Exploring Mori: Natural Kei

Now, some of you, after reading the title, will say something like “But Natural Kei isn’t a Mori substyle!”, and you’ll be right. In my book, however, Mori and Natural Kei are tightly related and the former sort of evolved out of the latter so I thought it was just right to cover this style, too.

Most definitions – especially about the difference between Mori and Natural Kei – cite some source about how Natural Kei looks more like someone who lives close to the woods but not inside (as opposed to Mori) and hence can afford more “trendy” things. Are you fucking kidding me. Natural Kei is far better suited to run around in the woods in than frikkin’ layer-over-layer white lace mori. Have you ever tried going through brambles in a pretty lacey flowy dress made out of thin muslin layers? I’ve tried going through brambles in padded pants and thick woolen jumpers, and it’s still a feat to talk about.

And there’s nothing more trendy about sturdy fabric and flannel. So fuck that.

Okay. After that unnecessarily ranty part I’ll go back to usual business. While writing this post – over the course of a few weeks – I kind of despaired about the fact that I covered most of the Natural Kei style topic in my Sarah Kay and Holly Hobbie posts and kept repeating myself. It’s tiresome but to have a complete article about the style I fear it’s necessary. Now. Business.

Natural Kei came up in the 1970s in Japan, at the same time the West had a surge of nostalgia for prairie dresses and turn-of-the-century styles itself. In the end Natural Kei was an inspiration for the creation of the Mori Kei style about 30 years after its own birth as a fashion.

I’d say that the main difference between Mori and Natural Kei is the choice of materials, amount of layers and the fit. Closer to actual historic styles the dresses’ bodices are tighter, sometimes even laced, the layers are usually between two and three and there are a lot more patterns going on. Again, see the Holly Hobbie/Sarah Kay post.

Imagine Little House on the Prairie. Imagine Anne of Green Gables. Imagine Medicine Woman.


Natural Kei (Pants Edition)

Natural Kei (Pants Edition)

Natural Kei

Natural Kei

So here we go for the “Must-Haves” list:

  • a patterned dress, preferably in deep nature colours such as chestnut or dark green
  • or a comfy pair of pants, maybe corduroy
  • if you wear pants: braces!
  • a wide linen shirt and a nice vest
  • tie-up or granny boots
  • some sort of hat (a boater hat or a newsboy cap would be ideal) or bonnet

  • something knit
  • something with a floral pattern
  • a leather satchel or school bag

Natural Kei is a little more vintage, maybe a little bit more appropriate for more formal occasions than mori alone and accessories can be made easily from old linens (like the apron: take a rectangle and add ties). No tutorials this time, I already used them up on the Sarah/Holly post.

Have a wonderful rest weekend!


2 thoughts on “Exploring Mori: Natural Kei

  1. Very cute outfits! I agree with your idea of what Natural Kei is. Whenever I see it, I think of the episodes of Little House on the Prairie I saw as a kid.
    And yes, white lace is a little impractical when you’re bushwalking. At least the boots are on the right track. =)

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