Saturday, May 4, 2024

Mori Magazines: Mori Girl Lessons

Throughout its popularity in Japan and Harajuku fashion communities, mori kei has often, like many other of its fellow J-fashion styles, been featured in magazines. Similar to other fashions, it has also had its own unique magazine series produced. Although all of these have since concluded, they remain a popular source for mori inspiration.

Today, I want to introduce you to one of these such magazines, the Mori Girl Lessons.


The Mori Girl Lessons were a series of magazines catered directly to mori fashion, published by Takarajimasha. The company has published many fashion magazines over the years, such as MILK. I still often see their magazines in stores here in Japan.

The company delved into the mori world in the early 2010s, producing 6 known issues of their mori style guides, known as "Mori Girl Lessons."


The Mori Girl Lessons featured a wide variety of contents, from clothes, to hair, to makeup, and even celebrity features!

The magazines covered a wide variety of themes, but a few unique themes to the magazine included all white and creme coordinates, more colorful coordinates featuring darker colors and gem tones, and outfits with minimal layers. Many colorful images of mori coordinates that circle around on the internet have come out of Mori Girl Lesson publications.

Classic Images

Several classic and widely circulated mori images were produced in the Mori Girl Lessons. Some notable examples include the magazine cover photos, the classic image of a mori girl reading in the forest, and the pastel blue shoot. 

Outfit Shots

Of course, the magazines also featured many outfit photos, showcasing various mori coordinates. Most often, the outfits featured many layered skirts and dresses. But the publication also included various pants coordinates and more toned-down looks with fewer layers.

Brand Features

(Left: marble SUD, Right: Earth Music & Ecology, Top: Q-pot and KOOS)

Like most fashion magazines, Mori Girl Lessons had feature spreads to various brands that catered to the mori aesthetic. Some were more mainstream recognizable brands like Earth Music & Ecology, but others were more niche brands found only in Harajuku.

Each spread would showcase various items of clothing or accessories, with pricing and descriptions. Occasionally, household goods with a mori vibe were featured as well.

Hair and Makeup Tutorials

Another key feature of J-fashion magazines is always the hair and makeup sections. Mori Girl Lessons predictably showcased soft natural looks, such as braided hairstyles, and light makeup looks. 

Celebrity Features

(Left: MEG, Right: Popoyans)

A unique feature of the Mori Girl Lessons was its inclusion of various mori "celebrities". For example, the musical duo Popoyans was featured as models in an issue, and the well-known mori model MEG was also featured.

In addition to larger celebrities, they also had spreads interviewing staff of various mori girl catered shops, such as the now defunct store "flower". These spreads would have recommendations from the staff, and occasionally outfit photos from them as well.

As always, we have scans of the mori girl magazines on the mori magazine scan archive! Please feel free to check them out and enjoy these lovely magazines for yourself.

Check out other posts in this series!


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Biblioethica January Prompt: Wishin' and Dreamin'

As always, I am squeezing my post for this months prompt in last minute! But this prompt, all about wishes, made me think of my own mori wishlist! So I wanted to share some mori things I hope to do someday, or was able to complete!

Have Done:

˚✩‧ Own a mori magazine

I was able to complete this dream after I moved to Japan! Mori magazines are available cheap here from used book sellers online. I bought a ton and now own most of the most popular ones.

˚✩‧ Own Choco's Book

For the same reason, I was able to purchase Choco's book when I moved to Japan. It was so cool to hold one of the things that started it all in my hands. It's definitely one of my most treasured mori possessions.

˚✩‧ Knit my own shawl

Ever since I knew of mori, I oohed and ahhed over images of cute coordinates featuring shawls, and always wanted to buy or make one. I taught myself to knit, and after a lot of failures, finally was able to knit my own shawl! It's still one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe and I wear it constantly.

˚✩‧ Own a Popoyans CDs

Popoyans have been one of my favorite musical groups of all time since I first discovered them. The fact that they also wore mori is just a plus! Even as music moves digital, I always want to own physical copies of albums by my favorite artists. Since Popoyans is so obscure, it was especially important for me to own a copy of their music, since it could easily become lost media at any time. I own both of their released CDs, and I treasure them dearly.

Want To Do:

˚✩‧ Go to a mori meet up

It's every mori person's dream, right? To go to a gathering of other mori folks, and sip tea together at a cute cafe, and maybe go on a nature walk? Sounds like a dream! Unfortunately, I lived in an area of the US with no other mori friends, and now I live in Japan where the fashion is dead. Although I've met a few mori friends in person over the years, and been to a few online meet-ups, I've still never been to a physical meet-up. I'll never give up hoping though! Maybe someday in the future I can meet for tea with other mori friends!
A few of the OG mori community members at a meet-up!

˚✩‧ Wear mori at a convention or in Harajuku
This one isn't too far out of reach. I actually went to Harajuku recently, and I don't live that far from Tokyo these days, so it's certainly possible. However, whenever I travel it tends to be during summertime, and I hate to wear layers in the summer. Maybe I should plan another trip to Tokyo in the Spring and wear mori then!

Impossible Dreams:

˚✩‧ Visit Wonder Rocket 
When I first discovered mori, it was during it's height in Japan and abroad. At the time, every mori person wanted to buy a Wonder Rocket piece and travel to their adorable store. Pictures of their rabbit mannequins were so popular, and I also dreamed of visiting their store. Unfortunately, they've since closed their doors, making this an impossible dream.

˚✩‧ Wear any mori brand piece from Japan
Every other plus sized or curvy mori person (or tall for that matter) know that mori brands from Japan, like most Japanese brands, cator to the idealized beauty standard of Japan. This means the dreaded "one size" pieces, other tiny sizes, and no room for any curves. I'm barely plus sized by US standards, but in Japan I can barely wear anything. I have to buy most of my clothes from overseas brands. So although you can still find mori brand pieces thrifting, wearing them is an impossible dream for me.
How about you? What are your mori dreams? Do you find that they've changed with the decline in popularity of mori fashion? I would love to hear your answers below.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Bibliotheca November Prompt: Versatility

November's Biblioethica theme is "Versatility". I've chosen to interpret this prompt in two ways! First, to show the versatility of "types" of mori outfits. And second, to share my personal favorite most versatile pieces of clothing that can be used in mori!

Personally, I find mori to be versatile in so many ways, so this prompt fits well.

Versatile Outfits

Mori as a style is incredibly versatile! If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you may remember way back when I used to make posts about theoretical "substyles" of mori, noticing trends in the style and showing how many different ways a mori outfit can look! 

Of course, these days, I would just place all of those "styles" under the main mori umbrella. And I think that is something that is so fun about mori. There is always a way to make the style unique to you, and to fit your own aesthetic preferences.

Let's look at a few!

White and Fairytale-esque

This style may be what you think of when you think of the "classic" version of mori. Full of white, lace-covered, flowing pieces, this style feels like a forest fairy right out of a fairytale!

Foresty and practical

Mori doesn't have to be white and lacey though! Mori may also be more practical, with darker colors and warm layers, suited to a fashionable hike in the woods.

Dark and witchy

Mori can also be dark and mysterious. Not only forest fairies want to look cute! Your local forest witch may also wear mori style.

Colorful and fun

Mori can also be colorful and fun! Especially early magazine outfit shots have many colors, patterns, and bright elements to add a unique look to your wardrobe.

Over the top and fantastical

Mori can also be extremes. With added accessories like antlers, or deer makeup, or extra layers, mori can be fantastical, like a video game character come to life.

Casual and cozy

Mori can also be casual and toned down, with simple layers and practical pieces. You can even sometimes find mori outfits with pants ;)

Versatile Pieces

When it comes to individual pieces, I'm sure many mori folk have a few basic versatile pieces they rely on to create easy, cute outfits. For me, I have four.

First is creme base dresses. They're such an easy layer to bring a piece together. The color goes with anything, and you can layer easily with skirts, blouses, and sweaters to create a great look. I've always had multiple in my mori wardrobe, but my favorite has always been the first one I bought, a linen piece I found at a thrift store. It would be way too small for me these days, even if I hadn't worn it so much that it had holes in the end! But I still remember it fondly.

An old photo of me wearing my favorite base dress.

Second is sweaters. Sweaters are not only cozy and allow me to hide my hands like a cartoon character, but also go well with anything. My favorite are long sweaters, which layer well with dresses, or sweaters with unique knit patterns.

Third is boots, particularly mid-calf, lace-up, leather (or in my case faux leather) boots. There's something about wearing a boot that is both practical for every day and somehow makes me instantly feel like I'm ready to go on a forest adventure. If you've never had your own pair of cute little boots, I highly recommend purchasing a pair!

A recent coord where I wore all three of these staples!

Lastly is shawls. I'm lucky enough to know how to knit, so I have knit my own shawl, and it is the best thing I have ever made. I wear it all the time! It makes any outfit feel mori, even basic ones with only a few layers. An absolute essential piece for me.

Another recent outfit with my shawl I made.

How about you? I would love to know the ways you've embraced mori's versatility to best suit you. Also, what are your favorite, most versatile, mori pieces? Comment below!