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A Guide to Forest Fashion

A Guide to Forest Fashion

🌿Our dedication to “forest fashion" might be confusing for some, so we thought we'd talk a little bit about what makes the items in our store special.

The whole concept of “forest fashion" revolves around a love of the forest and a romanticized vision of spending time in nature. Earth tones, natural fibers, and homespun textures are all key elements, but these ideas can be applied to a huge variety of styles. Forest fashion can be feminine and refined, or rugged and tattered, depending on individual tastes.

Our interpretation of the “rules” of forest fashion is extremely loose, and we welcome everyone to participate in the way they enjoy most. That said, here are some of the hallmarks of the style, and what classifies clothing as “forest fashion”.

Coziness is key. Clothing in this style is usually loose-fitting and flowing. Wide necklines and cuts are popular, as are oversize sweaters and soft materials. All of these elements together can create the effect of being swathed in cozy fabric.

Materials. Natural fibers are not required for all forest fashion, but they tend to be more breathable and comfortable to wear. They also reflect a love for the earth and honoring nature, which is a central principle of forest style. Cotton, linen, silk, and other natural fibers are typical in top-quality mori pieces. Not only are these fibers from the earth, they return to the earth at the end of their life cycle, unlike synthetic fabrics.

Colors. The color palette encompasses anything commonly found in nature: earth tones, sky blues, floral hues and fresh greens. The tones are often subtle and desaturated, with a focus on pastels and natural linens. (The big exception to this is the “dark mori” subgenre — see below)

Layering. Although it isn't required, outfits are often made up of several layers of clothing. Multiple stacked hemlines are the most typical: skirts under dresses under long blouses. Vests and cardigans are also common, creating modular outfits with removable pieces depending on the weather. Accessories like scarves, collars and capelets add even more layers of draped fabric to an outfit. This usually results in a modest style, though not necessarily; sheer fabrics and artful cutouts can create more breezy summer looks.

 

Subgenres

IMGP3151-web.jpgMori Kei ("forest style") gets its name from the Japanese street fashion community where it originated, but its influence has spread worldwide. This aesthetic centers on the idea of dwelling in the forest and living off the earth. Natural fibers, homespun textures, and lovely imperfections are all staples in mori kei. Outfits typically include many layers of skirts, baggy silhouettes, and ruffled hemlines. Mori garments often appear to be handmade, recycled, and well-loved, with a flair for the organic and asymmetrical.

Cottagecore is a genre that celebrates an idyllic simple life. Although it shares many similarities with mori kei, cottagecore tends to be more structured, symmetrical, and rooted in western tradition. The aesthetic has a pastoral vibe reminiscent of fairy tales and folklore. Styles include prairie dresses, billowy blouses, and long ruffled skirts. Cottagecore can be anything that calls to mind picnics, gardening, and fresh baked bread.

Dark mori is just what it sounds like -- mori kei fashion in a gothic color palette. Black, gray, deep purples, and burgundy are all common. Sometimes called Strega ("witch") fashion, dark mori embraces dark colors, magical imagery, and artfully tattered cuts.

Fantasy Fashion is a modern remix of fantasy garb. It encompasses anything we'd wear to a ren faire or incorporate into a D&D costume. Peasant tops, tunics, leather, bohemian dyes, and fairy skirts are all hallmarks of this style.

You can browse all of these categories now with our “shop by style” menu. These are the most useful categories for our inventory, but it’s not an exhaustive list of what qualifies as forest style. If you're interested in learning more about related aesthetics, also look up: lagenlook, prairie style, boho, shabby chic, and lolita.

Fashion is always changing, and most of its “rules” and terminology are subjective to each individual. The info in this blog is meant to inspire, rather than limit, your ideas! We hope that giving you some insight into our aesthetic might help guide you to finding your personal forest style!

Your forest girl,

Heidi🌿🌸

Heidi O'Ferrall

Heidi is the founder and owner of Forest Girl Clothing.