Monday, June 12, 2017

Mori Kei and Minimalism: A Moderate Approach to Fashion

Mori kei fashion and minimalism seems like exact opposites, I know. I've had so many people ask me how you can possibly combine the two. In fact, there are some who don't think it's possible. However, I believe that it is possible, and I'd like to propose to you just how to do it. I'm splitting this up into two options, which I'm calling the moderate approach, and the capsule wardrobe approach. This post will focus on the moderate approach, and in another post I'll take a look at the caspule wardrobe option.

So, first, let's tackle the elephant in the room. Mori kei fashion takes a lot of clothing to pull off. It's a lot of layers, and a lot of clothing to own. Even if you wear a casual mori kei style all of the time, you will still have more clothing than the average person. So no matter what you end up deciding to do with your clothing, as someone who wears mori kei you will always have more clothes than the average minimalist. There's no way around it. So please, don't feel like you can't call yourself a minimalist because you have more clothes than other people think you should have. If you love mori kei, and you love your clothing, then you shouldn't feel bad about that. But, despite the fact that you will likely always have more clothing than others, I still believe you can have a more minimal amount of clothing where you only have pieces you wear often and truly love. That's why I'm calling this the moderate approach. It's by no means an extreme option where you cull over 3/4 of your clothing, but it is a way to trim down what you own by deciding what is really worth keeping.

With this approach it isn't about having as little as possible, like with the capsule wardrobe approach (which I will talk about later), but rather to have only what you use and love. To make this possible, I have come up with a few points to guide you when deciding what clothes you should keep, and what kinds of things you should get rid of.

First, don't keep extra pieces. If you have two beige sweaters that serve almost the exact same purpose, get rid of one and keep the one you like the most.

Second, don't keep items that you can only work into a few coords. If the piece isn't versatile, and you can only wear it with that one specific dress, then get rid of it.

Third, keep a color scheme for your closet. By having a set color scheme, you're less likely to buy that one pink sweater that doesn't match anything you wear, and ends up sitting in the back of your closet and never worn.

Fourth, know what you do and don't wear often, and know which pieces you know how to layer with. If you have a dress that you feel is an awkward length, or a skirt that doesn't layer well with anything, or a shirt that looks good on a hanger but makes you feel uncomfortable, then get rid of these things. Keep only the clothes you are able to layer with and feel good wearing, and get rid of the rest.

Fifth, remember that mori coords don't really need 100 layers, and that you can function with less. It's very possible to create mori coords with 4 or 5 layers, all of which can be re-used for more than one coordinate. You can use the same underskirt, or sweater, or dress, for dozens of different coords. And you'll often find that most of your base pieces are useful for the majority of your outfits. You can check my pinterest board for some inspiration for mori coords that work with less pieces, and pieces that are more versatile. But, just quickly, here are a few coord ideas that work with less pieces, and versatile options.

This coord is for the winter season, and still manages to have only 5 layers. All of the pieces are neutral, and could be used again in other coordinates easily.

This coord use 4 pieces only, and again is all neutral items that could easily be used again.

There are 4 visible layers again here, but still a lovely mori silhouette.

This coord manages to use only 3 layers, and still look perfectly mori!

This coord uses a piece with lots of detail, in order to create a mori coord with only 2 layers. Definitely a more extreme example, and harder to achieve. But by no means impossible.


This coord has only 4 layers, but uses accessories to create a more complete look.

I hope that I've given you some ideas on how to have a somewhat minimalist approach to mori kei fashion. I'll admit that this is an area I still struggle with connecting to minimalism myself sometimes, and I'm still learning. Let me know if you have any tips or advice related to how you've connected mori kei and minimalism in your life! I'd love to hear your ideas. Until next time, my deers!

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