Summer Yukata: Obi Decorations

yukata kimono obi decorations

I have put off making a lolita inspired yukata for many years.  Which now means I am overloaded with ideas.  Even so, I still haven’t completely finalized how to decorate the obi.  This lead to a bit more research on styles, materials and terminology for the various cords, laces and other decorations that can be applied to obis. Here are the search terms I have been using to research and which have resulted in some very good Google image finds.

  • 飾り帯板 = obi ita/obi ban, an oval board, stiffener, that is used underneath the obi to keep a nice flat sharp surface.  For a cute touch, it can be topped with lace which will peek out of the top of the obi
  • 帯飾 = obi-kazari, a strap or decorative element that can dangle from the top of the obi (alternative 根付け netsuke)
  • 飾り紐 = kazari himo, ornamental braid that can be tied around the obi (alternative 帯締め obi jime)
  • 帯揚げ = obi-age, a tie or sash that tucks into the top of obi.  It is worn more prominent for younger women and hidden for older women as it is considered part of the “undergarments”
  • プチ兵児帯 = puchi heko obi, fluffy obi tie worn with an obi to give it extra flare, or the whipped cream on top of the dessert so to speak

Like I said, once the right kanji search terms were in hand a whole new world opened up and I think I am getting a better idea of what I want to make.

Obi Front

obi ita obi kazari kazari himo obi age

Originally I was going to attach some rose lace directly to my pre-tied obi, but I am not sure now.  The lace is very similar to the one used above in the blue coordinate with the cherries.  If the lace can be attached to a ribbon in a way that it will keep its shape when draped over the obi, it will mean more options for changing the look on different occasions.

Might have to get out the shrinky dinks again and make my own custom obi-kazari with an Obon theme perhaps.  The kazari feels to me like the wa lolita equivalent of wearing one of Angelic Pretty’s sweet lolita necklaces.

Obi Back

puchi heko obi decoration flare

puchi heko obi options

These very fluffy puchi heko obis kept showing up all over my Google search.  I am not sure if I want to make one or not yet.  The obi knot/bow already mimics waist ties on a lolita dress.  I don’t want to go too over the top.  Goal is to keep it refined and well edited.

Here are a couple of sites that had the most inspiring obi decorations during my search:

  • rakuten.co.jp/kyotorurihinagiku – An amazing selection of kawaii kimono’s and accessories for young girls.  Was the closest I could find to wa lolita that still stayed true to classic kimono traditions
  • store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/hongkongmadam – Selection of puchi heko obi and good instructions on how to tie it
  • rakuten.co.jp/dreamv – DreamV always comes through with very cute fashion.  I don’t like the lace on their yukata but they do have some super adorable hime and gyaru optionss
  • yukatayasan.com – Great selection of obi kazari for women as well as other kimono and kimono accessories
  • machida135.exblog.jp – Japanese shop blog with pretty photos of kimono coordinates for a daily dose of inspiration

Wow, so many choices.  How would you style your summer yukata?