From shredded coats to simple add-ons, necklines and shoulders snipped off, collars, buckles, and flaps multiplied, we’re at the edge of our seats to see how you’re going to wear yours.

Burberry paneled trench coat

Maison Margiela deconstructed trench coat
$1,912 $956

Asos Design check spliced oversized trench coat
Shop at ASOS
Bubblegum is a pink hue of striking, bright, and vibrant feel.
In this context, it is the note you would want to start your day on.
Denim in bubblegum pink must be worn at the extremes: either the soft, crowd-pleasing hue or the statement-making powerful shade.
With kawaii fashion constantly influencing Japanese fashion trends, bubblegum is always present, as a choice of powerful and chic styles.
Moreover, the color adds endless doses of fun when paired with neutrals such as dirty whites, sandy-browns, and shades of beige.

424 flag-print denim jacket
$852 $341

Andrea Bogosian flared leg jeans

Tommy Jeans pink mom jean
Shop at ASOS
In the past, a look reserved for school librarians and grandmas, a ‘coatigan’ is a hybrid between a coat and a cardigan.
Described as full-length sweaters, coatigans are made of thick yarn and are heavier than a sweater or a pullover but lighter than the outerwear layers.
To create a cozy and chic look, wear your coatigan over colorful blouses or patterned dresses and a trace of dark lipstick if you’re into the gothic style.
Furthermore, pattern-blocking asymmetrical designs add a further sense of modernity to this classic look.
To finish it off and create a trendy look, pair your coatigan up with some statement earrings.

Cara Santana x Nine West Duster cardigan
$60 $45
Shop at KOHLS

Apbondy V-neck button down cardigan
Shop at AMAZON

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As the nation that has never let go of athleisure since its inception, the Japanese fashion trends makers are bringing back the joggers, bottoms, track pants, and runners.
Super comfortable, these lightweight pants, traditionally worn during workouts, are repurposed to lend streetwear styles a fresh look.
Some of the most wanted joggers this year to create that ultimate Japanese trendy look are Lululemon’s squat-proof leggings and any signature ‘triple white stripes’ from Adidas.
Another quick and easy way to dress up Tokyo’s graphic athleisure trend is to experiment with colors and elevated accessories.
The result should be a high-end fresh look that can be further polished with a well-tailored trench coat and trendy ‘flatform’ boots.

Koral Maddox infinity bra

P.E Nation Fadeaway tonal-logo track pants

Puma Downtown sweatshirt in off-white
Shop at ASOS
While not for everyone, the oversized, over-the-top trench coat style is very ‘VOU’ in Japan right now.
Created for military purposes back in 1912, the appeal of trench coat has lasted through decades of dressing codes.
Versatile, practical, and lightweight, trench coats are transitional fashion heroes, suitable for every situation and season.
Thrown over everything, from jeans to athleisure and slinky evening dresses, over-the-top trench coats have a unique level of functionality that translates to effortlessness.
Overall, the Japanese fashion trends of 2021 have not changed much this wardrobe staple.
Still, with storms flaps, buckles, and belts, the key is to go extra large and match it nicely for an undeniably cool look.

Ganni oversized belted trench coat

Nerazzurri autumn Oversized long leather trench
Dating back to the 13th century, the clog was initially used as a wooden flip-flop in feudal Japan.
A few centuries later, the clog resurfaced in Europe as the 19th-century shoe of Dutch farmers.
Pair by pair, the clogs are coming out of hiding, flooring the Japanese fashion trends.
Clomping down staircases and Harajuku’s streets, edging toward Tokyo’s café tills, and moving across gallery floors, clogs are more popular than ever.
Unfailingly cool, clogs signify a life where one does as one wants and submits to the will of nobody else – corporate uniform and male gaze be damned!

Stella McCartney tan daisy heeled clogs
Shop at SSENSE

Sandro Paris Hayden leather clogs
$345 $276
The interest in monochrome palettes started picking up by the end of 2020.
However, in line with the clothing trends of 2021, designers are adding contrast shades into the otherwise monochrome designs to create visual intrigue.
However, the addition of bold shades adds a further dimension of color to the design without taking it to a vivid or eccentric side.
Whether textural, layered, or classic color-blocking, monochromatic styles suit everyone and will always be in trend.
According to color experts, the latest Japanese fashion trends feed on nude shades of beige, chocolate, and dirty white, which pair very well with statement jewelry (like engagement rings).

Off-White vulcanized low-top womens’ sneakers

Alexanderwang.T flocked logo t-Shirt
Shop at SSENSE

Pull&Bear bomber black jacket
Shop at ASOS
Minimalism is about stripping back the unnecessary, leaving only the things that provide you with real value and joy.
In fashion, a minimalist clothing style means having a minimum amount of clashing styles and colors on your outfit.
In some way, minimalism is the antithesis of the modern consumerist narrative, and with a rich hierarchical heritage, the Japanese are best at that.
So much so, that some of the best minimalist clothing designers are hailing from Japan, inspired by Asia’s rich history in social classes, and desire to avoid unnecessary waste.
While minimalistic clothing style tops the chart of Japanese fashion trends in 2021, this trend re-occurs every so often, or better said, it never goes away.

Undercover black zip t-shirt
Shop at SSENSE

Comme Des Garçons black wool raw split coat
Shop at SSENSE

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Love or hate them; this season is all about the square-toe boot.
From the classic comfy block heel ankle boots to a fierce flat heel thigh high style – and everything in-between – this year’s Japanese fashion trends are all about square toe boots.
For a timeless and endlessly versatile look, get a pair of black leather square toe ankle boots.
But, if you’re after a weekend look, get a geometrically-inspired pair of square toe boots in white patent and a flat heel.
Style them best with straight-cut trousers (denim), free-flowing tops in bold shades, and jackets or coats in animal prints, and amp up your off-duty attire.

Maison Margiela Tabi boots

Split Toe Air Cushion Ankle Tabi Boots
Gone are the days when outerwear garments were created and used only to keep you warm.
Nowadays, we’re stretching the other way with many outerwear clothing brands designing to keep you in style, as is the case of slouchy outerwear, in this year’s fashion trends.
Slouchy outerwear is characterized by super oversized coats or jackets, worn through the sleeves to the elbows – and then stopping there.
Worn in a lethargic manner, slouchy outerwear adds an extra layer of depth and rebellious character to your overall look.

Valentino x Undercover VLOGO Lovers print jacket

Asos Design oversized hero quilted maxi coat
Shop at ASOS
Commonly known as a wool hat or a winter hat (woolly hat for our British readers), this little head accessory is trending Japanese fashion right now under all sorts of variations.
Designer sock hats, knit hats, poof ball hats, bonnets, sock caps, stocking caps, ski hats are all accepted as long as they follow the rounded knit style of the season.
The key to pulling off this unconventional hat shape is to keep the rest of your look pared down with relaxed separates.

Loverboy wool-blend beanie

Cashmere knitted beanie
Shop at UNIQLO
Over-structured, anime Harajuku accessories have always been part of Japanese fashion trends.
Though, anything goes this year, from timeless silk scarves and faux pearls to luxury smartwatches and augmented reality glasses.
Bear in mind that there’s no one popular accessory to wear but combinations of accessories from the many facets of the Japanese street fashion scene.
For maximum effect, complete with dramatic makeup, knee socks, and dyed hair.
We’re talking about the best Japanese fashion trends here; what else?!

6% logo pochette/primal pop pastel

Ainiel unisex Kawaii cat ears cap
Shop at AMAZON
From all 29 Japanese trends in this article, you can say that this is the most Japanese style.
Somehow resembling a worker’s uniform (a contemporary piece of Japanese culture and fashion), cropped blazers in bright colors are flooding the streets of Tokyo this year.
Their resurgence matches the emergence of high-rise pants and hip-length blazers, together with adding a degree of workwear vibe to your outfit.
Furthermore, the clean straight-cut of a hip-length blazer paired with a high-waist pair of pants creates a stylish look.

Acne Studios cropped asymmetric striped blazer

In The Style x Yasmin Chanel cropped blue blazer
Shop at ASOS

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This season, Japanese fashion trends are moving away from skin-tight pants and skinny-leg jeans, opting for free-flowing wide-leg fashion bottoms.
And, truth be told, when it comes to wide bottoms, nobody does it better than the Japanese designers.
However, attention is needed here as, if incorrectly matched, the wide-leg pants will showcase a profound lack of style.
Best paired with vintage tees, cropped cardigans, or statement blouses; the wide leg fashion trend is taking over the Japanese fashion scene.
Another critical rule regarding the Japanese way of wearing wide-leg pants is to balance the outfit.
Ideally, you want to showcase smaller proportions (read slimmer) at the top of your body to balance out the bottom part.
For example, pair your oversized, wide-leg trousers with a fitted top.

Pinko cropped palazzo trousers

+J wide leg pink pants
$59.90 $19.90
Shop at UNIQLO
Jacket season is upon us, every season.
Time to put aside your bombers, fuzzy faux-fur toppers, and so forth and get to the core of this year’s main trends repertoire: patent leather jackets.
Patent leather jackets always had a sleek and expensive look that anyone can score, no matter how tight their budget is.
And, above all patent leather jacket styles, the black and bold patent leather trenches are at the top of Japanese fashion trends of this year.
For a cinema celebrity look, pair with vintage accessories, loose socks, and bleached hair.

Helmut Lang patent leather trucker jacket

Monki Rori brown patent leather belted jacket
$80 $60
Shop at ASOS
White on white is an age-old fashion trend that has made globally famous so many Japanese fashion brands.
However, Japan’s fashion influencers scouting the underground scene brought it back to life this year but with a twist.
It is still white on white, but with different shades of white, aiming to create a minimalist layered look.
The best part of this Japanese fashion trend is the number of different pieces and materials you can mix and play with.
From breathable linen to vintage laces and soft and flowy chiffon to flattering denim, white on white shades work best with matching handbags, statement headwear, and chunky sneakers.

Baserange Shaw belted oversized sweatshirt
Baserange ribbed-knit organic cotton track pants
Shearling is the skin of a lamb – tanned, processed, and dyed with the wool still intact.
Shearling lambskin leather (with the wool still attached) is used in luxury coats, jackets, hats, gloves, and more.
In 2021 we see the Japanese fashion trends tapping into a nostalgic sense of glamour that never goes out of style, as the luxurious shearling jacket brings the punch to your outfits on colder days.
However, for an updated take on the shearling jacket, most Japanese use faux or vegan leather alternatives and moto-inspired details.

Stella McCartney Luna faux-shearling coat

Urbancode Siris reversible faux shearling coat
$315 $157.50
Shop at ASOS
Muslin and double gauze are making a return to the Japanese fashion scene in 2021.
Fashion-forward Japanese designers such as Chitose Abe – SACAI’s founder – and Yohji Yamamoto are reviving these materials in androgynous-inspired clothing and gender-neutral looks.
When shopping for Japanese clothing brands, make sure you look out for muslin and double gauze pieces – very trendy this season!
Opposite to the edgy vibe that Japanese fashion culture tends to draw at international fashion weeks, you’ll often see – on the streets of Tokyo – Japanese girls parading a blend of Japanese attire and cute dresses in pastel colors made from traditional materials.

Alice+Olivia Koko reversible kimono jacket

3/4 Sleeve Japanese Kimono
Shop at AMAZON
Japan is, undoubtedly, a leader in unabashed, fashion-forward, innovative, and trend-setting individualistic clothing styles.
And, fortunately for us all, Japanese clothing is no longer limited only to Japan.
For those of you versed in the fashion world, relating to and adopting the latest Japanese fashion trends will be a cinch!
For those of you still exploring and trying to create a personal style, remember that the scene of Japanese clothing brands is something else.
It is fun, exciting, outrageous, even crazy (at times).
Nevertheless, it is a world that will keep you equally informed with the latest trends and entertained at the same time.
Looking at this year’s trends, there are so many lovely styles for you to explore.
A camo boiler suits with a bright pink bubblegum vegan handbag? Yes, please!
Without a doubt, powered by distinct Japanese fashion subcultures, new trends will continue to emerge and thrive on the streets of Tokyo.
But, right now, these are the top 29 Japanese fashion trends of 2021, curated by Japan’s best fashion designers, to keep you ahead of the stylistic game.
Celebrities, designers, and latest news in sustainable fashion.

Which one of these Japanese fashion trends is your favorite and why?
Are there any other Japanese fashion trends missing from this list that you’d like to add?
Please leave your comments below so others can benefit from your expertise.

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Wow! So many wonderful fashion trends that I wasn’t aware of! Thanks for sharing ?
These are fashion styles from an area of Tokyo known for outlandish and extreme fashion. These are not trends, more niche styles these people are following. This year popular fashion trends are t-shirts over hoodies, chef style jackets and trousers, oversized hoodies in light browns, pinks and blues, vintage and new skate/surf brands (Santa-Cruz, Carhart, Nike SB, RVCA, etc) as well as outdoor clothing companies (North Face, Jack Wolfskin, etc). Long skirts for girls with long knitwear on top, wooly hats and berets worn high on the head, New Balance, Vans, and AF1 are very popular still but chunky shoes in general seem to be making a come back.
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