Even when it comes to kimono! Typically, the only proper shoes to be worn are zori, a sort of platform sandal made of leather, vinyl, or brocade silk, or geta, a wooden sandal with fabric thong hanao (straps). Zori are dressier, geta are usually worn with yukata, though with a more vintage or experimental outfit, they can be worn with kimono. Handbags are usually clutch-style, small enough to fit in a hand. Sometimes they’ll have a small strap or chain, but not always. For dressier outfits, you can get matching sets, but like western wear, it’s not necessary to have your shoes and bag match, and in some cases can even seem old-fashioned.
I have large feet, even by North American standards, so finding footwear that fits is always a challenge. Thankfully, traditional Japanese footwear is worn with the heel hanging off the end of the shoe, so wearing them too small is not a huge issue, so long as they are comfortable. I’ve lucked out and found a few pairs I quite like, but I am keeping an eye out for more.
Pastel Saga-nishiki set
This a very dressy set, good for furisode or tomesode. The zori are a bit tight, but they’re not something I wear often, so I can deal with it.
Gold and orange Saga-nishiki set
Another dressy set, but the colours are a bit more subdued so these get a bit more exposure. There’s a cute little mirror in the bag, and when I got it it was stuffed with newspapers from the early 1950s, which I found awesome.
Gold vinyl zori
My largest pair, and one of my most versatile. The hanao and the heels have inserts of red and black with little gold sakura on them. They’re comfortable, and by kimono standards, neutral.
Silver vinyl zori
Another large, comfortable, versatile pair. I took a risk on these – the auction listing just said “Japanese sandals” and the picture was iffy. There was also no size listed. I’m quite shocked at how large they are!
Black zori with woven hanao
These poor babies get more use than the town bicycle. They’re comfortable and casual, and since there are so many colours in them they match so many outfits. If they ever fall apart I will be devastated.
Black ukon geta
A great little versatile pair of black geta. I’m planning on changing the hanao on these ones eventually, the green does not match anything I own XD
Blue modern geta
Slightly dressier geta (carved heel, gold accents on the hanao) that I sometimes wear in inclement weather, or with older kimono. They’re a little slippery, which makes them hard to wear with tabi, but a quick spritz of hairspray fixes that.
Casual Hello Kitty geta
Big, floppy, noisy, knockoff Hello Kitty geta. For yukata only, and even then only in a very casual situation!
Black arabesque clutch bag
I love this bag so much. I snagged it for $0.99, I cannot believe how lucky I was. It’s a lovely soft black silk with woven swirls, and a snowflake-like design in silver. The top is an awesome reddish tortoiseshell Bakelite and the leather handle can also be tucked into the purse and hidden.
Mauve handbag with black trim
Yet another $0.99 find. It’s a pretty dusty mauve rinzu silk with black leather trim and a celluloid and metal clasp. It’s also quite large, about 25cm long. There was a cute little mirror tucked into one pocket when I got it.
Leather bingata-style clutch
Another amazing $0.99 find. I seem to have a knack for snagging bags nobody else bid on. I’m not sure if it’s real leather or vinyl, but it’s soft and supple and has an awesome Bingata-style stencil print and metal hardware.
White and silver clutch
Strictly speaking, this is not a kimono bag at all. It’s actually a promotional makeup clutch from MAC cosmetics. XD However, it’s got a great little rococo feel and fits perfectly into the sleeve of a kimono. It was never used for cosmetics, and so is good and clean. It’s pretty casual, but cute.
Striped tsumugi wallet
Just a simple little jewel-toned flat pocket, good for holding cards and cash and tucking into the front of my obi, or washi paper for sweets during a Japanese-style event.