Although there are lots of established brands and shops selling Fairy Kei specific items in Japan there aren’t too many in the rest of the world. Luckily it’s a look that you can easily create from just visiting in your local shops. Fairy Kei uses a whole mix of items, it doesn’t have any set rules about the actual clothing so I suggest you shop mostly by colour. Look for pretty pastel shades, anything a bit floaty, delicate, cute and girly helps to add to the softness of the look too. You can combine vintage items very easily in to Fairy Kei so check vintage stalls/shops, look online at ebay, try high-street stores for tops, socks & accessories. Like most of the Japanese fashions there isn’t usually much skin on show so bear that in mind when looking for items.
Top to Toe
Colours: pastels like pale pinks, lilacs, mint green, powder blue, delicate pale yellows, white or off-white, creams, etc
Headwear: there are no style specific types of headwear so anything that is cute and works with your outfit/colour scheme is fine. You can add a wig too if you prefer.
Face/Make-up: Generally make-up is kept fairly natural and minimal, its not a style where massive false lashes or contacts are generally worn. I would suggest using pretty pastel shades to keep with the sweet delicate theme.
Outerwear: often fleecy jackets, cardigans and shrugs/boleros are used. They can be oversized rather than fitted to create a softer silhouette. I have also seen very sheer shrugs used that I believe are vintage bed/night wear jackets. I found a super pretty one at my local vintage shop and it was on sale and so only cost £4 (pic below). These items should be really easy to get hold of try ebay, charity shops, car boots, markets, high-street stores – especially Primark as they are nice and cheap.
Top: t-shirts with 80’s cartoons like Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, Care Bears printed on or just something cute really. You could customise t-shirts by sewing or painting designs on or adding bows etc. Check charity shops, car boots, high-street stores for cute t-shirts or plain ones that you can add designs too. Oversized jumpers can also been worn. Primark are currently doing a range of character t-shirts like MLP and have cheap plain tops too. You can also find character t-shirts on ebay, amazon and play.com
Dresses/Playsuits/Salopette: Sweet Lolita dresses can work in Fairy Kei, I’ve seen babydolls worn with bloomers and cute printed playsuits all worn in this style. Anything that’s cute or in the right colours can be worn really. Again check the same places as stated above.
Bottom: Skirts/Shorts. Cute short puffy tutus/petticoats are common in Fairy Kei. As are floaty chiffon or lace skirts. These can be found easily online from places like ebay or bodyline do lots of pretty ones. Cute frilly bloomers or pastel shorts work too and can also be worn under petticoats and tutus that are see-through or just quite short. You could also buy plain shorts and add cute designs or lace. Primark have lots of shorts in at the moment, may be worth a look there. I have seen pastel coloured skinny jeans worn too but not as often.
Legs: Tights, socks, leggings and sometimes leg warmers too. With pretty designs on if you can get them or otherwise the legwear is usually layered so maybe leggings, knee high socks and then legwarmers or cute shorter socks. Primark have some lovely pastel coloured ankle socks in at the moment. Again check the places already mentioned.
Feet: If you have nice small feet then you have loads of options for footwear if you have larger feet (UK 7/8/9 etc) then it’s a bit harder – bit isn’t it always! I have seen a whole range of different types of shoes worn with Fairy Kei – ugg style boots, crocs, creepers, boots, trainers, Lolita shoes, dolly shoes, ballet flats etc… Just look for pale colours. You can also buy white canvas shoes and paint them yourself. Bear in mind though that if they are just one solid colour it can unbalance the look of your outfit if you don’t have enough of the same colour higher up. Brands to check out are: Pastry Glam Pie trainers & Reebok Freestyle trainers. Also Primark currently have some cute canvas shoes and baseball style shoes in that come in lots of pale shades.
Accessories: Anything cute and in the right colours. I’ve seen hair scrunchies worn as bracelets, lots of Hello Kitty or Disney jewellery, pony bead bracelets etc. Accessories can easily be made too just by visiting local craft/haberdashery shops or customise existing things. Its also worth checking out children’s accessories for items you can customise or make in to something else and for cute hair slides etc.
I hope you have found this helpful. As with any fashion its all about trying things out to see what works and doesn’t, start small by buying a few cheaper items and build your wardrobe from there. Most importantly have fun and just play about with things. If you get stuck then try looking at more photos of Fairy Kei fashion for inspiration.
Useful stores to check out:
stores.ebay.co.uk/REFUSE-TO-BE-USUAL/ – skirts, tops, dresses, shoes, socks, tights etc
http://www.bodyline.co.jp/bodyline/ – pannier skirts, shoes, bloomers
http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RockingHorseDesign?ref=seller_info – skirts & dresses (UK based)
http://www.harajukustyle.co.uk/ – skirts, dresses, tops (UK based)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleMizzKitty – cute accessories (UK based)