Little Red Riding Vogue: Release your inner animal

Photo Credit: Indigo Baloch

Photo Credit: Indigo Baloch

There are plenty of fads that I pick up from other cultures and employ in my own style, but my favorite has to be the Japanese 着ぐるみ (kigurumi). Being a fan of anime and manga, I have always had an interest in Japanese trends like Lolita, but lately I have really started setting my sights on Japanese street fashion. It’s cute and edgy and all around fun.

It all began when I found fashion blogger Irodohieru on Tumblr. She’s Swedish, but totally devoted to street fashion. She has her own shop and a YouTube channel where she does hair and makeup tutorials too. From there, I was smitten. Street fashion was everything I wanted in a trend: TUK Creepers, sometimes frilly dresses, sometimes baggy street clothes. The thing about street fashion was that it was whatever you wanted it to be. If you wanted to be cute that day, be cute! If you want to look edgy, go for it! Street fashion was about standing out and looking fashionable while you were at it.

It was only a matter of time before I found kigurumis. Stars like Chloë Grace Moretz were posting pictures of them on Instagram and Humans of New York was capturing pictures of people wearing them on the streets of the Big Apple. They looked comfy and adorable and absolutely necessary. Luckily, they were one of those trends that was in the right place at the right time. You could find them at conventions and online at Urban Outfitters. Suddenly everybody realized the capital potential for kigurumis and wanted to keep them well stocked for the hungry masses.

So what are kigurumis? The word “Kigurumi” comes from a combination of two Japanese words: kiru (to wear) and nuigurumi (stuffed toy). The word used to refer to the performers wearing them (think Disneyworld employees or sporting event mascots), but recently it has come to mean the costume itself. Kigurumis are like footie pajamas without the covered feet. They have hoods and more than likely will look more like an animal costume than your average pajamas. Kigurumis are a lot like Snuggies—but actually adorable and fun to wear.

At this point, I have two kigurumis: a skeleton and Rilakkuma, because, yeah, you can usually get kigurumis modeled after your favorite Japanese characters. I have seen Totoro, Pikachu, Hello Kitty, and plenty more.

If you are interested in buying kigurumis, then let me be the first to say you have plenty of options. First, there is the Kigurumi Shop by SAZAC. They sell licensed kigurumis and those are probably the ones you will find at conventions (like the upcoming Tekkoshocon). Next, like I mentioned, you can find them at Urban Outfitters. The Kigurumi Shop’s prices are generally $50 and Urban Outfitters jumps to $80—neither of which is a small sum of money.

However, if you feel comfortable enough shopping online, and you know how to identify scammers when you see them, definitely aim for eBay. A lot of Chinese and Japanese sellers on eBay have lower prices for the same quality—just make sure you choose a trustworthy shop. Follow my advice and no matter the route you choose, you will end up with the comfiest set of pajamas you will ever own.