Ro, Ro, Ro your boat, gently down the stream….

Ro HitoeI didn’t misspell row. Its a play on a gauze like summer kimono material! I have finally uploaded my Ro collection to flickr and just wanted to show you.

On my right is a lovely lilac Ro hitoe kimono which I got for a stupidly low price on auction. The featured image was the same, below $10. I do wonder about lighter colours so this was a bit of an impulse bid.

I have two ro obi but no ro obiage or obijime which I will fix at some point but I am not going to worry too much about it. I will probably go for for a cream colour in both or a very neutral colour so I only need to have one set.

It doesn’t get that hot in the UK and yukata are fun and cheaper to accessorise. They are also a lot easier to get 🙂

My first kimono was a yukata and pre-tied obi, they are easy to learn kitsuke in. My first awase kimono was synthetic as I was too worried about the expense, condition and fragility of vintage silk kimono. Long gone are those days 🙂

Kitacon here we come! 1st-3rd April 2011

Oh dear, well they have let us have two tables so Lyuba, Hong, Isla, April and myself will be dressing people in gorgeous kimono and taking photos for a price. We have not sorted the details yet but I will make you aware of them in the coming future.

So if you are one of those lucky 800 people going to Kitacon in Birmingham – come and be dressed in wonderful kimono and have your picture taken! We will only be able to dress two bodies at a time and we will be showing off male AND female kitsuke.

We shall also be selling bits and bobs from our own collections so its a great chance to shop.

If you don’t want to be dressed up or buy anything but are still interested in the world of kimono please come and talk to us. We might be able to help you find the perfect cosplay kimono, we are a WEALTH of kimono related information. We are fanatical you know 🙂

Customs charging hell….

I hate customs charges, but buying from abroad does incur them but they invariably get it wrong. Charging used clothing (about 5% charge) as new clothing (12%) charge and you NEVER have a come back for it. I have tried before but you might as well ask the Queen.

My last kimono parcel for the next 12 months has been marred by an inaccurate hideous charge. I work out charges normally using this: http://www.dutycalculator.com/ because when they do catch you (and lets face it is not all the time so I should not complain) it helps you understand what you have to pay. Royal mail charge about a £12 processing fee, Parcelforce charge about £8.

However in classic bumbling they have charged the ‘new clothing’ rate to a load of ‘vintage’ clothing. It says vintage/used on the parcel in ENGLISH but they don’t seem to be able to read,due to the problems with illiteracy in the UK I am not surprised to be honest.

Fortunately these kimono are a business venture (rental) so it will count against tax so I almost ‘get back’ 20% of the cost, which off sets the customs charge in the end. But not now, right before Christmas with more presents to buy.

Well that’s MY rant over, no wonder business hates to import stuff to sell and set up warehouses abroad. The government needs to help business import so we can export because the last government killed any manufacturing in the UK we don’t make anything here any more 🙁

In the states you can import up to $200 for personal use before you pay taxes, in the UK we can have something costing £37 (this must include shipping costs) to not incur a charge.

One of the main reasons I am not going to buy anything from abroad next year is due to the VAT rising. I imagine import duties will rise also as the government tries to keep the money circulating in the UK. This is a double edged sword, good in some respects (keeps the money in the UK and in my bank account) bad in others (I, like many others will just stop spending next year).

On the upside, now I am down from my soap box…I have tomorrow off 🙂

Summer Ro Kimono Hunting

For the summer and holiday I am in need of Ro kimono. However, I am a bit restricted as I already have two Ro obi and I am damned if I am buying any more. One is cream with orange the the other a wonderful minty green with red.

However Rakuten comes to the rescue by showing me some cool looking black based synthetic Ro weave Komon for around £30, so when money permits (probably after I have paid for said holiday) I shall get myself two. I will probably take one yukata and one Ro ensemble for holiday and the rest being my dresses and things. I now keep re-using holiday stuff as its such a waste of money buying the latest fashion, its not like I follow it anyway!

I have one lilac Ro Komon and also an light blue Ro Tsukesage kimono but I don’t like the condition. Unless I can improve it it will end up on the scrap heap, I hate it when sellers hide stains.

I am assuming based on this years weather that I will only need 2 maybe 3 Ro ensembles for kimono de jack as I imagine we shall have a festival type meeting where yukata will be worn.

Ro kimono on eBay hit hideous prices ($70-$100) and you can get more for you money with a synth Ro kimono, and due to the nature of wearing Ro – you are more likely to sweat or get your ice lolly down it 🙂

Breaking in Zori..ouch

OK, well I brought some really cheap silver 25cm tabi with plastic bottoms from Rakuten (£30 with EMS shipping inc) and I am currently wearing them round the office to break them in. A week walking round the office in them should do the trick and make them comfortable. I am hoping anyway as they are plastic and  ‘Primark’ quality but when the pricing for 25cm zori is so high and the UK pavements so unforgiving..I am inclined to be cheap 🙂

The ones in the picture are my more expensive zori that are a 25.5cm (a tad too big in Japanese terms, the ‘right size’ in European terms) but as I can only wear them with black and red kimono I chose some cheap silver zori as they will match pretty much everything.

I really wanted these ones :https://www.ichiroya.com/item/list2/134859/ but $80 then shipping…just a little too high for me and trudging on knackered tarmac.

However these cheap ‘n’ cheerful zori are already starting the stretch and mould after just a morning so I have high hopes for their comfy-ness factor!

Why I am broke…

I wanted to test out a store on Rakuten for quality and service as I really love and want all of their stuff so I brought this red polkadot juban with detachable collar. It will be landing this week after a three week delay and the shipping was too expensive. Even for EMS. So this simple and on sale juban set me back £43. I don’t think I have ever paid that much for a juban 🙁

I should follow my own rules and ask about shipping price before purchase and not get excited. I might still buy more from this store but I will ask the shipping price before any purchase.

*Rakuten shipping price is added after the purchase is made and 9 times out of 10 it is reasonable and expected.

It’s cold and raining – Winter for Kimono De Jack

Well, it rained on the first kimono de jack and the weather is getting colder. So the next “KDJ” on the 13th of November needs to be catered for. EMS shipping is the only way to get your winter kimono warmers before that date!

So, what do we need:

1. Rain Geta

It rains in the UK and getting wet tabi is no fun. When searching for any kimono item it is best to first navigate straight to the Rakuten kimono page :http://event.rakuten.co.jp/borderless/kimono/ and use the ‘Japanese sandals’ section in ‘Kimono items by Category’.

The kanji is already inserted for you but we need to add to this. I will add the kanji ‘for rain’


(All kanji will be included in a pdf at the end of this post so you can copy and paste)

Now the search results will show waterproof coverings and rain geta. A UK size 7 is best to get a 25cm or large pair, but measure the length of your foot to make sure. Geta and Zori sizes differ from western so take heed of the measurements provided. A pair of Zori roughly weigh 300g so expect the shipping to be £11/12.

2. AMA or Kimono Rain Coat

To find this we are going to use the ‘for rain’ kanji again, but this time directly in the kimono category:

and you will find an array of colours and styles. Rain coats are very light normally so will come up at about 200-300g for shipping.

3. Kimono Shawl

Finding kimono shawls is also super easy, by just using the kanji for shawl in the main kimono category.

and you get an array of items from fluffy to regular shawls.

So there you have it, easy as pie to find winter kimono goods to keep you warm and dry in the great British weather!

And just to promote Kimono De Jack UK again, here are some shots!

Kanji: here

Geishaface Kitsuke, Kimono, Life

I started this blog because I have a terrible need to talk about kimono. I don’t care if you are listening or not, its my obsession. A friend of mine recently described me as a 30 year old that thinks she’s Geisha (and she was a 30 year old who thinks she is a sailor, but that’s another story) so this is my outlet.

I started my love of kimonos at the age of 18, but it didn’t really manifest itself into an obsession until 2 years ago.

Now I have over 70 kimono.

I know most of the kimono rules, but for me kimono is fashion so you will see me mixing formalities, flouting the rules and adding a gothic/loli/cyber twist to ensembles.

Enjoy, and comment if you have the urge