(click on the question if you want to see the answer on Tumblr)
I'm putting this post under the "Emiii's Guide" series because this is really just my opinion and obviously not meant to be the final word in himekaji with sneaker wearing. There is certainly no right or wrong way to do it! This is basically just how I would personally do it given the current resources I have.
I'm not an avid sneaker wearer or someone who really prefers not to wear heels with this style of clothing, but there are times when it can't be helped. And some people are just not comfortable in heels or have a condition that makes it very difficult to wear heels. This is just a very small taste of some ideas I had to wear sneakers/not heels (since I'm including a pair of flat boots) with Liz Lisa/"himekaji" style coordinates. I'm putting the quotes around himekaji since it's not strictly himekaji imo, but the clothes and resulting coordinates used in the post will be himekaji adjacent/influenced.
When you're incorporating shoes into your himekaji look, IMO there are two directions you can go in -
1. Dressed down, more casual to match with the vibe of the shoes
2. Slightly more OTT when you overcompensate with other style details to make up for the shoes
If you want your coordinate to really scream "himekaji" despite your footwear, my advice would be to stick with the second option. Keep your clothes strong with the himekaji theme (check out this post for my advice if you're new to the style), accessorize appropriately and actually take the time to style your hair and do your make up.
But for me, a lot of the times I'm wearing sneakers instead of heels out of necessity and just throw them on with my average Liz Lisa clothes and an average hairstyle and everyday make up and don't mind the more casual vibe and couldn't care less if it would really be termed himekaji at that point. This is likely because I'm lazy though and don't really like to be confined or restricted by gyaru guidelines (which is why I don't often use that label for myself).
Again, there is no right or wrong choice to this! Do whatever makes you feel and look your best. Since I'm really not an OTT kind of girl, I'll mostly just be focusing on breaking the "myth" that you can't wear sneakers or flat shoes with himekaji (especially Liz Lisa) style clothes, but I'm not really overly concerned with ensuring that I'm still creating an obviously/recognizable overall himekaji coordinate, if that makes sense. I'm just not very good with the hair and make up side so I'm not going to try. But if you want to, like I said, just give your himekaji outfit a boost by upping your game in other styling areas!
Here are a few coordinates from Liz Lisa shop staff with flat shoes or sneakers from the past several seasons -
Liz Lisa and many other typical himekaji style brands do sell sneakers or mostly flat shoes boots. They don't all look like the ones I'm presenting here, but purchasing brand shoes will definitely help encourage a himekaji look.
If your shoes are more on the plain side (or heck, even if they're not lol), sock accessorizing can be very important! I personally prefer to use ankle socks with a bit of a girly detail/pattern on them, but you can also use knee or OTK socks as well depending on the season/the look you're trying to achieve. Socks are fairly common in Jfashion and using a pair appropriately will typically help boost a himekaji outfit.
Here are a few examples of coordinates I created myself for this post -
These are all shoes that I already owned previous to creating this post and basically all I really had to work with because I didn't really want to buy more shoes just for this lol. The two shoes from Nine West I purchased without having any himekaji-ish intentions at all (although I did know that that shade of pink for the wedge sneakers might be pretty good with many of the pinks that Liz Lisa creates). The sneakers from Ank Rouge I purchased out of necessity on my summer 2015 Japan trip where I had only himekaji-type clothes in my suitcase, so I did purposefully look for something that I thought would reasonably match with them. There are no incorrect shoe choices but some are just easier to incorporate than others based on color and style.
Outfits featuring Ank Rouge Lace white frill high top sneakers:
with Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno rose fairy story OP -
with Ank Rouge blouse, mermaid skirt & Liz Lisa seashell pouch -
with Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno stripe flower OP, Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno rose drop cardigan & Liz Lisa 3-way side corset bag as a backpack -
with Liz Lisa off-shoulder ribbon blouse, Liz Lisa floral chiffon sukapan & Liz Lisa 2015 3 Piece Cup Team C bag -
Outfits featuring Nine West brown ankle boots:
with Liz Lisa sunflower OP -
with Liz Lisa front tie blouse, Liz Lisa key motif skirt & Liz Lisa Liz Lisa 2015 3 Piece Cup Team C bag -
with Liz Lisa 3-tier floral OP, crochet cover up & Samantha Vega handbag -
Compared to the Ank Rouge sneakers, these boots are a little more on the "rugged" side. It lacks girly details and the color is quite dark. I would personally prefer to have a lighter brown or beige boot for these coordinates, but I don't think the dark brown is bad necessarily and it's definitely workable. I think it especially plays nicely with the brown details in the Liz Lisa sunflower OP, and I like it paired with the brown purse in the last coordinate. I don't currently own any socks that I felt would visually pair well with these boots, but it would have been nice to have a pair with a lace or other girly detail that just stuck out of the top maybe.
with Liz Lisa Shibuya 109/web limited gingham floral OP -
with Liz Lisa floral shirring OP & Betsey Johnson dot bow handbag -
with Liz Lisa lace sleeveless top, Liz Lisa floral panel skirt & Liz Lisa floral quilted purse w/ Champouf pass case -
with Liz Lisa logo flower OP -
Spring 2015 Japan trip as an alternative to the Liz Lisa pumps I brought. They were a great second shoe option and somehow coordinated seamlessly with a lot of the clothes I had packed and purchased. The pink color is just right for my Liz Lisa items and they're also pretty comfortable. The small wedge heel does add a bit of bulk to the overall look of the sneaker, but I don't mind it much and also enjoy the other details on the shoe like the metallic and studs along the back. Like the Ank Rouge sneakers, these pair well with an ankle sock with a nice detail at the top but I can also see people wearing them with OTK socks.
Other quick examples of my past OOTDs with sneakers:
(if you've seen my trip posts, these are probably familiar to you. Some of them have the same outfit with heels to compare and contrast)
(click on each photo for more information)
I also created a short video for YouTube with some of the coordinates shown here! -
Since this post is essentially about not wearing (traditional) heels with himekaji clothes, another great alternative is flatforms which are also really common from Japanese brands, especially Liz Lisa sister brand Tralala. I don't really own any myself so I don't have any personal coordinate examples, but they allow you to have some height without your foot being too uncomfortable, and they easily match with a lot! Pair with a good sock and you're golden.
And of course, you can just do regular flats as well! I'm not personally a fan of dressy flats and I don't really own any which is why they're not featured here (besides the fact that people tend to ask about sneakers more because they're often more comfortable), but the same concepts all apply. Here are some quick examples from Juge Etta -
There are a multitude of options for not wearing heels with himekaji clothes, and I only just barely went over a few examples! I know that there are so many other great options, and I hope that just this short blog post will help encourage people who are hesitant about the it to continue to experiment and exploring this style even if they can't wear heels. Or if you're going on a trip or planning on doing a lot of walking and need to wear shoes but still want to keep your style cute, why not go for it! Don't let not being able to wear heels stop you :)
Ultimately, I think what's most important is not what the style is labeled or conforming to a whole bunch of rules to try to fit into a mold, but that you are comfortable and confident in the things you like to wear! If you feel good, you'll look good.
Emiii's guide: Buying Liz Lisa online
Emiii's guide: Himekaji style basics