Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 30

Day 30: If you were a mythological creature, what kind of creature would you be? (ex. an elf, a centaur, a witch, etc.)

Hands down, no hesitation, a hobbit. Your girl is fairly short, as far as US height goes, has wavy/curly hair, loves to eat, dreams of living on a farm or somewhere similar, is an absolute homebody, and the list goes on. 

Plus I have a huge love for the Lord of the Rings and everything Tolkein. Which may make me biased toward his creations.

Also, their fashion! So cute, and the layers are kind of mori.

And with that, we've finally reached the end of our 30 prompts! It's been fun to chat about mori things again. I hope you could enjoy it too!

If you try out the prompts, please link them to me and let me know! I would love to see everyone's answers.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 29

Day 29: Have you made any mori friends? If so, how did you meet them? Let's share where we can meet with other mori folk!

I've made a lot of mori friends over the years. Sadly, many of them have left the style, but I still remember them fondly. Currently, the most active mori place online is our discord! I can't offer a permanent link but if anyone is interested in joining you can comment here and I'll send you a link!

On the discord, we chat about fashion, lifestyle, food, and anything and everything. Like most mori spaces on the internet, it's a chill and friendly environment. 

How about you? Where have you met most of your mori friends?

Friday, November 18, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 28

Day 28: What is your biggest tip or trick about wearing mori? Any style hacks, shop suggestions, or so on?

In no particular order, here are some things that really benefited me when wearing or building my mori wardrobe!
  • Match your colors when you are buying pieces! Stick with a similar color schemes (for example, mainly blues and greens) so that more of your pieces can work together with other pieces. Your wallet will thank you.
  • Don't buy things just because they look mori if they don't fit you well. You won't end up wearing them and it will just sit in your closet sadly. Just don't. Let someone else buy and enjoy them.
  • Mind your layers! Don't overload one part of your outfit with too many layers. It will make everything feel off and a little frumpy. Try to evenly space out your layers instead.
  • Check thrift stores often! You can always find things that work at thrift stores and it is way cheaper than brand pieces. It's also better for those of every size.
  • Learn basic sewing skills or crochet/knitting! You can make your own details that make your outfits pop and fill in the gaps of what you can't buy for your wardrobe.
  • Lean on the basic colors. I know, beige is boring, but it's also versatile and can be used in any outfit. So use those beige and brown colors to your advantage!
How about you? What are your mori tips and tricks?

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 27

Day 27: What is the most difficult thing about wearing or participating in mori for you?

This is going to be a bit emotional for me to write, and a little vulnerable. But I've been meaning to speak on it for a while now, so why not here? I suppose I could say it's wearing mori in the heat and not sweating, or finding mori pieces, but there is something else that has caused me to avoid wearing mori in recent years.

TW for discussions of weight and light discussions of fat-shaming societal expectations in Japan

When I started wearing mori, I was a young high school student. And as such, I was a lot thinner. I've always been a curvy girl. I have big hips and big boobs. It's a fact of my life. But now I'm in my mid-20s, living abroad and more than a little stressed out about my job and the state of the world, and I've gained weight. I'm not plus-sized by US standards, but by Japanese standards, I definitely am.

Gaining weight for the first time was strange, to put it lightly. Growing out of my clothes, and having to get rid of pieces I loved, was really hard for me. My silhouette changed with my weight too. The way I used to dress didn't look cute anymore and I had to adjust what I wore and how I wore it.

I'm not ashamed of my weight. I don't hate my body. But I do live in Japan. And Japan is a skinny society. Way moreso than America ever was for me. People here are tiny, and plus-sized clothes are almost impossible to find. 

In America, sure, sometimes stores have limited plus-sized items, but you can find some kind of plus-sized piece anywhere. And sizes overall are larger than in Japan. I never felt like I couldn't find clothing in the US. Here in Japan, the average L size is closer to a US M, and plus-sized clothes are hardly ever present in stores. A lot of stores don't even stock their plus-sized clothes in-store and you have to go online to find their larger sizes. It can be kind of humiliating to walk through the mall and know you are too heavy to wear anything.

I want to be healthier from a literal health standpoint, so I've lost some weight recently. (I've been biking with the Conqueror Lord of the Rings challenge and I'm currently working towards my second medal! I love it and have a lot of fun biking!) But I'm not interested in being hyper-concerned about my weight to fit the standards of a "normal" Japanese body. Which isn't normal, by the way. Plus-sized people have always existed here. They just get shoved to the side.

All this to say, finding clothes here is very hard. So once I've outgrown my mori pieces, I can't find replacements. It's not only limited my wardrobe but also discouraged me from finding new pieces and wearing mori again. It's a sad cycle.

I'm trying to break the cycle on my own. I try to not compare myself to standards that I could never reach anyways (heck, my bone structure alone is wider than "standard" Japanese sizes). And I'm also trying to love myself no matter what my size is. But it's been hard. 

So, trying to be kind to myself, I've started wearing mori sometimes again. There are a few of my recent casual outfits I've worn. I see it as a simple way to love myself again. 

I hope no one else can relate to my story, but I know that so many people do. So I want to close with this. You can be happy at any size. Your worth isn't based on your body or your weight or how you look. And you can enjoy wearing cute clothes at any size and you shouldn't let anyone stop you, even your own self-doubts. 

Thanks for listening to me and letting me be a little vulnerable if you've read this far. I'm grateful to have you here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 26

Day 26: How do people react when you wear mori? Are reactions mostly positive, negative, or a mix?

I don't wear mori as much as I used to, but when I did wear it almost every day I had a huge mix of reactions. Let me tell you about a few that stand out to me.

For negative, I don't have many, but I did have one experience that was so odd it made me laugh out loud in public. I was in the United States still at the time, and I was inside a Walgreens picking up some medicine. I wasn't even dressed over-the-top, I was wearing a more casual mori style than anything, but at any rate, I guess it was noticeable enough. 

As I was shopping, I felt like someone was looking at me. I looked up to find a woman full-on staring me down, or rather my outfit. She didn't stop looking at me either. She kept looking for an uncomfortably long period of time, before suddenly looking up into my eyes with this strange look of disgust and shock, and then just walking away and out of the store.

I kind of stood there shocked for a moment but after that, I just started laughing. It was so odd! Who gets offended by clothes??

On a positive note, I've had a ton of people come up and compliment my outfits before. But my favorite was once when I went to a Starbucks and a random lady came up to me and suddenly told me I looked like a fairytale princess. I was super flattered and she was very kind. I'll never forget that.

Overall, people's responses are usually positive. Most people are excited to see someone wearing mori, and due to the style's fairly conservative nature, it usually doesn't offend anyone. I always encourage people to wear what they want. It's not as scary as you think after you wear an alternative fashion out for the first time. You'll find that most people are excited and positive to see it.

How about you? What are your most memorable experiences wearing mori kei or other alternative fashion styles? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 25

Day 25: How do you feel about the recent cottagecore trend? Do you find it similar to mori? Have you participated in the trend?

I've written about (and talked to friends about) cottagecore before. I have mixed feelings. I don't want to bash or discourage anyone who enjoys the style, and I have no issues with it as a whole. It seems cute and fairly wholesome from what I've seen. What I do have an issue with is how people use the cottagecore and mori tags interchangeably. They're similar aesthetics, to be sure, but they are not the same. Using the tags like that has really cluttered things up and made it super hard to find mori people anymore. So because of that, I sometimes feel a little annoyed with the community.

That being said, I've never participated in the trend. It's cute, but it doesn't have the same feel that mori has for me, so I'm happy enough wearing mori only.

How about you? Do you participate in cottagecore? If so, what do you like about it?

Monday, November 14, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 24

Day 24: What’s your favorite fairy tale or myth?

I've always had a soft spot for the old Slovak folktale of "The Twelve Months". I read it way back when we used to have a mori girl book club on Facebook. For one month, we chose a selection of various fairytales, including this one, and I really enjoyed it.

Although I love fairytales, the formula of a girl experiencing tragedy and overcoming it only to die and/or marry a man gets a little old sometimes. So the way The Twelve Months breaks the norm is refreshing.

I'd highly recommend reading it yourself (you can find a version of it here and some more information here), but here is a short summary.

In the story, a young woman lives with her mean stepmother and siblings in the mountains. Despite their nastiness, she is sweet and helpful. When her stepmother makes unreasonable demands for her to find flowers in the winter, forcing her out into the wilderness, she encounters the personification of each of the twelve months of the year. The months help her through various trials, and in typical gruesome fairytale fashion, the mean family members die in the icy winter freeing her from their evil influences. However, unlike other fairytales, at the ending of this one there is no prince or marriage. Instead, she inherits her family's farm and lives happily ever after in her ancestral home. 

How about you? What is your favorite fairytale? I'd love to hear your favorites in the comments below.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 23

Day 23: What’s your favorite animal and why?

I have a really soft spot for animals so it's always hard to choose a favorite.

At the moment, I really love deer, big fluffy cats, and hognose snakes.

I love deer because of their almost mythical and beautiful appearances. They move so gracefully, and they are so cute too! And I love cats probably because I grew up with cats. There's nothing that beats the feeling of curling up for a nap with my precious kitty purring on my lap. And Hognose Snakes? Well, their little noses are super cute and I love how they throw little tantrums. Super cute.

Picture Sources 1 2 3

How about you? What are your favorite animals?