The Elegant Haori

Years ago, I was hunting for a Kimono on eBay. After developing a  Japanese Kimono unit for my 5th grade art students, I thought it would be nice to have a genuine Kimono to show them. It’s not that I lacked an abundance of reference materials already: a PowerPoint, handouts of Kimono motifs I had put together, part of an Obi sash and samples of vintage Kimono silk. I tend to go overboard and thought the Kimono would be a nice touch.

After seeing the prices of the Kimonos I liked, I decided that my students were doing just fine with what they had; however, a couple of Haoris caught my eye. I was in love and the prices were right, so I had to have a least one (which over the years has lead to three).

So, what is a Haori? A Haori was worn over the Kimono for extra warmth. Both the Haori and its lining are typically silk. It is used in Western wear as an elegant addition to one’s wardrobe. That’s me all over and I have worn Haoris to art openings and the ballet.

When I wear a Haori, I try to keep the under layer a single color. In this look, I have added black slim pants from Mango and a black sequin tank top that I picked up at our local farm and home store. Yes, you read it right. You never know where you are going to find style!

A challenge with the Haori is finding a bag that works. With the longer sleeves, I feel cross-over or shoulder bags don’t work.  You could wear a small crossover the same color of you pants and top under the Haori, but I think it is easier to just work with a clutch. I have my perfect little clutch in the above photo. It’s a wonderful little art deco inspired vintage metal bag from Rodo of Italy. But the obvious snafu is that my smart phone won’t fit in it. I have considered hand stitching a pocket to the inside of my Haori to accommodate my phone and will probably add this in the future.

I keep my jewelry simple. This stone piece reminds me of a Japanese brush painting and was a lucky thrift shop find. My earrings are Asian inspired and are some of the pieces that I have picked up at Museum gift shops.

I did a still life because it is hard to see my shoes, which are black textured D’Orsay sandals and face it, I just like doing still-lifes. You can also see that my bag does have a chain so it doesn’t always have to be a clutch. I also wanted to point out my Black Onyx bracelet. My daughter Rachelle made it for me as a birthday present and those kinds of things always become my favorites.

Zero Waste

A popular subject on some of the podcasts that I listen to is the Zero Waste movement. Books are written on the subject and a few designers strive to create zero waste designs. There is a good episode from American Fashion Podcast that is a great introduction to this movement. It is 089 Zero Waste Fashion For the Gold. I highly recommend it. 

Where am I going with this? I am trying to make the point that traditional Japanese garments have always been zero waste designs. Every bit of fabric is used in the garment. I have scanned a page from my book Make Your Own Japanese Clothes by John Marshall to demonstrate the point

I’ve owned this book long before there was eBay. Little did I know when I bought it that in the future I could easily get original garments from Japan. This book is still published and can be purchased through Amazon.

The Polish

This part probably should be called “My Life With Zoya,” because that seems to be all that I have been wearing lately. This week is no different. I’m wearing one of Zoya’s Pixie Dusts, Miranda. Miranda is a deep pink. The Miranda that you are looking at is layered on top of Zoya’s Aster and the result is a darker violet leaning pink. That’s why I love this polish thing!

This is it for today. I hope you enjoyed my modern take on wearing a traditional piece of clothing. With shipping, a Haori will run you about $25 and takes about two to three weeks to get. I think that price is amazing and I don’t mind the wait. It you do the eBay thing, just type in Kimono or Haori and they will pop up. Happy shopping and take care.




Today, I am linking up with Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday HERE, Cherie’s  Style Nudge’s Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine’s Not Dressed As Lamb’s I will Wear What I like HERE, Color and Grace’s Link Up Party HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Shopping My Closet’s Style Me Wednesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine’s Style Perspectives HERE, Sydney’s Fashion Hunter’s Fresh Fashion Forum HERE,   High Altitude Style’s Link-Up, Fashion Should Be Fun’s Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE and Style Diary By Osy’s Friday Link Up Party HERE.

P.S. Here’s the bag I carried with it last time. It’s another Rodo and I can only use it with warmer weather, but I can get everything in it.
Until next time…


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