27 November 2012

Why I love Kimono - Reason 5

Now my next reason for liking kimono has it up side as well as it down side.

I love the fact that I don't have to wash them!  I have over 20 kimono and not one of them have been cleaned.  Granted I haven't worn them much so the chances of them getting dirty is very low and whenever I wear them I am careful not to drop my dinner on them.  However whenever I wear a white shirt I have to wash it after a couple of wears because of the collars.

In addition, when you wear a kimono, you always have at least two or three layers underneath which will prevent sweat from getting to your kimono.

There is a good reason why you can't wash kimono especially the silk ones.  First the dyes used are not fixed so as soon as water touches it, they could run!  This is not good if you have something like this!

I hate to think what this would look like if the orange ran.

And secondly, although the outer layer of the kimono maybe polyester sometimes they use silk lining!  This is actually very annoying when you brought a kimono which you want to be washable.

This kimono I know is polyester but I am pretty sure the lining is silk.  Oh well so long as I can't see the dirt on the outside I don't care.

Of course in saying I don't have to wash kimono does sound like I am a mucky thing (which I am not by the way!)

20 November 2012

Why I love Kimono - Reason 4

I am one of those people who will only buy another new clothes if it fits into my existing wardrobe.  I am not talking about physically fitting in my wardrobe, if I want something to fit into my wardrobe I will always find space.

No I am talking about mixing and matching my clothes.  There is nothing worse then finding out that you have  a top that does not go with anything in your wardrobe.  Which means you have to go out and buy something else so you can wear it.

Originally I started buying kimono without considering my fundamental rule because I never thought I will be wearing them outside.  I am live in the UK and it is cold!

However now I love wearing my kimono with my western wardrobe and whenever I go shopping I lookout for items which I can wear with my kimono and western clothes.

My latest co-ordination was for the Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono.

Rather then wearing a juban under the kimono, I opted for a shirt, tie and black full length skirt.  It was very comfortable and if I have to say, very chic!

Another way of adding a western touch to a kimono outfit is with shoes!

My favourite shoes are my boots!  They are comfortable and in the UK they are perfect for wet and cold weather.

Here are my white boots which are actually my wedding shoes.  I really should wear them again.

Then there is the outer wear.  You can not go out in the winter without a coat (well cape in this case), scarf and gloves.

So much choice and so much possibility!  This is my reason for loving kimono ^_^.

12 November 2012

Why I love Kimono - Reason 3

I'm one of those sort of people who wears what suits my body shape.  If fashion just happens to coincide with what I like then all the better but most of the time I just buy what takes my fancy.

As such I have a habit of buying clothes in different colours but with the same basic shape because I know it will work and this is why I love kimono.  I can buy different colours and patterns but not worry about size.

If I buy kimono with measurements that will fit me and I like the look of it then I can buy it without worrying about it.

Happily, I am only 5'2'' which means a lot of second hand kimono will fit me however this is very bad for ones wallet.

Just look at the three kimono below.  These kimono are exactly the same expect the fact there is three different colours and as such I knew I could wear the kimono. Well so long as I can coordinate it.

The blue one I wore way back in 2011 and I wore it with a pale yellow obi with a winter flower.

The green one I wore for the Christmas 2011 KDJ in Birmingham.  I thought green would be a great colour for Christmas.

And the pink one was the kimono I wore for the first KDJ UK!  Happy memories!

6 November 2012

Shoes for Kimono!

There are certain obstacles one needs to get over when they are wearing kimono in the UK.

One of those obstacles is footwear.  The UK is not known for its warm weather that is suitable for zori and geta.  Even when one is wearing tabi it is still cold and if one is walking about a lot then you will feel the pain.

Not that I don't like wearing zori, there are many advantages to wearing them like being able to slip them off when you are in a restaurant and give your feet a rest without looking too slobbish.  

However sometimes you want to wear proper shoes especially when it is cold.  My current favourite is my CAT tan boots.

When it looks like it is about to rain, these are the shoes that I grab when I wear kimono as they seem to go with a lot of my kimono.

I even wore them when I appeared on TV.  I love them!

However these are not the only shoes I would wear with kimono.  I do have a pair of lovely white boots with stiletto heels as well.  I have only worn them once because I can't walk very far in them but they are gorgeous.    

Then it got me thinking what other shoes would I love to wear with kimono? 

Lately I have been thinking of getting a pair of retro style shoes like Mary Janes or T-bar shoes because I have a feeling they would look really cute!

Deva Dolly by Clarks
This pair I have actually tried on and they are very comfy.  Not sure about the patent leather because although I love the shine of it and they look funky they will make coordinating tricky!

Then there are these ones!
Sherbourne by Van Dal
Again in patent leather (hmmm I think my sub conscience is telling me something) but this shoe is a lace up!  I have not tried these one on but I know the brand is very good so they should be fine for me.

Or how about these!

23 Skidoo by American Duchess
I love the look of them and I know these will go lovely with a white, orange and gold yabana kimono that I want to wear again!  I can also imagine wearing them with other elements of my wardrobe so a good all rounder shoe I think.

And at this moment American Duchess are holding giveaway for a pair of 23 Skidoo!  For full details you can follow the link below!

I think I will enter just in case!

5 November 2012

Why I love Kimono - Reason 2

Since I was 18, I have been bouncing around the UK.  Living in cities and towns for no more then 2-3 years and as such, I have gotten pretty good at packing.  

One of the things I spend most of my time packing is my clothes.  Everything has to be fold neatly so that when they arrived at their new location I can just hang them out or place them into draws without messing about.

And since kimono are stored all nicely folded, it makes moving them really easy and this is another reason why I love them!

Okay it is a weird reason for liking kimono but for a neat-freak like me kimono are perfect for someone who like to efficiently pack their wardrobe. Why???? So I can buy more kimono and clothes of course!

This is where the majority of my collection is living at the moment and when I move again, I will simply need to take them into the van.

If you are wondering why they are left stack in my lounge well that is because my husband is using the boxes as a standup table for when he is thinking about maths.  Which is fine by me as it make coordinating outfits easy.

Kanzashi bouquet - part 3

As soon as I have started a bouquet I get crafter's block!

Last week I had this in my hand.

It was pretty but it need something else.......maybe more flowers and made in a different colour as well.

Well I settled for teal because it is the one colour that went well with the dark navy blue that I had.  Then my mind went blank!

How was I going to decorate the bottom of the bouquet?  I didn't want to use lace as I didn't want to introduce another fabric into the bouquet and I really wanted to use the same white organza that I used to make the little dainty white flowers.  But how was I going to do it?

This sat in my mind for 3 days and it was very annoying.  I want it to be light and fluffy to contrast against the bold kiku that I made but everything I tried just didn't work for me.  Not fluffy and stiff enough for my liking but then yesterday it struck me!  Why not try some musubi folding techniques?

I spent so much time learning how to tie my obi that something must be suitable for finishing my bouquet and it came to me, make a series of round petal folds with the organza and voila!  

Well I am glad to report that it worked and here is the result.

I rearranged the original bouquet I found the rotational symmetry was not pleasing to the eye.  Normally a certain amount of symmetry is attractive but since all the flowers I made are all symmetric, I didn't want the bouquet arrangement to be the same.

A little bit of asymmetry adds a little bit of excitement.

I am also happy with the size as well, it is a nice round bouquet which will sit nicely in a bride's hands.

Here you can see how the organza round petals nestle the bouquet.  It makes the bouquet look softer.

And I can't resist a closeup of the flowers.  

This bouquet will be appearing in my etsy shop very soon and it is a truly one off piece. The chances of finding another scarf like this one is going to be impossible so whoever buys it will be acquiring a unique kanzashi bouquet.  I think I will be pricing it around the $300 if you are interested.