Matchy Matchy Mums

There’s two things “wrong” with this outfit, but when has that ever stopped me? I had another outfit planned for this week’s coordination but when this kiku furisode arrived I knew I had to pair it up with my purple kiku obi. Normally you wouldn’t match the motif of the kimono to the obi, especially not identically stylised ones like this, but the colours and the round mums were just too perfect to pass up. I also tied the obi in niijudaiko, which isn’t a musubi you’d typically pair with furisode, but I thought it added an interesting, more mature feeling to the outfit.

Since I was on such a matchy kick, I ran with accessories that were also perfect matches to some of the colours in the kimono. This outfit definitely feels very autumnal, which also happens to be my favourite season, so of course I love the end result!

What do you think? Do you like to understand the rules but deviate from them now and again, or do you prefer to stick to what works? I think both have merit; so long as you can explain why you chose to break a rule and aren’t doing it in a formal situation or stealing the focus from someone else, sometimes it can work out really well!

Items used in this coordination

Seijin Shiki 2022 – Ice Princess

Seijin Shiki (Coming of Age Day) 2022 was this past Monday, January 10. I should probably have done this outfit back then, but work kicked my butt. Better late than never, right?

It’s traditional for young adults who are turning 20 in the coming year to dress up. For young women, this means a beautiful furisode and accessories, and because it takes place in the winter, a fur stole is often used as well. These outfits can vary from subdued to very, very bold, depending on both the location and the personal style of the wearer.

My tastes tend to lead more towards the “mature”, which makes sense because I am literally as old as two people celebrating seijin shiki combined would be. So this outfit is more quiet than a lot of options, but I love it nonetheless. I decided to for a wintery, icy pastel coordinate.

I went for my well-loved blue and pink kiku furisode. Since pastel blue and pastel pink together make pastel purple, this lilac and silver obi seemed like the perfect complement, along with a purple haneri and obiage. A pink and silver obijime was the finishing touch the outfit needed, a bit of contrast against the obi while still flowing with the subtle pastel vibe of the whole thing.

I did try to make a more dramatic and showy obi musubi, but this particular obi is so soft and floppy it just would not hold a more structural shape. I eventually caved in and just went with a sort of poofy bunko musubi. It’s not quite what I originally had in mind but I think it worked out alright.

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

 

Lavender Formal

Today’s entry is something a little more straightforward, formal, and traditional than I’ve done lately. I got this beautiful two-sided obi from Sasa. It’s white with gorgeous silver floral round designs with tiny lavender accents. The other side is a very pale lilac with an asanoha texture. I’m honestly not sure what to quantify it as, but since this side feels like a formal fukuro obi I thought it would work well with my kurotomesode with lavender and peach tones.

I tried to keep the kitsuke “correct” and traditional here; white-based formal obi, white haneri, gold and white obijime. However, being me, I did deviate a tiny bit by going with a peach obiage which is a spot-on perfect match for the ume flowers on the kimono. The obi is also incredibly easy to tie, which is always a good thing. I made one of the neatest and tidiest nijuudaiko musubi I’ve ever done, I think! I’m very much looking forward to coordinating this obi with other kimono, and maybe featuring the opposite, more casual side sometime soon.

Thankfully my life has calmed down a bit and some personal behind-the-scenes stuff that was causing me anxiety has been sorted out, so I can finally live up to the promise I keep making to be more active here. I’ve also got Patreon back up and running. While the blog will always be totally free, there are little perks you can get for helping support this passion of mine and enable me to keep sharing pictures, references, and information with you all. This hobby is not a cheap one!

Items used in this coordination

(The detail photo of the obi above is terrible, and will be replaced with a decent one as soon as I can set up my backdrop and stuff properly again!)

Thank you, Ichiroya!

If you’re active in the kimono communities online, odds are high that you’ve already heard the devastating news that Ichiroya, one of the oldest and most well-established online kimono stores, is closing. I’ve spoken about them at length here on this blog, even devoting an entire entry on how wonderful they are and how to use their services. Everyone there is so kind and helpful, and they’ve always been the first place I suggest when people want to dip their toes into buying vintage kimono online. While I am very sad,t this feels like the end of an era, I wish the owners all the best for their upcoming retirement!

I also used this as an opportunity to treat myself to some items I’d been watching for a while. One of the pieces I splurged on was this beautiful vintage houmongi with genjiko motif on an utterly lush purple background. When it arrived, I realised that an obi I’d bought from Ichiroya quite some time ago was the perfect complement to the pink and green accents of the kimono, and it all fell into place.

I wanted the kimono (and to a lesser extent, the obi) to shine so I went with subtle brown and beige accessories that tied into the kimono motif without drawing attention to themselves. I can’t remember where most of the accessories came from, they’re not from Ichiroya, but they worked very well with the outfit. I love how the brown obiage almost looks like shiny gold due to the gradations on it. I hope I did these pieces justice, as I wanted to honour and thank Ichiroya for twenty years of amazing service.

I bought one other kimono and two gorgeous obi at the same time as this one, so be prepared for lots of new stuff soon!

Items used in this coordination