Fairy Kei aesthetic is a fashion style that’s been around for quite some time, and isn’t a new trend by any means.
It originated in the late 90’s, when fashionista and fashion entrepreneur, Sebastian Masuda, began retailing fairy oriented clothing in his Japan-based store.
A simultaneously operating figure in the budding fashion trend, Sauri Tabuchi, was meanwhile running a second-hand clothing store, Spank!, that specialized in a similar type of clothing style. Together, these pioneers developed a trend that would grow exponentially over the next decade, culminating in the blossoming and unique, worldwide fashion phenomenon we see today.
Fairy kei loosely translates to “fairy-style” and is similar to the many other Lolita-inspired, Japanese street fashion trends out there in that it utilizes many kiddish and childhood inspired looks. What makes this trend its own unique style, is its emphasis on bright, pastel and fluro color schemes, and a specific interest in revivalist 80’s cartoons and symbols.
From Care Bears, to My Little Pony, and even certain elements of Japanese manga, this trend draws from a variety of cultural pools of interest. It’s incredibly versatile, extremely flexible, and very flamboyant, but more importantly — it’s cuteness level is off the scale.
First things first, let’s clear up a common misconception – pastel colored hair is a popular feature among fairy-kei fashionistas, but it’s not a requirement. In fact, many in the scene opt to keep their hair natural and dress it up with cute and simple accessories. Think brightly colored bows, tutus, bunched socks, crop tops, hair ribbons, and even leg warmers – these are all items you can expect to find in a fairy-kei store.
You can really wear anything, just as long as it’s colorful (the emo isle is further that way, the darkness is not something that’s worshiped here, folks, only happy places), but again, more importantly, it has to be cute!
If you’re unsure as to what constitutes a fairy kei aesthetic item, it’s really quite simple: whatever’s bright, whatever’s cute, and whatever suits you. The key to this trend, like most other Japanese street-wear trends, is the unstructured and individual-based theme.
You do what suits you, what you think looks good on you, and you mustn’t be afraid to customize things the way you see fit. It’s a DIY subculture as much as it is a theme-based subculture, so don’t hesitate to make something your own!
Don’t worry if you’re still unsure as to what to wear, as below we’ve developed a list of fashion tips on how to pull off the Fairy Kei aesthetic look. Hopefully some of the tips help you with you Fairy Kei clothing choices, and maybe you’ll feel inspired to get in touch with your inner fairy!
1. Fairy Kei Outfit Idea: Sailor Moon Jacket, Heart Tights, Pink Shoes, DIY Circle Skirt & Accessories
Right off the bat we start of with this excellent combination of fairy-kei items, that look absolutely cute to the max in an outfit. The pink and blue really go well together, and it almost makes everything look like a blossoming flower! I positively love the Sailor Moon references (the wand MUST be mine!), and the heart-print tights really match well with the skirt.
This is a fine example of what the Fairy Kei style is all about. The outfit creator used elements from other trends that she loves, like the Pastel Goth studs, and the Rockabilly-inspired hairdo, and incorporated them into her fairy-kei look.
2. Pastel Pink Tulle Skirt, Black Lace Tights, Pink Shoes, Floral Crown, Band T & White Collared Dress
Pastel pastel pastel, oh how I love pastel. The contrast between the black and the muted pastel has to be given a 10/10 (if I HAD to score it), and the nerdy tones go swimmingly with the fairy kei aesthetic, I must say. The pink kind of looks apricotty, which I simply love, and the pastel dyed hair looks surreal. I also love the floral crown, which is making me woozy with how cute it looks 🦄
3. Fairy Kei Outfit: Pink Sailor Moon Jacket, Sax Blue Polkadot Dress & Cute Pins
This outfit just screams DIY, but also screams cute even louder! Another fine looking Sailor Moon jacket, which always fits nicely within the fairy kei aesthetic look, only this time covered in pretty little pins ☆(❁‿❁)☆
Another brilliant Ardene item in the form of the blue dress, which goes crazy cute with the pastel jacket (blue and pink never goes wrong in the fairy kei fashion scene).
A simple and easy outfit, this one is a must try for anybody looking to throw on something cute and bounce around town.
4. Fairy Kei Inspired Look: Rose Crown, Pastel Rainbow Skirt, Pink Jumper, Horse Shoes & My Little Pony Pins
OMG what a cute little piece of creative cuteness this outfit is. The pastel sheen this entire look creates is reminiscent of a cute and cuddly little My Little Pony toy, and the wig almost embodies that entirely!
I love the Angelic Pretty socks, and they flow so seamlessly into the shoes as well as the cutesy little dress. The shoulder bag is a nice little added treat, and so to is the resin pink heart necklace from Nerdy Little Secrets.
5. Pastel Tie-Dye Smiths T, Studded Cardigan, Two-Tone Wig, Pink Ribbon, Lace Bow Tights & White Creepers
This one’s a bit more of a mix mash of trends, but it’s still Lolita, still fits with the fairy kei fashion style perfectly, and still entirely cute. I love the addition of white on black creepers, as well as the studs on the shoulders, and if gives a nice little alternative feel.
A pastel tie-dyed Smiths shirt brings the whole look together, a perfect mix of Harajuku aesthetic fashion with Fairy Kei aesthetic, and the pastel blue skirt brightens up the look completely. I also love the two-tone wig, especially when combined with the bow.
6. Retro My Little Pony Shirt, Lavender Cardigan, Mint on Lavender Tulle Skirt, and Holographic Oxford Platforms
A cute totally 80’s inspired fairy kei fashion look from start to finish. I love the pastel tutu, and it almost has a kind of 3D-type look to it (o´ω｀o)
Iridescent, holographic, pastel, and completely 80’s, this outfit is a must try for any occasion. Love the hoop earrings, love the bow, love the pins, and love everything about this outfit. Perfect pink to purple color scheme, and perfect fairy cuteness.
7. DIY Pastel Tie-Dye Shirt, Clouds Skirt, Pink Heart Bow, Pink & White Socks, Baby Pink Cardigan, Sailor Moon Necklace
“Pretty in pink” is the theme here (or at least I would like to think it is?) and the matching items all combine together to make for a wonderfully cute outfit. The hair is a rich pink which offsets the dull pastel pinks that are seen throughout the outfit, which may not occur if you try it, but it’s worth noting it if you’re thinking of dying your hair!
The toxic blossom skirt is a gem of a piece, and goes well with the self-made and thrifted pieces of pastel clothing. Love the sailor moon necklace, which has been provided by Nerdy Little Secrets, who also provided the fairy kei fashion inspired cute little headband.
8. Kawaii Fairy Kei Outfit: Baby Pink Dress, Lavender Cardigan, Pastel Blue Tights, Purple Boots & Heart Bag
Pink on purple is a match made in heaven — especially when it’s all pastel. I really love the layered look this outfit has, with the collared pink shirt being covered by another purple shirt, a pink dress, and a purple cardigan. All of this descends into some really nifty looking tights that ends with a pair of muted pastel purple combat boots. Rough and cute, but bright and pretty at the same time.
9. Pink Ribbon Button Cardigan, Mint Polkadot BabyDoll Dress, White Socks, Floral Crown & Bubblegum Pink Shoes
This is an example of how to rock natural hair, with the blond hair being used as a canvass to be dressed up and prettied. The giant self-made floral headband does this excellently, but the hair has been spun to look extra stylish and cutesy — making me rage with cute envy (≧◡≦)
The Ardene dress is a perfect item choice for this outfit, and goes very well with the cardigan that also had a cute scalloped collar feature on it. Love the horse shoes, which are a must have for your collection (if you don’t already have them!).
10. DIY Mindfulness Tee, Pink Cat Bow & Skirt, Black Cardigan, Heart Thigh Highs, White Creepers with Black Trim
Again, another example of how to rock natural hair: keep the style cute, and doll it up with cute accessories. I love the creepers with the thigh highs, especially because the color molds into the two items so well. The black on the thigh highs also matches the cardigan, which is another plus!
Any time cats are included, I’m all ears, because who doesn’t love cats? They’re adorable ! (°∀°)
11. Pink Lolita Shirt, Mint Cardigan, Lavender Skirt, Rainbow Layered Socks, Pearl Wristbands & Necklaces
This outfit is like a pastel rainbow, and shows that a mixing of different colors can work with the pastel color scheme. It’s like a fairy-kei extravaganza, and the Lolita elements really prove to be quite stunning features when they’re contrasted with different colors. I also love the pearls! They give a shine and a gloss that simply cannot be achieved with other jewellery items.
12. Pink Unicorn Shirt, Blue Cardigan, Polkadot Skirt, Winter Boots, 6% Doki Doki Baby Pink Sugar Bows
Really love the black on pink here, which is contrasted with the fluro hair color and the deep yet pale blue look of the cardigan. This time it’s not a My Little Pony shirt that’s responsible for the ponies, as this my friends is the pony’s mythical cousin — the majestic unicorn. Ah yes, the majestic and illusive unicorn, so elegant, yet so cute at the same time (well, when it’s portrayed in a cute manner — those horns could really hurt somebody you know).
13. Fairy Kei Inspired Look: Mint Frill Blouse, Pink Print Tights, Cat Watch, Cute Accessories & Bubblegum Pink Shoes
Bright and colorful, and it just screams fairy from the tips of the highest mountain (or cloud). Cuter than the word itself, this outfit features an array of different items, which if you’re having a lazy day, don’t even attempt to try this outfit out. This is more for those days when you have extra time to burn, and you don’t care how long it takes for you to embody everything the word cute is defined as being.
The extravagant wig is supplied by Toxic Blossom who make simply amazing fairy-kei items, and the blouse is a Cherry D specialty. 3 Items featured in this outfit are from Angelic Pretty, which are the detachable collar, the brooches, and the ivory-made item.
14. A Pink on Lavender Dress with Polkadots on Top, Baby Blue Printed Tights, Baby Blue Heel Sandals, a Muted Pin Cardigan, and a Hello Kitty Plush Handbag
Nothing says the word cute quite like this outfit looks, and I have to say that it’s probably the cutest one on this list. The Hello Kitty bag just takes everything to a whole other level of cute, which is on itself an fairy kei aesthetic essential, and how something can be so plush and yet still be real will forever be a mystery to me.
I love the light pinks mixed in the light blues, and the star necklace really stands out as a result of the light colors present. Everything from the hair accessory, to the shoes, all makes my cute meter flaunt with the idea of exceeding its threshold. Even the earrings are a fantastic element that makes this outfit pop!
15. Little Twin Stars T-Shirt Dress, Mint Fluffy Cardigan, Pink Knee High Socks, Black & White Creeper Sneakers
Rounding off this list is everything that embodies this scene — simple, colorful, cute, and fashion oriented. Utilizing items for unconventional things, like taking an oversized Tee and turning it into a lovely little dress, and incorporating other trends into the style like the creepers or the red hair tip highlights. After seeing something like this, how could you not feel obliged to let your inner fairy flourish!