Explore The World Of 'Mori Kei' Fashion With These Style Notes | CoolJapan

The growing popularity of Lolita fashion in neighbouring Asian countries and the West is only scratching the surface when it comes to Japanese fashion subcultures. Now, we're here to explore another one that's recently causing buzz among foreign fanatics of Japan's unique take on style: Mori Kei fashion. 

Loosely translated as 'forest style' fashion, Mori Kei was started by internet user Choco (or Coco, in some iterations) in Japan around 2006 to 2007. She talked about the 'whimsy meets cosy' fashion style in social media platform Mixi, gaining 36,000 members during the trend's peak. This led to the phenomenon that we now know as the Mori Kei community. The original post contains more than 60 rules or guidelines on how to achieve not just the aesthetic but the style's corresponding lifestyle. And while the actual post cannot be accessed without creating a Mixi account, many Mori Kei patrons have reshared the full notes on various platforms. While the trend has quieted down in Japan in 2012, many patrons from other parts of the world still enjoy and practice both its aesthetic and philosophy to this day. 

Now, unlike Lolita fashion, Mori Kei is easier to achieve. In fact, it fits into some aspects of bohemian and cosy chic fashion styles. You might already have the basics of this look down pat without even knowing. Curious to know more? While we won't be diving deep into the 60 notes Choco has listed, here are the most important rules of Mori Kei fashion.

Loose and comfortable clothing is key

Listed as the first (and probably the most important rule) of Mori Kei fashion is that it's all about loose and flowy fabrics. Pieces like A-line or smock-like dresses are staples for this aesthetic, as well as cosy layers, like knits or ponchos, that are reminiscent of typical autumn fashion. This is because the forest comes alive particularly with the amazing foliage during fall, thus, the fashion getting its biggest inspiration from the season. 


Natural but with a quirk

Mori Kei is often compared to Natural Kei (prairie-like aesthetic) as they share some similarities. However, Mori Kei is elevated in a way that it wins on the details. Mori Kei girls love trinkets and details that are quirky but subtle, like accessorising with mushroom earrings or wearing a piece with an embroidered woodland creature accent — anything that reminds you of relaxing walks in the forest. Mori Kei also encourages to simply follow your natural style, all while channelling a whimsical appeal with your chosen outfit details. Flashy is definitely not the way to describe this style. 

It's all about earth tones

As mentioned previously, Mori Kei fashion is quite similar to the typical autumnal style. Therefore, keeping in mind colours that often pop up during this season is one way to achieve the perfect Mori Kei colour story. To be more specific, Choco listed "Bordeaux (burgundy), dark green, dark blue, and brown" as the ideal colour palette for Mori Kei style. But as the style evolved, many patrons started incorporating muted pastels into some of the looks' interpretations.  

'Soft beauty' also plays into the style

Fashion and beauty often come hand-in-hand and it's the same with Mori Kei. But while how Lolita fashion banks on a doll-like appearance, Mori Kei is the complete opposite. It encourages subtle beauty looks that require little to no makeup, often complementing its fashion with just-bitten lips and softly flushed cheeks. As for hairstyles, natural-looking curls, wispy fringes, a low-hanging ponytail or a messy bun are some of its common options.

Prefers gold over silver jewellery

The general rule when it comes to picking between gold and silver jewellery is studying your skintone. But for Mori Kei girls, gold is the default in this aesthetic. While there's no other explanation in Choco's list as to why it is so, we'll take a wild guess to say that it has something to do with Mori Kei more into vintage and timeless pieces. Plus, gold also depicts a more rustic appeal than silver and falls into the idea of warmness surrounding the Mori Kei style. 

Next, add some perk and quirk to your beauty looks with these Japanese beauty trends