Tuesday, June 2, 2015

beginning again / mori girl

Note to anyone who was following this blog because of my England trip and is here because they are still getting notifications about it: 
I'm going to be writing here again, but's going to be different now, and probably less exciting, as I'm just home, and it will be more thoughts and my own life and hobbies and random interests/obsessions and not foreign adventures.  Please don't feel obliged to read or comment if you are not interested; I won't be in the least offended if you don't continue to read it, indeed, it makes me a little nervous as I know it probably won't be to some of your tastes. I thought about simply starting a new blog, but the title and subtitle of this one are still perfect and me, so I'm going to keep it here, and if you do decide to stick around, you are welcome.


I am a mori girl.

I only recently stumbled upon the existence of mori kei fashion, and felt like it was what I had been searching for for most of my life. It’s who I am when I’m not trying to be someone else. I always have wanted to dress in a way that felt like me, but was aesthetically pleasing... I spent years in jeans and t-shirts, admiring elements of other girls’ outfits but not having the boldness or know-how to wear anything else myself. For the past couple of years I’ve read fashion blogs (mostly youlookfab.com), which gave the the ability to dress more stylishly... but a lot of it didn’t feel like me at all. Track/athletic clothing? Pointy-toed shoes? Blazers? Not my thing at all, yet I was considering buying them! Finally in some rather random internet browsing I stumbled across a description of mori fashion, and it was like a bright light in the dark. Picture after picture showed just how I’d always wanted to dress and be.

Mori originated with a girl in Japan named Choco, who wrote a list of what it means to be a mori girl (mori means "forest" in Japanese). That list is translated into English here. The list is weirdly specific about certain things, and I'm pretty sure there are few if any people who follow every attribute, but it gives the "feel" of the style. The basis is "a girl who lives in a forest." There is both a clothing and a personality aspect to the style; here's my best attempt at summing it up: Clothing: Loose-fitting layers in natural fabrics and earth-tone colors, with a childlike sillhouette (A-line from the shoulders is classic mori). Simple, comfortable, and practical, but pretty, and a little quirky. Feminine, but not overly frilly. It should look aesthetically pleasing, but with the feel that the layers are just as much for warmth and comfort as for fashion. A "cozy" feel.
Personality: Kind, gentle, innocent, appreciative of the little things. Someone who stops to savor, loving things like photography and browsing in little shops. A lover of hand-made goods, and hand-making things herself. Old-fashioned and fairytale-ish.

I don’t completely follow classic mori - my two major differences are colors and silhouette. I love color and couldn’t live without it, so although I try to still stick with the natural feel - not a big neon fan! - I do wear quite a bit of bright color. And although I love the A-line silhouette on other people, it’s not especially complimentary to my body type, so I usually define my waist somehow. However, I really enjoy the freedom this style has given me to not worry that if my clothes don't fit closely I will look chubby or frumpy. I am far more comfortable in looser clothing and this style has enabled me to embrace that. The other twist I put on the mori style is that I often wear a graphic t-shirt with my outfits... gotta keep my nerd side in there somehow!
Now, at 27, I am finally coming into my personal style. The youlookfab blog enabled me to understand and apply contemporary/conventional fashion rules. Mori taught me when and how to break them, and gave me the courage to do it. The compliments I've been getting from various sources haven't hurt my confidence either =) I'm still learning, and it will take a while for my wardrobe to morph as I clear out the things I don't truly like, and only buy the things that actually fit with my style. Right now I wear many things that are synthetic or synthetic/natural blends in my outfits, but I probably won't buy more. I like cotton and wool better than polyester anyway, and it's like knowing about mori has given me permission to discriminate. I'll might still wear rayon blends though... I like the swoosh!


Danialle {Celestial Bunnie} said...

Yay, another mori girl blogger! I love your descriptions of the fashion & lifestyle. I felt the same way about clothes when I was younger, living in t-shirts and jeans because I always felt the "trendy" or "normal" clothing in the US just didn't flatter me. Mori Kei & other Japanese fashions are such a breath of fresh air! Can't wait to read more about mori from you!! ^_^

ransomedhandmaiden said...

Thanks Danialle! I'm trying to figure out how to subscribe to your blog but can't find the button? help?