Kogals are known for wearing platform boots and microskirts, copious amounts of makeup, hair coloring (usually blond), artificial suntans, and designer accessories. They are also Japan's most visible consumers of mobile phone technology. They tend to live for shopping, and frequent upscale boutiques in trendy areas, most notably the Shibuya district of Tokyo.
Many kogals support their lifestyle with allowances from wealthy parents. Others appear in underground pornography to finance their habits. Many more engage in the practice of "compensated dating," or enjo kosai, a form of quasi-illegal prostitution that has become heavily associated with kogals (to the point where many Western observers interpret "kogal" to mean "prostitute").
The kogal phenomenon emerged in the mid-1990's and is still going strong today.
The term's etymology is disputed: the most common theory is that it was derived from the Japanese word for "high school," kôkô (高校), although others claim that it comes from ko (子), the Japanese word for "child."