Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is Strega Fashion?

Strega fashion* is a term used to describe "modern witch" style. Now, witches do exist and can wear whatever they want, but an aesthetic of fantasy witches has grown up nonetheless. Primarily the style is rendered in monochrome black or with slight touches of muted, other colors. It can have a distinct nu-Goth flair, or be slightly more Bohemian and fanciful. As long as it's dark and "witchy," it's Strega.


Strega Fashion #2


Strega definitely has its roots in Dark Mori, an offshoot of Japanese Mori Kei fashion which is all about a cutesy, cottage-in-the-woods aesthetic. As the darker cousin, Dark Mori uses a primarily black palette and darker accessories. Mori of all kinds prefer duskier, more muted tones so grey, deep dusky red, and plum would be great additions to a Strega look. But, of course, the more black, the better.

Both fashions use a lot of layering. Tights with legwarmers, a shawl with a coat, lots of scarves. These allow for depth of detail without adding a lot of colors or patterns. You can mix up the textures too, layering sweaters with drapey lace skirts or linen trousers and knobbly knitted scarves.

There are a number of reasons I really like this kind of fashion. First off, it's pretty gender neutral. Now, all clothes are gender neutral of course but Strega in particular is very easily masculine, feminine, or androgynos. It's quite flexible. Secondly, it's pretty modest and practical for daily wear (whereas I see a lot of fashion that is clearly club wear or very, very fancy--nothing bad about that, of course, but this is a nice change of pace.) The amount of layering and cozy materials also makes it ideal for the autumn and winter months. It's certainly better in my opinion than trying to pretend my leather jacket is very warm!

Strega Fashion #3

A Mori look that incorporates fringes and gold occult elements.

The layering of accessories and texture is what adds detail to the Strega look. It's not big on lots of blingy jewelry or patches or the like. The simpler and less "modern," generally the better. Of course, one trend I really like in Strega is a more urban look which incorporates more nu-goth elements while maintaining a slick black witchy look.
Strega Fashion #5

Strega fashion occasionally incorporates occult imagery into the look by wearing pentagrams, ouija planchettes, crystals, or runes, or other kinds of accessories. What it doesn't do is incorporate are lots of kitschy touches or Halloween brooches or the like. It's more minimal and reserved than that-- think real witches, not cartoon ones.

As I'm writing this I know the category seems pretty vague, but I think that's part of its appeal. It's part Goth, part Mori, with a lot of room for whatever you happen to find appealing about it. Here's the manifesto, which specifically says "no rules." I like that about a fashion.

If you want to see more spectacular Strega looks, check out this blog on Tumblr!

What do you all think of Strega fashion? Is it something you would, or have, incorporated into your wardrobe before?

*Some have criticized the style's use of the word "Strega," the Italian word for witch, as being appropriation. If that strikes you as being inappropriate then the fashion can also be roughly described as witch-wear or dark-mori.

26 comments:

  1. I did not know about this! Thank you for sharing this! :D

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  2. Wow, thanks for this post! I was not familiar with this term. I have dressed witchy goth for a while now, it's nice to know there's a whole thing behind this!

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  3. I've been dressing in this style for some time, even before I've discovered this term. But discovering it allowed me to see a lot of inspirations, which in turn does wonders to my style >D I lean more towards romantic and heavily layered side of this fashion, but I also like how this modern, practical look still has an air of witchy-ness.

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  4. Interesting post. I've seen a lot of strega fashion on various blogs but they did not use the word "strega" ("witch wear" instead). I'm always exciting to discover new alternative fashion!Its too much black for me but I like it on other people.

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  5. Great post, I really love Strega and Mori Fashion!

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  6. Thanks Mary Rose for the nice post. As a Pagan myself, I think the reason that real witches find the term "Strega" insulting is that it takes a spiritual path and dumbs it down to just being a fashion trend. When in reality it is so much more than just crystals and pretty shawls. I hope that the young girls wearing the pentacles as fashion jewelry will at least do a little bit of research into the pagan faith because there must be a reason they are drawn to the look in the first place. As for the fashion look, I love it. It's a little bit Stevie Nicks (watch the music video Little Lies) and I naturally dress this way in the winter months anyway. I love the layers. I lean more towards the romantic style of this fashion trend though. I've worn shawls and layers like that for years. :)

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    Replies
    1. Strega, as far as I'm aware, is not a spiritual path - you might be thinking of Stregheria, which Strega claims no ties to. As far as crystals and occult imagery goes, that certainly extends past Strega and into much of the gothic subculture. No disagreements about doing the research and understanding what it is you're wearing - if you like it enough to do so, you should also be prepared to speak up and explain it.

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    2. There isn't a "pagan faith." There are many different ones, some with very different views to the ones of Wicca, or Wicca-influenced spirituality.

      They're also not all witches.

      Not being "nitpicky," but it's important to understand that we aren't all Wiccans. A lot of us are polytheists and recons.

      Bugs me sometimes that so many younger people aren't aware of anything g outside of a Llewellyn book.

      Delete
  7. I love Strega. Maybe you could write about apocalyptic fashion, too?

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  8. Thank you for this post! I didn't know the term before and now I have finally found a way to describe my personal style a little better :)

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  9. I love this style! I've been following it on Pinterest, where it's called "dark-mori." It is literally my love-child of gothic and bohemian style. I've also started pinning it for work appropriate wear since many outfits I see are simply basic dresses layered on top of each other. I want this in my closet :(.

    www.gothcollar.com

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  10. How did I not know this style had a real name? Thanks for sharing! :)

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  11. I love this look and its definetly my aesthetic. I've written a few posts about the style and think it is very cozy and practical in the winter. I personally am not offended by the term even though I'm pagan myself.

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  12. I really love this style, and I'm actually currently looking into wearing more strega/witchy-inspired outfits. I always feel so magical when I do :D

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  13. Thank you so much for this post! It actually inspired me to try my own hand at designing some outfits and really exploring how I can incorporate this style into my future minimalist wardrobe. I also wrote a post mentioning this article as it is more in-depth than my own.

    www.gothcollar.com

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  14. I little note on occult images. Pentagrams etc are not used just by occultists, but pagans in general. This just makes it sound like all goths worship the devil.

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    Replies
    1. Wicca-type pagans, maybe. I've never met a Hellene (I am one) or an Asatruar that would dare to go near one. It just isn't part of those religions.

      Not all pagans are Wiccan!

      Delete
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  16. I love the fashion and I'm a Christian..I love fantasy stuff especially books. I'm a huge Harry potter fan. So I am experimenting with the style.

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  17. great article, I was very impressed about it, wish you would have stayed next share

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  18. Never heard of Mori or Dark Mori. Sounds interesting!

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  19. great article, I was very impressed about it, wish you would have stayed next share
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