Over the (almost) four years or so that I've been wearing Mori Kei, my style has grown and changed dramatically. And I've really learned a lot over the years about what does and does not make a good coord. So recently I thought, why not take some of my old (and really awful) outfits, and talk about what could have been done to improve them? I'm hoping that in trudging through my mess-ups, I might be able to help out at least a few people who are struggling with how to create their own coords. So without further ado, let the personal torture begin!
This first outfit I'm going to critique has a few different points to talk about, but they all center around the shirts. Ah the shirts. (This is already getting painful for me to look at.)
Critique: The first thing wrong with this outfit is the undershirt. When layering a t-shirt length shirt in mori kei, you have to be careful how it's done. Unless you're going for a casual look, your shirt and it's length can make or break your entire coord. In this case the shirt is too short and doesn't flow with the other layers. The other problem with this outfit is the over-shirt. You can't really tell in this photo, but unfortunately I remember this outfit well so I can tell what's wrong. The shirt itself, first and foremost, had a kind of polo shirt like collar. That can be fine I suppose, although I'm not fond of them in Mori coords, but that's not the only thing wrong with it. The second thing wrong is the sleeves. You can kind of see this one, but the sleeves were very, very wide. They fell at an awkward length around the middle of my shoulder, and the shirt that I chose to layer underneath, the too short one, barely had long enough sleeves to show. And to add insult to injury, it also fell at an awkward length on my shoulder. Third, (yes there is a third thing wrong with this poor shirt) It wasn't long enough. If you're going to layer a shirt on top of another, it at least needs to be a few inches shorter or longer than the shirt you're layering with. When it's the same length as the undershirt, then it creates an awkward bulk around your middle, and stops the flowing feeling of all the layers.
Remedy: The shirts need to be switched out for shirts with contrasting lengths, and suitable sleeves.
This over-shirt's sleeves cover all of the layers underneath, and makes the look more complete. The shirt also works well on top length wise, and keeps the layers flowing. (Tip: I've found that buttoning the first few buttons of a shirt can often create a really cute look. Try it out for yourself! I think you'll be surprised!)
Critique: With this outfit, there are two major things wrong. The first again lies with the shirts. The over-shirt and the undershirt together are fine, but where we run into issues is the undershirt in relationship with the over-skirt. There is a large amount of distance from the over skirt to the undershirt, and a short distance between the over shirt and the undershirt. This creates a very uneven feel, and makes the look feel very choppy. The second thing wrong with this outfit is the underskirt. The underskirt I was wearing in this picture was a bit to long to layer with the over skirt, so I had secured it up with a belt. Now nine times out of ten this is a bad idea. When you secure a skirt up with a belt, it often makes the hemline uneven, as you can see. Another problem with this skirt is the fact that it was a lot less flowing than the over skirt. A tight skirt never layers well with a flowing skirt.
Remedy: The undershirt should be replaced with a shirt of a bit longer length, and the underskirt should be replaced with a well fit, and more flowing skirt, in order to match the over skirt.
In this outfit all of the layers of skirts are flowing, and the shirt used is an appropriate length in relationship with the skirts.
One more coord!
Critique: Where to start with this one... I suppose I'll start with the skirts, again. The underskirt is quite flowing, but the over-skirt is very tight. Obviously, this doesn't work. A tight skirt on top of a flowing skirt looks extremely unnatural, and bunches the skirt underneath in awkward ways. And on top of that, the underskirt is a bit too far down (especially with the tight skirt). The rest of it isn't too bad, although the almost cream shirt in contrast with the very dark brown seems a little off. Normally, I try to set colors next to colors of a similar, or a close, shade (unless it's white which you can set next to anything). It flows a little better that way.
Remedy: The tight skirt needs to be switched with a different, flowing skirt, and the layers need to be closer to each other a bit.
This coord is a lot better. The layering here flows much better, and the dark colors have been balanced out with each other by including more dark than light. It's a bit plain, but it still works well I think.
Well, that's all I've got for now. If I could have, I would have recreated these outfits and fixed them up. But sadly (or maybe not) I've since gotten rid of a lot of the clothing in these pictures, and my closet has changed considerably. So, no reworks. I hope this was still a bit helpful for you in some way.
Maybe you can relate to me, and you have an old coord you can't stand the sight of? I'd love to hear your stories of how your style has grown and improved! Until next time, my deers!