After a long period of decline the Japanese kimono is back in vogue. Both within Japan and overseas, new kimono enthusiasts are eager to add explore the world of kimono fashion. A kimono isn’t worn on its own however; there are a variety of accessories that are used to complete the look. Don't let this put you off! Here we explain in simple terms all the most essential kimono accessories. All of these made-in-Japan accessories have been curated from designers and makers across the country and are available right here in Japan Objects Store.
1. Obi Belts
SHOP THE LOOK | Obi Belts
In the simplest terms, an obi is a long, rectangular piece of decorative cloth used to keep one’s kimono or yukata in place, much like a belt is used to secure trousers and skirts at the waist. However, as you begin your search for an obi to match your kimono or yukata, you’ll no doubt soon discover that an obi is a highly fashionable piece of fabric that can drastically alter the overall tone of your look. Measuring several meters in length, obi are secured with bows and various types of knots. Find out how to do a couple of these knots yourself in our How to Tie an Obi Belt video!
Though kimono and yukata are traditional Japanese clothing with centuries of history woven into its fabric, always remember that personal style is a statement. There’s no need to restrict yourself to fashion rules, even when it comes to a garment with a rich cultural significance like the kimono.
If you’re new to wearing kimono, you can't go wrong with choosing an obi within the same tone as your kimono. There are no hard and fast rules!
SHOP THE LOOK | Coral Reversible Obi
On the other hand, If you're eager to take risks with your kimono style and change up your sense of fashion, start with our Coral Silver-Tone Reversible Obi. It features a reversible pattern consisting of a sunset color gradation and silver thread on one side, coral pink on the other. A complimentary obi to any kimono or yukata, this obi evokes the soft tones of a crisp spring morning accented by the early blooms of plum, peach, and cherry blossoms.
Another way to have fun when selecting an obi is with our Ivory Diamond Weave Obi Belt, an understated choice that speaks through its shimmery fabric and delicate geometric pattern. It’s a sure way to add a fun dynamic to your kimono and elevate your outfit.
For some truly eye-catching wearable art, take a look at our collection of vintage obi belts. As these are one-of-a-kind pieces, check back regularly for new additions!
2. Obidome, Obijime, Obiage
Finding the perfect kimono that suits you is only half the battle. After you’ve selected an obi that complements it’s time to choose the right accessories to personalize your look. Just as you’d carefully select jewelry to accessorize evening formal wear, obijime, obidome, and obiage serve a similar function when it comes to kimono.
SHOP THE LOOK | Mint Green Silk Obijime
Obijime are like a thin, decorative belt that fit through the rear knot and around the obi before being tied on top of the obi sash to hold it in place. We recommend this delicate two-tone Mint Green Pure Silk Obijime. It is a pure silk woven obijime handcrafted by Midori Arashi Kobo in Kyoto, Japan and it celebrates the winter snow, summer grass, and cherry blossoms of Japan.
SHOP THE LOOK | Cherry Blossom Obijime/Obidome
Obidome are small decorative pieces that attach to the obijime, and can range from wood carvings, tortoise shells, lacquer, glasswear, pearls and precious stones. Our Cherry Blossom Obidome set consists of a striking red obijime accented by a single beechwood cherry blossom obidome. For a softer look, go for our Sakura Woodcraft Obidome. Its obidome is a cluster of beechwood cherry blossoms that compliments the lavender obijime.
SHOP THE LOOK | Silk Obiage
The obiage is a narrow cloth worn above the obi in order to secure the obi knot and conceal the obi makura, padding inserted inside the kimono sash. The Obiage Silk Scarf in Gold is an example of a traditional Japanese accessory that pairs well with western fashion. Use it as a scarf, head wrap, or stole.
3. Kanzashi Hair Accessories
Among the kimono accessories you'll need to really completet the look is a kanzashi, or hair ornament. These decorative items encompass many forms, including hair pins, barrettes, and flowers. Our Cherry Blossom Kanzashi is made from 100% crepe silk sourced from Kyo-Tango, the textile capital for the finest in Japanese silk. The silk is hand-dyed, painted, and shaped into soft pastel cherry blossom petals, complete with delicate indentations.
The Sakura Bouquet Kanzashi is a cluster of cherry blossoms complemented with leaf accents and several chains of silk flowers known as shidare. Each kanzashi is made by the Kyoto-based luxury kanzashi specialist Oharibako and comes with a bar-pin which can be used to transform the hair accessory into a brooch.
4. Japanese Sandals
SHOP THE LOOK | Hokusai Zori Japanese Slipper
When you wear a kimono, it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward by stepping out in style in traditional Japanese footwear such as geta or zori. For formal occasions, be sure to wear tabi, split-toe socks. Our selection of Japanese tabi socks feature intricately embroidered motifs. Choose from butterfly or cherry blossoms.
SHOP THE LOOK | Bingata Wooden Geta Sandals
Geta are elevated wooden thong sandals. They are informal footwear typically worn in the summer with a yukata and do not require the use of tabi socks. Our Bingata Wooden Geta are a fashionable way to experience the laid-back tropical vibes of Okinawa Prefecture. These geta sandals are made from paulownia wood and the thong fabric incorporates the traditional Okinawan textile pattern known as bingata.
SHOP THE LOOK | Edo Zori Slippers
For an alternative to wooden sandals, opt for our Edo Zori Slippers. Unlike geta, zori are formal footwear that complement kimono and are worn with tabi socks. However, these Edo Zori Japanese Slippers have a hand-woven cotton polyester blend sole and are reminiscent of early zori made from straw. These particular zori are ideal for wearing round the house whether you’re in kimono or your pajamas!
SHOP THE LOOK | Nagajuban
A nagajuban is a robe-like garment worn underneath the kimono to prevent wear, tear, and stains. They are usually made from cotton or synthetic materials and have a white or contrasting collar. When worn under the kimono, only the collar can be seen. Our nagajuban is decorated with delicate Japanese maple leaves and cherry blossoms. Wear it with one of our vintage kimono or use it as loungewear.
6. Koshihimo Belt
SHOP THE LOOK | Elasticated Koshihimo Belt
Koshihimo are thin belts that are used to keep traditional Japanese garments tightly tied together. They are typically worn in pairs in order to keep a kimono or yukata in place. Traditional koshihimo are simple strips of cotton or silk fabric, which can come loose after a while, and can be uncomfortable if worn too tight. However, our koshihimo are adjustable elastic belts that clip together with a simple clasp, ensuring your comfort and that your kimono or yukata will stay in place all day long.
7. Kimono Hanger
SHOP THE LOOK | Kimono Hanger
Kimono are beautiful garments that capture one’s attention, and if you want to add drama to your living space, displaying a kimono is certainly one way to do it! To display your kimono, hang it with the sleeves extended in order to showcase the back details. Our kimono hanger has extra-long extendable rods that collapse for easy storage. Use it to display obi along with your kimono, yukata, haori, or hanten jackets. This kimono hanger is also a simple, yet effective way to air out your kimono and smooth out wrinkles before wearing.
Of course, you don’t have to hang up your kimono. Find out How to Fold Kimono in our video!
8. Vintage Haori Jackets
SHOP THE LOOK | Vintage Silk Haori Jackets
Tailored to be worn over a kimono, a haori is a hip or thigh-length jacket worn on formal occasions or to protect the wearer from the elements. In contemporary Japanese fashion, you’ll spot trendsetters who wear the haori much like a cardigan, so don’t be afraid to incorporate a haori jacket into your wardrobe. Elevate your look by turning a t-shirt and jeans combo into a chic outfit. Similarly, use a haori to transform your office look from day to night with minimal effort. Explore our selection of vintage silk haori jackets ranging from hand-painted, dyed, to embroidered designs.
For the final touches that compliment your traditional Japanese garment, bring it all together with mizuhiki earrings. Mizuhiki is a Japanese artform dating back to the 14th century that uses colorful stiff rice paper cords to create sculptures and decorations. We’ve selected several mizuhiki earring designs from Nagao-based jeweler Ritual Craft.
The Mizuhiki Pearl Earrings use jewel toned rice paper cords encased in a hand-polished maple wood base and topped off with 14 karat gold and freshwater pearl accents. The Mizuhiki Hoop Earrings use dark neutral tones encased in a triangular hand-polished maple wood base, while gold hoops compliment the jawline.
The Japanese kimono consists of multiple layers and accessories, and the process of wearing one is an artform in its own right! You’re bound to feel the heat in all those layers, especially in the summertime. Provide yourself with some relief in the form of a folding fan, a discreet accessory that tucks neatly into your kimono clutch bag. This sandalwood and bamboo Pureland Folding Fan depicts the striking artwork of contemporary visual artist Hideki Kimura on washi paper.
11. Clutch Bag
SHOP THE LOOK | Silk Clutch
To preserve the kimono silhouette through balance, complete your look with a purse that is neither bulky nor distracting. We recommend this elegant silk clutch bag by Tomoko Fujii of Ritofu. Handmade in Japan’s silk capital, Kyoto, the slim rectangular shape of this clutch emphasises the delicate textures and colors of the hand-dyed fabric. When wearing a formal kimono, the color of your purse and zori should match ideally, but a stunning piece like this lets your personality shine through.