Hanamaru Kofurisode; in which I am a moron

It’s 32 degrees out (90 F). So what do I do, as soon as I come home and find my brand new lined synthetic kofurisode in the mail? Lovingly admire it and fold it away for cooler weather, like a sane person would? Of course not! I decided to coordinate an outfit and put it on ASAP.

I decided to pair it up with my pink and white hakata obi. This thing is like cardboard! It was a huge pain in the posterior to tie, but once I got it, it totally stayed put, which was awesome. I used my hellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime, to go with the yellow kasane-eri that was already built into the kimono. Some purple tabi tied in well with the flowers. My Aikoku Fujinkai obidome was the perfect finishing touch, it almost looks like it was made for the kimono.

And of course, my big orange lug insisted on making an appearance.

I really love how the whole outfit turned out, and I will definitely wear it out, possibly on my birthday in November when the lining and the motifs all make more sense with the weather!

My first furisode – because being a girl both rocks and sucks sometimes.

I was already in my early twenties when I started collecting kimono, and in my mid-twenties when I became serious about it. I’d always told myself I would never buy a furisode, particularly an expensive one, because I was already borderline too old for them, and I don’t go to dressy enough events to justify one. It’s funny how things change.

I’ve already mentioned Vintage Kimono in Boulder in another entry, but that was actually not my first trip there. I go to Boulder with some frequency, as my best friend lives there. The first time I went, I insisted he take me to “this place that sells kimono”, and he was kind enough to come with me.

I’d promised myself I was not going to go overboard, and asked him to help me with some restraint. I tried on a few things, put them back, found a haori I’d decided I was going to get, and thought I was done. And then I saw this:

Until this point I hadn’t even found a furisode that interested me – most of them were too gaudy, too youthful, or too colourful. This one drew me in from the moment I saw it. The muted, dusty colours, the relatively (by furisode standards) subdued layout, the gorgeous ruffly peonies. I figured I’d just throw it over my shoulders and imagine myself in it, and be done with it.

So I carefully took it off the rack, and draped it over my shoulders. I looked at my friend. At this point I should probably explain that while he is my best friend and confidant, I am also very much in love with him. I know it’s entirely possible for a man and a woman to be just friends but unfortunately I was not that lucky, and this is where being a girl sucks sometimes. When I posed for him while wearing it, he made this goofy half-smile and said “It looks nice on you” and my heart just melted into a pile of hormonal goo. I knew it was coming home with me, no matter that I had no place to wear it, and could barely afford it. To this day, it’s still one of my favourite pieces, both for its appearance, and because of the memories I have of purchasing it. I’ve only tried it on a few times, since dressing myself in furisode is more complicated and convoluted than it’s worth, but I vow that I will wear it out to an event or party at least once before I turn thirty. I will also wear it better than I did here – these photos were taken before I started properly binding my bust, and I know I folded the hem way too short.

Black Taisho bridal furisode

This is probably one of the jewels of my collection; a black-based, five crested bridal hikizuri. The hem is padded but it is too short for me to wear trailing, so I wear it as a normal furisode. I came across it on eBay and couldn’t bear to risk getting involved in a bidding war. Thankfully there was a reasonable Buy It Now option so I just went for it.

It’s not in the best condition, some of the gold couching is coming off and one of the sleeves was a bit detached when it arrived, but it doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of the piece. I have fixed the sleeve, and am looking for someone who can fix the couching. The embroidery and details on it are breathtaking. I have never seen such lush, textured needlework before.

I chose to pair it up with a green and gold hakata obi and orange and green accessories. I love this outfit. It’s a shame I do not feel comfortable wearing such an old and delicate piece out, nor do I have anywhere formal enough for it to be appropriate.

Items used in this coordination