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


  1. That's interesting that people feel that they might be "too old" for mor-kei. I've never gotten into it wholeheartedly because the very layered and somewhat shapeless look of the fashion does not make me feel confident. And to me, watching from the sidelines, mori-kei felt like trying to look a bit older (or at least ageless) with all the stereotypically 'oldfashioned' layers (knits, lace, natural fabrics) in earthy colours. Though seeing nothing but young (and predominantly slim and pale) models representing the fashion definitely puts up a barrier for some people. So I'm glad your mum has found it in her to try.
    Btw, did you watch the "J-Aunties speak up" panel at Ursa Major 2? Arielle there was talking about mori-kei and wearing mori-kei as a mature woman, I found a lot of what she said truly fascinating (like how mori-kei was perfect for her when going through menopause).

    1. I would agree! Mori does seem like an "old lady" style ;) But it was a huge thing, especially back in the day, for people to claim they were too old for the style. And I hadn't seen the panel yet, but I took a look. Very interesting! Thanks for the recommendation :)

  2. I have also seen some older mori ladies through the years I have been wearing mori. They always look very nice and I find them inspiring. I do wear a more simple mori style for a year or so myself even though I still love the "old" mori style.
    I was very in to dark mori before but now I only seldom wear it. Life changes, one grows, mature and change...The essence of my style has been "mori shaped"even before I knew about mori kei so this is how I like to dress. If I will wear a mori sort of style as an old lady I do not know but...I would love to look a bit like Tasha Tudor when perhaps. Thank you for sharing thoughts about these things.

  3. Firstly, you're mom is totally rocking the look!
    I am older and wearing mori, but I've never considered it an 'old lady' style. It always felt fresh, young, and out of a story book or video game. I've never felt frumpy in mori. Comfortable, yes. But never frumpy. I never felt too old for the style and now that I'm in peri-menopause, it helps me remain comfortable and feel beautiful even as my body changes.

  4. Thanks for this, and thank you especially for the lovely pictures of your mom’s outfits.

    I’m 52. When I was in my 20s, I wore clothing that often would’ve qualified as casual mori, if that term had existed at the time. A-line silhouettes, natural fabrics, flat-soled ankle boots, tea-length and maxi skirts, cardigans, lacy vests and floral-patterned vests were all staples of my wardrobe. My personal style probably developed, at least in part, as a reaction to the crassness of the 1980s, with its power suits, garish colors, leotards, and exposed lingerie. The lifestyle that those fashions seemed to represent just wasn’t for me. I was a gentle-hearted person who enjoyed being outdoors.

    In my late 40s, the style of my youth began to appeal to me again, but in a more conscious and intentional way. I’ve never been very active on social media, so I was unaware of the mori community. But as I began to search online for essentially the same types of clothes, I soon stumbled across the “mori kei” concept. It’s fun to see the energy that younger people have brought to this aesthetic during the past decade.

    What I nowadays wear is pretty much always casual mori, or at least outfits containing some elements of mori. I also sometimes wear full-blown mori, especially if I’m feeling happy and bubbly and don’t mind being seen as a little eccentric. A couple examples of me in full-blown mori (or my interpretation of it) appear in this blog post.

    Anyways, I just wanted to delurk to let you know you’re right. In my experience, mori is a state of mind, not an age-limited thing.

    1. Thank you for delurking and for your comment! :) Your outfits are absolutely lovely, and I agree with you entirely!