Bebe Taian: For Sale: Cheery Yellow Yukata Kimono

December 13, 2010

For Sale: Cheery Yellow Yukata Kimono

It's out of season at the moment, but no time like the present to begin preparing for the heat of summer!

In the Southern states, it is still somewhat warm. One day here in Florida, it's 65F. The next, it's 80F again! Well, 80F is warm to me- especially when wearing two layers of kimono, even when they're both cotton.

Yukata literally means 'bath robe'- 'yu' is 'hot water', '-kata' in this instance refers to something to wear. Once, yukata were reserved for bath robe use only, for letting the water come off of the skin and cooling off naturally before getting dressed. Baths are very important in Japan! They are a way to destress and relax at the end of a long day. For those who can, people take their time bathing and soaking up the warm water, neck-deep in a tub. For wealthier people, old-style tubs are made of fragrant cedar wood. Most people today seem to have the modern plastic or ceramic baths, however. Baths are always taken after showering and scrubbing off in a separate area, so the water in the tub stays relatively clean.

Today, yukata are worn at festivals like Obon and in the house. In big fashion-forward cities like Tokyo, yukata are increasingly being worn with a juban underneath (like a more formal kimono) for extremely casual situations outside of the home. Bright, cheery kimono are even being dressed up with more formal accessories done in less-formal, non-traditional ways for cute new looks, like using shiny, metallic mesh instead of an obiage, or attaching bright flower clips to a dual-coloured obi as an accessory!

Yukata are excellent "starter kimono". They're inexpensive, they don't require a million accessories, they are easy to tie on your own, and they are lightweight. You can usually also wash them at home instead of dry-cleaning them. If one becomes badly stained, they can be taken apart for quilting fabric, and a yukata + obi set from Bebe Taian usually costs less than one pair of new jeans from the mall!

This yellow floral cotton yukata needs an ironing after storage, but I'll take care of that before shipping it out. It'll only get wrinkled again in storage, right?

Length: 154CM/61.6IN
Width: 136CM/54.4
Sleeve length: 48.6CM/19.4IN

As the fabric is cotton, it should be washable in cold water on a gentle cycle. I did not see any stains or tears on this yukata, but I will double-check before it goes out. Yukata alone is $50 (which includes Priority Mail shipping), $80 when purchased with the obi, once again, including shipping. Yukata + obi set include bonus koshi himo so that you can wear your new outfit immediately!

UPDATE 1/31: THIS KIMONO IS SOLD, BUT THE OBI IS NOT!

This yukata requires only two things to wear in the home (outside of the home, you should use a juban): 2 koshi himo to tie it at the hips, and a hanhaba obi. Hanhaba are soft and flexible, not needing the typical accessories that more formal obi require!

Purple Chikuzen Hanhaba Obi, $30 (including shipping), $80 w/ Yukata

The main purple colour visually minimizes the waist appearance and accentuates the brightness of the yukata, while the blue, white, and tan/yellow stripes mimic the colours in the floral pattern. Fabric is silk.

Length:

Width:

Cleaning recommendation: Spot-clean the obi until testing how it reacts to cold water and gentle detergent. Some silks can be dry-cleaned or hand-washed in cold water, some cannot. I would test out washing methods on inconspicuous corners, such as the very ends, which can be easily hemmed in an inch or so if colouring runs. Silk tends to keep colour well, but occasionally, kimono items can present surprises! I have always either hand-cleaned mine or had them dry-cleaned by someone familiar with the delicacies of Asian textiles.

If you've never worn a kimono before, yukata are the way to go. I kind of wish I'd started out with one! I probably would have been more persistent in learning to tie them properly than I was in the beginning. Now, when I don't feel like wearing "heavier" or more constraining clothing around the house like jeans, I put on yukata quickly and I go on with my day. They can be so cool and comfortable and easy to move in, it's really a comfort to be able to take one out of the closet and put it on.

I have a few colours and patterns available right now, so if yellow isn't your thing, just let me know! I can even scout for custom motifs or colours for you, although with our current TSA-enforced fiasco regarding overseas shipping, it can take up to three months for an item to arrive from Japan. I do not ask people to pay for anything until an item is inspected and ready to ship. Just comment or contact me for an invoice!

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