Fashion for the fat girl
I'm about as far as you can get from a fashionista; I hate trying on clothes, so my closet is a museum of ancient Ross and thrift store finds, and most of the time I'm just wearing jeans, a geek tee, and matching chucks. BUT. A big chunk of my heart belongs to ruffly skirts, flowy shirts, lots of layers, and, well, this kind of stuff:
I would wear that post-apocalyptic Lolita thing on the right (made by Stilecht) EVERY DANG DAY.
In fact, I've had that outfit Pinned to my woefully bare "Fashion" board for years, so a few months ago I went back to it and checked out Pinterest's "Related Pins."
That's how the obsession began, you guys.
I quickly discovered something called "Mori Girl" - which I now know is Japanese for "Forest Girl" - and fell in love. It's a fashion sub-culture that's checkin' all my boxes: loose frilly skirts, an A-line silhouette, lots of layers, boots, and NO HEELS. (Can I get an "hallelujah?")
One of my favorite examples of Mori style is Mai Magi up there of Shortcut To The Stars (a Tumblr site that's gone now, sadly):
Mai's rockin' a "Dark Mori" variation here, which has a more goth vibe with lots of blacks and gray.
Loooove this silhouette.
Classic Mori Girls wear lots of white linens and lighter colors, though still with an emphasis on natural fibers and muted colors:
Of course heavy layering is tantamount to heatstroke here in Florida - or most places during Summer - so next I went on a mission for lighter Mori looks.
It's a lot harder to find, but there are a few examples out there.
The skirts are still layered, but they're shorter and lighter, which I can tell you from experience is great for swishing air around and keeping you cooler. Just skip the leggings and/or knee socks.
If you go looking for Mori inspiration like I did, odds are you'll find most of it is being modeled by tiny Japanese beauties who would literally look gorgeous in a potato sack.
In fact, I tried searching for "plus size Mori girl" - just to get a better idea of how a chunky geek girl like myself would look in this style - and I swear I heard Google laughing at me. Let's face it: layers are not always a friend to the fluffy.
I was determined, though, so I did a little experimenting with stuff I already have. Now I think I've found some ways to pull off a little Mori style, even for me, even during a Florida summer. So if you like this look, too, here are a few things I've learned to get you started:
- Try layering a dress over a skirt.
BOOM. Instant Mori.
- Go for long lines
Even with a short skirt, go with longer loose tops, scarves, and necklaces, which all help draw the eye down towards your flouncy hemline (and away from possible tummy bulges).
- Busty Babes Need Not Despair:
If you're blessed with larger tracts of land, then this look can still work for you! Just look for tops/dresses that are tight/fitted until just below the bra line, then flow out to form an A line, like this:
Larger land owners should probably avoid tops like this next one, which have pleats above the bra line:
A bigger bust with these cuts can = a bigger looking belly, since the dress will fall straight down from your, er, mountain tops. Not good. That said, there are always exceptions, so wear what you love! (Or try adding a belt.)
Another option: stick with all-over tighter tops:
viaAnd of course a darker color will make everything up there look smaller.
(My shoulders are actually broader than my hips, so this visual trick has been a huge self-esteem saver for me. It may seem counter-intuitive to minimize your top assets and pad out your hips, but it's all about proportion!)
- Stock up on tissue-light cardigans, scarves, and/or long vests. I'm talking see-through wispy stuff, so they have minimal bulk/ maximum air flow.
- Think steampunk
You guessed it; this is another reason I love this style. Look for steampunky leather boots, natural and/or vintage jewelry pieces, woven or leather hip bags, and vintage hats/fascinators or hair clips to add a bit of fantasy to your forest fairy look.
Ok, MY TURN.
Even if I don't really manage a true "Mori Girl", I'm having fun incorporating parts of the look into my everyday wear. And yes, I have picture. Bad, blurry cellphone pictures. Still, just to prove a it can be done when you're more like a size 12 than a size 2:
It's still too warm for park runs right now, but perfect indoors in the A/C - and soooo comfy.
The same skirt under a different dress, and two different cardigans:
This one looks good with boots or flip-flops.
Of course they have less body when I don't hold the skirt out, but it's still a decent amount of poof:
Here's one of my favorites:
This is another Ross dress, and I'm only five feet tall, guys, so look how short it is. I'm finding a lot of the casual knit dresses I love are inching shorter, so adding a skirt underneath makes them look better and be more wearable. (This skirt is a stiff canvas material, so it holds its shape without a petticoat. LOVE.)
Here's a closeup of the accessories:
And finally, a lighter look that's better for the Florida heat:
Not really enough frills to be Mori, but I'm loving this layered skirt thing! I'm also seriously tempted to start sewing extra layers of ruffles onto the bottom of some thrift store skirts - and I am TERRIBLE at sewing, so I guess this must be love.
Hope you guys enjoyed falling down another rabbit hole with me! And be sure to share outfit selfies over on Facebook if you decide to try your own version of Mori, so I can get more ideas!
Photo Credits: Pinterest has not been my friend with sourcing these (grrr), but I've tagged what I could, and then most of the rest are catalog photos I believe from this Japanese store site, which has lots more eye candy. Happy browsing!