As with everything else when it comes to kimono, “normal” accessories just aren’t good enough. 😉 Due to the thong-like nature of traditional zori shoes, a sock with a separated toe area is necessary. These socks are referred to as tabi, and are very much like conventional toe-socks but with the smaller toes all connected. Another apt comparison would be mittens for your feet.
Typical standard tabi are solid white. For formal events white tabi are a necessity, and there isn’t much room for experimentation. However, when it comes to more modern or casual ensembles, a pair of fun coloured tabi can make all the difference, much like coloured haneri. I have several pairs of white tabi in varying levels of formality, from stretch cotton to solid thick ones with the hooks up the back (known as kohaze), but really – white socks are white socks, right? It’s the fun ones that are worth sharing!
Formal black tabi with daschunds
Yet again, my friend Kansai_gal’s loss was my gain. She got these but they turned out to be too big for her so she sent them to me. They are perfectly at home on my freakishly large feet. They’re also a bit of an oddity in that they’re clearly goofy casual tabi, but they’re seamed hard cotton with four kohaze up the ankle, which is typical construction of formal white tabi.
Stretch tabi with multiple florals
These are some adorable stretchy tabi with tons of flowers (fuji, kiku, tachibana). These are also nice and versatile, since the colours are so neutral.
Stretch tabi in solid colours with insert panels
These are some of my favourite tabi. I have a green pair *somewhere* but I have no idea where they are currently. I may just cave in and buy a new pair XD They go with almost everything, and I love how subtle they are. They work really well with very busy kimono, since they coordinate but don’t compete. I also apologize for the high volume of cat hair in this photo – these have a slightly brushed texture that attracts lint and hair like a magnet!
Pink lace stretch tabi
These are sheer lace and they go great with my navy ro kimono with the pink flowers, but they’re also very useful for layering over top of the solid tabi posted above, for adding an extra soft girly touch. I did this when I wore my furisode recently.
I know I said earlier that I was going to focus more on special, rare items but I think I may have to splurge on some more tabi in the near future 😉