The kogal fashion involves wearing an outfit based on a Japanese school uniform, but with a shortened skirt, loose socks, and often dyed hair and a scarf as well. The phenomenon was prominent in the 1990s, but has since declined. The word "kogal" is anglicized from kogyaru, a contraction of k?k?sei gyaru (high school gal). The girls refer to themselves as gyaru (gals), although this word is applied to several other fashion looks as well.
Aside from the pinned-up skirt and the loose socks, or rusu sokusu, kogals favor platform boots, makeup, and Burberry scarves. They may also dye their hair brown and get artificial suntans. They have a distinctive slang peppered with English words. They are often, but not necessarily, enrolled students. Centers of kogal culture include the Harajuku and Shibuya districts of Tokyo, in particular Shibuya's 109 Building. Pop singer Namie Amuro promoted the style. Kogals are avid users of photo booths, with most visiting at least once a week, according to non-scientific polls. While critics condemned the gyaru as shallow, materialistic, and devoted to conspicuous consumption, admirers describe them as, "kindhearted, active young women in exuberant health, the women of today."