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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Host Fashion

PrinceYanqi

One of the first things you notice about hosts is that they don’t dress like Western guys who are out on the prowl. Hosts aim to deliver the Japanese version of a customer’s secret fantasy, and being swept away by a handsome prince or Wild One on his motorcycle is what makes many Japanese ladies’ hearts go dokidoki. Of course there are specialized clubs for those whose fantasies run to anime characters, vampires or gothic aristocrats, but most hosts dress either in “Prince” (ooji-sama) or “Bad Boy” (yanqi) style.

Ooji-sama hosts take their cue from visual kei musicians. “Beautiful” rather than “handsome” might be the word that springs to mind to describe them. They often strike Westerners as androgynous, their faces as smooth as a woman’s, hair extravagantly bleached and arranged. Prince-style hosts favor sparkly accessories – silver, never gold – and tend to dress in suits made of “luxe” shiny fabric. The current rage is for the jackets to look a size too small, and to wear some sort of “alternative” tie as an accessory. Fake fur mufflers, silk scarves, cravats and other non-standard neckties are common.

Yanqis, on the other hand, tend toward black leather vests with silver studs and spikes, v-neck t-shirts featuring edgy sayings mixed with (go figure) “Catholic” images, boots, piercings and even tattoos.

Both wear their hair long, extravagantly waxed, teased, sprayed into a perfection rivaled only by the most devoted Texas debutante.

HostHair
This ad for a group of clubs with the same owner shows the wide range of hair colors and styles. Prince-style host hair tends to be lighter and longer; Bad Boy hair is often shorter and dark. All hosts come in to work early so the hair and makeup artist has time to wax, tease, style and spray their hair into perfect shape for the evening ahead. Their combos of industrial-hold hair products ensure that they look as good at midnight as they did when the club opened. Photo: ad from Men’s Spider magazine
HostHairMake
Whether you’re a Prince or a Bad Boy, you can’t afford to have a bad hair day or a pizza face attack. Like being a model or actor, it’s a matter of professional necessity to look as ideal as possible. Hosts often use makeup, glue their eyelids to make their eyes look bigger, and wear colored circle contacts for dramatic effect. Photo: Men’s Spider magazine
HostShoes
Typical Prince shoes on the left, Bad Boy boots on the right. The reason they’re so long and pointy is that Japanese feet tend to be short and wide, but it’s believed that long and narrow is more attractive. In Japanese shoe stores, it’s the biggest size that’s always put out on display, not the smallest!Photos: Rakuten website page for Love Hunter shoes
PrinceYanqi
Princes always dress in suits; Bad Boys dress more casually, often in black shirts, or white v-neck t-shirts under black vests. Photos: Men’s Spider magazine
HostAccessories
Prince on the left, Bad Boy on the right. Prince designs often feature crowns, stars and “nice” crosses, while Bad Boys prefer skulls, swords, demons and crucifixes. All prefer silver to gold. Photo on right: Men’s Spider magazine

For a deeper look at what it’s like to be a host, watch the video here!

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Fallen Angel readers often ask me what it’s really like to go to a host club. If you’re curious too, here are answers to the TOP TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT HOST CLUBS:

Why do women go to host clubs?

What kind of women go to host clubs?

What’s it like to visit a host club?

How expensive is it to go to a host club?

What is a host club “champagne call”?

Can foreigners get into a host club?

How can I go to a host club?

How do I find a good host club?

Why do hosts dress like that? Everything you always wanted to know about host fashion.

A Day In The Life: What’s it like to be a host?

Top photos courtesy of Men’s Knuckle and Men’s Spider magazines.

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo. If you ‘d like to sneak behind the scenes and watch how hosts transform themselves every night, come meet the drop-dead charming characters who work at Club Nova in Fallen Angel

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The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when…read more

Watch the Fallen Angel book trailer (1:08)

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

9 thoughts on “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Host Fashion Leave a comment

  1. as always, big fun. God I love pretty men! Too, too sad that the clubs are far outside my budget- I’m big fun in any setting, but surrounded with attractive men? Yeehaw!

  2. in usa how can I get the style of clothes, I came back from Japanese last june, and I regret didn’t get my whole gyaruo style clothes. so there are two brands called BLACK LABLE and JERRY BLACK, only got the wavy layers neck style of shirt but didn’t get the outter clothes: its just a coat style , thin , no buttos, the neck area are many layers too. its like Nagoya kei style, or some visual kei bands wears too. I thought was too expensive now I don’t care the price. I don’t know if anyone knows what im talking about lol

    • I’ve never been able to find Japanese men’s brands in the US, but you can usually buy gyaruo brands through Rakuten. They have a pretty sucky selection these days, though +_+ so my backup would be White Rabbit Express (whiterabbitexpress.com), If the thing you want is being sold right now in stores in Tokyo (like at Men’s 109) they’ll shop for you and ship it for a pretty reasonable price. Hope you can find that coat – it sounds great!

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