ISEYOSHI for global fans

2018年3月24日 (土)

Kimono is about KI; vitality.

It seems kimono is closer to our life now, seeing more people wearing yukata than 10 years ago. However, it has been altered to a very different thing from that of 15 years ago. 

With aging of craftsmen and shortage of successors, many areas discontinued production of kimono and obi. Instead, foreign products, printed kimono (versus hand-dyed), and Japanese yet cost-driven products became the mainstream merchandise in the market.

I will write about what I found out in a series of posts.

  Kimono, in essence, is a fabric to wear. Now it has become a lofty model that you have to go to classes to learn and acquire knowledge of how to wear it from teachers. Furthermore, you need to mind small creases when you are wearing it like a model or actress in magazines. It requires painstaking effort and time just to wear, as if you have one of very special days of a lifetime. 

Kimono is about your Ki, your vitality. It is about to enjoy and feel comfortable in it. When your mind is ready, what you miss in way of dressing will show as your character. That is what makes you attractive, cute, and approachable. If you disregard your heart, or mind, and are obsessed with the dressing mannerism, kimono turns into a haughty costume lacking elegance.        



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2016年6月22日 (水)

2016 Nagajuban with lace details

We prepared laced nagajuban for 2016. The garment is yokuryu (striped crepe), suitable for both summer and winter to be worn under daily kimono (tsumugi, cotton, linen and komon). Please select delicate wash mode in home washing machine.  No need to iron. We believe you find it very conveninent you can wash it after worn. This is exclusively from Iseyoshi. JPY21,600.

Please see the product page of 2016 laced nagajuban (for summer and winter)↓
Medium size 28年版レース長襦袢【夏冬兼用】(M)

Large size    28年版レース長襦袢【夏冬兼用】(L)





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2016年5月27日 (金)

Iseyoshi kimono featured in the magazine ’Figaro Japon’




Silk yukata with a chic han-haba obi of sha textile is a charming casual kimono style for an adult. If you wear it with a yellow ro tsudure (thin silk gauze) obi, you are ready for dinner with your husband or friends. Coordinated with kaku obi, the kimono is for men. 

Yellow tsukesage komon above is shown with cobalt blue ro shioze obi of gold foil and embroidery. In this elegant style, we recommend for occasions such as dinner at hotel or theatergoing. If you wear the kimono with fukuro obi, it is classic enough to attend a wedding party. This kimono fits a broad range of age, starting from 20s with vermilion-color obi to 60s with more subdued-color obi!

続きを読む "Iseyoshi kimono featured in the magazine ’Figaro Japon’"

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2016年3月11日 (金)

A boy born in the year of the snake. Scale pattern kimono for Omiyamairi is retailored for Shichigosan.

Iseyoshi tailored kimono in scale pattern for a boy born in the year of the snake for Omiyamairi (the first visit of a baby to shrine), and later on retailored for Shichigosan (Seven, five, and three year-old ceremony). 5 crests are embroidered on the fabric. Nowadays more people prepare the first kimono for their children at Shichigosan (Seven, five and three-year old ceremony), but Omiyamairi should be the start. Girls' kimono are retailored at three-year old celebration, and kimono prepared at seven years old can be worn throughout teenage years. Many people rent kimono for such occasions recently, but kimono is intrinsically meant to be worn at time and again to mark milestones in hopes for a child to grow with healthy body and mind. 

When the child is grown up, the kimono stirs gratefulness in him to his parents and grandparents who prepared it for him. A rental kimono just for a commemorative photograph superficially follows our traditional ceremonies and not serving the purpose. If you have a budget, Iseyoshi is happy to hear your requests to tailor kimono for the baby comparable to rental kimono price.   


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2016年2月25日 (木)

 The 1st secret furisode party for adults in Ginza at cerise, Conrad Tokyo

We don't have to be afraid! Adults can wear furisode. Women at any age look fabulous in authentic furisode.  If you are not sure of a style of furisode you want to consider for your daughter, authentic style created by skilled artisans is the answer for it can be worn in various occasions such as coming-of-age ceremony, new year, the first tea ceremony of a year, commencement ceremony, wedding parties of friends, second dress for her own wedding, and even well over 20s.

Furisode works a magic to all women and so it did to us too. We enjoyed cross-generation girl talk helped by furisode that we all should have fun regardless of roles, a mother, a wife, so on. In the party we came up with a great phrase "Woman is about tying obi": Obi surpasses even a most gorgeous dress in giving us a sense of dignity and elegance. It surely was an uplifting day of many discoveries about furisode which I did not find when I was 20.





続きを読む " The 1st secret furisode party for adults in Ginza at cerise, Conrad Tokyo"

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2016年2月13日 (土)

24 solar terms and kimono: Risshun to Usui

Risshun / start of spring, February 4

The start of new year season. Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 315.  Energy of spring arises (excerpt from the Handbook of Calendar.) Spring starts on this day to the day before Rikka. It is still cold in this season but days get longer each day, and plums start to blossom in warm areas in Kyushu and coastal areas along the Pacific. 


Komon in red plum flower color with golden-colored light, and woven Nagoya obi with snowcapped camelia flowers

Usui / rain water, February 19

Month of new year in Japanese traditional calendar (Mutsuki). Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 330. Energy of the Sun emanates. Snow and ice starts to melt and more rain than snow. The first spring winds blow, and we start to hear Japanese bush warbler sings in southern areas of Kyushu. 


Peach-colored komon with motifs of four seasons and some obi (obi with dyed motif) of Edo Yuzen dolls for Girls' day

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2016年1月26日 (火)

Actress Rieko-san for interview and lesson on how to wear kimono

Rieko Miura, an actress, came to Iseyoshi for interview on "Mainichi Kirei," in which she offers series of articles on her experience and lessons for "beauty life" in various aspects.

Episode 83: Let's go out in kimono! Interview with Mie Chitani, GInza Iseyoshi

Episode 84: Kimono is about finding your own style. Lesson on wearing kimono by Mie-san

(Articles available in Japanese only.)

Rieko-san is very slim, but she used only one towel around her torso in pictures below. She sometimes gets dressed in kimono in business occasions, but said self-dressed kimono is especially comfortable.

I also gave her small tips on postures in real life situations, not a still pose like being photographed for magazines. Rieko-san is amazingly diligent. She came back to Iseyoshi for more lessons! And she practiced what she learned on the day after going home. I learned a great lesson from her, too


























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2016年1月12日 (火)

Nao-san in maple leaf-motif komon and chrysanthemum obi

I received a delightful message from Nao-san!

A komon kimono with maple leaf motif is what she selected to tailor as a reward for her hard work in the year.


There are many colors and shades of navy. This navy color has elegance and decency, not too bright or too dull.  Maple leaves in gradations of green and pink are as if swaying in the air and instantly I fell in love with this kimono.

I have a fulltime work at IT company which keeps me busy, but on my birthday in December I decided to leave office earlier than usual to get dressed in kimono for a dinner.

As it was a special dinner, I wore fukuro obi of Yamaguchi Bijutsu in chrythansemum flower design. I am still a novice in kimono dressing, but this obi was so easy to tie and wear, and also beautifully matched the navy kimono. With Daifuku bag, I am in the Iseyoshi-style from head to toe!

I found myself on the birthday feeling bright and happy in my favorite kimono, an elegance in style. 



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2015年12月20日 (日)

Edo Komon in various patterns

Keman-suji: Hair-like thin stripes


Goku-keman-suji: Extra thin stripes


Ippondokko keman-suji: Single proned vajra with hair-like thin stripes


Man-suji yoroke: Fine stripes with wavy lines


Yoroke-jima: Wavy stripes


Uzumaki: Swirls


Goku goku gyougi: Extra fine gyogi (dots plotted on 45 degrees, as the polite degree of bowing)


Goku gyogi: Fine gyogi


Tsubu daiya nishoku gyogi: Diamond grain two-color gyogi


Gyogi katayose bokashi: Vertically shaded gyogi


Arare: Hailstone


Goku goku daisho arare: Extra fine large and small arare


Goku daisho arare: Fine large and small arare


Goku keman 45hon renshi goushi: Hair-like fine 45 lines in lattice


Gorin kaku goushi: 5-rin cubic lattice


Genji-ko: Genji-ko (incense) style motif


Same: Shark


Goku same and Edo gangu tobiiri: Fine shark pattern with Edo-style toys



Yon-shoku tooshi: Lined dots of 4 colors


Waka matsuba: Young pine leaves


Jiochi matsuba: Pine leaves on ground


Hi fu mi gara: Numeric letters, one , two and three


Kiribori modan-ryu sentori: Gimlet-carved modern style lines


Hyotan: gourd


Kiribori mizudori: GImlet-carved water bird


Daikon oroshi: Grated japanese radish


Takeshima (for Obi): Bamboo stripe


Takeshima ni koh no zu: Bamboo stripe and incense motif


Takeshima ni shochikubai: Bamboo stripe and pine, bamboo and plum branches




Takeshima ni yukiwa: Takeshima and snow ring (snow flake hexagon)


Oohawa ichimatsu-dori: Large flowers in checked pattern


Kawari ichimatsu: Checked pattern in variation


Kamishimo komon: Komon for formal costume for the samurai class in Edo period

Omeshi-jyu for Tokugawa Shogunate family, :Matsuba (pine leaves) for Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Kiku-bishi (diamond-shaped chrysanthemum) for Kaga maeda family, Daisho arare (large and small hailstones) for Satsuma Shimazu family, Gokuzame (extra fine shark pattern) for Kishu Chunagon family, Umehachi for Higo Hosokawa family, Arare (hailstones) for Aki Asano family, Goma (sesame) for Higo Maeda family, Seigaiha (Blue sea waves) for Tosa Yamauchi family, Tooshi (lined dots) for Shinano Toda family, Takeda-bishi (Takeda-style diamond shape) for Kai Takeda family, Yji-gawa (Uji river) for Sasaki Takatsuna




Omeshiju (on tsumugi fabric)




Takeda-bishi (on tsumugi fabric)




Ume-bachi: Plumeflower basin


Hyakudan yokotobi



Edo komon niju-issen kiretori: 21 kinds of Edo komon in cut-out pattern


Nihyakugoju-sshu kiribori: 250 kinds of gimlet carved patterns



Kisho mon: Rare patterns


Edo komon yon-dan kawari waritori, Shochikubai: Variations of Edo komon in 4 sections, pine, bamboo and plum



Susuki wari-tsuke: Japanese pampas grass in sections


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2015年8月18日 (火)

Furisode for three ladies of a family


The daughter came to Iseyoshi to select tsukesage or homongi for the accreditation ceremony of master in Japanese dance. She already had her coming of age ceremony, but her eyes were drawn to the furisode above in white. Red and white (seki-byaku) represent auspicious colors with rich propitious motifs -  seven treasures for connectedness and expansion, pine: matsu for evergreen, longevity, a seat of god and 'matsu'ru meaning enshrine, bamboo for abundant energy of life, plum as innocent flowers to blossom in the start of a year enduring the cold weather, and crane for longevity.  As they were looking her younger sister found hurisode matching well with her, which depicted pine, bamboo and plum with crests of waves (famous for prints by Katsushika Hokusai) in navy.  The mother selected furisode in pine motif on chayatsuji-design (design of a palace in formal style) which can be worn as homongi with sleeves shortened in future. 

Many people think furisode is good until 20 years old, but there are lots of occasions to wear furisode after the coming of age, such as a graduation ceremony, attending wedding ceremonies, parties in new year, first tea ceremony of new year, going to kabuki performance, and as a second dress of her own wedding party. Eventually furisode can be re-tailored as homongi or passed on to her daughter. (Owning furisode will bring more invitations to these occasions I myself had so many events to wear my furisode in my 20's to nearly wear out the piece...)   

On Feb. 13(Sat.) after the coming of age day ceremony in 2016, Iseyoshi is planning to host "Finally, the coming of age party for adults in Ginza". If you have a quality furisode, you will look gorgeous in it after growing out of 20 years old. Don't put it away in the back of your closet!









続きを読む "Furisode for three ladies of a family"

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2015年7月 4日 (土)

Art exhibition of Iseyoshi ancestors at Nara National Museum



Img_2135_2_2 In June National Nara Art Museum held an exhibition of art works by three of my ancestors. I felt anxious and excited as I entered the museum as if to see my great grandfathers.



Img_2137_2Img_2138_2_2The exhibition highlighted works of the three artists, Shoko Kiuchi who is my great granduncle, Hanko Kiuchi, his father, and  Kihachi Kiuchi, Hanko's father (and his uncle in blood relationship). Yoshitaro Chitani, the second owner of Iseyoshi, is brother of Hanko.




Some of the displayed works included those which had been introduced only in a book in monochromatic pictures( written by Takeo Kiuchi, his son who had worked at Ueno National Museum.  I was deighted to see them finally in reality, certainly in full colors.  The works give life to wood grain, exuding energy of the wood. From the displayed sketches I sensed warth like grandfathers drawing to their grandchildren.  Kihachi crafted 6-serial guns by an order of Bakufu at the time of Perry's arrival to Japan on Kurofune (black ships). He was also a sculptor of Buddha statues and a vessel carpenter. He was such a novel person that a story was written based on his character. Hanko and Shoko were Mokugashi, wood inlaid work artists engaging in restoration and replication of Gyobutsu at Shousouin, as well as producing Bachiru. (Art works of rendering motifs on dyed surface of ivory. Carved lines to depict motifs are shown white. The technique was developed in China and then transferred to Japan in Nara period.) Mokuga is to depict motifs or patterns with inlaid wood, shell, gold, stones, etc, on wood surface.

Mokuga is the technique nearly extinct. It is not surprising because, for example, it takes 15 to 20 years to soak a piece in oxydized verdiqris in order to stablize green color.  Rebuilding of Shinto shrines has significance in itself, for a technique and tradition dies unless it is not succeeded.

As my DNA from these ancestors shows, I have a strong passion to retain the endangered Japanese kimono. (There are lots of fake kimonos including printed ones and those not made in Japan.) My ancestors seemed to frequently visit Nara to attend Gyobutsu as Shousouin. In this trip to Nara I renewed my resolution to work worthy of my descent.

続きを読む "Art exhibition of Iseyoshi ancestors at Nara National Museum"

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2015年5月 7日 (木)

How I design kimono

Motif designers are the ones who draw various designs upon my request. Pictures below are Iseyoshi original tsukesage kimono, Motif designers draw many different designs for each motif, and I choose one by one for each, rabbit, tortoise, the moon. Then I adjust orientation and decide where each motif to be placed on kimono.

How are these motifs painted and dyed? Fresh glue (not chemical glue) is stuffed in a tube, and draw the shape of animals or motifs like decorating a cake with whipped cream.  The kimono in pictures has my favorite animals and dyed with purple, my favorite color.


Cloud and tortoise


Squirrel and elephant




The moon


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2015年5月 6日 (水)

New Iseyoshi original obi

Iseyoshi's original Nagoya woven obi is well received by kimono beginners as well as regular customers for it is very easy to handle and tie.  Flower motif is very popular in kimono, and butterfly is one of best motifs to complement flowers and is a lucky charm symbolizing transformation to a beautiful being. It is applicable to any season and evokes movement. Furthermore, the butterfly obi has very particular lines  Iseyoshi can offer. Front design is a stylish checkered pattern.

After I design Iseyoshi original pieces, some of them are copied in the market. When I happen to see them in town, they don't feel as sophisticated as my design because the copied items do not copy my attitude in design. Please remember, kimono is "things (mono) of vital energy (ki)." Such copied items disturb energy of those who wear them, with or without them knowing it. Kimono reveals the beauty inside you and gives us opportunity to pursue beauty deep in ourselves.

(We have several obi of this design at price 140,000JPY excluding tax. Offered in 2 colors, white or pink textile with gold weaving. It is recommended to coordinate with kimono for June and September, too.) 






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2015年4月 6日 (月)

Flower hair accessory for a quick solution

Hair style can become a challenge when you wear kimono. It is a hassle  to go to beauty salon, but you don't like not-so-natural look of a hairpiece. Then you try to arrange your hair by yourself, it can end up taking more time than putting kimono on.

Here we have a solution. These 2 pieces are our new additions. (Price JPY10,800. each)



One with black ribbon can go with any kimono or western outfit. Beige flowers are made with rayon. This cute hair accessory fits kimono and also casual styles like T-shirt and dress.

The flower hair accessories are beautuful when seen from your front.  Organdie fabric around your face complement your style and beauty.

I will take my picture from the front next time with some makeup on


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2015年3月29日 (日)

How to coordinate stripe-pattern Kimono



If you are staying way from stripe pattern because you think it is too chic, here is a good news.


Coordinate with a cute butterfly Obi in navy, red Obijime and red tie-dye Obiage. 

This Obi has Sagara embroidery with different sizes of beads, depicting adorably cute butterflies dancing.
The cute embroidered Obi with hint of red dramatically changes the chic kimono into a charming one. The spice of a "sweet devil" is very powerful in kimono.


If matching a stripe pattern Kimono with a stripe Obi or with no pattern Obi, the person can look too chic you may feel hard to approach her.

Advance your kimono styling from matching same tonality and same taste like western wardrobe - enjoy!

*See more about the products*

Komon kimono <Wavy stripe>

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2015年3月26日 (木)

Shibori-Obiage is an elegant AND cute item

Shibori, tie-dyed fabric is what we are used to wear in childhood. At Shichigosan, the ceremony to celebrate children's healthy growth at their ages of three, five and seven years old, cute shibori vests and shibori drawstring purses are often used to accessorize the dress. At the Coming-of-Age Day celebration, so-shibori obiage, obiage of complete tie-dyeing, is classic.


Then we somehow move away from shibori...  probably because we feel it is an item for children?   

Dsc07119_2_2Shibori has a fluffy texture, making it feel so cute. Why don't we add the spice of cuteness using shibori obiage? There are many colors to choose from, as well as shapes and sizes of shibori flower motifs. Please follow your mood of the day and go with your favorite color and shape. Shibori obiage is surprisingly compatible with various styles and colors of kimono.    

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2015年2月16日 (月)

New design Obi I am working on now


Dsc06469_2This is a new obi, hand painted with dye, currently in the process of production.



Skilled artists are getting fewer and fewer. There are limited number of such artists to whom I can ask for new pieces. You see in the pictures strokes with a sense of motion. It may seem simple but it is actually very difficult to portray such a motion. Why? Because it takes the caliber and mastership to depict an uncomplicated style like this piece with just a several strokes.

Recently it is hard to find artists who take my requests unlike famous kimono artists, who typically prefer to make masterpieces like Homongi. I admire pieces which express personalities of those artists, but sometimes I also feel it is like a museum collection it does not give room to us to wear it.
The artist creating this piece listens to what I want to produce. I describe my idea of the design,the color of the fabric, colors of motifs, ways the strokes move, length and width of strokes, each short strokes around the long strokes, the color of square frame (an original motif of Iseyoshi, almost invisible, about one millimeter small,,,) etc, etc. As he listens he absorbs my intention as if he erases himself. I said to him that I want to offer this Obi to women from late 20s to 80s who are fashion-conscious and prefer simplicity. I hope the one wearing it will travel across time and space starting from Ginza.


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2015年2月12日 (木)

Navy Tsumugi Kimono matching with Nagoya Obi, Half-width Obi, Mens coat

This is a Tsumugi fabric of Hanaori (flower weaving) style for gentlemen. Men's Tsumugi can be altered to women's kimono after worn by her husband or father, here matched with ladies' Obi - Nagoya Obi and half-width Obi. Fathers of daughters, would you like to have one tailored for you and pass on to your daughter in the future? The bottom picture is with braids for men's coat. 








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2015年2月 9日 (月)

Gift wrappings with small folding paper

This is a gift wrapping style of Iseyoshi.
Small folding paper is a complementary service.


Iseyoshi "Blessing wind" towel (JPY648) and Sakura (cherry) wrapping cloth (JPY1,080). Total JPY1,728.


Moon-viewing, Maple leaves amd mashroom wrapping cloth, JPY1,080 each. Total JPY2,160.


Pure silk wrapping cloth, Phoenix, dragon and treasures. JPY11,880.


Pure silk wrapping cloth, Calabash. JPY11,880.


Pure silk wrapping cloth, Pine, bamboo and plum. JPY11,880.


We accept orders online. Gift box is also available starting from JPY150.

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2015年1月 9日 (金)

Framed art as a gift to your friends overseas

This is a Komon (fine pattern) gauze fabric of ascending carp, one of auspicious motifs in Japan, displayed in our store.  It settles very attractively when you want to make use of some surplus fabric. 

Furoshiki (wrapping cloth) and Obiage (sash for Obi) will be perfect gifts for those out of Japan. They can be worn as scarves or framed art pieces as home decor. 


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2014年12月29日 (月)

Spirit of Rebirth

Japanese ethnicity has an underlying spirit of rebirth - to renew oneself and things around us to return to purity.

One common example is rebuilding of shrines. Like the famous Ise Shrine, In some shrines the shrine halls are rebuilt periodically as a part of Shinto belief.
It is practiced in various ways in our traditional lifestyle as well. "New" new year preparation is done at the end of every year in welcoming deities of the year to bring with each new year.Also we mark a new year with new chopsticks and new underwear and so on to celebrate innocence and for us to start the year afresh. The choksticks for new year is called Yanagi-bashi, namely willow leaf-shaped chopsticks. The both ends of the chopsticks are carved to pick up food. The one end is for the god (Toshigami-sama) to eat and the other end is for us humans.
New year is certainly the milestone of renewal, and there are smaller marks of a year in Japanese calendar called 24 Sekki, system of 24 seasonal divides. A year is divided into 24 seasons to practice rebirth in each season. 
Cherishing heirlooms and passing on to generations is certainly our tradition. In contrast, renewing things around us is also our inherent tradition of purifying oneself and celebrating rebirth.

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2014年12月20日 (土)

Celebrating autumn leaves - and red to infuse energy

Kimonos made in past often had red silk in back lining, just an edge of it you see in the sleeves. Many of the kimono I inherited came with red lining and I used to think it was a dated style.

But later I learned that the red lining is pre-dyed with tarmeric and then dyed with safflower. The particular red for lining is called Momi (kneading), for the color is extracted by kneading flowers. Tarmeric has efficacy to repel insects, and safflower to help blood circulation. It is said that red underwear enhances health, and the potency of red garments with natural dye is proven scientifically.

Girls in past centuries had many tips to enhance their beauty. Nowadays we can infuse red into ourselves through autumn leaves, or 'Momijigari' which is the famous play of Kabuki and Noh act.

(Purple fabric is Nagajuban - long chemise)



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2014年12月17日 (水)

Your personality is your style

Your height or size might determine your selection of western style clothing, but those are surprisingly irrelevant when you select kimono to suit your style. Some people say that her mother's kimono wardrobe does not fit her style, or that sisters can exchange western style wardrobe, but not kimono. Why so? Because your personality and character determines the kimono that suit you the best, not your size or appearance.
Some people look just perfect in large-size motifs even they are not tall. Tall people may look elegant in small and feminine motifs. In essense, you can go with what you want to wear. This is the miracle of Kimono! If you are not sure waht your favorite kimono style is, please try as many as you can. When you find your best style, it may be very differrent from what you had in your mind. The tip is to follow your heart. You may find your real personality through the discovery of your kimono style.

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Layered collars

In cold season we layer collars so that it brings a sense of warmth to the person who wears it as well as those who see the layed collars. It communicates the wearer's sensibility to cherish the season.

Layers of fabrics also carry a meaning of "repeating." By showing the layered collars you express the sense to celebrate repeating happiness. In wedding ceremony and new year, you can see some people in kimono with layered collars around her neck in congratulating the auspicious occasion and wishing to repeat such occasion many times!

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