What is Kawaii Aesthetic Clothing and Why is it So Popular?

What is Kawaii Aesthetic Clothing and Why is it So Popular?

You’ve probably seen it. The pastel, bright colors. Ribbons, bows, and overly long sleeves. If you had to describe it in one word, you’d probably pick the word ‘cute’. It’s a fitting word, because it’s actually the true name of the style itself. This style is called kawaii, or cute, in Japanese. Let’s talk about what Kawaii aesthetic clothing is and why it’s so popular!


Where Did Kawaii Come From?

While the word kawaii has existed in Japanese language for quite a long time, it’s use as an aesthetic style is much more recent. In the late 1960s, the cute aesthetic was elevated as a new style to represent university student protests. The style eventually spread globally in the 90s to become quite popular internationally. Many businesses across industries saw the potential for the adorable style to see success with adult and teen markets instead of children.

Kawaii is extremely popular all around the world, and there are now plenty of opportunities for anyone interested to get started exploring the style for themselves online.

Although the style has traditionally been associated with Japanese styles, there are also similar Korean styles that often get wrapped into the aesthetic as well.


There are several ways that you can distinguish Japanese kawaii styles.

Japanese Kawaii Fashion

Dressy interpretation of Yume Kawaii LIEF

Japanese styles focus on extra details. Bows, ribbons, ruffles are often seen. There is also an emphasis on graphics and patterns of cute characters. Other important aspects of this aesthetic are the color schemes used. Contrasting or lighter colors are often used, especially pastels.


Meanwhile, Korean styles associated with kawaii lean away from patterns. NiziU is a 9 member Japanese idol girl group focused in Korean style fashion. You can see that they instead focus on the cut of the garment. 

Korean fashion clothing

JYP Entertainment

This allows for them to accentuate other features like accessories. Extra zippers, straps, and chains gain these styles a reputation for coolness and elegance. Button-down shirts are also seen more often in Korean fashion. Instead of being light, Korean aesthetic is more muted than Japanese styles.

There are always exceptions to these descriptions, but these are some of the general characteristics of Japanese and Korean styles associated with kawaii.

Make Your Dream Style a Reality



Have you ever wanted to try the kawaii style on for yourself? Getting into this cute style is easier than ever thanks to stores online like SubtleKawaii. With an order of $50 or more, you can even get free international shipping!


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