Black omeshi with red and white oblique stripes

This everyday kimono probably dates from the 1950s or 1960s.

A new kimono arrived this week – this townwear in black silk with red and white oblique stripes. black komon with red and white stripes

Described as ‘blend silk’ fibres by vendor Kyotokiyou, I would describe it as omeshi. It has the tough, dirt-shedding surface of omeshi, along with its considerable weight – it’s 870g, which puts it firmly in my autumn-winter category.

I really ummed and ah’ed about this kimono. Not because it was expensive, at $9.99, but because I wasn’t sure I could justify it. I decided, in the end, that it was just too gorgeous to miss – I love the jazzy op-art pattern and the dark colours are very practical for my life. In the end, I was the only bidder and I don’t understand why no-one else was interested. I can’t be the only person who likes loud kimono.

necklineWhen it arrived, it proved to be a slender, well-made komon that I think will suit my life. The red in real life is darker than the picture. The red doura is either silk or poly – hard to tell, and I don’t really care in a winter kimono, as the fabric’s not next to my skin, and the hakkake (bottom lining) is peach crepe.

The colour combinations the Japanese use do sometimes seem a little odd to a westerner. Peach isn’t a colour I would associate with black, red and white. A little of it shows at the hem, bringing a little extra life to the garment. The black, red and white combi itself is very common in the 1950s, in both the west and the east.

I think this kimono will prove a favourite, come winter, when I am handling dark and dirty things like logs and densified wood, and ash pans, and I look forward to wearing it.

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