Exploring Mori: The Basics

Another attempt at a new post series! I want to explore Mori Kei – its substyles, its sociological and philosophical background, its materials, motives and trends – a little further. But let’s start with something more basic.

Mori Kei – simple Mori Kei – is the basic style, the thing you see most of the time when you search for the term.

In most cases at the moment (hopefully I’ll keep this up long enough to explain) Mori Kei means floaty layered outfits, light colours such as off-white and beige, a decent amount of lace, antler headpieces and flower crowns.

Basic Mori
Basic Mori (Pants Edition)

The idea behind this is to look like someone who comes from the woods, but rather from a fairy tale than from work as a lumberjack (more on that later, too, maybe).

Let’s have a look at the essential pieces. I made a “must have” list at some point, of course it’s only my humble opinion, though.

Mori Kei Must-Haves

  • light basic dress/shirt and pants
  • natural jewelery
  • something patterned
  • comfy messenger or backpack
  • a favourite tea
  • shawl or scarf, fluffy and soft
  • round sunglasses

Keywords: forest person, light and natural, fairy tale-ish, cute, fluffy+airy, lace, knits, muslins, linen, forest finds

I even made two sets (one with pants, one with a skirt) on a budget to demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be expensive or all-brand:

Budget Edition

Basic Mori on a Budget

Basic Mori on a Budget

Basic Mori (Pants edition) on a Budget
  • most items in these sets are sales from commonplace stores like H&M or mailorder catalogs like Bonprix. Now – the beginning of Autumn – is a great time to shop for leftover summer clothing. Things like linens, light colours and pretty crochet overlay pieces are obvious summer trends so it’s easier to find these late in Summer or early in Autumn for less than, say, in Winter or Spring.
  • as for the shoes your typical hiking boots will probably do, too. Or simple sneakers or slip-ons. In summer I’d say sandals as well. All of these come rather cheap (except for the hiking boots), and maybe you’ll have thrifting luck, who knows? The main guideline would be the colour – simple things like beiges and browns – and, if you can afford it, leather and natural fiber instead of synthetics. Oh, what would also work would be UGG boots and every knockoff of the same.
  • the bags are from Etsy (canvas bag) and the army surplus store (in this case raeer.com). Prettily printed canvas totes are easy to find or DIY, even, and cheap simple rucksacks and strap bags in retro designs can be found in second hand shops or, as shown above, at the military (especially eastern and southern Europe as fas as my experience goes, and you’ll find these online, anyway). Just pin on some badges or patches for a less stern look and you’ll be fine.
  • the thrifting part, yes, of course there is one! Things like hats (the flat cap for example, or anything knit) and scarves are things your local thrift store will probably supply you with (except for those of you who live in a rather hot climate, but then there will be other interesting things, but I’m starting to ramble). This also applies to cardigans and sometimes shirts – in Germany it’s easy to look for traditional clothing around Oktoberfest, no matter where you live, and this includes linen shirts.
  • in regards to jewelery there are pretty much three options: Etsy (ideal to look for laser cut wood pieces like the cute fox above from Green Ferret), the accessory section of H&M, Claire’s and consorts (because esotericism, crystals and flower crowns are a thing at the moment) and, my favourite, DIY. Go on a walk in the woods to collect your material, things like brooch pins and necklace screws come rather cheap, and it will be one-of-a-kind.

Some DIY Ideas

  • A beautiful dress tutorial that can also be used for a simple tiered skirt at Dearest Jackdaw.
  • A simple sweater-to-cardigan DIY on Cut Out + Keep (I’m still searching for the perfect chunky sweater for this, too).
  • A video how-to on simple salwar pants by Cloud Factory.
  • And a piece of advice about acorn jewelery: Acorns (especially the long-ish ones) tend to shrivel after a while. You can either replace them with somethings else (crystals or marbles would be nice) or try to conserve them in some way (glue or top coats could work). Northern red oak acorns don’t shrink as much, though. The same goes for conkers, they won’t stay as shiny and big.

5 thoughts on “Exploring Mori: The Basics

  1. Lovely post! I’m glad you have a pants option. I usually go the pants option unless I’m really dressing up.
    I’m looking forward to reading more!
    xx Katie.

    1. Oh, I’m glad you like it! The pants option was something I definitely wanted to do because Mori with pants is usually treated as a substyle rather than just an alternative and that didn’t agree with me so much. ^^

  2. You advices are great! My hardest problem is found a versatile underdress, I found a cute one on Aliexpress but I think is too small for me :(. I’ll going to look around in stores as H&M. Yesterday I went to Claire’s, it has a cute laced ribbon hairpin! *^* (1,50 euros)

    1. Light-coloured sundresses are easier to find than long-sleeven ones, maybe you’ll find a cute one and a long sleeve shirt to wear underneath. And white things can always be dyed with black tea!

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