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21 Jun 2016

Larme Kei/Girly Fashion Shopping Guide: Online Western Stores!

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Love LARME but looking for a more accessible Western shopping experience?

This guide will hopefully help you through a fun online shopping experience 
when treasure hunting for LARME-able pieces! (Updated Dec 2017)

One good thing about LARME is that a lot of the pieces are versatile and easily found if you look hard enough. Items like lingerie, retro tees, lace tops and pencil skirts are found in large quantities outside of Japan and Japanese fashion houses, and LARME is heavily dependent on the styling of these items to bring the look together. 

However, it is also true that smaller details can add that little extra delicateness or beauty to the outfit. Features like frills, cut and fitting, or even fabric, can make a large difference. So without further ado, let's jump in and see how we can find good Western versions of some beautiful LARME pieces!

I'll first start off with a brief list of some popular Western stores, as well as the ones that I personally shop at. I'll then be providing some tips and some tried and true keywords for searching online stores!

Some popular online Western stores frequently mentioned by the international LARME community include (though warning, Zara has ripped off designs from indie artists):
  • Asos
  • Dolls Kill
  • eBay
  • Forever 21
  • H&M
  • Missguided
  • Nasty Gal
  • Pretty Little Thing
  • Thrift/Secondhand Store
  • Zara

I personally shop at (edited Dec 2017):

Pretty Little Thing
Princess Polly
Beginning Boutique
The Iconic
eBay tentatively - I use it for accessories only.

My online shopping choices take my personal location into consideration, so some stores may be easier for you to find! However, it would be impossible to compile a comprehensive list of stores, so I will focus on some tips for searching online!

Some Do's & Don'ts!

i. Practice internet and shopping safety!!!
ii. Check as many reviews of the store as you can. Obviously some reviews will be biased for/against, but it’s very good to get a general idea.
iii. Wait for sales and bargains, as well as check out any available coupons or discount codes!
iv. Remember to check the currency!
v. Double and cross-check sizes (U.S, EU, AU, U.K, etc), as well as sizing particular to that brand! (Some brands may size up or down!)
vi. Be wary of different shades of colours. What you see online may not necessarily be the exact colour. A good indicator is the model themselves – do they look as if they’ve been adjusted to look lighter or darker, or more reddish or bluish?

i. Sales are awesome, but don’t hesitate if you can afford it, as some Western stores tend to sell out very quickly.
ii. Don’t get ripped off! A lot of Western fashion can be similar so make sure to compare and contrast items and prices between brands and stores.
iii. Buy low-quality looking material. For example, I've found that “Jersey” is a good indicator of flimsy/low quality. That's a biased opinion though so take that with a grain of salt - you might find some great jersey pieces!

The key to treasure hunting for LARME-style items is searching. This includes refining your search and searching for keywords. When refining your search, isolating searches according to size and colour is very helpful. It's also good to remember to browse the lingerie, footwear and accessories sections.

Below are several keywords that are very useful for searching through stores! They are divided into categories and hopefully will aid you in finding the perfect piece. Because there are so many Western stores that sell a large mixture of different style fashion, keywords can save you several hours of browsing! (Note: I will not be including keywords for actual items as those are covered in our Larme Guide!)

Some search results for "Frill" & "Ruffle" at Boohoo!

Fabric Keywords
Fur/Faux Fur

Details Keywords
Lace Up/Lace-Up
Off-shoulder/Cold shoulder
Pom Pom

Some search results for "Frill" & "Ruffle" at Asos!

Style Keywords
High waisted/High waist
Wide Leg

Pattern Keywords
Dot/Polka Dot/Spot/Spotty


Lastly, I'll be ending with some great tips to keep in mind as you're shopping!

a. Keep your references! It's a good idea to keep a LARME magazine close by, or a LARME brand store/Instagram bookmarked, or keep a folder full of looks you love! Sometimes, we can forget the small details that we really want, and it does help to compare to the originals to see if the Western version you are thinking of purchasing is similar enough, or captures the same feel you are going for.

b. Don't forget sale times! Here are some great times for sales:
  • Season sales, usually at the start and end of each season
  • Holiday sales, like Christmas, Easter, Black Friday, etc.
  • Fashion sales, such as Vogue Online Fashion Night,  Mid-Year Clearances, End of Financial Year (EXTRA PROTIP: Look for available student vouchers, and subscribe to the stores or download apps of the stores you love and you can get earlier notifications of sales, vouchers, or deals - for example, Boohoo and Asos sometimes have app-only deals.)

c. Train your eye to look for the right shade of colours and prints! A lot of LARME brands include certain colours, or certain prints (including the sizes of prints) that contribute to the uniqueness and feel of the entire piece. Look for similar details when you are shopping as it will greatly improve the LARME feel of your outfit!

As always, thank you for reading! Do you have any keywords you like to use? Which Western stores do you like to shop at? Let us know!


  1. Eri, would you consider doing a make-up tutorial? Your make-up is always amazing and even if you can’t share any tips/your method, I’d at least like to know what products or colors you use! :) Also, thanks for the lovely blog post~

    1. I've finally created an eye-makeup tutorial in a LARME-style magazine image! More to come! xx

  2. This blog post is amazing!! It has helped me to start to get into Larme fashion ☺️ so thank you

    1. OH wow, I'm so sorry for the late reply! I'm so happy you like it! xx

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