In the streets of Tokyo’s Harajuku district, trendsetting teenagers gather daily, clad in the latest fashions. Their glittery, over-accessorized cell phones dangle charmingly in hand.

In this culture, the more cute trinkets on your phone, the cooler you seem. For the Japanese, adorable is not just a fad – it’s a way of life centered around all things “kawaii” (cute). Frilly dresses, pink overload and childlike outfits characterize the Kawaii lifestyle.

When it comes to phones, no accessory is over the top. Gemstone-encrusted cases, furry critter straps, bejeweled dangles – these only scratch the surface. And it’s not just for girls. Most men also embellish their devices. With a dozen or more decorative charms each, a fully-accessorized phone is the peak of style.

As Americans unused to phone bling, this seems extreme. Unless you’re Paris Hilton, most steer clear of crystal-covered cases. But adding tasteful accessories makes phones more personal. With some glitter here and a charm there, you can channel the playful Kawaii spirit without going overboard.

You needn’t break the bank either. U.S. shops sell cute Japanese items on the cheap. Stick-on crystals in premade designs (hearts, names, etc) personalize phones for around $10-30. For luxury glam, Genuine Swarovski kits cost $125. But cheaper crystal alternatives exist too.

Bling Out Your Mobile: How to Accessorize Phones with Flair

Beyond crystals, dangling oddities like fur pom poms, Hello Kitty heads and skull charms adorn phones. At sites like, choose from hundreds of wild Japanese straps, cases and bags. Most straps cost just $5-10. You’ll find stuff never seen in U.S. stores.

While some see phone accessories as silly novelties, I consider them wearable art. What better way to showcase your unique style? With the right bling, you can transform a plain device into a conversation piece.

So embellish away without judgement! Follow Harajuku’s lead by making your mobile mini-me channel your fun side. People may call it cute. But we think “custom chic” sounds more apropos.

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