Go With the Flow

Last week, I espoused the virtues of not always sticking to your initial plan. This week reminded me once again why that’s so important! I received this lovely purple-and-pink hakata and asanoha obi during the week and had an entirely different kimono in mind for it. I’m working from home today, so during some down-time I went into the kimono room to collect the pieces I needed and just couldn’t find the kimono anywhere! While rummaging, I pulled this vintage turquoise beauty out and decided to re-think my entire plan. Pink and purple of the obi are both very prominent accent colours in the kimono so I just ran from there.

Once I’d committed to this kimono the rest all slotted neatly into place. The haneri matches the plum purple of the obi and echoes the tachibana motif in the kimono, and my ridiculously versatile yellow accessories literally tied the rest together. The “obidome” is actually a brooch that belonged to my late grandmother and just happens to be a spot-on match for the kimono, as well as having a lovely vintage feel to it that suits the age of the kimono very well. I tied the obi in a sort of tsunodashi variation because it’s a knot that always feels vintage to me too, and I love the way it shows off the two-colour design of the obi so nicely.

I’m very glad I didn’t fight and get frustrated and give up when I couldn’t find the kimono for my initial plan, because I love this one so much more!

Items used in this coordination

 

What’s Old is New Again

This kimono has always been one of my favourites, but for some reason I’ve never paired it with anything other than an orange obi. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great with orange, but I wanted to diversify a bit. I realised it had the same kikkou pattern on the shoulder as my green darari-style tsuke-obi and I knew exactly where this coordination was heading.

Red accessories because there’s a bit of red in the obi and it helps make the lining pop, and red accents always make an outfit feel a bit more vintage to me! I debated using a dark red haneri shigoki obi as well but it ended up feeling more balanced without it. Even if you’ve planned an outfit entirely in your head, it’s always good to be flexible when you finally get things laid out together. Never feel like you have to stick entirely to your original plans, and that doesn’t only go for kimono coordinating.

Items used in this coordination

Proof of Life

Rumours of my demise have been slightly exaggerated. Further information below the cut if you’re curious.

Ideally, for my return to regular kimono blogging I would have loved to showcase some gorgeous new piece, some rare curiosity… but I honestly have not purchased anything since the men’s set I wrote about back in May. Instead, I resorted to my old standby of blindly pulling something out of storage and forcing myself to work with it. It’s a great exercise if you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated! I grabbed this vintage-inspired modern poly piece that I love and used to wear quite frequently, but somehow never think of when it comes time for a mannequin coord.

I thought it would look lovely and even more vintage-inspired with this dusty peacock obi, which I unfortunately forgot was hikinuki-style so it’s tied upside down. Oh well. Not too shabby for being so out of practice! A few similarly desaturated accessories in dusky pinks and beigey browns completed the look and this outfit feels like a great way to transition from summer into autumn.

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It’s a Man’s World

Today, I finally got my grubby little paws on something I’ve wanted for a very long time. A full men’s formal kuromontsuki set! It seemed like every time I found one it was way beyond my budget. I’m glad I waited because this set showed up for an unbelievably low price and here in Canada to boot so I jumped on it. Originally it was just the kimono, haori, and hakama but the seller was kind enough to throw in an absolutely awesome juban too. All I had to do was find a suitable kaku-obi and I now have a full formal men’s set. I’d love to dress a bride and groom up for photos some day when the world is back to normal!

I cheated and used the same mannequin as usual, I just padded “her” with towels until her tummy protruded a bit more than her chest, and voila! Men’s kitsuke feels odd to me; it’s both very similar and very different from what I’m used to, and I’ll definitely need more practice but I think I did quite well for a first attempt. I do need to learn how to tie men’s haori-himo properly though. I watched a few tutorials and just could not get the hang of it! I’ll try again tomorrow.

Items used in this coordination

DIY – Washi Tape Earrings

A while back the lovely folks at The Washi Tape Shop sent me a gorgeous selection of washi tapes. I used some to make these fun kokeshi-style dolls, but I’ve been trying to think of other ways to feature the designs. I was inspired to make these fun. stylish, and easy washi tape earrings! Including dry time for the optional paint and varnish, these come together in less than an hour.

You will need:

  1. Washi tape
  2. Earring hardware
  3. Work-safe mat
  4. Sharp scissors or a craft knife
  5. Fine-grit (180 to 220 grit) sandpaper or file
  6. Pliers
  7. (Optional) Paint brushes
  8. (Optional) Metallic paint
  9. (Optional) Varnish or Mod-Podge

You don’t need to paint the blanks, but personally I think it makes the end product look a lot more finished and professional. Metallic paints also help tie in the metallic accents on the washi tape.

How-To:

  1. Gently sand the edges of your wood pieces. They may be cheaply machine cut and not properly finished, and you don’t want rough wood near your ears or neck.
  2. If painting your wooden blanks, do this next. Do two thin coats on either side and make certain to paint the thin edges, as these will be the most visible.
  3. Once paint is fully dry, carefully smooth a piece of tape onto one flat side of the wooden blank. If your washi tape has a specific direction or accent you want to feature, take the time to align it properly. It will make the finished piece look much more professional.
  4. Using your scissors or knife, trim the excess tape off, following the shape of the wood piece.
  5. Flip the blank over and do the same taping-and-cutting on the other side.
  6. With the tip of your knife or even the hook of one of the earrings, pierce through the tape on both sides of the tiny hole at the top of the piece. If you’re having trouble finding it, hold your piece up to a bright light; the hole will shine through.
  7. Varnish isn’t necessary but it will help seal the tape from peeling off and give a nice shine to the earrings. If you choose to varnish, do it now.
  8. Once the piece is fully dry, open one jump ring with the pliers and attach a hook to each earring.
  9. Voila! Your stylish new pieces are done.

Now you’ve got beautiful, one-of-a-kind earrings that you can pair with funky kimono outfits or to add flair to a western outfit. You can also turn these into unique necklaces by using attaching a decorative bail or even just a jump ring and threading it on to a chain. These would make beautiful gifts, too.

Have fun and experiment with paint colours and tape placement or even add decorative items, rhinestones, or other personal touches!

 I received this item from the retailer or manufacturer for honest review purposes.This post contains affiliate link(s). If you choose to purchase, I receive a small rebate or commission which goes to the continued maintenance of this site.