My first furisode – because being a girl both rocks and sucks sometimes.

I was already in my early twenties when I started collecting kimono, and in my mid-twenties when I became serious about it. I’d always told myself I would never buy a furisode, particularly an expensive one, because I was already borderline too old for them, and I don’t go to dressy enough events to justify one. It’s funny how things change.

I’ve already mentioned Vintage Kimono in Boulder in another entry, but that was actually not my first trip there. I go to Boulder with some frequency, as my best friend lives there. The first time I went, I insisted he take me to “this place that sells kimono”, and he was kind enough to come with me.

I’d promised myself I was not going to go overboard, and asked him to help me with some restraint. I tried on a few things, put them back, found a haori I’d decided I was going to get, and thought I was done. And then I saw this:

Until this point I hadn’t even found a furisode that interested me – most of them were too gaudy, too youthful, or too colourful. This one drew me in from the moment I saw it. The muted, dusty colours, the relatively (by furisode standards) subdued layout, the gorgeous ruffly peonies. I figured I’d just throw it over my shoulders and imagine myself in it, and be done with it.

So I carefully took it off the rack, and draped it over my shoulders. I looked at my friend. At this point I should probably explain that while he is my best friend and confidant, I am also very much in love with him. I know it’s entirely possible for a man and a woman to be just friends but unfortunately I was not that lucky, and this is where being a girl sucks sometimes. When I posed for him while wearing it, he made this goofy half-smile and said “It looks nice on you” and my heart just melted into a pile of hormonal goo. I knew it was coming home with me, no matter that I had no place to wear it, and could barely afford it. To this day, it’s still one of my favourite pieces, both for its appearance, and because of the memories I have of purchasing it. I’ve only tried it on a few times, since dressing myself in furisode is more complicated and convoluted than it’s worth, but I vow that I will wear it out to an event or party at least once before I turn thirty. I will also wear it better than I did here – these photos were taken before I started properly binding my bust, and I know I folded the hem way too short.



  1. Gorgeous! Next time you should try it with your green hakata ori obi – the one you wore with your kakeshita. I bet it would contrast really well!

    I fell down hard on ebay this weekend – picked up an early Showa/Late Taisho kakeshita myself. I’m also in my late 20s and had always thought I would never buy furisode – too old and too tall. Here’s to the late bloomers buying and wearing furisode! Now I just have to buy a furisode juban!

    Regarding appropriate-ness, I own two tomesode – one iro-tomesode from Taisho, and one kuro-tomesode with hiyoku. I’m not married, and have never worn either of them!

  2. I agree with Katy……gorgeous, and peonies are my most favorite flower…love all your kimonos…I never realized that there was such variety until you showed me what you had. I also like your shorter haircut now, looks great with your kimonos.

  3. It’s absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen a furisode like that either. I do really like the muted color; it makes it seem a little more mature.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. I was sort of worried I’d managed to convince myself it looked more mature than most. It’s quite modern (definitely Heisei, not even late Showa), but it doesn’t have the flashy feel a lot of modern furisode do.

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