Although some may be surprised to learn it, the kimono, far from fading away into the annals of Japanese fashion history, has not only retained its presence in Japanese life but has become more diversified in modern times. Not only are there contemporary kimono and yukata designers such as Jotaro Saito and Hiromi Asai, but vintage kimonos are being upcycled into everything from bridal dresses to sneakers, while creators and designers are experimenting with hybrids fusing kimonos with shirts, for example.

But there's also another way in which kimono fashion can be innovative: layering them with other clothes in non-traditional combinations.

Case in point: On November 28th, 2020, kimono fashion enthusiast Misamaru (@misamaru_boc) posted a pair of photos which caused quite a reaction in Japanese social media.

In a Tweet which has already elicited 190,000 likes and 26,000 retweets at the time of writing, she posted her latest kimono fashion experiment:

"I tried matching my grandmother's kimono with a flared skirt! It was a simple kitsuke [kimono dressing style] with just a belt instead of the obi [sash], so adjusting the waist was a cinch!...
I also like how the skirt flutters when I walk...!"

Reproduced with permission from Misamaru みさまる@着物 (@misamaru_boc)

Reproduced with permission from Misamaru みさまる@着物 (@misamaru_boc)

Misamaru's look elicited much admiration and praise, with many commenters wanting to reproduce the look for themselves:

"Misamaru, nice to meet you! The way you wear that kimono is so cute, I'm full of admiration!! How do you make the kimono shorter so that you don't see it beneath the flared skirt?? If you don't mind, could you please tell me?"

"Thank you! I'm very happy...! I simply take the material around the edge of the collar and adjust it when I do the kitsuke. I took a video, so I hope you can use it as a reference...!"

Some of the other comments were:

  • "The kimono blooming like a flower matched with an elegant ribbon tie. I think it's wonderful (...)"
  • "It's really great! I want to learn your skills!"
  • "The moment I saw it, I thought of Here Come Miss Modern (...) This combination conveying a feeling of Taisho Romanticism is so beautiful!"

As the final comment reveals, the Taisho Era was known for the hybridization of Japanese and Western culture and fashion, and Misamaru's look is reminiscent of some of the fashions of that era.

Before she tried this combination, Misamaru first experimented wearing a belt in lieu of an obi over a kimono and haori jacket:


Since November, Misamaru is the global ambassador for KUDEN by Takahiro Sato, a social, ethical and sustainable fashion platform selling "Next Kimono - Samurai Mode," a kimono-inspired Western clothing line, original accessories, as well as vintage kimono & haori. Click on the link in the Tweet below to read her greeting message (available in English)

By - Ben K.