This Outfit has a Secret

And that secret is efficiency! At first glance there’s nothing “unusual” about this, it just looks like an everyday casual coordinate, right? What you can’t tell immediately is that both the kimono and the obi are two-piece “easy-wearable” items. The two-piece, or nibushiki, kimono, can be worn with an obi over it like this to resemble a regular kimono, or it can be worn more like a dochugi and wrap skirt. It’s common to see pieces like this worn by restaurant workers and other people who need to be comfortable and able to change easily. It’s also synthetic and went through the wash once already with literally  no ill effects.

It also has the benefit of being much easier to adjust if you’re a non-standard size, as you can wrap the bottom half however you’re most comfortable and then adjust the top half separately. It makes dressing so much easier, more convenient, and more accessible.

The tsuke-obi is more common. I’ve had this one in my collection for literal decades and it used to be in very heavy rotation. Ones like this, with an otaiko-style musubi, are much easier to camouflage than the butterfly-style polyester ones that come with beginner’s yukata, and I think with the right accessories they’re perfectly acceptable for a more casual occasion.

The salmon pink accessories were a bit of a surprise, I will be honest. I liked how the navy obijime tied in to the kimono and figured I’d run with it. It’s unexpected but it works! My gut instinct was to go with the same yellow set I use for basically… everything. I’m glad I refrained.

Items used in this coordination

Happy New Year 2022

Hello! I am very sorry I haven’t been around lately. I started working full-time for the first time in over a decade and it really knocked me for a loop. I also spent a month in California back in November, and this gorgeous vintage kurotomesode happened to follow me home. Part of me wanted to share it right away but then I realised the arrow motif was very reminiscent of hamaya and was therefore absolutely perfect for a New Year’s coordinate. I felt that New Year’s Day was a perfect day to re-devote myself to this blog. It’s not a resolution, per se, because I am utterly terrible at  keeping those, but it did seem like a good day to set a new goal.

I did debate going “proper” and pairing this piece with a typical gold fukuro obi and white accessories, but as usual my love for dusty vintage colours won out and I ran with this maru obi instead. One of the motifs on it is sho-chiku-bai or the three friends of winter, a lucky winter motif, so it felt appropriate nonetheless. Red accessories and a textured white haneri added a bit of punch without stealing the focus, and I’m quite pleased with the end result.

Here’s to a year of health, happiness, and hope. A year of finding the time and the passion to focus on what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. I am going to make a concerted effort to devote more time to my hobbies, both kimono and my miniatures. I already have several outfits and entries planned out for the next little while, so I just need to keep this motivation and momentum going. How about you? What are your hopes and goals for 2022? I’d love to know, so please leave a comment!

Items used in this coordination

“Group of Seven” Landscape Houmongi

When I saw this gorgeous landscape houmongi up for auction recently, the Canadian in me just had to have it. It reminded me immediately of something by the Group of Seven and while I realise it’s a Japanese landscape it could just as easily be any of the wild, untamed nature of this beautiful country.

I actually have a handful of obi that will all look incredible with this piece but for my first time showing it off this metallic hawks-over-water nagoya obi felt like the right direction. I love the idea of the birds flying high over the landscape, and the heavy gold of the obi helps up the very subtle gold decoration in the hem pop. It also increases the formality of the whole outfit, and since the kimono has one crest it can be dressed up a bit. I went subtle with the rest of the accessories to let the kimono and obi speak for themselves, and I think it worked well.

 

I can’t wait to do other things with this stunning piece. I’m so happy I was able to add it to my collection.

Items used in this coordination

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