Things you have to live with, when buying a vintage or antique kimono…

Let’s talk about a theme, which is one reason why I started to write this blog. I often write about rules for wearing a kimono. You don’t have to follow them, but at least you should have heard about them.

It is the same when we talk about kimono sizes. In lesson ten I was already talking about yuki and that it doesn’t have any influence on wearing a kimono properly or not. However, according to the rules the yuki length should be from the middle of your neck to the wrist. But when you buy a vintage kimono, you won’t barely find one in your size. Especially not when you need an extremely long yuki like me. So there is only one thing you can do: ignore the rules and find your own comfort zone.

If you don’t mind, you could also buy a kimono with short mitake and just wear it not as long as the rules tell us. I just literally could hear my sensei screaming while I wrote this sentence. She always stresses that wearing a kimono shortly is the worst thing you could ever do. Well, that’s her opinion. 😀

Another problem is the smell. Old kimono smell old. Some of them have a really overpowering smell of mothballs, but you will get used to it. When I buy a “new” one, I hang it up for a while before putting it into the closet. However, the smell won’t really disappear, but it’ll be lighter. One kimono coat is hanging in my bedroom for 3 years, but it’s still too smelly, thus I don’t dare putting it into the closet. Recently I found out that it feels like home, when a shallow smell of mothballs penetrates my nose.

One last thing about vintage kimono is that point which sorts out those who should buy only new kimono and those who can also live with second-hand. You will have to accept stains on kimonos. When you buy your first vintage kimono, I suggest finding one without stains. After a while you get used to wearing them and know where stains stand out and where stains are barely visible. However, this also depends on your own comfort zone.


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2 thoughts on “Things you have to live with, when buying a vintage or antique kimono…”

  1. I totally agree with you.
    The rule is rule.
    You should wear the way you love.
    It is presious that the person from oversea is wearing the kimono that not so many Japanese can even wear.
    We thank you Billy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your blog, it so informative! A suggestion for the stinky kimono: I once used a product called Deodoroc to remove the mildew smell from an antique leather trunk that had got wet in a flooded basement. I put 2 Deodoroc pucks into the trunk, closed it up, left it for 3 months and when I opened it the rocks had absorbed the mildew smell. I don’t know if the are available in Japan, but that was the best product for removing smells naturally. (I am not affiliated with product, but may have to order some for a kimono that smells overwhelmingly of mothballs)


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