Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How Much - Casual Komon Ensemble

Notes and Disclaimers: If you're thinking about putting together a kimono look, to wear normally or for a cosplay or costume, you might be wondering how much you're probably going to spend. I've seen hideously overpriced items in my time collecting, and ones that are real steals. This ongoing series, "How Much?" will give you my highly subjective, personal experiences in Kimono Price Land on what is a good price, what you should snap up immediately and what you should pass on with raised eyebrows. ;)

Before I get started, and I'll repeat this in every entry for this series, it's not impossible to occasionally see a really high-priced item, due to age or rarity, etc. However, most of the time in my opinion you're more likely to see prices in this range. I pull my estimates from a long time spent on Ebay looking at vintage pieces, online with various vintage dealers, and a bit of convention-going thrown in. Brand-new kimono items, please note, will often be astronomically higher (thousands of dollars for a kimono/obi set).

The lowest price is the lowest price I've ever seen, and the highest I consider reasonable, give or take a few bucks, with both prices including shipping if you see this on an online site. Usually most pricing will fall around the middle.

Casual Komon Ensemble

Yukata are sort of the gateway drug to wearing kimono: the obi needs no special ties or a pillow to hold its shape and no underkimono (juban) or zori sandals and tabi socks are required.

The next step above yukata is a nice balance between the relative simplicity of yukata and more formal kimono: the komon, kimono with small repeating patterns.

The komon requires a bit more than the yukata: you'll need an underkimono and either very formal geta with tabi socks (still sort of like wearing tennis shoes as geta are usually very casual) or zori. However, with komon you don't have to take the plunge into the at-first intimidating otaiko drum knots (the boxy knot you see tied on the back of many kimono) if you don't want to. That's because komon can, basically, be worn with either a simple half-width obi, a la yukata, or the more formal and wider Nagoya obi.

This may not be a combo for everyone's tastes ;) but I'll toss it up to show a random example of each: a komon and hanhaba obi.

Out of respect for the budget-minded, today we'll tally up what you will likely spend putting together a komon ensemble using the simpler halfwidth (hanhaba) obi like the one you see above.

What You Need (most important items):
1. komon kimono: ~$25-$90, barring higher prices on antique ones in great condition
2. nice (sometimes called "oshare", meaning stylish), higher-end hanhaba obi: ~$35-$65
3. juban (underkimono): $15-$75

Don't Forget! You'll also need:
4. Sports/minimizer bra
5. Kimono underwear or a white tanktop and white skirt or leggings/shorts
6. basic under-accessories kit or homemade substitutes (koshihimo ties or strips of fabric, obi ita board or posterboard cut to shape, etc.)
7. tabi socks
8. very nice geta (sandals), or zori (sandals)

Photos are copyright Ichiroya and used with permission.

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