Jul 12, 2013

Building your Dark Mori Wardrobe

So you've decided you identify with the dark mori aesthetic, and you're ready to take the plunge and start building your wardrobe. As with starting out in any style, building your wardrobe from scratch can seem quite daunting. This post is intended as a guide to help you in your journey to create magical strega style coordinates.

First: Identify your influences

From Left: 1. Source unknown 2. Ovate f/w12 3. Les Chiffons de Pucerones 4. Rowan City Knits by Amy Butler
What styles of dark mori kei inspire you most? Are you more drawn to historically influenced coordinates, or are you smitten with the Nazgul-esque silhouettes of gothic minimalism? Choose if you want your look to be more boho, more modern, more retro, more dolly-kei influenced, more ghost like, more witchy, more hipster.... whatever you fancy. Of course its okay to be in love with more than one of these styles, but narrowing down which looks you are more interested in will help you build your wardrobe. Personally, I am drawn to things that represent the witch archetype, and focus on purchasing a mixture of long flowy things, and more modern, minimal things I can wear casually that still fit within the aesthetic. For my personal style, I generally feel that things that are too bohemian, or too "fairyish", dont really fit in with the rest of my wardrobe, so I try to avoid pieces with that feel.

Second: Hit the thrift stores

A smattering of things from my Polyvore account. Similar things can be easily thrifted.
One of the great things about mori kei in general is that it is very easily achieved just through finding workable pieces at thrift stores, garage sales, charity shops, ect. When you are shopping, pay close attention to the silhouette, details and quality of garments. Make sure to consider how well they will layer, and coordinate with other pieces in your wardrobe. Be on the lookout for things with asymmetrical hems, made of materials like linen or silk, and have interesting details that will play well off of other things in your collection. I will go into more detail about thrifting for dark mori clothes in another post!

Third: Accessorize

From Left: 1. Satchel bag by Henry Baguelin 2. A covetable Ebay cameo lot 3. Antler hair pick by JCMCairn 4. Squirrel Paw earrings available locally at Necromance, LA
Accessories really make a dark mori outfit. In many cases, your accessories will be the only thing denoting you as a witchy mori girl rather than your lighter-hearted brethren.  Printed tights and leggings, available on Etsy, Ebay, and many other online retailers, are great for casual outfits with a baggy t-shirt, or to add texture to your legs underneath a dress or skirt. For baubles, consider bone jewelry, antiques, rosaries, occult symbols, runes..... Making your own accessories is definitely encouraged! Scarves, mittens, and chunky socks will help keep you warm in winter and add texture to your coordinate. Great shoes and a great bag will help ground your outfit and complete the look. For shoes, retro heels and victorian boots are great for more feminine looks, but a great pair of leather lace-up boots or Doc Martins are perfect with any outfit.

Wardrobe Essentials for the Dark Mori Girl (or Boy)

:: A long, full, black maxi skirt (or two or three) ::
 ::A few great chunky sweaters::
 ::An asymmetrical hem cardigan or vest or both ::
 :: A drapey black tshirt ::
:: Printed leggings ::
:: Long sleeved black shirts (jersey or thermal) :: 
:: Fancy blouses ::
:: Doc Martin style boots ::
:: A leather satchel ::

I hope this guide is helpful for those interested in getting into the style! What wardrobe essentials could you not live without? What tips would you give those just starting out in the style? For more information on wardrobe building, please check out this post: Refining Your Style: Wardrobe Wrangling for the Alternative-style Schizophrenic


  1. This was very interesting! I like how you mentioned how you could take this style in many different aesthetic directions. But what I really loved were the different accessories. An antler hair piece would be amazing. If dark mori girl is about incorporating different, more macabre parts of the natural world into your aesthetic, I might be more a fan than I thought. Thanks!

    1. To me, that is definitely a big part of dark mori. I think its a really adaptable fashion, so have fun with it!

  2. Those black boots you show under Wardrobe Essentials - do you happen to know who makes them? That's exactly what I've been searching for and I'm having such a hard time finding anything close. I don't want to get a pair of Docs because I've heard they're really hard to break in...

    I've got an old Rowan knitting pattern book from probably thirty years ago that has the perfect mori sweater in it. Now I just have to learn how to knit properly!

    Again, very beautiful pictures, Lady Salt! :o)

    1. I think that they are vintage. The link I "liked" them from on polyvore leads here: http://www.chictopia.com/photo/show/651355-Vintage+Suede+Distressed+Effingham+Riding+Boots-army-green-saltwater-gypsy-vintage-boots

      It's not terribly helpful, I'm afraid, but that's the best I can find!

  3. I definitely cant live without my tunic dresses :) I combine them with pants, skirts, petticoats or just leggings whatever the weather or occasion chose. they are also very easy to alter with accessoires like shawls and jewellery. I would say I'm more to the romantic witchy kind of mori.
    Today I was out in the forest bog to pic cloudberries. Yellow rubberboots, black wide velour pants, a grey tunic and a black all weather jacket was my not so styled outfit. I used the hood as a bag for early fungus. ;)

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