Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Middleaged Mori

When I am not under the boho influence, my lagenlook style definitely skews a bit in the direction of Mori Girl style, and what I like about that is that at my age it 'shouldn't'.  I had to put that hideous words in quotation marks because to me it is something someone else might say but not something I will say.  Dressing like a Mori Girl is not dressing my age.  The term is not Mori Woman so it tells us something right there.  I have my own version of Mori, and for anyone who is searching, there are many versions and variations of it and this blog has a good description of many of them here, here and here.  I have not found, in my online searching, any examples of Mori Girls over thirty, though surely such women are scattered about the world to some degree.  When I was in my twenties I would not have touched Mori Girl style with that proverbial ten foot pole.  I wanted to be taken seriously, to look grown up, and anything too girly by my own arbitrary standards didn't fit with that ideal.  Now, my age, my not-tiny body and fear of judgement could potentially stand in my way but I am not going to let them.

Note: The cardigan and dress have been dyed by me to alter the colours.  The dress was once bright turquoise and I can't even remember what the cardigan was but possibly the same.

I don't see bodies like mine dressed in Mori inspired outfits.  I am too thick to be flattered by some of the really bulky and shapeless layers but this outfit has Mori elements with the layered skirts, the cardigan, the lacy scarf, mary-jane style shoes in an earthy brown and my short banged hair.  This outfit below could be made more boho or a bit Mori but since it was for kicking around at home it doesn't take me long to abandon even the belt and go quite without accessories and extra layers.  Boho and Mori do have a few things in common in that they are creative, feminine and often layered.  Even without trying my personal style will have touches of one or the other because it is simply what I am attracted to. If I had been going out, this purple and blue boho outfit would have been a crocheted shrug, perhaps a flower and likely some mary-janes or granny boots.  I usually don't get into sandals until June.

Digression:  I am beginning to come to terms with those arms and that bust. Blogging and photos have really helped me do that.

This skirt is a new-to me favourite and although I have not yet given it a really Mori style it has much potential. With navy tee shirt, leggings and a denim vest I have made it more funky-boho than romantic but even when I go funky there is a softness to my style that makes sense to me knowing I am attracted to certain Mori styles.

This woman looks a kindred spirit.  I borrowed her from this blog. I love her short bangs, cross body bag and her floral layers.

It's probably too dramatic looking for me but I love this look on Gretchen Schields, as shown on Advanced Style Blog

It isn't Mori but it has similarities and the same soft colours, loose layers and slightly old fashioned look appeal to me.  Edwardian without corsets perhaps?

I enjoy how dressing with a Mori Girl influence breaks some of the rules.

Thou shalt dress appropriately for thine age.  
Why?  I am fortunate enough not to have to please anyone other than myself.  I don't have a job.  I don't have teenaged children whom I might embarrass.  I don't wish to attract anyone who thinks I must dress a certain way.

Thou shalt emphasise thy waist, especially if thou art not skinny.
Mori style tends to involve loose layers, though sometimes a belt or some sort of shape indicators are employed.  I like lose layers though I confess I don't want to be mistaken for a tent.

Thou shalt be skilled at hiding figure flaws.
Been there, done that, got the unflattering tee shirt and now I have more interesting things to think about and I resent being trained to view any part of my body as being a flaw.

Thou shalt not be weird.
Sometimes I would like to be ambushed by one of those What Not To Wear television programmes just so I can tell them exactly where they can put that pencil skirt.

If you really want them, you can search and find Mori Rules.  I find most of them pointless but then it is a style that appeals to young women and when young we may be more likely to want rules, to worry about getting it wrong.  I didn't set out to be Mori, I simply discovered that my taste has much in common with it and that amuses me.  I don't set out to be boho either, but again, my preferences are more in line with boho than preppy so whenever a label is useful, I can always drag out boho or mori-girl as references.
When I get dressed I am aiming to wear something I like the look of and it is essential that I feel comfortable.  Those are my only rules.

If you are here because you want to know how to dress in a Mori Girl style, you are likely disappointed.  I am not a Mori Model and do not deliberately seek to wear the style, rather I have found that I use many of elements of it instinctively.  There are some guidelines for a Mori look which I have learned from a little online searching.  It began as a Japanese street style and has evolved and developed variations but the basic idea is to look like a 12 year old girl-probably Edwardian English- who lives in the forest but wears lacy, frilly cream-coloured things and never gets them dirty.  Some people take it to an extreme costume degree and others play with it more loosely.

Basic elements include...

** soft colours, pastels and lots of cream/white

**earth toned leather for boots, shoes and bags

**bags are usually messenger or cross body style

**shoes usually have straps, laces or buckles and granny style boots; round toes are the significant feature

**layers include petticoats, flouncy slips, skirts, blouses, cardigans, pinafores

** floral patterns, embroidery, lace and peter pan collars

**body shape disguising

**socks or thick white tights-often lacy or patterned

**flower accessories for hair or lacy headbands

**natural fibres

** hair is often lightened to soft browns and red browns, usually straight bangs

**makeup is natural looking-aim for big eyes

**dark Mori does all of this in blacks, greys and dark browns

* Pencil skirts are perfectly lovely if you love them.

All my clothing and shoes, except the cross body bag, the belt and the lacy scarf, are second hand.


  1. My favourite outfit is the last one you're wearing. You seem really relaxed in it. Also I love the other two outfits that you took inspiration from.

    I'm excited you're staying at the Blue Horizon! : ) We're going to have quite the gang.


    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I can tell just from my photos, as well as memory, if it was a day when I was really tired and taking a photo was a huge effort, or if I have more energy. Green dress is definitely a tired day and red skirt is a higher energy day. I am willing to bet I wear red and shorter skirts when my energy level is higher.
      It just makes sense to stay at the Blue Horizon if most people are but it also looks like a great spot.

    2. Shoosh! Enough Blue Horizon talk! Toooo jealous! :-/

  2. I agree with Suzanne. My favourite is the red skirted one.
    So Mori not Lagen? Or are they the same?
    I think I'm too dramatic for this look!
    My next post will have something you might like :-) xo jj

    1. Your style is definitely more dramatic than mine, which is why some of the dramatic lagenlook pieces are fantastic on you and don't work for me. I would say this is still a type of lagenlook, since lagenlook is about layering. LOVE what you did with the beads! xoxoxo

  3. The first outfits is the first runner up, the second one the second runner up and the third one won the contest in my book. Why am I comparing your outfits with a beauty pageant? I don't know:) I'm not very eloquent when I'm hungry that happens to be the case linguistic creativity is not always there when I need it.

    Anyhow, I really like the patter on that skirt (third outfit) and I think it looks fantastic with short leggings...and I have a thing for denim this outfit is a win win!

    Mori, boho...they're just name...sometimes it seems to me that I spot something of myself in a certain style but I never set out to follow certain guidelines. I do like the layering concept of Mori style. Speaking of which, I do like the maxi dress with ruffles and the cardi ( I never tried dying clothes, usually I just paint on it..maybe I should try that too).

    1. I want to paint on a pair of jeans, but haven't decided what sort of texture I want. My acrylic paints give too much of a hard plastic look and I tried some fabric crayons but found them too pale. I am thinking of using some fabric dyes as paint for the effect I want.
      Mori and lagenlook and boho all have things in common I think, which is why I have features of them all emerging in my style. Many Mori looks get a little bit too sweet and little girly for me.
      I'm not very eloquent when hungry either. It's about the only thing that can make me cranky. xo

  4. I agree with Suzanne, you radiate confidence in that last outfit although I like all three.
    How fab does Gretchen Schields look? I think her glasses make the outfit, they add an unexpected edge. She could look a little overly twee without them. xxx

  5. fab looks shawna!!! i especially like the green one - because of the lines and colors.
    and i love that you do your own thing finally! and how well you´r doing it!! call it boho, or mori - i think it is your own personal style, reflecting who you are and what you love.......
    bonus points for 2.hand!!!
    hugses! xxxxxxx

    1. How about lagenmoriboho librarian as a name for my style-lol. Hugses to you too and I wish we could just use a big of magic and pop you over to Vancouver this summer. xoxoxo

  6. I'm with the others ... the last outfit is the winner ... it looks great :0)

  7. Hello Lovely Shawna!! before I start, I flicked through your posts and you painted me!!! I'm so utterly touched and so happy and honoured, I love it! ok, I'm now a little teary but that's ok because I'm fuzzy and happy! thank you, you brilliant woman!
    I REALLY like these outfits, I love the layering and the prettiness, sneaky peeking petticoats and the fluidity of it - my favourite's are the first and last, the other ladies also look sublime, I'm really quite taken with it all, I really am x x x big hugs x x x

  8. Who cares what name is given to a style? If you love it (and you do!) then wear it, loosely layered outfits are your signature look, Shawna! As others have noted, the shorted red-skirted look is a little more vibrant and sassy, but all three are fab. xxx

  9. I love how you play with layers, Shawna! You look wonderfully playful in the red skirt outfit, and feminine in the first one. I'm happy that you do what brings you joy - dressing the way you love, writing, making art... The examples for inspiration are beautiful! Maybe you can find more in some Russian online communities, like this one (it was years ago when I followed them, at least I believe it was them :) - there are many different ages and shapes and sizes, all loving boho and many variations of it - ). I know you don't read Russian, but it's visual, and very inspiring.

    Much love! xxxx

  10. I must admit I have never heard the term "Mori Girl" before, but if it is an ethos and style/tribe that appeals to you I say go for it! I love the soft colours of your first look, but the bolder colours in the second also suit you! I find myself drawn to softer colours but do get an occasional hankering for flashes of neon (thanks to my youth) or orange especially. Whatever makes us happy I say! Some of the Mori examples you share remind me weirdly of Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink if that makes any sense!

  11. "Sometimes I would like to be ambushed by one of those What Not To Wear television programmes just so I can tell them exactly where they can put that pencil skirt." I cracked up at that comment! YES!! There are literally hundreds of blogs, articles, magazines, television spots on how to dress "appropriately" for women over 40. It's so refreshing to find a blog that encourages women over 40 to dress to please and express themselves. I found myself nodding occasionally through this blog. I, too, did not set out to dress Mori, bohemian, "Granny chic" (another fashion label) but I'm attracted to that clothing. I have been for many years. I tried minimalism and classic "wardrobe staples" in clothing style for a year but I became really bored and felt as if I was suppressing part of myself. I am transitioning back to my old style and happened upon Mori.

    I live in the suburbs and it seems most of the women around my age here have a uniform that is not really me. I love to express art, fantasy, and most importantly comfort inward and outward through fashion! Great blog!

  12. content://media/external/file/36323
    My Mori outfit for a tea party.

  13. I'm getting ready to turn 55 and love elements of the mori girl style and life philosophy. I'm working it in with my rules and style and am totally going to wear what I like.


I love visitors and I love comments. I will try my best to respond to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.