Vintage style with modern convenience

After Gofuku no Hi, I realised owning at least one other hakama would greatly expand my kimono wardrobe. Even though I’m still far too chunky to fit into most of my kimono properly, they do a great job of hiding a less-than-ideal hip wrap. I found a lovely modern teal polyester hakama from ebay seller Yoshihori and snatched it up. The seller had embroidered ones too, which were utterly lovely, but significantly more expensive. So I decided to be reasonable and buy the plain one. So imagine my surprise when the seller contacted me, incredibly apologetic, telling me the plain one was sold out and would I like the embroidered one instead, for no extra charge? Of course I said yes!

A few days after I bought it, but before it had arrived in the mail, a friend of a friend posted on facebook that she was selling off a large chunk of her collection, including a gorgeous mauve kofurisode that was clearly meant to be worn with hakama. The colours were gorgeous, and it had a wonderful sort of large-scale Taisho-inspired feel to it. I knew it had to come live with me, and be paired up with the new hakama as soon as it arrived in the mail.

Initially, I’d planned to wear the ensemble to Otakuthon, Montreal’s big anime convention. However, it’s in the middle of August and we’re already regularly breaking the high 30s temperature-wise. Even in a heavily air-conditioned convention centre, there’s no way I could wear synthetic awase and not die. So I decided to put the outfit together to see how it looks. Everything is very heavily decorated with sakura, so of course I chose a coordinating haneri. I waffled a bit between yellow and purple obi, but decided to use the purple so it sort of disappeared. The kimono and hakama are busy enough, the outfit didn’t need another level of contrast.

I know I say this a lot, but I love love love how this turned out. I can’t wait until it’s cool enough to wear it. Maybe for my birthday, in November?

Black synthetic multi-season flower komon

I know one of my kimono resolutions was not to buy things just because they were affordable and kind of cute, but I technically bid on this at the end of 2010, so I’m safe, right? Also, it’s exceptionally adorable and I did indeed get it for a steal. I’ve also resolved to wear kimono out of the house more frequently, so casual washable kimono are always a good thing to have.

When I bid on this I only noticed the big spider kiku and the sakura. I’m not generally a huge fan of sakura (strange, I know, considering my love for kimono and how frequent a motif they are) but I love spider kiku with a fierce passion – two of my favourite pieces of my collection feature them prominently. They’re what drew me to this kimono in the first place.

When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised – there are tons of flowers for all the awase (lined kimono) seasons – kiku, ume, and sakura, as well as the wavy stripes being bordered by decorative cords which are a lucky/auspicious motif. I thought they were just lines, based on the auction photos. This is much cooler!

Black multi-season komon