It’s 2019~! Happy new year to all of the sweet princes and princesses that visit the Kawaii Palace~ The new year is a very important holiday in Japan. Shrines are visited in traditional formal wear to ask for blessings and luck in the coming year…and the beautiful and timeless kimono is the clothing of choice for this occasion! While there are customs to follow when wearing such garments full of history, it’s exciting to experiment with your look to create something new! Are you looking to try wearing kimono to celebrate the new year? Here are a few ideas of how to incorporate modern-day styling into your traditional kimono outfit~
Choose a unique print
Flowers, leaves, and cranes are often depicted on the flowing fabrics of traditional kimono…but if you’re feeling flashy, why not try a more modern print? Even though this fashion has been around for centuries, the sky is the limit when it comes to the design of the textile! Modern fashion designers have interpreted kimono in countless ways, that it’s just a matter of finding one that suits your personal tastes. Do you prefer a chic and simple look, or something kitschy and colorful? Think of your own aesthetic and personality when shopping for kimono, and find something that truly compliments you!
It’s All About Layering
The kimono is made up of many layers–to an underlayer called “Nagajuban“ that acts as underwear to protect the expensive kimono from touching the skin, to the thick “obi“ belt that creates the ribbon in the back of the kimono that holds all of the layers together. Pay careful attention to each piece that goes into creating a full kimono outfit–Instead of buying a matching kimono and obi set, why not find a one-of-a-kind obi that will stand out from the crowd? Creating a pop of color or change of print in your coordinate will make a huge difference in your overall look! A good tip for balancing colors and prints in your outfit is to study the colors in the print of the kimono you’ll be wearing…is there hints of a smaller color within the textile? Maybe the pink of a flower petal, or dashes of white in falling waves? Pick that color to the be accent color in your obi or accessories so that your outfit will have perfect balance!
Enjoy The Tiny Details
There are small accessories that can be pinned or tied onto kimono to really make your outfit shine! An “obijime” belt, which is a braided string or fabric cord that helps keep the obi in place, comes in so many different colors and with added decorations, that it’s important to choose one that fits the color scheme and mood of your coordinate. A classic look needs an elegant cord with simple decorations like tassels, but a playful look can use a fabric one made with unconventional materials, like lace! There are even “obidome” sash clips that can be pinned onto the obi for extra kawaii appeal~!
Experiment with accessories
While typical kimono looks are often paired with traditional zori shoes and kanzashi hair ornaments, it doesn’t hurt to try other kinds of accessories with kimono as well! It can be so elegant to pair a gorgeous kimono with vintage accessories, like old-fashioned hats and gloves. Or you could go for a gyaru aesthetic and pair it with flashy jeweled heels and big, curled hair! Even simple silk flowers in a chic updo with a simple patent leather high-heels would add high-fashion flair. Choose accessories that compliment the aesthetic of your kimono and let your personality shine!
Combine Kimono With Another Fashion
Are you a fan of any other Japanese fashion styles? Why not try to mix and match your favorite style with kimono? If you enjoy the princess-like style of lolita fashion, try pairing accessories like headdresses, bonnets, and shoes by your favorite lolita brand (like Baby The Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty, or Innocent World) with your kimono. The dolly-like style combined with the historical look of kimono oozes old-fashioned elegance, with a hint of fantasy~
Switching out the kimono’s obi for a corset is an interesting silhouette choice that mimics the traditional shape, but is totally fantastical! You can style it in either a gothic or steampunk way, depending on the look and materials used for the corset. You can hang gorgeous chains, lace, or small accessories like pocketwatches from the corset to elevate your look!
Maybe you’d prefer to wear trendy street-wear, but still want to celebrate the New Year in some sort of traditional fashion? Why not pair a piece of kimono or traditional clothing with casual clothing to create something totally hip! Haori coats or even an opened kimono create a baggy silhouette that can be either urban or avant-garde, depending on the wearer. Experiment and create a totally new fashion that’s unique to you~!
What do you think about these modern styling tips for kimono? Would you like to try to wear kimono yourself? Leave a comment below with what you think! Until next time~~