Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

GAL: Guide + vision

Someone asked for a getting into GAL guide and here’s my take on one.

 Okay I know this is going to have many arguable points, and some may dismiss this post. Feel free to, I hope you enjoy the rest of the Doll if so. My intent is not ruffle feathers, but direct this at those who are new to gal looks and need a push.

My vision of gal follows five simple points

1. Gal is a fashion movement. End of story. Yes there are many activities that are gal related, but it is first and foremost a fashion movement.

2. Gal is constantly evolving. The look you followed last year might look terribly dated on the Tokyo streets. Yes some trends continue on, but a big trend tends to date itself. Mamba are dead, hold a funeral, move onto the now.

3. Gal must be constantly improved. Your look is an kinetic being, meaning you must be constantly changing to strive to find the best look within the fashion.

4. Gal is broad. BROAD! Even if you exclude the two extremes of b-kei gal (hiphop gal) and hime gal (princess gal) you are dealing with a broad spectrum of style preferences.

5. Gal is NOT cosplay. It’s not a costume, it’s a way of fashion life for many women. Women who work extremely hard to get the effect they want. Women who have often made life-changing choices to work in retail instead of college, or be nailist, do hair etc… Unlike the US where it is easy to go back to college, it is just not the case in Japan. These women have chosen a lifetime of possibly minimum wage jobs because they changed their fashion. To play it as a costume is just downright rude.

Second of all, ANYONE can enjoy gal fashion and pull off a gal look.

It is my hobby and obsession to people watch. As a self-confessed shopaholic, I am constantly shopping off of people’s looks this especially stands true to gals. Break down the barriers you have about only Asians can “do gal” or blond is the only gal, or larger sized women can’t do gal. BULLSHIT!

Sorry for the language, but this is just absolutely untrue. I have seen some of the bigger sized girls in Tokyo pull off spectacular looks and in my experience these also do amazing hair. I have seen tiny girls fail like they tumbled out of their closet. I have seen many foreign gals do great looks. And no I am not the be-all-end-all of taste, but neither are you.

Yes the gals in the magazines are tiny, the average BMI of a Japanese model is 16. 2 pips below a healthy weight, which means one big flu and their body organs could give out. Not to mention the heart problems later on in life. Yes many gals have blonde or light hair, but the damage is obscene to your hair and many pull off black better.

Step one: buy a ton of current gal magazines

Or find the ways via the glorious internet to read them. It’s best to pick a small selection of magazines you like. These will become your bible. Without proper access to 109 and shops putting website items often later than in stores, these are the most current pieces you have without stepping into a store.

Nuts, Egg, Blenda, Jelly, S Cawaii, Popteen, Ranzuki, Ageha and others all provide their style direction in different looks.

Personally I currently enjoy: Ageha, Nuts and Jelly as my main reads. Since Ageha lends itself to Agejo, Nuts to more of a Celeb-rock look and Jelly to a casual Adult style each can combine to form a look.

Devour the looks in these magazines, judge for yourself what is editorial (aka something made to look cool for the magazine) and something designed for everyday. An example of this would be ex-Popteen model Tsubasa Matsuwaka’s bow from last year.

An example from the Tokyo Girls Collection
Yet thankfully no one took the giant bow look to the streets. Instead smaller bows were used to provide the doll effect.
Seperate types of gal
Yes there are more types of gal, but 
Haadi/Electro – Brand JSG, Ed Hardy, Galaxxy
Erokawaii – Brand One*Spo, Mar*s
Oneegyaru – Brand Cecil McBee, Egoist, Duras
Rock-kei – Brand Glad News, Gilfy
Oraorakei – Brand tutuha, Heaven and Earth
Doll – brand Delyle, Honey Bunch, Liz Lisa
Hime – brand Jesus Diamante
B-gyaru – brand LB-03, Baby Shoop
Agejo – brand Mar*s, Lip Service
Ame-kaji – brand Cocolulu, Shake Shake, Vanquish
these are the main ones I see day-to-day. If it’s not on the list it’s possibly dying. (yes there are kogals but they are schoolgirls in Japan, I am doubting who is reading this is either.)
Start an I love this board or list
Through Polyvore or just a simple cork board at home, cut out your inspirational looks and study from them. Judge what could craft an outfit best. If you’re less the collage type, a list can help although not as visual. Also you can use booknote Post-its to refer back in your magazines of what you like.
This should be your time to narrow your style. Often the more you solidify the kei you enjoy and style direction you choose, you can be more effective inside of that genre.
Be a fashion editor to your closet
Which current items do you see in  your closet that can be used for gal? I am betting you will find some. A chunky winter scarf, some skinny jeans, a loose tee, some leggings. Scrounge together what you feel echos the current trends. (See fall trends to check if you have any looks)
edit: malignita’s lovely Steal this Look on kogal_panel can also help American gals learn to use American stores to fit a gal mystique.
Gals identify each other through aesthetics

This may be a little too sociological, but it’s more do your nails, eyebrows, eyelashes, general make and hair echo a gal mentality.
Nails: Magazines put out a nail guide and some are quite intricate, however if you stick to getting acrylic fakes with color and some stones you will find yourself doing it right. Or learn a skill and do them yourself.
Hair: Gals have a set color range. Yes it changes seasonally, but there’s a range of browns, blondes, reds (orenji as they call it) and such that are acceptable. Consider which of these colors looks good on your skintone (ask for beauty advice from pros) and go for it! I do not think moving into gal exists without a hair change.
Tanning: While for some its not popular such as Hime or Agejo, judging by the chocolate and caramel legs I am seeing this winter still tanning is very in. As an extremely pale person I’ve noticed that when I tan ungal Japanese often put my in the gal category even when my hair might be simple or such.
Make-up: Please please go back and read Gal Mori and then we’ll talk. Eyelashes are such a boom lately. It’s hard not to see girls in 109 that do not have extensions (my shopstaff Kie does them) or fake ones (Mai, Yuuna and other shopstaff I know prefer this). MAC is beloved by gals and gals often work there. Head to MAC and get yourself some of their quality foundations and eyeliner.
Please please DO NOT follow the make-up guides step by step in Japanese magazines if you’re not-Asian. Why? Your face has different contour and depth. Japanese gal magazines proclaimed 2007 as the year of looking like a gaijin (I kid you not). 2009 is now apparently by SCawaii the year of the haafu (half-Japanese half-gaijin).  Those of us not Asian, we are already contoured in such ways. Overusing contour make-up can lead to horrid results. Yes white and black and hispanic and arabic and etc… benifit from shading and highlighting, but in different areas.
Get yourself style icons: Pic the model you love from your magazine and study her look. Pic a few and mix to your liking.

Accessorize: I have often seen many western girls fall flat because of their lack of accessories. No I do not mean to get all creepy decora on me. Although a necklace, a belt, a hair accessory can often be the maker to a bold look.
Spend time
Make YOU your BOOM. Gals do not just wake up with eye make put on and clothes perfectly arranged. It is work, WORK!!! Lazy isn’t a word you have in your vocab. I recently was talking to a very sweet DIA shopstaff girl with amazing hair. I asked her how long it took and she said around 5 hours. That was just on her hair. So she possibly woke up at 4:00 in the morning or earlier to start her routine.
Kaji (meaning casual) of any sort is NOT LAZY! It is often tons of time spent to LOOK casual. Do not associate kaji and yuru (loose styles) with laziness. This is simply not the case. Effective kaji is extremely thoughtful and you might find these girls took the same time on their look as high-maintence Agejos.
Also you cannot do gal halfway. Especially as a gaijin, from my experiences we have to try harder to get past perceptions that Japanese people have of foriegners and also show we can enjoy gal fashion just as well.  Even if you are living back in your home country. Go hard or go home, simple as that.
Be humble and improve yourself.
We ALL can improve within how we want to portray ourselves.  We also all started out from 0, so remember yourself at the beginning and then consider others. My mother always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Sometimes this should be the code of gals. My experiences with Japanese gals, this is mostly the case. Instead highlight the positives of yourself and others.

Fall/Winter musts

Just like my spring/summer tips. These are my autumn/winter tips for having a blazing winter. 

I wrote these back in August when people were still in tank tops, but finally a cold front has moved into Japan so I feel justified talking about winter items now.

Let’s get sexy chilly


Even if it’s not cold where you live, thinking ahead and buying now to wear often keeps you cheap, trendy and ahead of the curve.

Pick a color theme

This is not as important in spring/summer where color is fun and playful. However it’s important to consider colors in Fall/Winter when you must wear the same scarf/coat/boots more often than summer necessities.

Personally I think pops of color are very fun in clothing choices for fall if you keep everything black and grey. Pink and grey is gorgeous together so why not a pink beret and scarf? Purple is also gorgeous when finding the right shade for your skintone, and very popular this season. Consider purple boots.

White boots or a jacket make a strong statement and can look amazing with the right basics. However wearing too much white in the winter especially with tan skin kind of looks like a shaka shaka chicken and can be off-putting.

Tights

You have to tan less, no one sees your white legs, no cellulite, and depending on the thickness you can stay warm. Colored tights were too much of a trend in 2007, so it’s best to go black or grey be it lacey/shiny/ripped etc… Stay away from looking too 2007. Lace tights are trending right now, and gal style is about being in the NOW so get your lace on.

Black boots

Find a pair that you can walk in even when it’s icy. Last year I went through 4 pairs of black boots since Tokyo streets tear up shoes, but if you don’t have to walk as much as good pair of boots can last you the winter.

Thigh high are especially booming, but short boots are popular as well. Consider a few to mix up. This tip goes 100x for the Japan ladies reading since continually walking on Japanese streets KILLS your shoes.

Get starter coats

Coats are the epicenter of your winter look. However, having a few light jackets is a wonderful idea to transition into winter and out to spring. Cardigans, unlined leather jackets, and traditional suit jackets are all great ideas. 

Then, invest in a signature coat. Big coats are expensive, so its best to get one and love it to death. It should state exactly how you want to look this winter. Go for one with bows if you want to feel girly, or fitted if you want sexy, short if you want cute, etc… You must absolutely love your coat, since you’ll be in it most days (this goes for us Southern girls as well).

Do not buy tshirts

You bought these this summer, short tees are fine with a good coat. Besides with as much buttoning up is done through winter tees are barely seen. If you must, buy one of two if they come in a set, but stay away! If it’s long sleeve I’ll give you a pass, but your money should really be diverted into winter skirts or jeans, boots, and a coat.

Take a break from tanning or go less

We love it, I think it’s wonderful when tanning smoothes your skin and you feel like you’re always wearing caramel smooth hosiery, but tanning errodes your skin. In the winter most of it is covered up, so switch to sunless tanning or just stop and save the money for cute winter pieces!

Remember when to say when

A lot of people wish for winter items during Christmas, but you only have 1-3 months of wearing it more. Consider planning towards spring trends when in February, even if it’s cold. Buy most of your winter selections BEFORE November. That way you’ll get tons of use out of them.

Consider Extensions

During the summer you sweat, you head out to the beach and dip your head into the nasty sea, you work-out more often. It all leads to more washing, more itching and more dry and dirty extensions. Winter is the perfect time to get your first pair or head back to them. Nothing keeps the head warm like a noggin full of hair. If your roots start showing you are in winter hat season anyways.

Upcoming on the Doll:

Here are some upcoming blog posts on the Doll:

– Fall shopping loot
– Trend alert: Watches
– Divorcing yourself from J-rock or typical Rock-kei style
– Nagoya and Osaka
– Dieting Tips
– Mitsu FAQ
– Model Blog Roll
– Host FAQ
– Winter Musts

Now on kogal_panel I turn the spectacular group of ladies there and ask what they want to read about. Be it gal culture, general Japan, deco, anything…

They have asked me to write about music and club life in Japan. I’ve got my music post in my brain, but my booty needs to get to more clubs before I talk about club life. ^_^;;

I turn the question to you guys now: What would you like to hear about on the Doll? Even if it’s not blog post worthy (because I feel I can’t talk much on the subject), I’ll do my best to answer your questions about your requested topics to the best of my ability.

I know commenting is always a weird feeling, feel free to do it anonymously if you feel like it.

Swarovski SALE


Super quick note: artbeads.com has a sale on with a bunch of Swarovski crystals 15% off. Crystal, Crystal AB, Jet and even some of the large stones. On until the 18th!

Check it out!

reader atan also put out the sweet info of 20% off orders of $60 or more
order code: SCE20P-090209LDS

…ahhh I really want to buy my stash to finish my bike in January. If so I’ll save 10.00!

The DOLL needs fun in the sun

It’s been really awesome working on these posts, and compiling more, however it’s all been done because I got sick!

My life went: finals / last moments in Tokyo drinking / hungover to the States / instant flu!

I was so grumpy I wrote up a list of demands of what would make me happy (and these are the types of requests that make every girl happy)

  • A massage and sugar scrub
  • A facial
  • A trip to Cancun or the Caribbean
  • A new bag

Quite a list, huh? LOL I think only 2 of those are getting met and not the fancy ones. But… I made my little piece of Caribbean by the pool.

First I needed some Island flair with my favorite drink to sip in Japan.


Mitsu’s summer cocktail
1 glass ice
1 shot of Soho lychee liquor
Rest of a small tumbler with grapefruit juice
Stir, sippy sippy and enjoy!

Soho lychee liquor is so delicious! In Japan it’s marketed as Dita (same company), Dita-grapefruits is love.

A little pre-pool munch
A seasame mochi ball filled with red bean pasta and a kiwi slice.

Easy spray on Neutrogena sunscreen in 30 (recommended)
Delicious smelling Love Junkie tanning lotion

On a side note: Japan lacks any good tanning lotions. They either offer oil or gel and both feel un-moisterizing. I have to remember to bring Love Junkie back by the case if I keep tanning.

My VS eco bag with pins from Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyworld Florida
Filled with: a trashy book, my iphone, a beach towel, shuffle

Deco shuffle done in Swaro mix with some left over crystals

My little slice of Island heaven

My man says I look gangster in this pic (LOL). Sunnies by Spiral Girl, happy post sun.

Are you guys enjoying some island escapes… or just some sun at home? I’ll be doing a gal travel tips post next, hopefully you can get your pretty on and travel, too!

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The Massive Links of All Links (WIP)

This will continue to be updated with more links.

Buying: Shopping services can help you order from these stores.

Trend spotting: Even if you don’t want to shop overseas looking at web catalog you may spot trends in your favorite brands faster than magazines, you may also discover new looks faster.

Real look: Pupe Jiten (directory) is very useful to check for your favorite brands even if you aren’t a pupe member, it has real pictures of the outfits to see if you like them.

Image Site

Maruei in Nagoya – Has pictures of mannequins from each store in this season’s looks as well as price listings. Worth a look!


Big Webstores

Shibuya 109 Net Shop = ^
The House of 247 of Love = #
Love Boat, LDS, Days of Freedom, Lb-03, Love Girls Market
RShop = @
Liz Lisa, Lis Liza Doll, Tralala
Love Ex = !
tons of brands including Cecil and Cocolulu
Fashion Walker = *
Backs, Cecil, Spiral Girl
Shel’tter = %
Moussy, SLY, Reinda, Rodeo Crowns

The Stores

Ascent Gem ^

Album^
pupe jiten
webstore

Backs
^ * !
webstore
rakuten webstore

Bonita
pupe jiten

Buzz Spunky ^
webstore 

Cecil McBee ^ ! *
pupe jiten
webstore

Cocolulu ^ ! *
pupe jiten
webstore

Delyle * ^
webstore
blog

DIA no web presence

Dilga ^
webstore

Duras ^
pupe jiten
webstore
blog

Egoist ! *
pupe link
rakuten webstore

Gilfy ^ ! *
(the link for Backs and Re Dark as well)
pupe jiten
rakuten store
webstore


Glad News^ !
pupe jiten
rakuten webstore

Jammy ^
webstore

Jesus Diamante
pupe jiten
webstore
blogs (private room)

Ji;Maxx
pupe jiten
rakuten webstore
credge webstore

JSG !
pupe jiten

rakuten webstore
credge webstore

LDS #
pupe jiten

Lip Service
! *
pupe jiten
rakuten webstore

webstore

Liz Lisa ^ @ *
pupe jiten
background downloads

Love Boat ^ #
pupe jiten

Love Girls Market # ^
pupe jiten

Mar*s * ! ^
pupe jiten or here
webstore

Me Jane * ^ !
pupe jiten
webstore

MinPlume ^
webstore

Moussy %
pupe jiten

OneSpo
pupe jiten

One Way ^
pupe jiten

Pinky Girls
pupe jiten
webstore
blog

R&E Rosessence ^
pupe jiten

ReDark ^ *
webstore
rakuten webstore
background downloads

Reinda % ^
pupe jiten
webstore
blog

Rose Fan Fan ^ !
pupe jiten
love ex webstore

Rodeo Crowns
%
background downloads

SBY ^
staff blog
happy room staff blog

Shake Shake ^
pupe jiten

webstore

SLY %
pupe jiten
blog

Spiral Girl * ^ !
pupe jiten
webstore

Sword Fish * !
pupe jiten
webstore
rakuten webstore
blog

Tralala @ ^
pupe jiten

Twisty ^
webstore

Valentines High * ^
pupe jiten
webstore
rakuten webstore
blog
background downloads

Vence ^
pupe jiten
blog

w*c ^
webstore
webstore blog 
staff blog
wc blog
wc president blog