Purple embroidered hakama

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Hakama, those pleated skirt-like garments worn over kimono, are one of those things I always sort of accepted as something I would never own. The standard modern lengths for hakama are between 91 and 97 cm, and I’d need at least 102cm to fit me properly. The few pairs that were long enough that I’d seen were incredibly, terribly out of my budget, and also usually a boring black or navy.

In rushes Kansai_gal to the rescue. She found these for me and sent them to me, and I am absolutely smitten! They’re a gorgeous rich purple colour, a wonderful washable synthetic, and have charming embroidered mums, pinks, and bellflowers on the hem. The best part of all, however, is that they are a whopping 103 centimetres long. Almost too long for me! Amazing!

Hakama are a wonderful solution to kimono that may be a bit too short, or don’t wrap across the hips properly. They’re also a lot more forgiving than a standard kimono and obi might be. They’re generally considered fairly youthful and casual, but as I’ve said time and time again I am hideously immature and tend to dress younger than I should.

A quick note about these photos – no, I have not repainted my wall pink. This shade of purple is notoriously hard to capture with digital photos, so I had to colour correct the photos to make the actual item accurate. The wall got distorted in the process XD

Purple embroidered hakama

Purple embroidered hakama Purple embroidered hakama Purple embroidered hakama

I am very excited to get to wear these, hopefully to a small local convention this weekend with my black kofurisode.

Green on cream hakata hanhaba

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This is one of those lessons that reminds me that auction photos can be very inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely obi, a nice crisp hakata in a forest green on cream, but in the auction photos it looked very pink. I fell in love with the idea of green on pink. Thankfully I only paid a penny plus shipping for it, and I am sure I will find a good use for it, but it was a reminder not to get too excited or attached to things until they’re actually in your hands.

Green-on-white hakata hanhaba

Green-on-white hakata hanhaba

Orizuru Haori

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I’ve already posted photos of me wearing this particular item, but it really needs a proper entry to showcase it. Shinei was having a huge sale and I saw this and really fell in love with it. In the photos, it looked like a modern piece – heavy silk, relatively “standard” proportions. When it arrived I was shocked at how old it was it was, evident in the length of both the body and the sleeves, as well as the brightly patterned lining. It’s incredibly lush and thick, and the cranes are so vivid. The lining is also exceptional. I am not generally fond of karako (stylized playing children) but since it’s mostly hidden I am actually quite fond of them in this case. I love the ridiculously vivid linings on vintage haori.

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Art Gallery – Incredibly detailed vector art

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This piece was actually done for a contest on Gaia, and it was definitely one of the most amazing entries I received. As you may know, this particular furisode is incredibly special to me so of course I’m going to be biased when it comes to artwork of it. But look at the sheer amount of detail in this piece. The artist, Elsa Lee, put in a painstaking amount of work to faithfully reproduce the pattern on the kimono. What’s more, can you believe she did it with a mouse?! My hand hurts just thinking about it.

If you want to see the incredibly high-resolution version of this (and believe me, you do!), you can check it out on Elsa’s DeviantArt account

Navy yukata for a good cause

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After the devastating earthquakes in Japan just over a month ago, several of my friends decided to raise money by auctioning off items in their collections, with proceeds going to Global Giving for disaster relief. When I saw the adorable navy yukata that Jess had listed, I knew I had to have it. It’s got such a fun, summery feel to it. I love the trellis-like design, and I can’t wait to wear it.

Blue yukata

Blue yukata

I know it’s going to look adorable with my green hakata. I just have to wait for the weather to improve! I love how I keep ending up with more yukata and nowhere to wear them.