The perfect sundress – 格好のサンドレス

Summer is lovely, isn’t it? Great weather, great food, great occasions to spend time with friends, and great clothes. Before The Year in Kimono project– summer clothes always meant ‘sundresses’ to me. That single, lightweight garment, usually good for day or night, that you could just throw on and go. And I’m happy to find that a yukata is almost like that too. No socks, no padding, no nagajuban! It’s bliss! Of course, the padding is still supposed to be there, but what would summer be without breaking the rules just a little.


And I can see why Japanese women like yukata. Given how hot the summer sun is in Japan, and how prone it is to leaving sunspots, Japanese women often cover all exposed skin from the sun – which is exactly what a yukata does. Arms – covered, legs – covered, chest – covered!  The only parts not covered by a yukata are: the tops of the feet – but they are usually protected by the shadow of the yukata, and the face.. but for that you can use a parasol. So if it was merely for fashion…. which look would you prefer?



Yukata, finally - やっと浴衣!!

I'm back from my vacation in Vietnam. It was so much fun ! We had such a lovely time and enjoyed the food, the people and the culture. And although I didn't wear kimono - I did see kimono while I was there... in this ad!


I've been struggling with my yukata search for a while, now. They are either too short or they fit 'just right' but I was warned they might shrink after the first washing. So, in desperation, late one night night I turned to the internet. After all, it had been successful for me with the zōri (traditonal kimono shoes), so why not with yukata? I was so excited - I found a company, with an English website, they had LL size yukatas, in cute patterns and for only about 4,000 yen ($45 USD). So I ordered one! It arrived after only 3 days, but arghhh - it is too short!


Then a friend offered to take me to a store they knew, in Shimokitazawa, and finally I found my yukata! The summer is in it's fullest, hottest wave and I finally have a yukata!!



The half-way point - 中間点

How fast the times flies (when you're having fun)! I can't believe that I have reached the half-way point for The Year in Kimono! I'm about to take a little vacation (I'm off to Vietnam, and no - kimono is not in my suitcase... if Canada had trouble understanding, I don't think Vietnam would fare much better). While I leave you for two weeks - enjoy this recap of the adventure thus far:


Breaking the Rules - ルールを破る:

What started the 'breaking the rules' theme from the very beginning was lack of proper shoes. With less than 2 weeks from idea to go - I didn't have time to start the project with proper footwear, and thus... I started my first appearance in kimono already breaking the rules.


A/r/e/c/o/l/e magazine - アレコレ雑誌:

Just a month after the project began, A/r/e/c/o/l/e magazine contacted me and asked me to contribute content in their segment dedicated to bloggers - in Japanese! This meant The Year in Kimono project was read by Japanese kimono aficionados before we even started to get noticed by English readers and press. Look for The Year in Kimono in Volumes 69-71.


Kimono School - 着物学校:

I was a little shocked when I first learned that the typical kitsuke (kimono wearing) course is 6 months(!!) - but it turned out to be one of the most cherished and fond memories I have of the project thus far.


This is mostly due to my lovely teachers at Hakubi Kimono School. Always patient and kind, they are my sartorial inspirations for this project - thank you!


The Translators - 翻訳者:

It was extremely important to me from day one to make this project bilingual (even though my Japanese level is low) so none of this would be possible without the translators! Thank you to Elie Yoo (Dec.-Feb.) and Chiyono Jaeger (Mar.-Jun. including the a/r/e/c/o/l/e submissions) for adding your Japanese words and voice to the first half of this project!


I'll be back in July - in the meantime, enjoy the blog and reading about The Year in Kimono - the first half.

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