It’s time for another Gyaru guide! If you missed the first of the series for Old School Gyaru, you can visit it here! So, before jumping into this, it needs to be said that there are a couple of different ways to go about the celebrity Gyaru route: old school or modern. Old school combines elements from the 90’s up to mid 2000’s, so think Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamasaki, Koda Kumi for Japan celebs, and Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan for western celebs. In fact, you can probably get away with blinging up an Amura style for this and it’ll be exactly that type of old school celebrity Gyaru vibe. The second more modern one is widely popular among kyabajou and influencers (mainly former GAL models that either have their own brand, are youtubers, or similar); this is a more westernized type of celebrity Gyaru style and screams LUXE (high end food, traveling, and brand).
I’m not really going to discuss the first one since there’s no one that could explain this better than actress Eliza Ikeda in her latest Vogue Girl JP feature alongside Ana Diamond Class and Piña Niña.
Old School セレブー: If you saw it on a celebrity at the VMAs circa 1999 up to 2003, that’s what you’re going for. Here’s the VMAs 2002 Red Carpet as an example. Brands like these focus on being gaudy and more casual than higher-end brands and couture items. These can range from sweatsuits (Juicy Couture) all the way to short shorts and… that’s right, I’m going there: apple bottom jeans (boots with the fur [with the fur!])
Modern セレブー: For Japanese brands, any of the brands shown by the Gals in this post will be good enough! These are incredibly simple designs mainly consisting of one single color, color blocks, or the brand name (i.e. Supreme). Shoes and other accessories tend to be the gaudier pieces whereas old school is really…everything; however, it’s not always the case.
Channel your inner Paris Hilton with a Juicy Couture tracksuit or start off with a few statement pieces from Coach or Michael Kors. These two usually have outlets with 60-70% off on items, so it’s a lot more affordable than other modern brands like Balenciaga, Fendi, Burberry.
I Want to be Serebu but I can’t Afford it
I totally get it! Honestly, I still find it ludicrous to spend on a $450+ flight, yet I have no problem dropping $350+ on a shopping spree, which depending on where you are in the income spectrum, can be a whole two-week’s paycheck or only a fraction. I’ve got a few tried and true tips for this but really all it boils down to is discipline. For example, I prioritize travel over just about anything, so most of my Japanese brand is second hand and my western brand is primarily outlet-based. While I notoriously spend between $300-$500 on shopping whenever I’m out, I don’t shop every week. I usually do little buys in between that are under $90 and then the bigger hauls are more spread out, so it makes bills and other necessities easy to work with.
TIP #1: Organize your month
Basically, figure out what you spend on and where your money goes on a monthly basis. Can you set spare a couple hundred (give or take) each month? If not, what’s reasonable and what will make you not have buyer’s remorse? By planning out when and where your money goes to certain things (car payments, loans, groceries, rent), you’re able to understand your spending habits better and justify to treat yourself every once in a while.
TIP #2: STORE CARDS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
… If you know how to use them. Outside of my Apple card, I don’t have any actual credit cards except for two store ones: Torrid and Kohl’s. With these three cards, I’m able to do a little bit of extra spending without destroying my bank account, and it’s helped build my credit score from mid 500s to early 600s (not much but when you start as a virtual ghost like me with zero credit, that’s actually a pretty good thing). Stores like Torrid are usually the easiest to get a credit card on, but you can apply for other credit cards such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, and more. Again, once you have these, you’ll want to map out when you need to pay for your expenses on those cards so you don’t get interest fees and bad reports on your credit report. (Yup, sometimes I’m an adult).
tip #3: start only with outlets and sales, friends that work with these brands are even better
Brand outlets are practically everywhere and these usually have “outdated” items for cheap. My most expensive buy so far was actually a Coach varsity-style jacket that originally cost $800 and I managed to get it for $250. An ex’s sister revamped her wardrobe once and started using nothing but brand, specifically Jimmy Choos. When I asked her how she did it, she told me one of her new friends actually worked at the store she got them at and would give her the employee discounts.
TIP #4: statement pieces are a great way to start
You don’t necessarily have to buy an entire outfit yet! Start small with an accessory or two and match it with a single color oversized hoodie – no one has to see the logo for Instagram purposes and no one has to know but you! When I started buying brand, I had an entire purse collection until I realized I really hate using purses and I put them all through hell anyway. After that, I moved on to Bebe and BCBGMaxazria which are still some of my favorites to date.
Tip #5: date yourself, treat yourself
One of my all-time favorite ways to pretend I’m living the life of the rich and famous! Dedicate at least one night per month to take yourself out on a date and go all out. Dress yourself to the nines, go to that fancy restaurant and club that just opened up and eat that ridiculously expensive dinner that the latest pop-up chef has on the menu. Not only will you feel good doing so, but it’ll motivate you to dress and technically emulate that serebu life we’re trying to obtain here. If the whole food thing isn’t your thing, why not put that same money into having a mini vacation getaway or stayaction? Looking to save? I’ve got an ex-coworker that buys herself a bouquet of flowers every time she needs a little pick me up. Why not? TREAT YO’ SELF!
TIP #6: second-hand items are great starters
This works particularly well for old school Serebu because the majority of these brands are discontinued or have a deal to come back through a random fast fashion brand which makes them even more affordable. A lot of 90’s brands like Rocawear for women are available for re-sale on sites like ThredUp where literally I think one item on there costs under $5 USD so I mean… that’s a pretty good way to get started on this without breaking the bank.
old school セレブー
- L.A.M.B (Love Angel Music Baby by Gwen Stefani)
This is now a sunglasses only brand but you can probably find these items for secondhand online
- Baby Phat
- Ed Hardy
- Karl Kani
- Juicy Couture
- Sugar (JP)
- Emiria Wiz (JP)
- COCO by Airi (JP)
- Alexander McQueen
Black Queen: High fashion brands that a kyaba buys to reward herself (JP)
Suzu Usa: Case Study – Coco Airi (sometimes called the Louboutin Celebrity GAL or Celebrity Wife) (JP)
As usual, hope this guide helps you live your celebrity alter ego life, even if just a little! I’ve since started a Pinterest account, so feel free to pin this as a resource with the image below: