Monday, September 17, 2012


When I have a day off from work, I like to think a little more about what to wear if/when I go out. Since I was planning on just doing a little bit of shopping, I wanted to wear one of my more simple kimono and obi, but first, it needed a little repair.
Kuma is always so very helpful.
All that it really needed was a bit of reinforcement where the sleeves meet the body at the shoulders, and even with our cat being helpful, the repairs didn't take me very long at all. This was last night, and this morning, I picked out the rest of what I wanted to wear:

The obi is a relatively new acquisition from Nichi Bei Bussan, as is the purple obijime. The hair-sticks were a find through Fire Mountain Gems.
Given that we're on the cusp of the seasons, I wanted something light and refreshing, with hints of cooler weather to come. I was really quite happy with how everything looked together. That is, I was until I put it on and was not happy with how little overlap I had at the front. I could have made it work, but if you're not happy with what you're wearing, it can show.

With my roommate's help, I decided on a different kimono. I consider it a little more formal, but it is one that I enjoy wearing.

Same obi and obijime. The only new addition to the ensemble was the kanzashi chrysanthemum. The only reason the original hair-sticks aren't in the picture is because they were still in my hair.
I was certainly able to keep the same color scheme and feel of the ensemble, and the addition of the floral kanzashi helped to further the motif. The soft obi helped to keep the ensemble from being too stiff and formal and I was set to go out.

Front view... the basket was a Goodwill find!

Back view. The tail on the taiko bow is a little long, but that falls into the realm of "Who's really going to notice?"
Today's shopping adventure was at Nichi Bei Bussan, a store in San Jose's Japantown. I'm very fond of the store, and I plan on writing more about it in the future. Even though I had my room mate with me for today's excursion, we didn't really get any pictures there, nor at the coffee-shop where I work when we stopped by there afterwards to get some tea.

Looking around Nichi Bei is always a pleasant experience, and though I did not get the michiyuki (This is a sort of overcoat that closes in front with snaps or buttons. It has a squared-off collar that shows off the crossed collars of the kimono underneath quite nicely.) that had caught my eye the last time I was in, I did come away with a very smart looking haori (this is also a sort of overcoat, but it does not close or overlap in the front; instead, the collar falls straight down the body and it is usually held closed with decorative ties that span the distance) that will be a much more versatile addition to my wardrobe.

The next stop on the day's agenda was stopping by my work-place, as I'd promised another co-worker that I would stop in 'dressed up' while she was there. Of course, my timing was impeccable and I got there while she was out to lunch. While in the store, though, I did have the opportunity to talk about what I was wearing with two of our regular patrons and in that conversation received one of the most flattering comments I think that anyone who wears kimono could receive:

"Just seeing you makes me feel so refreshed."

How can one not be flattered by such a comment, especially after spending time and effort in putting together the day's ensemble? It simply isn't a comment that western fashion inspires, though when I dress in kimono, it is the effect that I strive for. There is undeniable pleasure in being assured that one has succeeded.

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