Japanese street style has many different branches. My personal favourite is either amai lolita (sweet lolita) or hime gyaru (“princess” girl). The looks can be confused with each other to people who aren’t used to the style. Here I have compiled a (very) basic guide to some of the many different styles.
~ Lolita ~
The main idea for lolita outfits is that they are childlike, similar to something a doll would wear. Very modest, (Lolitas will often wear bloomers) and not much make up is worn to prevent them looking too grown up. Hair is big and highly decorated. There are many types of lolita, some of these are: Amai (Sweet), Gothic, Classic, Guro (Gorey), Aristocrat, Ero, Punk and Wa (Wa takes a traditional japanese inspiration, wearing Kimonos and an Obi.) Most lolitas take great care to ensure their outfit does not resemble a cosplay costume.
~ Gyaru ~
Gyaru means gal, I believe the name was taken from a brand of jeans. Gyaru also has many different branches. They are different from lolitas because they can dress less modestly and wear make-up, As they aim to look more grown up than a lolita.
~ Hime Gyaru ~
The princess girl. This look is often mistaken for amai lolita, however it is not the same thing. Hime gyaru fashion is a lot more grown up and mature, aiming to look like a young lady rather than a child. More make up is worn and short skirts can be worn too. Often a more casual look is taken, which can be called Hime Kajii.
~ Ganguro ~
The ganguro look is a version of gyaru that was popular in the late 90s to early 00s. The look requires over-use of fake tan and hair bleached to a white blonde. White lipstick and eyeshadow is then applied. The look is very colourful.
~ Decora ~
The decora look is decorative, hence decora. Their outfits include lots of jewellery and other accessories in bright colours. Many of these accessories will kawaii (cute).
*~*Thus concludes my short intro to japanese street style, there are many more awesome branches that I have neglected to mention here. Such as another one of my favorites, Fairy Kei. Hope I have given you some insight into the wonderful world of japanese street style*~*