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Kogal (コギャル) refers to the aesthetic of members of the Gyaru subculture who are students and therefore still have to wear a school uniform. The name comes from a contraction with kōkōsei, the Japanese word for high school. Outside of Japan, Kogal is often confused for being the name of a Gyaru fashion whereas in Japanese circles it is only used as the name for teenage Gyaru regardless of what they wear and excludes adult Gyaru who simply wear Nanchatte Seifuku. [1] While the peak period of the classic Gyaru subculture was during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Kogal peaked in the mid-1990s, especially around the period 1994-1995.

The aesthetic emerged around 1993 amongst younger girls (especially high school girls and middle school girls) trying to emulate the adult-like sexiness and confident self-assertion of Bodikon gals— something especially common in early 1990s Japan. The 1993 television special Za kogyaru naito (The Kogal Night) introduced the kogal to a mass audience and provided a model for aspiring Kogals to follow— promoting controversial activities popular amongst those older Bodikon women such as prank-calling and enjō-kōsai (compensated dating). Around late 1994, as Bodikon died with the closure of Juliana's Tokyo and the end of magazines such as Heaven's Door, the style of Kogals broke into the mainstream and by early 1995 became commonplace among teenage girls. Kogals were popularly troped in the Japanese media in the mid-1990s as being obsessively trend-conscious.

A major influence on the style was J-pop singer Namie Amuro, who in 1994 popularised platform shoes. Her music became a major staple amongst Kogals, and her tanning also became widely adopted by them.


The style of Kogals is based around Japanese high school uniforms. Any type of school uniform is fine, although most uniforms tend to have plaid skirts, bows around the neck and sweaters. They are often beige in color. Serafuku (sailor uniforms) are also very popular.

Whilst most Kogals wear their actual uniforms, they also popularised the use of 'Nanchatte Seifuku' (fake school uniforms).

Kogals add a twist to their uniform in order to make it appear sexier and cuter. They shorten their skirts, wear legwarmers or loose socks and sometimes even add bows or ties to their uniform, even when it isn't a part of their uniform.

Some Kogals also buy extra uniforms from different schools and wear them after school, and although it is rarer, older kogals who are out of school buy uniforms to wear.

The style is also characterized by dyed hair, and with older girls, tanned skin. Tanned skin has become less common in kogal, however, as tanning in of itself has become less popular among gyarus.

Kogals often dyed their hair in blondes, reds and light shades of browns, although sometimes colors such as pink and blues were added if one preferred.


Kogal-go was a type of speech that Kogals created, although it is commonly also used within Gyaru too. These words were often a mix of English and Japanese. Some examples are:

  • Choberiba - very bad (cho = very)
  • Ageman - a man who brings luck to women (age = up)



Aiura from The Disastrous Life of Saiki K's heavily decorated crystal ball

Decoden is a very popular activity within all of Gyaru, but Kogals are most known for it and decorate almost everything, whether it be using resin pieces, stickers, pearls, cabochons, bows, studs, whipped cream glue and more.

Although almost everything can be decorated, commonly decorated objects are phone cases, iPods, consoles, mirrors, lighters, hairbrushes, laptop cases and trinket boxes.


These brands are all very popular within Gyaru styles as a whole, however many Kogals also particularly liked these:

  • Burberry
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Liz Lisa
  • Ank Rouge
  • Alba Rosa
  • Cecil McBee
  • CocoLulu
  • D.I.A
  • MA*RS


Since 2016, there has been a trend of new romance-comedy shounen manga being based around Kogal characters.


  • Super Gals!
  • My First Girlfriend is a Gal
  • Please Tell Me! Galko-chan


  • Yuzu Aihara - Citrus
  • Mei Yasumura - Ouran High School Host Club (Manga)
  • Junko Enoshima - Danganronpa
  • Mikoto Aiura - The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
  • Aashii "Ahko" Kedarui - The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You


  • Egg Magazine