F is for Fudangi

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Fudangi, 不断着, home wear/casual clothes/ordinary dress

That’s a delightfully vague definition. Much like the infernal “office casual” it’s a term that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. So what exactly is fudangi? The general consensus for kitsuke is that it comprises anything from wool or cotton kimono that you’d wear around the house to komon and obi without metallic accents that you’d wear to run errands or meet up with friends for lunch. Often it’s much looser and more relaxed when it comes to the rules, but you still want to avoid anything overly formal. Obi should be hanhaba or casual nagoya, obijime should be thin, fancier textiles like shibori or yuzen-dyed silk should be used sparingly if at all. Think of rough-woven and rustic textiles like wool, meisen weave, etc. Fun accessories like haneri and obidome are always a good way to inject some personality in.

To give a better idea, I’ve collected some of my favourite coordinations from last year, where I made an effort to put together an outfit that exemplified fudangi at least once per month. As you can see, there’s plenty of room for variation, all while staying relaxed and comfortable.

As much as I love really gorgeous formal furisode and kurotomesode, there’s a lot to be said for casual, cool, comfortable outfits like these.

Kitsuke à la Québecoise

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Last weekend, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I was supposed to give several presentations at Costume-Con 38. Unfortunately, in this era nothing is certain, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the con was cancelled.

Needless to say, I was gutted. I completely understand that the decision was out of the hands of the organisers, and it was the best thing for everyone involved, but it’s still upsetting to be so excited for something only to have it fall apart literally at the last minute. Aside from my own presentation, I was really looking forward to the Friday evening social. The theme was “traditional Québec” and I thought I’d have some fun with it by combining old-school Québecois Coureur Des Bois style with kimono.

Even though I wasn’t able to wear this in person, there’s nothing stopping me from subjecting the mannequin to it! I went with a wool kimono to evoke warm wool clothing, and this hanhaba obi has always reminded me a bit of a ceinture fléchée or traditional woven arrow belt. Over the top I put this weird dochugi-haori hybrid that looks like good old lumberjack buffalo plaid. Somehow, this particular coat has escaped my cataloguing efforts, along with the kimono it matches. I’ll fix that eventually.

This outfit may not make a lot of sense to anyone not from Québec, but that’s fine. Sometimes it’s good to do something that makes you happy. What are you doing to keep yourself happy in this panicky and uncertain time? Let me know!

I do plan to share the handouts and slideshow I created for the convention here when I can. Unfortunately, my Surface tablet PC (where the files were created and are stored) decided to bite the bullet yesterday. I don’t know if I can fix it, but if I can’t I’ll do my best to at least recover the files so I can upload them here soon!

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Friday – Flirty Florals

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I’ve been pretty terrible at keeping up with my Fudangi First Friday project, but since this is the last one of the year I figured I had to make an effort! This gorgeous raspberry red hakata obi is one I got from Kimono Yuki back during the summer and hadn’t gotten around to coordinating yet. I love how rich the colour is, and it’s also super long, I can’t wait to wear it myself!

The obi is one of those strange colours that’s super bold and vivid but still manages to fall into the neutral category, at least when it comes to kimono. So I knew I could pair it up with almost anything. I haven’t done much with this multi-season komon recently but thought it could work and make a sort of sweet, feminine outfit that still felt a little mature due to the black base and richer tone of the obi.

I’d also never gotten the opportunity to use this adorable owl haneri. It matched some of the pinks in the kimono so perfectly, I’m very glad I thought of it. The finishing touch was a peach and white obijime that again ties in to some of the accent colours on the kimono. It was feeling a little drab against the obi, somehow, so I thought tying it in a cute bow would help balance things out a little better.

As much as I’ve loved doing the Fudangi First Friday project (and the MonoKimono challenge), I’m pretty sure that in 2019 I’m not going to commit to any challenge or project where I have to do something at a fixed and repeated time. I’ve just got too much going on. I hate feeling like I’ve failed and I don’t need that sort of stress going forward.

Today’s post was apparently brought to you by the letter F.

Items used in this coordination

 

Shishi Overload!

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This kimono is eventually going to live with Naomi, since it’s got some of her favourite motifs and colours and will never, ever fit me, but I really wanted to have a little more fun with it before I sent it off to its new home.

Typically overloading on the same motif in the kimono and the obi isn’t ideal, but when has that sort of thing ever stopped me? I just wanted to do a full-on shishi overload! Despite the obi’s neutral black base, I wasn’t sure if they’d work together, but think the almost shocking contrast of the blue-and-red accessories managed to bring cohesion to the outfit.

I was also reminded how ridiculously short this obi is when I pulled a muscle in my back trying to tie it. I have skills, you guys. I had the same issues with it while doing the Gryffindor outfit, but I conveniently forgot about all that. One day I’ll likely end up turning it into a tsuke-obi to make it less of a pain (literally) in the future, but at least I got it to look the way I wanted it in the meantime.

October Rust – MonoKimono Challenge & Fudangi First Friday

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I’m cheating today. Someone alert the authorities! Typically, the #MonoKimono challenge occurs on the last weekend of the month, and Fudangi First Friday occurs on, well, the first Friday. However, I had other things on my mind this past weekend, and I know this weekend is going to be quite busy, so I figured I’d take advantage of a free afternoon and combine the two smack in the middle of the week.

It’s finally, mercifully, starting to feel like Autumn here so that was my jumping-off point. I had to build an outfit that was both casual and monochrome, so it felt like the right time to bust out my rusty red-orange wool komon. My Tokaido hanhaba obi is an absolute spot on match for the kimono, even down to the yellow accent colour matching the yellow weave.

I’ve seen this sort of hanhaba musubi that almost looks like a miniature otaiko and wanted to give it a shot. It worked out quite well, I think. I also like the pop of contrast the yellow side offers – it echoes the yellow han-eri on the front view and helps draw attention to the subtle pattern in the kimono itself. I still think it’s subtle enough and in a close enough colour range to count as monochrome, too. While an obijime isn’t a necessity with this sort of an outfit, I did need it for this particular musubi and I just happened to have one that was another perfect match. I’m pretty sure this is the most monochrome outfit I’ve put together for this challenge so far.

Another reason I wanted to get this outfit on the mannequin is that I have something very neat in the works, and wanted her in something that felt seasonal and was nice to look at but also was very much a “background” feel and not something ornate that would steal the focus away. I’m being evasive now, but I promise I’ll tell you all what it’s for very soon!

Items used in this coordination