To be allowed in and earn the label Mori Girl, one needs to follow some rules. I said some? A lot of rules actually… Let’s have a closer look at the Mori Girl rules:
Mori-Girl Rules as of August 1, 2009
- You like loose fitting dresses
- You always wear dresses and skirts
- You prefer slightly quirky clothes over simple ones
(but you don’t like loud and flashy clothes)
- You look natural, but with your own style
- You are particular about fabrics
- You like ethnic clothes, too
- You wear A-line clothes
- You like wearing dresses that little girls would wear, too
- You like smock-like dresses and blouses
- You don’t like super sweet fashion
- You like deep colors like Burgundy, Fukamidori (dark green, #00552e), Koniro (navy blue, #223a70) and Chairo (dark brown, #965042)
- Warm colors look good on you
- Short nails feel more comfortable
- You like fluffy hats made of knitwear or fur
- You like ear muffs
- You like ponchos and boleros
- You want to have leather bags
- You use pochettes for everything
- You prefer gold accessories over silver
- You feel attracted to old things
- You like pocket watches
- You like necklaces with magnifying glasses or large designs
- You like designs featuring animals
- You like designs featuring sweets
- You like plaid and polka dots
- You like old-fashioned flower patterns
- You like lace
- You like tights and leggings
- Your shoes are basic and flat soled
- You like round toe shoes
- If you wear sneakers you wear them like loosely fitting cute slip-ons
- Instead of regular buttons you like hand-made buttons
- You want to wrap your stole or muffler around yourself
- In winter, a turtleneck design is your basis
- You like layering garments
- Puff sleeves make you feel emotional
- You love fairy tales
- Your hair is loosely permed
- Bob cut x straight bangs
- Straight bangs x long loose perm
- You like FELISSIMO
- Of FELISSIMO, you especially like the brands Syrup and &sloe
- You like the feel of Q-pot “sweets”
- You enjoy chilling out at cafés
- You like walking with a camera in your hand
- You unconsciously end up at variety stores
- You can’t help starting collections of things you like, you are a collector
- Finding cute books at the book store makes you happy
- You get excited when you visit a furniture store
- You like making things by hand
- Autumn and winter are your favorite seasons
- You’d like to visit Scandinavia one day
- You like to have round cheeks
- If you use perfume, you prefer faint flower scents best
- (You long to be) a girl that exudes a soft mood
- (You long to be) an uncomplicated girl
- You have been told you come across as laid-back
- You consider Hagumi Hanamoto of Honey and Clover to be a Mori Girl
- Shizuru Satonaka from Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru is also a Mori Girl
- You have been told by a friend that it looks like you are in a forest
If all this applies to you, you might be able to enter the Mori Girl Community on Mixi…
Kind of scary, all those rules, don’t you think? That’s what got me thinking.
If you look at Mori Girl Community moderator choco’s purpose for building this community, it becomes clear that being a Mori Girl is not about trends or fashion. It is about lifestyle.
I am strongly attracted to the Mori Girl concept because Mori Girl interests cleanly overlap with my own interests. For example, an interest in strange cute things and antiques. It was my dad’s passion to buy antiques, and I have clearly inherited this interest.
I also like the concept of looking like a girl in a forest. Especially because of the strange atmosphere that comes with forests.
I absolutely love spending time reading books at cafés, visiting furniture shops, and adore the smell of lavender. As a French girl raised by my grand-mother, I was surrounded by the scent of lavender. It was used to make the bad smells disappear in the kitchen, in the cologne used to warm me up during the cold winter when I was a little girl, and in scent sachets hung in wardrobes.
I am also partial to patterns using animals. I still wear and adore a loose t-shirt with the design of a cat that I bought eight years ago.
Finally, I share the Mori Girls’ interests in certain magazines. My favorite magazine of all is Fudge and I am sure it will stay that way.
But all these rules seem a bit excessive. I don’t think you should be intimidated by them. They are rules made for a Japanese audience. A friend of mine from Mexico actually got scared when she learned about the now legendary 60 rules. I would like to encourage her and others interested in the Mori Girl concept to feel free to love this style. Find clothes that will fit the Mori Girl mood and make it your own
It is also extremely difficult to buy shoes made by Cocue, Long Johns by Fur Fur, long knitwear by Frapbois, or loose dresses by Par Avion or Bulle de Savon. These labels are only for sale in Japan.
But, be free to learn and love the intelligent and wonderful rules about loving antiques, being careful with your clothes, spending your time reading at a café, taking a walk with a camera.
Because in a society that goes too fast, we need to go back to a slower way of living. We need to learn how to be sweeter. We need to learn from the old ways of living, from our grand-parents.
I think that Japanese girls are looking for something that they never knew. Tokyo is a megalopolis where life moves too fast. It tells us about a possible future that turns some people crazy. Perhaps the city’s inhabitants are looking for something different by looking back in time and cherishing the old things they have.
Being a Mori Girl is about lessons we need to learn. So, feel free to look into your own country’s past, collect old things, and cherish your grand-mother’s accessories. I guess there are different ways to be a Mori Girl. You have to find your own.
Mori Girl Inspired Style on JAPANESE STREETS:
Edited by Kjeld Duits from the original article on Valerie’s blog. In this version, the rules have been completely re-translated from the latest original version and many links have been added to add context.
All photos by Valerie Fujita.