Kimono dressing is a 3D operation, not just about sleeve length!

Tokyo Fashion sometimes add in some wonderful kimono shots and I am updated via facebook. I am amazed at how people profess knowledge about kimono and most of the time tell the guys off for calling something a ‘kimono’ when ‘ya know – its a yukata because it has short sleeves. She is young so if it was a kimono the sleeves would be longer’


It is true that the long swinging sleeved kimono are traditionally worn by unmarried women but they are a formal garment not meant for the streets.

Choosing the right kimono for purpose is a 3 dimensional process.

1. Age – Sleeve length DOES have age connotations, the longest sleeved kimono are normally reserved for younger women (but unmarried is the key) and you typically see these kimono around coming of age and graduation. However sleeve length is also subject to fashion. More vintage kimono aimed at older women have longer sleeves.

Age also dictates HOW the kimono should be worn. As a married woman my front collar is lower, as well as my obi with a more subdued otaiko. The back of collar is also sight closer in and more flat.

2. Formality – You wouldn’t wear an evening gown to Mcdonalds and the same western style formality rules are set within kimono. Streetwear for all ages are typically komon print, an all over pattern or variations on. Formality should never be thrown out the window, however age and seasonality frequently are 🙂

3. Seasonality – However, this, in modern times has been superseded by style. The only two season specific matches I can do personally are April, with sakura and butterflies and September as I have a lot of purple! Geisha really, are the only kimono wearers with such an extensive wardrobe as to match up all 3 dimensions of kimono.

This also dictates the weight of kimono. In the UK weather though, normally you mix up the kimono weights all year round as we have hot sunny weather Monday (hitoe or ro) then hail storms Tuesday (back to awase)

3.5 Style – I follow kimono-hime, angura-kei and other such funky movements with regards to kimono so for me season is quite irrelevant when dressing in kimono. I choose style over season, and this replaces this dimension for me.

3.8. Iki – loosely translates as ‘chic’ a form of styling combining the main three elements of kimono dressing in an unspeakably stylish way.

So if a young women is sporting a meisen kimono around town it is not yukata because the sleeves are too short….

</end rant>

The joys of creating your own han eri….

I have been sewing today. One of the easiest things to kimono craft yourself. Even if you are really crap at sewing, you can still do this and it is a must have for kimono co-ordination.

Han eri are just a rectangle of fabric, 14cm by about 100cm. I have just stitched two contrasting bits of fabric 50cmx14cm together then (well currently pinned but it will be sewn by hand while I watch Sherlock tonight on the BBC) sewn on, tucking under the fabric for a smooth hem.

It doesn’t matter how bad your sewing is as the sewn part will be covered by kimono 🙂

Handmade han eri

This is made out of two Cath Kidston fat quarters. It’s expensive fabric so I only use it for collars.

The blue dotty matches my zori, so now I need to find the middle bits to go out kimono-ing next weekend!

Casual LL Zori


Edited to add…matching up with my dark pink obiage/obijime set:


Nice Dark Pink Set

Rose cotton fukuro obi…

Synthetic Fukuro Obi

and er….hmmmm…a kimono of some sorts….

Kimono Challenge 5 – Favourite co-ordination so far…

The challenge questions are:

1. How did you discover and get into kimono?
2. Your dearest kimono item(s).
3. Your most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.).
4. Your least used kimono item(s).
5. Your favourite coordination(s) so far.
6. What do you like and don’t like about kimono.
7. Kimono confessions. Did you know that…
8. Your dream kitsuke items (or at least items you really really want but can’t get for whatever reason).
9. Your biggest kimono fears.
10. Your biggest kimono inspiration.
11. Your kimono collection.
12. The evolution of your kitsuke.
13. Your special kimono memory.


I have old faithfuls in everything, kimono is no exection. However my favourite ‘posh’ co-ordination in my purple furisode. I have used this many times for myself and shows:

Baka Hime Furisode (2)

and for ‘shopping and kimono de jack’ my failthful black and red co-ordinations..again overused at shows and photoshoots by me!

Bit messy, but experimenting for KDJ

Red and Black Kitsuke

Kimono photoshoots!

Still fixing the flickr backlog, however I have kimono goodness to spare from a recent photoshoot. These are not the professional images, just ones we took!

I nearly sold on that green furi – well…glad I didn’t! I love the rockabilly kimono look, its one I sport due to my love for this theme! All models we work with also want a ‘geisha’ style look – so we bend to it.

Kimono Fashion Show at HyperJapan 2011!

Oh yeah…..we is on the website now!

Isla and I are running a kimono fashion show to promote kimono de jack.

Kimono De Jack Kimono Fashion Show at HYPER JAPAN

As a treat, two members of the Kimono De Jack group (Elizabeth Hitchins and Isla Wong) will be organising a fashion show showing kimono outfits from traditional to modern. This will be held on Saturday 23 July.

You can be part of the show by applying to be a kimono model.

We need six fantastic models to volunteer for our contemporary kimono fashion show! Make up, hair and footwear will be provided and you just need to wear a simple t-shirt and leggings. The winning applicants will gain free entry on Saturday and a surprise gift!

Applications must be received by Saturday 9th July 2011.

Our article is also part of their friday focus: Kimono, Tradition or Fashion?

So now, when fashion houses say that stripes are in this Autumn, you can look to increase your collection to include cool, silky, striped kimono. High fashion meets kimono!

Kimono are a vintage fashion explosion in all colours, patterns and motifs.

Whatever you consider ‘in’, you will find a kimono to complement the trend and you don’t have to listen to just the western fashion houses to tell you what’s hot, you can check out what is being seen in Tokyo, Kimono is it’s own art house.

Kimono-hime is a funky and fresh look on kimono fashion and you can see elements of the styles in the younger wearers at Kimono De Jack meetings in Japan. This is where you can see kimono fashion in all its glory, and keep up to date.

Be there or be square….

Gangsta Pranksta Kimono Ensemble for Manchester..

OK, well you can tell from the title what I am going for!

So we have my pinstripe kimono:

Business suit kimono for serious kimono business!

Awesome spats boots:

and somewhere (need to search) I have this hat. Even though, I am not sure how I will cope with a hat on a night out…

Wrap a corset round the middle and we are DONE. I have a white obijime that I might add for detail, and/or a white wedding obi tied in a front darari knot….I will think on it 🙂

Kimono Dressing at Kitacon PREVIEW!

We have been out in force, taking pictures of the kimono on offer at kitacon! Look at these beauties you can try on, these are only examples styles and we have more available but we thought we would try to give you a taster 🙂

Red Furisode

Green Furisode and Blue Furisode

Brown Furisode

Purple Flowers Furisode

Green Uchikake


Red Uchikake and Wedding Katsura

Heavy HikiFurisode/Kakeshita – we decided you could wear this as a coat over a kimono or with obi 🙂

So you will only get to wear these beauties at Kitacon 3! However, dependant on the success of the event we may be coming along to an event near you and also take private group bookings. We have many more kimono, colours and styles (not all furisode) with a wonderful array of modern and traditional obi with matching accessories.

Its so cheap to be dressed up and have a photo only £15! (£25 for wedding dress up) – we also have men’s sets 🙂

Kimono Related Cosplay – Marie Antoinette

OK, so this is the theme for my next outing. I think I will use it quite often, it combines kimono with dressing up. My other obsession.

So what do you need for this look?

1. Furisode or kakeshita kimono
2. Corset (underbust best)
3. Ringlet Wig (now I think vocaloid cosplay wigs are best, I got mine from COSPLAY-WIG
4. Cameo necklace
5. Cake hair accessories
6. Wedding net underskirt (hoopless as are you really gonna get it a taxi with a large hoop? Let alone going to the loo)
7. Pearl accessories

Numbers 4 and 5 are interchangeable, you need cameo for the French court essence and cake for the stereotype even though we all know she meant brioche.

So drop your kimono over your underskirt, scoop the collar around your shoulders, add lace if you wish to be more modest, wrap round a corset, add wig and accessories and your done.

Fancy shoes, gloves or adding a obi in a big bow will only make you more fabulous!

Adding a cameo and lace to the front of some plain shoes is cool, and something I shall do eventually, for now my sugar pink poodle shoes are fancy enough! This outfit is a project that needs a while to complete.

Frivolity is what Marie was all about, or so we are lead to believe. Unfortunately, frivolity is not on the cards for me in 2011 so this will be another slow growing project. It started last spring and I only really need to get the accessories.

Maybe time to sell on a few more bits to fund the project 🙂

Christmas Furisode Ensemble!

Outfit planning here! So Christmas day at my sister is going to be a kimono day, and boxing day at my mums is going to be a rockabilly day.

As this is a kimono blog, I will just give you a picture of the rockabilly style outfit and not bother to explain! This is from (photo copyright Miss Fortune © 2007 and also I really recommend the Scarlett fever jumpers) and the large sizes fit a small size 14 perfectly. I am going to get a cherry dress in the new year if they don’t sell out depending on how much xmas money I get :).

So to the KIMONO! Christmas day is a special day and because we shall have the aunties from both sides and my sisters family also I thought I would go with my favourite decorative furisode.

$40 Furisode!

This furisode has enough splendour and detail to keep the aunts intrigued and its a wonderful purple. Now, my collection lacks accessories. Something I want to solve but sadly, not in the next 12 months. Obi, obijime and obiage are my weaknesses. However, I do have a plainish gold, plain silver and white obi’s so they can go with pretty much ANYTHING! Which is why I have them. As I want a richness I will be donning my new favourite gold obi that cost around $6!
Yellow Gold Nagoya
It has very slight green, orange and purple tints so its perfect for this kimono. Now to the obiage and obijime. No pictures but I have chosen a lime green obiage, as the only other colours that would match that I have are purple and canary yellow. Both of which would dissipate and not pop out. So lime green it is and I have a matching obijime but also an orange one left out just incase it needs more on the day.

So now I am wondering about footwear. I was going to wear my heels but with all this snow? Zori or heels don’t really feel as thought they will survive (or I will survive) so it might have to be my purple and blue iron fist fug boots.

New Kimono Boots for long, wet and cold KDJ days...

So in essence, that’s my outfit. I only have one furisode juban and it already has a shibori print dark purple haneri sewn in so that’s what I will wear 🙂

I hope there will more some more kimono worn for Christmas day, and if your reading and not, please re-consider!

Clubbing Kitsuke for Heresy and Heelz

Outfit for Halloween. Red furisode, red n black obi and wig.Heresy and Heelz is coming up and I need to think kitsuke for the event. As its the last one of the year I think furisode is in order. Last time I went out in furisode I was sweltering (see main picture)…the shiro nuri didn’t help. However, that was Halloween and this is just a burlesque event.

So I was thinking of still wearing this furisode but instead of a full juban, just my hadajuban top to protect the kimono and an easy collar in polka dot black and white. No shiro nuri though as its too geisha, and I am just going as a girl in kimono and corset.
An 80's furisode which will become my queen of hearts piece..
I am going to wear my corset and cover it with my obiage as the main picture again as I liked that effect. It disguises the fact I have a corset on so I just look thinner 🙂

People said I was too ‘red’ on Halloween but with my normal black hair (re-dyed) and my favourite red/gold/black fukuro obi I think I will be OK.

Halloween at Eddies was a total bust as there was no alcohol (and it was the only night in 6 months that I had not driven clubbing so could drink) so I don’t think this outfit got a good enough boogie and I love red furisode as they are so show stopping.

My girls Lexi and Kerry are joining me and we are having our mini Christmas too like we have every year. I still need to formulate my Marie Antoinette kimono outfit but decided the kakeshita I chose for it was just too bulky and hot for clubbing, as it is covered in embroidery. I might change my mind though when I finally get myself a massive net underskirt.