Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Strega Fashion 101

What is Strega? Well actually, it is the Italian word for Witch. So what is Strega Fashion then? That's an interesting question. I've been watching this fashion trend for a while now and it seems to be growing and gathering a larger following lately. It originally started with Dark Mori Girl or Dark Forest Mori, a Japanese style of fashion that is all about layering lots of separates in dark colours and natural fabrics like cotton and linen. There are some really beautiful Tumbler Blogs and Pinterest Boards to follow for more ideas on Dark Mori. And you will find a nice blog post about it on the Everyday Goth Blog by Mary Rose. The look itself is certainly not new in any way. I love how the Internet will take looks that have been around forever and rename them so they appear new and exciting. Basically, Strega fashion seems to take little bits of romanti-goth, Stevie Nicks (especially her 80s style), and Dark Mori Girl and mix them together in order to get a dark forest witch look. Take lots of long layers in blacks, greys, dark maroon, forest green, and plum. Mix in some tapestry bags, witchy victorian lace up boots, crystals, and chunky knitted shawls and cowls and you have the look. Everything should look a bit old and tattered like you just walked out of the forest where you live in a tiny abandoned cottage. Miss Havisham in Great Expectations or Helena Bonham Carter should be your muse.

This relatively "new" fashion trend has raised some mixed feelings from Bloggers. Why? you ask. Well, I think has to do with the term "Strega" itself. Strega or Stregheria refers to the Pagan or Old World Religion in Italy. Italy has a long and fascinating history of witchcraft that is worth researching and I actually think it should be required if you want to consider yourself  "Strega" or Pagan really. The fashion look references pagan symbols (Pentacles) and definitely has an old world witchy look to it. This is where the controversy lies. Some people might be drawn to the look because it looks Gothic, mysterious, or edgy and end up piling on the pentacles, crystals, and Ouija accessories without even knowing what they represent. You can certainly understand how wearing spiritual and religious symbols without knowing the significance of them could be insulting to those that follow the Pagan faith. I identify myself as a Pagan and as a witch. It took me many years to come out of the broom closet. I don't wear my pentacles lightly. They have great meaning to me. That being said, I can't help but think that these young girls or guys are drawn to this fashion trend for a reason. We all start somewhere. And I hope that they will do some research into the spiritualism behind the fashion trend by finding a local Metaphysical or Wicca shop and take some classes to see what Wicca has to offer. Be sure to read loads of books on the topic. And when you think you know everything there is to know on the topic, then read some more. It takes a lifetime to learn but it is a worthwhile journey that will lead you to enlightenment. My advise to the young fashionistas that want to give this trend a go is that you should be true to yourself. This goes for any fashion trend, but rings especially true for this one because it delves into religious symbolism. Are you being true to yourself? Does the symbolism resonate with you? If so, then I wholeheartedly believe you should follow your gut instinct and wear whatever you want to wear. 

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. 
-William Shakespeare 

So back to the fashion! Although I wear Dark Mori or Strega style fashion often, I prefer not to label myself that way. In fact, I think we should throw out all these silly labels all together! Why do we feel the need to define every fashion trend in such precise detail anyway? Why must we bloggers treat every new style like its a handbook on how to look or live? Just follow your instinct and mix and match whatever looks you want to. Start your own trend. Be original!

Here is what I wore out today. I am actually wearing some colour for a change! woo-hoo! And sorry I look so angry. I promise I wasn't! 

Chunky knit scarf and fingerless gloves by Stitch Noir
Purple Faery Sweater by myself
long lacy skirt was thrifted ages ago

I've also gathered a few images from Pinterest in order to show some proper examples of Strega Fashion. I apologize if any of these pics are from personal blogs. 

I have these hair clips and Grimoire purse. They are from Curiology on Etsy. 

Helena Bonham Carter. I love her style!

And Stevie Nicks:

I'm pretty sure I had a big tapestry purse just like this in highschool. I loved it because it would hold all my books. I always had my nose in a book in highschool. 

I really need to own these boots! I love them. 


  1. So much my kind of thing! Been going through my Burda mags looking for patterns!

    1. Hmmm... Maybe a post on sewing patterns for this style is in order! :)

  2. Strega fashion is basically shabby chic turned goth to me, heh. I personally find no offense, being under the Pagan tree myself.
    I'm convinced that eventually any person wearing a symbol aesthetically becomes curious and will inevitably do the research. As a young bat, I may have started out just liking the ankh for looks... but it evolved into something much deeper and more profound. Like you said, we all start somewhere, heh.

    For this reason, I tend not feel personally insulted when it comes to fashion; also particularly because fashion like art is always pushing the boundaries of the norm and seemingly immune. So we must take it with a chunk of salt to begin with as it trickles down and dilutes into the mainstream view. Ultimately, these actions do not deter or hinder the strength of my beliefs, or even my ability to practice my faith.
    Though I can see how it can perpetuate a certain stigma.

  3. I think in your first paragraph you sums it up well, that Strega "Basically, Strega fashion seems to take little bits of romanti-goth, Stevie Nicks (especially her 80s style.

    It's a style that been around for years and re-branded with a catchy new title. I have even couple of tops I got a few year ago that look similar to the strega style. I even noticed that some sewing pattern companies are producing this sort of style.

    I love the youth of today believing their being original instead using fashion that far ahead for years ago.

    On a personal note I have strange habit I won't wearing any kind of imagery with religion symbolism matter of respect as portrait the wrong image proclaiming that's my belief system where it's not. Maybe I'm to serious any thank you sharing the pics I think I going to find my sewing machine.

  4. I love these! I didn't know it was called 'Strega'! Thank you for sharing! <3


  5. I do love the style. Helena Bonham Carter is my idol! Your purple coat is so beautiful, by the way!

  6. Helena Bonham Carter is my fashion idol. I love her style. :)

    1. She's so quirky and original. She has her own style and she sticks with it. I love that.

  7. "Why must we bloggers treat every new style like its a handbook on how to look or live? Just follow your instinct and mix and match whatever looks you want to. Start your own trend. Be original!" Amen! I think a lot of times people need a label to justify their fashion choices and/or style. Just do what makes you happy ;)

  8. I love this style and being a witch I don't have an issue with the term. In 10 years the new generation will call it something else. It's such a comfortable and practical style, especially in our chilly winters. I enjoyed reading your take on it.

  9. I agree with you on the part of religious symbolism. It's the same with symbols from Hinduism and buddhism, that are "trendy" all of a sudden, and people get things like Hindu gods or Buddha figures tattooed on themselves for example, without actually being a follower of that particular religious path. Of course, one should be free to do whatever one feels comfortable with, but regarding religious imagery and symbols I do think it's important to know what they stand for and to be aware that you may be insulting someone who is an actual follower of that religious path.

  10. Dark Mori is Japanese and therefore loaded with strict rules of adherence, such as most Japanese fashion trends. Stega Fashion was created to be free from rules. As long as it's got a witchy vibe then it's cool. Shortcuttothestars on Tumblr is where to look for origins of Stega Fashion.
    Love this post .Love your blog .Thanks for the read. 🦇🖤🦇