From the Archives – two casual fall outfits

Hello, dear readers! I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately, life has just been kind of hectic. A few weeks ago I went to a comic convention and had grand plans to wear a kimono. Unfortunately, as I was getting ready in the morning I stepped on a metal belt buckle and the hook that holds it closed embedded itself into the bottom of my foot. I’ve been limping around since then in a state of abject misery. Thankfully, it is getting better! I am also going on vacation in a week, so I’ve been trying to hop around getting everything ready for that. Crossing my fingers that my foot will be healed by then!

To fill the lull, I thought I’d share a couple of older fall coordinations I put together a while back. The weather is getting cooler here and the trees are starting to turn, so it seems like a good time for these motifs 🙂

Green komon with swirling water and kiku

Buttery soft sage-green silk with dusty brick-coloured kiku. I really love this kimono, and looking at it here I wonder why I’ve never worn it out. I found this outfit very boring when I first put it on, but in retrospect I think it’s a really nice subdued combination.

Brick-red wool komon

If this outfit doesn’t scream “fall”, I don’t know what does. The kimono is wool, which even feels appropriate texturally. It’s a warm red colour with woven lines in brown, mustardy-yellow, and a few in green and a pale icy blue to balance it out. The obi has a motif of changing maple leaves, which emphasizes the season further.

Hopefully when I get back from my trip my life will settle down a bit and I’ll have more time to dress up and more shinies to share with you all!

Shifuku and Usagi Houmongi

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve technically already seen this particular kimono, when I wore it out to the park (and then subsequently dinner, but I did not take photos of that) a few weeks back. I finally had some time to take proper catalogue photographs, and it’s a piece that really needs to be appreciated in detail.

The kimono is a subtle pastel gradient. I honestly did not even notice the gentle lavender at the shoulders until I hung it up to take the reference photos. The gold is also really soft and gentle. I don’t typically like large areas of gold leaf on a kimono, but on this one it’s not in-your-face.

However, the real magic is the embroidery on the front panels. I was informed that they are shifuku, or silk pouches used to protect items used during tea ceremony. The embroidery is done entirely in french knots, a technique known as saraga nui. I cannot imagine the time, patience, and skill required to do this.

The most special shifuku in my eyes is by far the one with the adorable white rabbit on it. It’s the sole reason I bought the kimono. He’s just so charming and quirky, on what is otherwise a very subdued and mature kimono.

Musings on Iromuji

Iromuji are probably the most versatile kimono you can own. They are solid-coloured kimono, either uncrested or single-crested. They can be worn relatively casually with a simple nagoya obi, or dressed up with a formal fukuro obi. They’re appropriate for everything from religious observances to tea ceremonies to weddings (if they’re crested), and their solid colour serves as a great backdrop for showing of really spectacular obi.

They’re a great investment, both for someone with a large collection looking to expand and for someone just starting out.

I have three, but I would definitely like to invest in more in the future.

Mint-green iromuji with watery rinzu


The auction photos when I purchased this gave it a much more ice blue cast, but I can’t say I’m disappointed in the lovely minty green shade of this particular kimono. The textured rinzu weave is so lush that it almost looks like different colours. I’ve paired this up with several obi that are difficult to work with, and it always manages to work out great.

Rose-pink Iromuji


This is an amazingly flattering soft pink. I’ve only worn it out once, but I felt really girly in it, without it being overbearing. It also makes a great foil for several of my obi I had lying around that didn’t match anything I had before.

Leaf-green Iromuji


I love the weave on this one, it’s covered in tiny little houses, bridges, and trees. The silk also has this amazing, nearly-iridescent quality to it. In some lights it leans yellow-green, in other lights it’s got a subtle blue cast. I tried to capture both in the photographs, but did not quite succeed. Unfortunately, this piece is small for me. Not so small that I can’t wear it, but it can get a bit messy after wearing it for a while. Luckily, it fits my friend Amelie really well, and looks great on her!

Home sick kitsuke time

I’ve been wanting to put this outfit on for a while, since I bought the haori on my birthday and today I was feeling under the weather and didn’t go out, so I figured it would be a good time to see how it all looked together. BIG MISTAKE. Kitsuke and a fever do not mix, especially not when the obi is made of the skin of Satan himself. This obi is beautiful, but it’s synthetic and brand new, which means it’s both very stiff and very slippery. It would not stay put, and I ended up cheating on the obi a bit, since I knew I was not going out today.

Overall I am very pleased with the coordination of this outfit. It’s almost as though the haori was made specifically with this in mind.  I pulled out the pinky pastel tones with a pink obiage and pink and silver obijime, and then tied it all together with silver zori. However, my kitsuke (and the look on my face in the photos) makes me cringe. My ohashori’s a mess, my collar’s all over the place, and if you could see what I did to make the obi stay put I’d be hideously embarrassed! But let’s pretend everything is fine, and just admire the coordination some more.

So let that be today’s lesson – if you’re feeling like refried death to begin with, don’t try wrestling with kimono for no good reason.