Monday, February 1, 2010

Mori Gal Subculture

Lots of layering and textures in their outfits...

Somehow the look is toned down despite the numerous layering which usually overwhelms the person wearing it...

Loved the layered skirt, and the stockings with the brown mary-janes look so girly and innocent...

Queen of Mori Girls is the actress Yuu Aoi, her personal style has always been soft and simple with minimal make up, plus her movies tend to be the artsy, low-key type ...

The fictional queen of Mori is Hagumi Hanamoto from the manga Honey & Clover, in fact in the live-action drama and film, Yuu Aoi played this character... such a match made in heaven...

Lately due to stress, extreme lethargy of trudging to school (or in local terms, simply sian) and bloating up lately due to my horrid PMS, I've been toning down lots in my daily dressing to school and been favouring lots of loose dresses with jeans, paired with ballet flats or my mom's clogs.

Thanks to this new direction in dressing, I've accidentally stumbled on a fast spreading culture in Japan, called the Mori Girls. "Mori" means forest in Japanese and that's the most basic description of this subculture, because the girls look like they live in forests!

Mori girls are often clad in loose dresses or smocks, vintage blouses, puffed sleeves, leggings and are often layered with an A-line silhouette. They take pleasure in beautiful fabrics and textures such as lace and are partial to autumnal shades such as dark green and maroon. Knits and furs and boleros are often used to keep warm in the colder months.

Heels are often shunned in place of flat shoes such as clogs or ballet flats or simple brown boots. They also keep their nails short and adore fair skin and often wear zero makeup with the exception of pink blush on their cheeks to emphasis their dolly look. Mori girls also have a soft spot for vintage items such as pocket watches and old cameras such as Holga cameras.

Besides simply being a dressing style, its also a lifestyle and attitude which they adopt such as slowing down their pace of life and love to explore old neighbourhoods and sit in cafes.

In a quiet way, the Mori girls go against the grain by buying things based on how she feels, instead of whether its in fashion or expensive or its brand. She also doesn't dress to attract the opposite sex (on the contrary, it may be a turn off in some way due to the many layers), she also loves her own company and tends to go off wandering on her own.

When I was sifting through images of this unusual subculture, I was immediately drawn to it, was it the light pastel colours, or the fact that I also love to do many things that the Mori gals love such as cycling on vintage bicycles and sipping tea in cafes while watching the world go by? Who knows.... but what I do know, is that in some way, deep in my heart, I am not just a Gyaru gal, but also a Mori gal in certain aspects.

I guess that's the beauty of being a Japanese girl, one day you're a Mori Gal, and the next who knows?

For more information on Mori girls, check out this website =>

Its the 60 rules to being a mori girl by the founder of the subculture herself... pretty interesting...


  1. hi there! i came upon your blog somehow. i can't really read your post since it's bright yellow. LOL. Anyway, I recently got into Gyaru but I also love Mori. The two clash but I love them both. Sigh.

  2. @ Himeko Shigemi - Ah! Gomen about the bright yellow words! My old blog background was black so I needed a bright colour to make it contrast against the dark background, but if you highlight the words, you should be able to read them. Well, gyaru seems to be taking influences from Mori lately, so it is possible to combine the two, I've seen mixes of both styles in both Popteen and Ageha! Sorry for the late reply, I don't usually scan trhough my old posts! >.<"