Montreal Kimono Club September Meet-Up

Yesterday, a group of local kimono collectors got together for a casual meet-up to celebrate the end of Summer. We started in a quiet little park near my place, then to Le Petit Tokebi, a combined Korean and Japanese restaurant, for dinner. We finished up at Ca Lem, an ice cream place I love to bits because they make vegan options like sorbet and coconut milk ice cream so I can eat there and not die. I’m a big fan of not dying.

The timing of our event was perfect. Thursday and Friday were incredibly windy and rainy, to the point that nearby areas were under a tornado watch! Today is cold and damp. Yesterday, somehow, the kimono gods graced us with beautiful sun and just enough of a breeze for kimono to be comfortable. We really lucked out.

I wore my new-ish teal komon from Kimonomachi. I really love having kimono that fit me so well. Eventually I will buy a third one of these, when I have some money to spare. My initial plan was a red nagoya obi  but I realised that would have been nearly the same as the last time I wore it. I then remembered I have this cream-and-red hakata obi with asanoha that’s an absolute perfect match for the kimono! I went with fairly plain accessories otherwise, since the kimono is so bold already.

(before anyone asks – yes these two group shots were composited in Photoshop. We had nobody to capture all of us together so I cobbled together two photos)

One of the things I love about these meet-ups is the wide variety kimono and kitsuke. It’s so fun to see everyone express their personalities and personal sense of style. Kimono is so great for that – for garments that are essentially all the same shape, there’s so much that can be conveyed through colour, fabric, and motif.

Dinner was lovely too. The place was really sweet and quiet with a great atmosphere, and the staff all seemed really pleased by our outfits. There were also these adorable miniatures behind our table, and you know I had to grab some photos!

By the time dinner was done, it was cooling down a fair bit but that sure wasn’t going to stop us from getting our ice cream! I’ll be so sad at the end of September when Ca Lem closes for winter 🙁

It was a really great day, I had lots of fun with friends both familiar and new, and I can’t wait for our next meet-up!

Items used in this coordination

The Joker

I did Batman last weekend, but I couldn’t very well leave him without a Joker, could I? Translating the clown prince of crime into kimono was no small feat! I knew I wanted to keep the outfit relatively subtle and wearable, like I did with Batman, so I started with the colour scheme.

Purple and green are the Joker’s classic colours, and I pulled in the orange accents from Batman: The Animated Series, which remains my favourite screen adaptation. A big ridiculous orange flower seemed like the perfect accessory. Initially my plan was to use it as an obi decoration, but I preferred up on the collar, where it felt more like a lapel boutonnierere. I went with a plain white haneri as a nod to a white dress shirt you’d wear under a suit. Also, the outfit was colourful enough as-is and didn’t really need more oomph.

I think I did a good job of visually conveying the Joker in all his various incarnations. I’m actually quite proud of that, because as you may or may not know, I am utterly terrified of clowns. So you can imagine how creepy I tend to find the Joker! Oddly enough, harlequins don’t bother me at all, so I am actually very much looking forward to doing something for Harley Quinn! I’ve also got Catwoman and possibly Poison Ivy on the roster. If there’s any famous or infamous Gothamite you’d like to see, do let me know!

Items used in this coordination

Tea Time – Dollar Tea Club

I originally came across Dollar Tea Club through a sponsored post on Instagram. Clearly those targeted ads work!

I love monthly subscription boxes. It’s a bit ridiculous how happy getting a little surprise in the mail makes me. I’ve been a subscriber to services like Ipsy and LootCrate before, but with the low Canadian dollar and ever-increasing shipping costs I’ve had to cancel them both. But Dollar Tea Club is so affordable that I know I’ll be sticking with it for quite a while. For the price of one drink at a cafe, you get three generously sized packets of loose-leaf tea and three compostable filters delivered right to your door. It’s such a great little treat.

I’ve been subscribed for several months now. I wanted to stick with it for a while before writing this review, just to make sure I’m as happy now as I was when I first signed up. I won’t be giving each specific tea a thorough review, this is more of an overview of the service itself.

There’s always a good variety of standard classics and interesting custom blends. Every tea I’ve tried has been lovely. During the summer, they sent several varieties of fruit-based herbal teas and they all made excellent iced tea drinks, so this is definitely a subscription service you can enjoy year-round. Admittedly, with a surprise selection like this, not every tea will be to everyone’s preferences. For instance, I have no interest in the supposed health benefits of things like Ease n’ Fit, but I will acknowledge that it was still quite tasty!

If you’d like to try out Dollar Tea Club for yourself, my referral code will give you $1 off your first month and give me a little bonus towards next month’s package. Since each month only costs $1, you’re basically getting to try it out for free. All you have to do is pay for shipping! Use code REFV8G0DF3D91 during your checkout.

 This post contains affiliate link(s). If you choose to purchase, I receive a small rebate or commission which goes to the continued maintenance of this site. 

YATAI MTL! at the Marche Des Possibles – 2018

As much fun as last year’s YATAI! Japanese street food festival was, I have to admit that it was a little disorganised and definitely had room to grow. Thankfully, this year they took everything they learned from last year and it was so much more amazing! There was plenty of varied and delicious food, fun music, a yukata booth provided by Kimono Yuki, and even a giant daruma art project. There were several workshops over the course of the weekend, including one about tea, one about sake, and some origami. I didn’t participate in any, but it was definitely a nice addition to the concept. It’s amazing to see events like this grow and evolve!

Of course, it was an excellent opportunity for me to wear this new wide yukata I have, and I managed to drag my friends along too! I’ve known Sophie and Dave for eons, and they’re some of my best friends, but somehow I’d never had the opportunity to dress them until now. It was super fun. I kept things very comfy-casual since neither of them has worn yukata before, and we all wore comfortable shoes because the event is in a park with lots of roots and uneven terrain.

As fun as dressing up was, the main draw of the festival was the food. There were lots of amazing options, but in the end I went for a Japanese-style hot dog, yakisoba (noodles), korokke (potato croquette), and karaage (fried chicken). Dave also bought me some grilled corn on the cob, which I happily bit into before realising it had butter on it. I’m inconveniently but not fatally allergic to dairy, so nothing disastrous happened but I did have to stop eating it, alas! Everything I did eat was absolutely delicious, but the karaage was definitely my favourite. So juicy and crispy! And of course, dango for dessert! We also ended up swinging by Ca Lem, a place near my house on the way home that’s got lots of vegan ice cream options. I got a strawberry sorbet and it was the perfect finishing touch to the evening.

We also noticed while waiting in one of the lines that Sophie’s outfit was a perfect match to the cute little girl on their sign. so I convinced her to strike a pose. And of course, no yukata outing would be complete without stupid photos of me eating. We also tried to get a photo of my hair because I really liked how it turned out. The photo’s not great but at least my brain surgery scar looks cool, right?!

The whole day was great fun, and it’s so wonderful to see events like this grow and flourish in Montreal! Next year will be even better, I’m sure. And there’s several other fun things coming up, like the Matsuri Japon and Asian Night Market, and I’m hoping to hit up one or both of them. Maybe I’ll drag some friends along for those too. 🙂

Diane’s Outfit

Sophie’s Outfit

Dave’s Outfit

A Little Maiko Inspiration

Sometimes, despite my best efforts to avoid it, I find myself browsing Kijiji for local kimono-related things. Imagine my surprise when I came across someone right near my work, selling a pre-tied darari obi! A darari is the very long, dangling style obi maiko wear. Han-darari means “half-darari” and they’re still cute and dangling, but a much more practical length. They’re typically worn by minarai, the young women in training to become maiko, but can also be worn for stage performances or as a dramatic stylistic choice. This one is actually a bit longer than a standard han-darari, but not long enough or thick enough to be a full darari. I suspect it may have been for a young teenage girl, or a stage show.

Colour-wise, this one was such a perfect match for the beautiful kakeshita a very kind friend sent me, so I thought I’d steal a little bit of maiko inspiration and go for some bright, youthful drama with the bold colour scheme, long obi, and trailing hem of the kimono.

I won’t lie, I’m a little jealous of the mannequin right now! These pieces just look so good together. I think I will make an attempt to wear this outfit later myself, when it’s not 40 degrees centigrade out. Even just coordinating this outfit made me feel gross and overheated. I forgot how many layers this kimono has; not just a secondary hiyoku but it’s got a layered collar and fully double-lined sleeves as well. You could almost get away with not wearing a full juban with it, and that’s very likely what I’ll if I ever get around to putting it on myself.

The nice thing about wedding kimono is that in general, they tend to fit me right now even though I am, to put it delicately, not very small. There’s another fun hint for you all – kimono that are meant to be worn trailing will often be wider as well as longer, giving a bigger person more “wiggle room”.

Items used in this coordination