Megan Thee Stallion Dressed Up as a Kawaii Character — Here's How You Can Too

While each product featured is independently selected by our editors, we may include paid promotion. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission. Read more about our Product Review Guidelines here.

Japan has always been a source of style inspiration, with many fashion aesthetics emerging from Tokyo. The Lolita aesthetic, for instance, represents themes like cuteness, sweetness, elegance, and modesty. The popular look originated from the fashionable Harajuku district in the early 1980s, but its potential precursor is likely Kawaii fashion. The term, which is Japanese for "cute," stems from a subculture that developed in Japan in the 1970s. It captures a form of self-expression that became widely adopted by young people in the country.

Kawaii clothes usually feature bold colours, eye-catching motifs, and intricate accents. This could include babydoll dresses, bow-embellished sweaters, or bouffant skirts (like those seen on many spring 2023 catwalks). Similar to the kidcore aesthetic, it can be a little playful and lighthearted (picture a seashell-shaped clutch or cat-ear hoodie) or slightly sporty (think a tennis skirt or striped sweater vest). The aesthetic gives an outlet to those who aren't afraid to take sartorial risks.

A fun way to tap into Kawaii fashion is to dress up as a character. Take inspiration from Megan Thee Stallion, who recently wore a Sailor Moon-inspired corset top and skirt while touring in Japan. Some other popular costume ideas include Sakura Kinomoto or Hatsune Miku. Whether you're curious about Harajuku fashion styles or want to experiment with elements of the Kawaii aesthetic, read on to learn how to achieve the look.

What Is the Kawaii Aesthetic?

Taken from Japanese consumer culture, the Kawaii aesthetic consists of playful, pretty-to-look-at pieces infused with a childlike sensibility. Kawaii clothes range from strawberry-print sweater vests to gingham skirts in shades of lavender, pink, and blue. However, there is also the Dark Kawaii aesthetic (also known as Yami Kawaii), which embraces navy, black, and darker colours as the name suggests.

What Does It Mean to Be Called Kawaii?

If you have an eye for all things cute — like designs in vibrant colours, loud prints, and sweet shapes — then your wardrobe choices may be called Kawaii or Kawaii-influenced. To learn how your wardrobe can channel even more Kawaii themes, keep reading for clothes and accessories that incorporate hallmarks of the aesthetic in practical ways.

Megan Thee Stallion's Sailor Moon-Inspired Look

Kawaii Aesthetic: UO Hallie Faux Fur Trim Cardigan
urbanoutfitters.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: UO Hallie Faux Fur Trim Cardigan

Go ahead and embrace the aesthetic in this UO Hallie Faux Fur Trim Cardigan ($69). From collar to the eye-catching shade of blue, this sweater is equal parts sweet and playful. Style yours with tailored trousers and low-heeled mules for an elegant fall look.

Kawaii Aesthetic: Alice and Olivia Carter Vegan Leather Mini Skirt
aliceandolivia.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Alice and Olivia Carter Vegan Leather Mini Skirt

For a dose of sporty and cool mixed with some Kawaii vibes, turn to this Alice and Olivia Carter Vegan Leather Mini Skirt ($100, originally $250). The pleated style is playful, while the leather material gives it a dressier feel. Style it with a matching tube top and sneakers for a practical outfit that works for all occasions.

Kawaii Aesthetic: UO Randi Shrunken Sweater Vest
urbanoutfitters.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: UO Randi Shrunken Sweater Vest

Sweaters vests are solid layers to have on hand as temperatures fall, and this UO Randi Shrunken Sweater Vest ($25, originally $49) channels the Kawaii aesthetic. It's ideal for wearing over a long-sleeve top or rocking on its own with jeans.

Kawaii Aesthetic: H&M+ Jacquard-knit Sweater
www2.hm.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: H&M+ Jacquard-knit Sweater

You can't go wrong with a high-neck sweater in the fall, especially one that features lovely butterfly motifs like this H&M+ Jacquard-knit Sweater ($25). It has all the hallmarks of a fun and versatile Kawaii piece.

Kawaii Aesthetic: Bridal by Eloquii Mixed Tulle Gown
eloquii.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Bridal by Eloquii Mixed Tulle Gown

Want the wedding ballgown of your dreams with a Kawaii-inspired twist? This Bridal by Eloquii Mixed Tulle Gown ($699) is the one with its whimsical construction and adorable appearance. The layers of tulle also lend it a romantic look that will make a statement at your nontraditional wedding.

Kawaii Aesthetic: A Silk Miniskirt: Reformation Robbie Silk Skirt
thereformation.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: A Silk Miniskirt: Reformation Robbie Silk Skirt

This Reformation Robbie Silk Skirt ($128) is a style staple. Pair this mini with a matching bra top and cardigan set or a fruit-print sweater vest for a Kawaii touch.

Kawaii Aesthetic: Jumz Accessories Maya Bead Bag
jumz.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Jumz Accessories Maya Bead Bag

The Jumz Accessories Maya Bead Bag ($160) will help you achieve peak Kawaii, thanks to its playful construction and colourful palette. Pair it with equally loud pieces for an eye-catching statement, or keep the rest of the look pared down.

Kawaii Aesthetic: Kai Collective Gaia Tube Mesh Dress
kaicollective.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Kai Collective Gaia Tube Mesh Dress

This Kai Collective Gaia Tube Mesh Dress ($163) is a fun iteration of the aesthetic. With the strapless silhouette and eye-catching print, it's all but guaranteed to deliver a memorable entrance at brunch, date night, or anywhere else.

Kawaii Aesthetic:  Kurt Geiger Quilted Rainbow Bucket Hat
nordstrom.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Kurt Geiger Quilted Rainbow Bucket Hat

Kawaii fashion fans will appreciate this versatile Kurt Geiger Quilted Rainbow Tie-Dye Bucket Hat ($58), which works well with any top-and-jeans combo for a casual day out. Be prepared to receive all the compliments on this colourful piece of headwear.

Kawaii Aesthetic: Cult Gaia Esme Clutch
saksfifthavenue.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Cult Gaia Esme Clutch

Looking for a sea-inspired accessory? Then check out the Cult Gaia Esme Clutch ($698). The seashell construction conjures up images of mermaid movies, making it a fit for the Kawaii aesthetic. Even with an understated black dress, adding this bag will make the outfit really pop.

Kawaii Aesthetic: Clio Peppiatt Quartz Beaded Bag
modaoperandi.com

Kawaii Aesthetic: Clio Peppiatt Quartz Beaded Bag

From the playful shape to the beaded design, many elements about this Clio Peppiatt Quartz Beaded Bag ($370) are giving Kawaii vibes. The pink colour is right on trend, though it also comes in an ombre blue or green.