Top 29 Japanese Fashion Trends (in 2021) Right From The Streets of Tokyo
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.
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!
Designer Face Masks (Naturally!)
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.
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.
Bold Colors Oversized Hoodies
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.
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.
The diversity allows the aesthetic to be interpreted in various ways and adjusted to suit the most distinctive brands of electronic cool.
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.
Loud Printed Shirts
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.
Mixing Plaids (Plaid on Plaid)
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.
Silver & Metallics
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.
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.
Pop & Block
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.
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.
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.
Pink Denim (Bubblegum)
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.
Bold & Cozy Coatigans
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.
Graphic Athleisure & Joggers
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.
Oversized Trench Coats
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over-structured, anime Harajuku accessories have always been part of Japanese fashion trends.
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?!
Hip-Length Cropped Blazers
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.
Wide Leg Pants
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.
Patent Leather Jackets
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.
White on White
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.
Vegan (And Edgy) Shearling Jackets
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.
Muslin and double gauze are making a return to the Japanese fashion scene in 2021.
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.
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.
Now it’s your turn…
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.