Get the Look: Fairy Kei
Fairy Kei is a Japanese street fashion style known for its pastel colour palettes, cosy silhouettes, and nostalgic 80s motifs. The style is epitomised by iconic brands like Listen Flavor, W❤C, and Spank!, but it has also gained an international cult following because it can be easily replicated—pop into your local thrift store and you’re halfway there! If you’re looking to experiment with Fairy Kei, here are some accessories to get you started!
Image courtesy of @solarsherbet via Instagram.
Whether it’s a headband or a hair clip, decorating your hair with a bow or several will help you achieve that soft and kawaii look! You can wear your hair down with a bow perched on top, or tie it into space buns and accessorise with cute bow clips. Tying ribbons into your hair is also very Fairy Kei, as is coordinating them with a cute beret or beanie!
Image courtesy of @kawaiiaestheticsshop via Instagram.
Chunky Pastel Jewellery
The necklaces and bracelets worn in Fairy Kei usually resemble toy jewellery from our childhoods. It’s bold and colourful, with heart and star-shaped beads. Fairy Kei jewellery also often includes charms made from resin, polymer clay, and laser-cut plastic. Don’t be afraid to take it up a level by layering your accessories for a Decora-inspired look!
Image courtesy of @dreamytabby via Instagram.
Layered Leg Wear
Leg wear in Fairy Kei can come in the form of frilly ankle socks, leg warmers, over-the-knee socks, or even tights. They can be plain or, if you’re feeling fancy, printed—Spank! and Fancy Surprise have some adorable printed socks and tights. Leg warmers capture that 80s nostalgia which Fairy Kei is so well-known for, but since they’re harder to find nowadays, you can make your own or wear over-the-knee socks loose and bunched up around your ankles. If you happen to live in a warmer climate, a ruffled ankle sock with fishnets works just as well!
Image courtesy of @dreamer.rudameng via Instagram.
While UGG boots and doll shoes are also commonly worn in the Fairy Kei style, there is nothing more iconic than pastel sneakers. They’re comfortable, versatile, and customisable. Replacing the laces with ribbons and adding wings to your shoes will take your Fairy Kei co-ord to the next level. You can purchase statement and platform sneakers from YRU or Irregular Choice, or upcycle a pair of white canvas sneakers with a dash of fabric paint if you’re on a budget.
Image courtesy of @synthpopcircus via Instagram.
Vintage Toys and Cartoons
Nostalgia for 80s cartoons and toys like Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Polly Pocket are an iconic trait of Fairy Kei fashion. If you have any pastel toys from your childhood, now would be the best time to dig them up and attach them to necklaces, glue them to pins, hang them from bag zippers, or stuff them into the windows of ita-bags! Vintage toys can be found all over the second-hand market—both online and in local stores—but if they’re still a challenge to find, you can also include similar motifs like cartoon prints in your outfits.
Fairy Kei is a great style if you want to gently ease yourself into kawaii fashion—it’s a loosely defined style that can be found in Tokyo boutiques, online indie brands, or your local thrift store. By identifying the pastel basics you probably already have in your wardrobe and adding some of the accessories suggested above, you’ll be well on your way to your first Fairy Kei co-ordinate!
Written by Cora.
Featured image courtesy of BambiBang via DeviantArt.