Mori Girl is a Japanese fashion and subcultural community that began life online circa 2006 and started catching on in america around late 2010. Mori Girls like to look like they live in a forest, and have been described on one message board as looking "like wizards dressed as muggles."
The style is characterized by use of cream and warm, earthy browns with highlights of antique golds, leafy greens from sage to forest, soft sky blue, and occasionally berry red. Natural, gauzy fabrics are preferred over anything synthetic, and loose dresses are usually layered with knit shawls, loose scarves, earmuffs, chunky socks and gloves, crochet lace, grandma's couch floral patterns, and fairisle patterns. Shoes are generally leather, and practial, chunky styles tend to be most common. These are shoes you can wear to trek through a mossy, stone covered forest floor or to walk along a dry creek bed.
Hair is generally soft and simple, styled in bobs or loose waves or messycute updos, and makeup consists of a bit of natural look whatever and a lot of blush on the apples of the cheek, to give a soft, round cheeked appearance and an "it's cold in the forest!" look.
The lifestyle is hard to pin down. Like Steampunk, it seems to revolve a lot around a kind of nostalgia for a time that never was, although this time it's more the simple lives led by Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and Heidi than the lives of victorian tinkerers. There is a lot of emphasis on thrifting or buying objects that appear thrifted, and on bringing a soft, laid back, washed out vibe. In the USA, I would compare Mori interiors to a slightly more quirky, more warm toned version of Shabby Chic. The prototypical Mori Girl is shy, softspoken, and enjoys taking photographs of pretty things she sees every day but never noticed before, riding her bicycle, patronizing tiny, cramped used book stores and little known independently owned cafes, and vowing to enjoy the little things in life. There's an emphasis on individuality, and the general culture is less restrictive than other japanese subcultures... a Mori girl can break a few generally accepted rules and still be admired if it's done in the spirit of a quirky individuality.
Interest in Mori Girl and related fashions is growing in the west, although most people are not as interested in the lifestyle aspect in general, and the fashion's ethereal waif in giant clothes aesthetic can be more difficult to pull off for taller, generally larger westerners. It's interesting to compare this style to "Vintage Inspired" hipsters in the west as well.
- Duits , K. , & Fujita, V. (2010, Oct 1). FASHION JAPAN: 62 Rules for Living in a Forest . Retrieved August 25, 2012, from http://www.japanesestreets.com/reports/1078/62-rules-for-living-in-a-forest
- (2011, February ). Mori Girls: A Declaration of Love. Retrieved August 25, 2012, from https://bust.com/crafty/mori-girls-a-declaration-of-love.html
- How to Be a Mori Girl (Forest Girl). Retrieved August 25, 2012, from http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Mori-Girl-(Forest-Girl)