Tsubaki Elegance

I’ve been trying to focus on saving money, only buying accessories to fill noticeable gaps in my collection and kimono that fit me and are versatile. However, I’d had this peach tsubaki beauty on my eBay watchlist over a month and when I got an alert that it was 30% off I just had to go for it. I’m so glad I did, it’s a really gorgeous, classic piece that I’m very happy to own.

Lately it feels like all I’m doing are themed outfits and challenges, and I was eager to get out of that rut. This kimono seemed like the perfect one to do it with, since it’s got such an elegant and timeless feel to it. I was very excited to do something with it, and the coordination fell into place so smoothly, as if it was meant to be.

I chose my beloved emerald green hakata obi to coordinate with the foliage on the kimono. It arrived with a vivid peach dateeri already attached but I decided to go all-out and use a green and gold one as well. I love the rich, layered look of multiple collars but very rarely find the opportunity and colour combos to do so. A simple white haneri with peach embroidery helps balance the busy distraction of the multiple layers. The finishing touch was one of the beautiful new brooches I bought to use as obidome. My initial plan was to use the one with the jade green accents, but they got lost against the obi so I went with the pink. It’s not quite the right shade of pink, but it adds a touch of sparkle that I couldn’t resist.

Items used in this coordination

Hufflepuff Kitsuke

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;

Hufflepuff is probably the most misunderstood and misrepresented Hogwarts House, and that is a real shame. It’s also not my personal house, but their values of loyalty, honesty, love, and hard work are things we should all aspire to. Hufflepuff’s colours are yellow and black, and they’re often associated with Herbology, food, and gardening in general, so of course this yellow kimono with roses and black obi with karabana were perfect. I wanted to tie in the earthiness I associate with this house, so brown accessories did that well.

Again, like with the Gryffindor lions, I wanted something more subtle than just finding a badger-shaped brooch and slapping it on, and I realised this fake fur collar I have looked very much like badger fur. They’re usually depicted as black and white, but in reality they’re usually brown and beige. The collar also has the added bonus of emphasising the “cozy” vibe associated with Hufflepuff.

This turned out quite well, in my opinion. I do think there could be a bit more black, maybe a different kimono with black in the designs, but since I’m trying to be more prudent in my spending for a while and using items I already own, I’m very happy. There will be a little interruption in this project while I do a #monokimono outfit this weekend, but we’ll be back on track by next week.

Items used in this coordination

Gryffindor Kitsuke

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I finally hashed it all out. Over the next little while, I will be doing an outfit inspired by each of the houses at Hogwarts! Gryffindor seemed like the most logical place to start, even if it is not my House (you’ll find out which that is soon enough).

I knew the starting point would be the house colours for each outfit, so here we have the bold, firey red and gold of Gryffindor. I had to incorporate a lion, of course, but instead of just going for a typical lion-shaped brooch or something I thought I’d try to be a little more subtle, keeping these outfits looking more traditional. I thought on it for a while when it struck me – shishi, the protector lion-dogs!

After that got sorted, everything else fell into place. The bold red kimono, dramatic and attention-grabbing, seemed like the next logical step. I had to pull in the gold as well, so that was the accessories sorted. Unfortunately, this obi is incredibly short. So short I couldn’t even tie it around the mannequin, who is quite petite. I had to fake it with clips and extra cords and a helping hand from my dad. It looks good in the end, but man was it a hassle! The finishing touch was a golden snitch necklace I made years ago used as a sort of obi-kazari. I’m worried it gets a little bit lost against the obi, but I really wanted to include it.

All in all, I think this is a good start to this mini-project. It’s an outfit that could easily be worn anywhere without feeling costumey, but once you know the logic behind each choice the traits of Gryffindor come through clearly. I’m very much looking forward to the other three outfits in this set.

Items used in this coordination

Kits-Mas Day 7 – Midnight Bubbly

The last day of the year is upon us! I think we can all agree that 2017 was a bit of a dumpster fire. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly glad to see the end of it!

When I was younger, I enjoyed going out on New Year’s Eve, but the older I get, the more content I am to stay inside in a nice fuzzy pair of pyjamas. We’re also still in the depths of a record-breaking cold snap here, as is the rest of Canada and the eastern United States, so going out to watch fireworks at midnight was just not remotely appealing to me. Instead, I thought it would be fun to run with a New Year’s theme for the mannequin tonight.

I thought this gold-accented men’s odori kimono would be the ideal place to start, since it’s so bold and flashy. I considered of all the trappings of a really fun party; sparkling champagne, glitter, fireworks, laughter. The next logical step seemed like this fun hanhaba obi I bought recently with stars on it. It’s a little dull next to the kimono, so I pulled out some gorgeous silver ribbon to use as an accent and a haneri. I still don’t quite have the hang of using a men’s kimono like this, as a woman’s outfit, but all I can do is practice, right?

While the obi still feels a bit subdued against the kimono, I do think this is a bubbly, sparkly, fun outfit that seems like a fitting end to the year.

I am utterly terrible at keeping resolutions, so rather than enumerate things I will inevitably not complete, I am just going to head into the new year with an open mind, an open heart, and a wealth of unbridled enthusiasm. I hope the coming year brings you all sorts of amazing things!

Kits-Mas Day 4 – Merry and Bright

How are you doing? It’s painfully cold here, but at least this outfit feels warm and happy! Maybe in tomorrow’s pictures there will be a roaring fire going on in the background. We’ll see.

Today’s outfit was built around a roll of gorgeous Christmas ribbon I found at the craft store. I admittedly bought it without anything specific in mind, I just really liked the texture of it. I’m glad I did though, because when I started this project I realised I could find a way to work it into an outfit.

The obi is actually one of my favourite old standbys, this red tsuke-obi with black flocking. I simply used temporary adhesive dots to cover the pattern on the otaiko with the blingy festive ribbon, and then added an accent on the waist segment too. It happened to be just the right width for the eri, so I used it for that as well to tie everything together. The kimono in shades of green and white makes me think of trees in snow, and of poinsettia leaves. Either way, it works well with the holiday theme! The gold accessories are technically too formal for the kimono itself, but this whole project is more about the overall mood of each outfit than about adhering to strict rules. I wanted to draw more attention to the gold in the ribbon, and this felt like the most effective way to do so.

I love how fun and merry and bright this coordination worked out to be. It’s definitely festive and it makes me happy. I’m so glad I bought that ribbon!