Monday, June 28, 2021

New Video! "How Mori Is It?" Survey Results

It's been a long time coming, but finally, here are the results to my survey from early 2021! Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey.

A personal opinions type post should be coming soon, but for now, I wanted to alert everyone that the survey results are now public!

Let me know what you think about these results. I'd love to hear it.




Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Bibliotheca June Prompt: Graduation

I was recently added to the Bay Area Kei collection of bloggers under the Bibliotheca Blog Circle! I'm excited about the opportunity and hope you all will check them out if you are interested in finding other creators sharing J-fashion content.

Part of Bibliotheca is their monthly prompts for blog posts. Although I'm certainly not committing to always posting for each month, I see them as an opportunity to have more regular content on my blog as well as more consistent ideas to write about. That being said, their prompt for June was "graduation," and I thought I'd give it a go!

For my approach to this prompt, I want to talk about those who might feel they need to "graduate" out of J-Fashion. Specifically, I want to talk about those who feel too "old" for mori fashion.

Personally, I started wearing mori kei at a very young age, and I think for most mori folk, they would say the same. Most of us discovered the fashion in our teens and twenties, and latched onto the alternative fashion scene in general as a form of self-expression during our young ages. It's a pretty natural progression of things, young adults are often attracted to alternative fashions and lifestyles during this period of their lives for those very reasons.

Because of the generally young age of those who wear mori, people who are middle-aged or older often believe they can't wear alternative fashion or are afraid or reluctant to start. They see the massive amount of young, Asian models and make the assumption that alternative fashion, and mori kei, are simply not for them. 

Not surprisingly, this has been the case across cultures, and even in Japan, most mori folk have "graduated" mori, as many Japanese young women do, when they become married, become mothers, or start their careers. However, just because your life circumstances change, or you grow older, doesn't mean you have to give up the fashion you love. Or even that you can't start wearing it at any age!

It's a common misconception that fashion is only for young people, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Fashion and self-expression are for everyone, for any age, any size, and gender; everyone is deserving of expressing themselves through their appearance in a way that reflects their personality and interests. Your walk of life also shouldn't stop you from being you. Marriage, work, kids, traveling, and anything else you can think of, don't let circumstances stop you from pursuing or starting the style you love!

For mori kei, I can guarantee that no age is too old for the style. Even though it may be a "girly" and "youthful" sort of style in some ways, it's also a style quite well suited to all ages with its versatile options and substyles. 

Here are a few examples of some lovely mori-esque outfits being worn by older individuals. (Sadly I don't have any examples of masculine outfits, but just know that masculine individuals can rock an older mori look as well!)




For more inspiration, you can see my "Mori When I'm Older" pinterest board I made ages ago.

Of course, for some, the love for the style truly will fade. Personally, I used to be very in love with Lolita fashion, but grew out of that love as I grew older. There's nothing wrong with graduating from a fashion when you feel it no longer suits your needs or reflects you as an individual. We all grow and change, and you don't owe it to anyone to continue something that isn't bringing you the joy it used to anymore. But for those who simply aren't wearing it because they feel like they've crossed an unspoken age barrier, I want to assure you, you couldn't be more wrong! You can certainly enjoy mori kei at any age, and any time.

To close, I want to share with you the story of my dear mother, who recently started wearing mori after putting it off for many years. She always loved the style, but felt she wasn't able to wear it. But recently, after encouragement from myself and others, she's starting dipping into the fashion. And, well, see for yourself! She looks lovely!

 

(Face cropped out for privacy.)

So, all of this rambling to say this: Don't give up on your love of mori, or for anything, just because of your age. Age is not a barrier to enjoying anything that you love. Be brave, be bold, and be you!

For new moris, old or young, as always, never hesitate to ask with any questions or concerns you might have about beginning your mori journey. Until next time, my deers!

Check out the Bibliotheca for more J-Fashion creators and content



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Little Things: Incorporating Mori Things into a Busy Life



As many of you know, I moved to Japan around a year ago. It was a wonderful move and a true dream come true for me, but such a big move has meant a lot of changes in my life. The biggest two are a busy schedule and a professional dress code, both of which mean I don't have much time or energy to wear mori fashion like I used to. 

However, just because you're busy doesn't mean you can't enjoy mori fashion or lifestyle in your daily routine! So today I want to share a few small things I do to make my everyday life feel more mori. Maybe, if you're also busy like me, you can enjoy some of these things as well!

Clothing



1) Wear forest colors and neutral palettes: One of the things that makes mori stand out as a style is its natural, forest-y color palette! And luckily enough, it's easy to incorporate these colors into any outfit. Simply swap out your bright colors for some mossy greens and soft floral colors, or trade in your blacks and greys for some browns and cremes.

2) Find clothing with small mori details: Mori fashion is all about the details, so adding a small touch to your regular outfits can really liven them up. For example, add a small lace detail, wear a small forest-themed brooch, wear something with a cute floral or natural pattern, or even add a scarf or sweater for an extra layer.

3) Wear natural fabrics: Mori is all about fabric type as well. Natural fabrics, or fabrics that look natural, make the style easily distinguishable. Try adding a linen shirt to your outfit, or a wool jacket, or a knitted item.

For more info on this topic, see my post on Casual Mori!

Lifestyle



1) Take things slowly: Mori is often tied to slow living, and the two complement each other very well. Simply taking the time to cherish the small things in your day to day can help bring a revived mori feel to your life. For example, walk instead of driving somewhere (even like a small walk to the corner store for lunch), or stop to smell or observe some nearby flowers, or take a moment to have a chat with someone. Any of these small things can help you focus less on your busy day, and feel more relaxed.

2) Make homemade meals and treats: If you're very busy, this one might not be the easiest, but a very mori activity is baking! So maybe for a meal this week, try to make a homemade meal or treat you can enjoy both making and eating! If cooking isn't your usual style, start with a simple recipe and work your way up to more ambitious and delicious meals.

3) Pick up a new craft or hobby in your free time: There are many hobbies that go well with mori, so picking up one of these may just help put you in a mori mood. Some good examples are knitting and crocheting, sewing, art, photography, foraging, taking walks in nature, or reading. 

4) Enjoy a few moments of peace with a warm drink: A warm drink does wonders for soothing the soul and mind. Try picking up your favorite tea, or coffee, or cocoa, and simply relax for a bit!

5) Buy forest-y themed supplies for your daily life: A little touch of mori to your home decor can really set your mindset. Try buying small things in mori colors, forest themes, or similar aesthetics, such as office supplies, accessories, and decorations for your home. If you aren't sure where to start, plants (fake or real) and doilies are my go-to!




What little things do you do to incorporate mori into your busy schedule? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Until next time, my deers!



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Why we should make International Mori Day a thing again.

Hello my deers! Happy (late) new year! I've been quite busy in my personal life recently, but I wanted to stop by and give you all a short post. (Also, the results of my recent survey are in the works! I have a lot of data to sort through and little time to do it. But I promise it's on its way!)

Today, I'd like to talk to you about something known as International Mori Day. 

It's likely that if you have even been somewhat involved in J-fashion for any length of time, you've heard of International Lolita Day (or ILD). ILD is a day when many people who wear lolita fashion get together for meet-ups, dress up and share their outfits on social media, and generally spread the word about lolita fashion to the masses! However, did you know there is such a thing as International Mori Day?

A while back on the International Mori Fashion and Lifestyle Facebook group, 2014 to be exact, a fellow mori person suggested creating our own version of ILD. Thus, International Mori Day was born! Sadly, it never really caught on fully, and most people have either never heard of it, or forgotten about it. But I would love to see it brought back and celebrated by the mori community internationally.

The collage created during the first International Mori Day event in 2014. (If you look closely you can see me, and maybe some other familiar faces!)

So, if we started our own day of celebration, what would we do? I think we should try to emulate the aspects of ILD that make it so special and fun for the lolita community. Of course, meetups are fun if you can, but for the majority of us with no local community, we can share outfit photos with one another, celebrate and share our love for mori on social media, get a buzz going, share fun crafty posts, and anything really! Just celebrate the fashion we love together and keep the spirit of mori kei alive!

So, if we celebrate this day, when would it be held? Well, the first IMD was held the third Saturday in Sept of 2014. So this day would be the easiest to revive and keep going. However, I think we should do bi-annually, like ILD. Maybe both September and the third Saturday in April or May. This would allow for Fall and Spring outfits, and a lot of variety in content.

So, what do you think? Would you participate in International Mori Day? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! I think this would be a fantastic way to keep mori relevant and alive in the J-Fashion community, especially now that mori has all but died in Japan. What do you think? 

Until next time, my deers!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

New Project: Mori Wiki

 Hello my deers! I have a small update for you all on a recent project I have been working on. That project is the Mori Girl Wiki!

To make a long story short, I've been messing around with this project for a little while now. I've soft shared it on the mori kei discord and facebook groups, but I wanted to share it here as well. 

My hope for this wiki is to create central place where everyone in the community can share and find mori resources, as well as a place to archive information. That being said, here are the things that the wiki has or that I'm working on/want to include eventually: 

  • Archived information on the fashion and its history in Japan and abroad
  • Information on various substyles and similar styles to mori in Japan and abroad
  • Information on mori media like movies, music, mori in anime and manga, and magazines
  • Self promo pages for mori creators to share their social media and works!
  • Archived pages of resources that are now defunct, as well as deleted blogs and creators (that can be accessed by the waybackmachine anyways, some are totally lost to us sadly)
  • Links to various resources across the internet (like checklists or challenges, as well as advice) as well as mori groups and social media people can join to connect with others.
Everything is still a work in progress, but I have the barebones up now. I’d love to see other mori people adding their information and expertise and promoting their content there. So feel free to jump on and edit at any time! Promo is always welcome, especially on the Notable Mori People page.

Also, if you are not willing/able to edit, but would like a promo page added for your content, please let me know! I can add that for you no problem! I'd like to see all mori folk represented here and make this a community hub for all things mori kei.

I hope you will all join me on this project I am working on. See you there!




Sunday, November 1, 2020

Almost Mori: What is Lagenlook?


Today's post is a bit different from past posts in the Almost Mori Series. Today, we're talking about Lagenlook! This fashion isn't directly tied to mori fashion in any way, but often overlaps with and resembles mori fashion. So, I think it's worth a mention.

As always, if you are interested in learning more about Lagenlook, you can take a look at these links for more information.

The Name

The term Lagenlook comes from its creators in Germany. The term means "layered look" and is used to describe the baggy and layered focus of the style. It is hard to tell who originally created this name uncertain, but regardless, the name has become popular with many brands that cater to the style, and is easily recognizable in the alternative fashion community. 

The Fashion

(Picture Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Lagenlook style, at its core, features baggy clothing pieces, asymmetrical cuts, an overabundance of layers, and an overall quirky and unique style. It is mainly catered towards older women, but can also be seen worn by women as young as their 20s and 30s.

                                
(Picture Sources: 12)

The style has many similarities to mori. For example, its focus on layers and a baggy silhouette. It also often uses natural colors, fabrics, and even occasionally lace or ruffles. Many lagenlook coordinates could also fit easily under the mori kei umbrella. 

(Picture Sources: 1, 2)

However, although the style can be very similar to mori, it can also deviate greatly from mori's aesthetic. For example, in lagenlook any colors, including bright colors, are perfectly acceptable. Bold statements like blocks of color, big jewelry pieces, and bold patterns are also often seen.

Unlike mori, lagenlook is also not necessarily nature-inspired or focused, and also has no real rules at all. It also caters to mature women and often plus-sized women as well, where mori is primarily worn by younger women.

(Picture Sources: 1, 2)

Have you heard of mori gyaru? Would you ever consider wearing the style? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, and I hope you enjoyed this post! I personally love the freedom of the style and its popularity with older wearers. 

For more information on "Almost Mori" fashion styles, check out the posts below:




Friday, August 28, 2020

Strega vs Mori: The Differences


Have you ever browsed the mori tags and noticed a reoccurring tag titled "strega"? The term is often used alongside mori kei and other alternative fashions, especially dark mori. However, although many seem to use the word interchangeably, the term actually has its own unique history that most are unaware of. Today, I want to tell you a little more about strega fashion, its history, and how it relates to mori kei.

History

Back in the early days of mori kei, the Tumblr mori community was very active and always creating and defining new substyles. One of these, dark mori, became quite popular, quite quickly. Many people who enjoyed mori kei and goth fashion began wearing the style and using the tag. However, the rules of mori, while loose, meant that the fashion was constrained. For some, this was fine, but for others, they wanted to participate in the style while having the ability to create freer, more expressive coordinates that deviated from the normal mori style. This is where strega comes into play.

One Tumblr user, Mai-magi (previously known as shortcuttothestars) created the term strega to use for a similar witchy aesthetic, inspired by dark mori fashion, but that was much broader than mori kei. The word "strega" is an Italian word meaning "witch," echoing the core aspect of the style: dressing like you think a witch might dress. Mai-magi had previously been active in the dark mori community, so when the term was created, it was quickly adopted by other dark mori enthusiasts who felt a similar way.

The name saw some controversy amongst users, as strega is often used in describing paganism. Some felt that this use of the term for a fashion style was inappropriate because it appropriated pagan culture. However, these days, it seems to be more widely accepted.

The original posts about the creation of strega are hard to find as Mai-magi's username has changed over the years. They may also have even been deleted. But, for a time, she participated in both dark mori and strega, before distancing herself from dark mori almost entirely, and from the term strega somewhat as well. However, on her Instagram, she still uses the tag to this day. But she no longer promotes it or herself as its creator, like she once did. 

The Fashion

So what is strega fashion, and how does it differ from its predecessor, dark mori? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Mori, while a somewhat loose style in terms of rules, still has a general silhouette and things that give outfits a similar aesthetic. This is not true for strega. The only rule in strega is to dress how you like, and to dress how a witch might dress. That's it! So, to put it simply, strega is anything at all! It is up to the wearer's interpretation to say what strega is to them.

In it's most simple terms, we can say then that mori can be included in strega, but strega can't be called mori. 

By strega's definition, anything dark mori would count under the strega umbrella. Many who wear dark mori use both tags alongside each other. This is perfectly acceptable. As a dark mori coord can be counted under the strega umbrella.

Sometimes people will also blend dark mori with more witchy, or strega, aspects. Such as using symbols of wicca or paganism in their coordinates, wearing bones or other creepy accessories, or incorporating other similar themes.

                                                                                                        (anya-apples)

When things become a bit tricky for the mori kei community is that often people assume strega is the same as mori, and tag all strega outfits with both strega and mori tags. However, this is not the case. Strega encompasses a large variety of styles, including modern goth fashion, casual outfits, punk, and many, many more. All of these are acceptable uses of the term strega, but clearly deviate from mori kei. This makes the use of both tags interchangeably incorrect.

   



Which Tags Should I Use?

So, final thoughts. For those who want to use the term strega, feel free! The style was created to be broad enough to include many fashions. If you enjoy goth or witchy fashion, then this may be a great tag for you. However, if you want to use the term strega and dark mori, or just dark mori, be aware that dark mori has its own rules and aesthetic, and the two, while similar, can't be used interchangeably.

I hope you enjoyed this quick look into strega fashion. I was around in the community when it was created, but never participated in the trend myself. Have you heard of strega before? Would you considered wearing the style, or using the term? I'd love to hear your thoughts!