1. What is Mori Kei?
2. Origins of Mori Kei
3. Mori Girls' Lifestyle
4. Characteristics of Mori Kei Fashion
Six Labels To Know About Mori Kei
5. Six Useful Tips on How to Dress Like a Modern Mori Girl
6. Substyles of Mori Kei
Dark Mori Kei
Modern Mori Kei
7. Forest Girl Clothing Collection
Embroidered Dress Floral Dress Solid Cotton Dress/Skirt
Embroidered Shirt Lace Blouse Lace Collar Top
Long Corduroy Skirt Hi-lo White Skirt
Knitted Cardigan Lace/Crotched Shawl Brown Straw
Mori Kei, first known as Mori Girl (森ガール), is a "forest-style" Japanese street fashion that originated in Harajuku. Mori(森) means "forest" and Kei(系) means "styles" in Japanese.
Mori Kei is a romantic forest fashion that centers on a look of a girl who lives in the European forests. Not like Little Red Riding Hood which has too much protective and warm wear, Mori Kei Fashion has a more girly "the girl-next-door" look and has themes related to forest dwellers.
Like other Japanese street fashion like Lolita Fashion, Fairy Kei, Dolly Kei, and Decora Kei, Mori Kei also originates from Harajuku. It actually got its name when Choco created a Mori Kei community on the Japanese social network Mixi (similar to Facebook) in 2006.
She was inspired by her friend's comment about one of her outfits, "You look like you are in the forest." She also created a guideline (Choco's Mori Girl List) for this fashion although guidelines were really loose, it gave a general knowledge of what Mori Kei was all about.
Early Mori Girls in Harajuku
This forest-style fashion reached its peak in 2009 and had its influences in many aspects, such as the creation of lots of Mori Kei fashion magazines like Spoon, Mori Girl Lesson, Choco's Mori Girl Fashion and Style Book; brands like Wonder Rocket(closed in 2017); Japanese anime like Honey and Clover; and Mori Kei music artists PoPoyans.
Mori Kei Fashion Magazines in Japan
Honey and Clover's Character-Hagu wearing Mori Kei Clothes
PoPoyans' Music Poster
Although Mori Kei Fashion began to decline in Japan in the early 2010s, and some of the best-known brands declined with it, the style is still popular with nature lovers and fashionistas around the world. The style itself has not disappeared but has adapted by incorporating the present fashion taste and changed into a modern Mori Kei Fashion.
Examples of Modern Mori Girls
The Mori Girls' lifestyle is unpretentious, natural, and aerobic; is about living in the present, not advocating for famous brands.
Activities that Mori Girls will do include DIY, knitting, felting, embroidery, cross-stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, camping, picnics, geocaching, hiking, drawing/painting, photography, reading, writing, scrapbooking, and so on.
There is no fixed standard about what Mori Kei Fashion is. The trend is changing every year, but generally, it has there few common elements and characteristics. There are 6 labels in Mori Kei according to my individual summary of the early Mori Girls' outfits.
1) Organic/Earthy Color
The key of Mori Kei is to look natural and earthy. So earth color tones like russet, taupe, ecru, tan, brown, or colors in nature like green, soft pink, yellow, white, or the colors of unbleached linen are all very popular in Mori Kei.
2) Multi-layers of Skirts/Shirts
Mori girls often layer at least two or three items to get a loose and slightly billowy shape.
3) Baggy/Loose Wear
A loose, drapey fit is another key to finishing a Mori Kei outfit. This trait of Mori Kei can hide your body shape and looks relaxed which is suitable for girls who love casual wear.
4) Ruffled or Asymmetrical Hemlines
Except for a typical ruffled/irregular hemline, Peter Pan collars, lace, ruffles, and cotton are also one of the most prominent elements of this style.
5) Handmade, Recycled, Organic Textures
In Mori Kei, the fabric effect often has a washed feeling with a strong nostalgic and literary vibe. As a result, natural fibers such as linen and cotton or other eco-friendly fabric match very well with Mori Kei. Any handmade items like crocheted shawl/scarf, crochet smock, or knit sweaters are extra points for your Mori Kei outfit!
6) Forest-themed Prints or Accessories
Themes related to Mori Kei include acorns, pine cones, wildflowers, herbs, moss, forests, cottages, deers, bunny, mushroom, dried leaves, dried flowers, dried fruits, hot drinks, stuff from thrift stores, letters, diaries, fairy tales, and so on.
Floral jacquard or embroidery is frequently used in Mori Kei.
1) Choose A Simple and Loose Main Piece First
A decided simple, loose main piece will make the rest of the coordination much easier to finish. You can take inspiration from the main piece and have a general color tone based on it.
2) Use Layers Wisely
Layers can give you a relaxing or literary vibe. However, Modern Mori Girls don't want too many layers like the early Mori Girls. You can choose one or two items like a knitted cardigan/sweater plus a crotched scarf/shawl to finish your multi-layers. In addition, the natural volume created by layering can also hide your natural figure, which is quite friendly for girls of plus size.
3) Use Soft/Light Colors
It doesn't mean you always have to stick to earthy color schemes, you can also choose colors in nature like green, soft pink, yellow, and other low-saturated colors.
4) Natural Hairstyle
A natural hairstyle is a safe choice in Mori Kei, but you can also try some conservative and fairytale-like hairstyles as long as the color of your hair is natural.
5) Use Minimalist Makeup
The makeup in Mori Kei is translucent and natural. It doesn't mean you should wear any make-up. In fact, you can use them but in minimal styles, such as beige, gold, and pink eye shadow; highly placed and round blush; and thick and natural eyebrows.
6) Choose "Dull" Shoes
Trust me, those sweet or shiny shoes are the last thing you want for your Mori Kei outfit. Relaxing and natural shoes like sandals; tough boots, lace-up leather boots, Martin boots, or other functional shoes that can make you survive in the wild are all very suitable for Mori Kei. And as far as I'm concerned, a pair of earthy colored boots are always a safe choice.
Dark Mori-Dark Witchy Style
Dark Mori, first known as Black Forest Mori, is a darker or gothic version of Mori Kei. This style is not originated from Harajuku but was first used by Western Mori Girls. They get inspiration from Strega(means "dark witch" in Italian, a western dark witchy style). Dark Mori features mainly black, grey, and other colors like dark blue, dark red, dark brown, white, etc.
Dark/Gothic Mori Girls' Coords
Yama Kei-Into the Mountain
Yama Kei, first known as Yama Girl (山ガール), is a mountain-based natural style and is considered a substyle of Mori Kei. Yama(山) means "mountain" in Japanese.
Yama Kei centers on hiking, camping, and other mountain-like activities. As a result, Yama Kei Fashion features sportswear, hiking boots, and other practical outdoor clothing and equipment.
The anime Yama no Susume characters wearing Yama Kei clothing
Mountain-style Mori Kei Coords
Hama Kei-Relaxed Holiday on the Beach
Hama Kei, also known as Umi Kei, is like a Mori Kei but with a beachy twist. It's not living in the forest but about life on the seashore and the beach. Hama(滨) means "beach" and Umi(海) means "sea" in Japanese.
It features fewer and lighter layers than Mori Kei. Its emphasis colors are blue, aqua, beige, and white tones. The outfits of Hama Kei often use denim, sailor-like stripes, anchors, seashell accessories, fishing net shawls, sandals, and other nautical elements.
Beach-style/Sea-style Mori Kei Coords
On the basis of comfort and nature, the new Mori Kei is more modern and functional. Modern Mori Kei will have more variations and modern design elements such as drop shoulder design and flap cuffs.
In terms of silhouette, straight-fitting, A-shaped, and genderless silhouettes are the main features. The genderless silhouette is also a hot trend, because its sophisticated textures and large, loose fits can bring you a carefree vibe.
In terms of material, in addition to cotton and linen, coarse knitting like crochet and fine knitting wool is also the mainstream of the new Mori Kei.
In general, the characteristics of the Modern Mori Kei are anti-fashion, anti-materialistic, and rejecting all luxury decorations. It focuses on naturalness, simplicity, comfort, and practicality, and represents an independent and self-reflective awareness of trends.
Urban Mori Girls' Coordinate Ideas-MUJI Style
Tips on MUJI Style Mori Kei
The popular MUJI trend in recent years can also be classified as a kind of evolution of the Mori Kei. The MUJI style is mainly reflected in simplicity and comfort. The skin-friendly material like cotton and linen, the simple, tidy, and fresh overall feeling make it a favorite of the Urban Mori Girls.
Retro Shirt/Ruffled Skirt
Floral Jacquard Cami Dress
Floral Jacquard Top
Flower Jacquard Butterfly Cutout Long Skirt
Irregular Hem Cami Dress
Please click Mori Kei Collection to find more forest-style clothing on our websites.