Harajuku isn't its own style, but rather a popular meeting ground in Japan for a number of street styles. It can have a playful, colorful mix of girly and punk styles popular among Japanese teenagers. This street style originated from a postwar combination of American and Japanese culture and formed around the Harajuku district in Shibuya, Japan. Harajuku style is a term popularized in the West by American singer Gwen Stefani, but this is a misnomer that generalized all Japanese street styles of the Harajuku district. To dress 'harajuku style', find the Japanese street style you wish to pursue and explore the substyles within. With proper research, you can customize your outfit, and make your hair and makeup just as eye-catching as your clothes.
Look into Lolita if you love Victorian- and Rococo-inspired fashion. These styles feature feminine, elaborate elements such as lace, pin-tucks, corsets, full skirts, headdresses, petticoats, and knee-length stockings. There are three main styles of Lolita (Gothic, Classic and Sweet), though are also many more subtypes that you can look into.
Dress in the Visual Kei style for a more punk-rock look. Visual Kei is an androgynous look, inspired by the glam rock, goth, and punk movements. Some key elements are dark makeup, extreme hairstyles, and loose black clothing.
Dress in the Ganguro style for an extreme California girl look. This style is characterized by deep fake tans and platinum hair as well as white highlighter and face jewels. Ganguro clothing is a mix of beach wear and Valley Girl style, with lots of bold floral prints, leis, tank tops, and bright colors.
Create your own Harajuku style. Harajuku style is anything that protests mainstream fashion, so the possibilities are endless. If you aren't drawn to any of the popular substyles, make up your own by wearing whatever you want. But remember it shouldn't be offensive and layering really help build a look. See what i did there- Build a look, No okay-
You could create an outfit by drawing elements that you like from the other substyles, such as the pastel colors from Kawaii style, a Sweet Lolita corset, a spiky Visual Kei hairstyle, and the floral accessories from Ganguro style.
Layer clothes to achieve a true Harajuku look. Layering is a hallmark of Harajuku style and allows you to mix and match a wide variety of styles.
Combine styles and trends. Harajuku style often mixes other popular fashion trends such as punk, goth, school uniform, and designer clothing.
Experiment with color. Try mixing clashing colors, dressing in all neon, or layering shades of the same color. You could also choose to go colorless and wear all black.
Wear some eye-catching shoes to go with your outfit. Harajuku-style shoes can range from platform heels to sneakers to heels. Shoes can be used to express as much personality as your outfit. Try some sneakers with a thick platform, delicate Mary Jane-style heels with little bows, or some spiked black boots.
Customize your clothing. Embroider your own designs, cut your own jagged hemlines, add ribbons and jewels, and even make your own clothes. Customizing will allow you to express your individuality and add even more detail to your outfit.
Choose loud and colorful accessories. Harajuku accessories should stand out in a crowd. Try to find bright, unique pieces such as a colorful hat, a neon necklace, or a furry purse that looks like your favorite cartoon character.
Accessorize your outfit from head to toe. Objects that create sound, such as bells or metal jewelry, are sometimes used to add an extra dimension to the outfit. This is especially popular in the Decora style. Wear lots of chains, metal bangle bracelets, or clip some bells in your hair to create sound when you walk.
Draw inspiration from your substyle. Look to the roots of your favorite Harajuku substyle for accessory inspiration. You could explore the time period or geographic location associated with your substyle to find accessories.
Dye your hair different colors. In Harajuku style, any color goes! Dye your hair in a vivid, eye-catching color like pink, blue, or orange. You could also try an ombré mix of several colors for even more creative flair.
Be creative with your hairstyle. Harajuku's spirit of individuality carries through to hairstyles as well. To achieve the look you want, you could also add hair extensions or spray-dye your hair with temporary colors.
Do dramatic, theatrical makeup. Whether cutesy or dark, your makeup should be as eye-catching as your outfit. Your makeup may differ based on your favorite substyle, but you should generally avoid natural makeup and aim for a more theatrical look.