Saturday, November 29, 2014

So What Exactly is Mori Kei?

So I would like to start off my second blog with explaining what mori kei is. 
I get compliments a lot at school, telling me that I'm very vintage. At first I would tell people that I'm a mori girl and I would try to explain the subculture; however, it only lead to people getting more confuse. So this is for them too, hehe. Here I will be talking about what exactly is mori kei. I mean, you might be a mori girl/ boy and you wouldn't even know it.

Mori kei (some people call it mori girl, 森ガール) is a fairly new Japanese fashion that started in 2007. It originated in a mixi community from a girl named Choco after describing her outfit as "a girl who came out the forest". Mori means "forest" in Japanese, so the subculture is known as a girl, who lives in a fairy tale forest. Not only is it a fashion, but it's a life style as well. It is a combination of with the other Japanese fashions Natural Kei and Ura- hara fashion.

The Fashion

The fashion is known for it's loose outfits, many layers of clothing, vintage prints, and it's simplicity. Natural colors are common with mori coordinates; however, bright colors can be added, as long as it has that mori kei feel. Remember, the fashion is all about "a girl in the forest," so you would want to look like a fairy tale, forest dweller. 

The Clothing
Choco, the girl who started it all, made rules for being a mori girl . Like every fashion, there are rules because it is what defines it; however, constant layering and natural, warm colors shouldn't be a must, in my opinion. But I also think you can start breaking the rules of fashion when you know the rules well enough. Though, Choco's rules are a good way to get the idea of mori kei.
Not only is layering well known to mori kei as loose clothing, but it is also one of the main things that differentiates itself between natural kei. The two fashions are very similar, but they are also different. Layering can also be with accessories such as vintage jewelries, scarves, shawls, earmuffs, etc.. Click here for a guide to layering. In my opinion, you can still dress mori without layering. Just make sure you differentiate yourself with natural kei.

Live in a hot climate and don't know how to layer your coords? Go casual.
Personally, I don't layer my coords much due to the tropical climate on Guam, though I am still able to coordinate my clothes into mori kei, which comes out as very casual mori coords. Only during rainy days when it's pretty cold out, I go all out in layering my coords, but if I were to dress like that on regular basis, I'd probably get a heat stroke, lol. 
The key to layering your coords in a hot climate is thin layers. I would usually wear short skirts or shorts that are right at my knee, a loose top added with a vest, a brooch along with some other accessories, and short, loose socks. I would regularly have about one to two layers on, but they're pretty thin, yet it still has that mori feel. 
On very hot days, I just wear Natural Kei coords, so don't be afraid to wear natural! Natual kei and Mori kei may have a difference, but I consider the two like sisters. 
When it comes to dressing in mori kei, don't feel like you have to sign your soul off to the Mori God and dress mori kei every second of your life. Remember, you can still be considered as a mori girl through the lifestyle and by heart. Clothes don't have to define you as a mori girl-- that's unless you want be a harajuku mori girl. If so, then that that's fine as well.

For the make up, mori girls wear very little make up, or none. The style is all about going natural, so your make up should be very natural. If you choose to wear makeup, I would recommend a bit of mascara and blush. Some girls like to add a lot of blush to give that dolly, forest, rosy cheek look. Pale skin is pretty common for a mori kei look. However, if you have tan or dark skin like me, just make sure your skin is taken care of, that way your skin can still glow without it being pale.

For my makeup, I use only concealer, powder, and eyeliner. I put concealer under my eyes due to my natural, dark eye bags and some on my face to hide some of my discoloration of my skin. I also put a bit of powder, and eyeliner at the top of my eyelid. You can still use make up, just keep your look natural.

For your hair, a bob cut with straight bangs is common in the fashion, but that doesn't mean you should go get a hair cut or get your hair straightened out. If you have curly or wavy hair, you can always put it in a braid or let it down.
If you are like me and currently struggling with your poofy, tangled, kinky hair, you are still able to make your hair very mori, so don't worry! You can either let your hair down or put it in a braid as well. I'm not comfortable with putting my poofy hair down, so what I usually do is braid my bangs and put my poof in a bun. If you would like to straighten your hair, that is fine too, but I recommend not straightening it too much because we are trying to be natural.

Also know that the subculture is not limited to just females, but boys too. 

Different Styles of Mori Kei

There are many types of Mori Kei styles as well besides the practical ones. If you like gothic, dark things, but still like the idea of mori kei, there's the dark mori style. The style is still mori, it's just a dark version of it.

Do you like nature, but your love for mountains, and climbing rocks? We got Yama Kei too! It consists of hiking clothes such as backpacks, boots, and a thick vest. As you can tell, it still has some mori elements, it's just a different type of mori kei style.

What about oceans? Do you like oceans and beaches? Well, there's also Hama Kei. The style is known for stripes, sailor themed clothes, and thin layering considering the hot temperatures beaches. This style is very natural and since I live on an island with beaches every where, it's a perfect mori style for me to dress in. It would also look good with a straw hat and a straw beach bag.

I also stumbled upon some of this steam-punk mori kei coords as well (her tumblr), which I think it's pretty cool. As said earlier, you can play around with the rules of fashion once you know it well enough.

The Lifestyle

Now just because the style is known for a girl who lives in a forest, this doesn't mean that you should start packing up your stuff, wave farewell to mom and dad, and live out in the forest. Living the mori kei lifestyle just means that you just need to appreciate the little things in life that most people over look. A mori girl's lifestyle may consist of going out for a walk, enjoying nature, going to cafés, collecting oddities, taking pictures, gardening, reading, daydreaming etc.. They are known for listening to indie music and sometimes some instrumentals. Click here for my favorite mori playlist. Mori-Kei is a lifestyle that encompasses a nature-loving, wild place-seeking, tree-hugging attitude to life.  Now, you don't need to do all of those things or follow Choco's rules in order to actually live the life style. I mean, you might not even like tea or crafting! 

I don't really like tea unless I add a crap load of sugar and honey. I would love to take pictures, but I don't own a camera. I also hate gardening. Despite all that, I still live the lifestyle. I guess what I'm trying to say is, you don't have to like everything single thing a normal mori would like. Just enjoy the little things as much as possible. At least try out some of the things like going to cafés alone or going out in nature. If you don't like it, that's perfectly fine. As long as you tried it out because mori girls are all bout trying new things. These are just some of the things that can help you enjoy the little things in life. Make sure you learn to love solitude especially. Learning to enjoy being alone can benefit you greatly.
Don't go and change your hobbies if barely any of them is on the mori kei lifestyle list. Just remember the lifestyle is all about the simplicity, loving life, taking care of yourself, and enjoying the little things. If you do all of that, you are a definitely a mori girl. 

A common mori has a soft mood, is easy going, and laid back. Mori girls are open minded creatures and we tend to be very observant with our surroundings. They enjoy being alone and are creative. Mori girls are also known to be shy. This is just a typical image of a Mori Girl. You don't have to be a certain way to be mori. Just be yourself and refer to the lifestyle, which is mainly enjoying life itself.
I am very loud and silly, but I can be very shy as well. I could also be very straight forward and impatient, but I try my best to to be laid back about things. I don't want to change who I am in order to be considered a mori girl. I mean, it's not like there's a Mori God out there who will be displeased and  strip you from all your mori-ness for not following the rules. Just be yourself and try your very best to keep an even tempered toward things. 

I honestly think the rules to mori kei are very restrictive and it shouldn't be like that for such a fun, lovable subculture. As long as you have an idea of the subculture and can apply it to your fashion or lifestyle, you can call yourself a mori girl. 
If you are starting out in Mori Kei, I hope this helped. If you would like to be a part of a mori girl  community on facebook, don't hesitate to join.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please let me know what you think about this post. I will definitely make more of these in the future. 

Sincerely, Peaches