Vintage Etsy: Japanese Silk Kimonos Under $100

Vintage 1960’s Haori Silk Kimono: $48

I am palpably excited about this new article series called Vintage Etsy that I am introducing to my blog. I plan to make this a once-a-month feature where I bring you gorgeous vintage lingerie (and could be lingerie) finds, from Etsy, for under $100 USD (excluding shipping). Each month will have a theme: a colour, type of item, a decade, or whatever else strikes my fancy. This month, I bring you some of the most gorgeous vintage Japanese Silk Kimonos there are.

Origin: Every article series needs an origin story and this is mine. This idea was born from an obsession I have with any nature documentaries the BBC produces. This may seem like a strange place to find inspiration for a lingerie blog series on vintage lingerie but I will explain. I spent my weekend watching Human Planet, a BBC series focusing on human’s interactions with nature. Many of the stories struck home: leather tanneries in Fez, sulphur miners in Indonesia, and India’s untouchable garbage scavengers are just a few of the stories that impressed upon my mind. I was struck by how expendable human life is in our quest for more goods. How countries built on consumerism destroy other people, animals, and habitats. How capitalistic living produces immense amounts of waste that do not just ‘go away’ when the garbage truck pulls up. How we could easily live on so much less.

… and I thought of vintage.

I am guilty of buying too much. Throwing out too much. Supporting an on-demand, instant-gratification type of society. They call it fast fashion – and it harms this world. While I believe in reusing, reducing, and recycling – I tend to do it in other aspects of my life than clothing and lingerie. That needs to change.

I also read Who Made Your Pants?’ article on fabric sourcing, which sheds some light on materials we think of as better or more earth-friendly than others. I think we like to be ignorant sometimes… and just take the pill of lies that the advertising industry sells us.

Vintage items are items already in existence. Instead of ending up in a landfill, someone has salvaged perfectly good items in hopes of finding a new home for them. This is reusing at its fundamental basis: finding a new home for something the original owner no longer wants. That sounds like a marvellously good way to reduce waste and reduce our consumption of new goods at the same time (which reduces our burden on the earth’s resources). My Vintage Etsy series is an attempt to bring you, my readers, perfectly gorgeous vintage finds on Etsy that need a new home. I have picked out each piece (after hours of hunting) because I find them beautiful. I also keep each piece under the $100 USD price point (before shipping) as many of us have tight budgets. I really hope you enjoy the pieces I chose as much as I do.

Now, I know very little about vintage, thus this will be a learning experience for both you and me. I will share with you, in each post, what I have learned along the way.




This week’s theme is vintage Japanese silk kimonos. Vintage kimonos are not lingerie themselves, but they make beautiful robes and bed jackets. I really cannot believe how stunning these silk masterpieces are and how inexpensive it is to buy one vintage. They may have a bit of damage from age but the ones I picked are all in quite good shape despite their vintage status.

Here are a few things I learned about Japanese kimonos:

  1. Furisode kimonos are the most elaborate. They are often called ‘wedding kimonos’. Furisode are the most formal kimonos for unmarried women to wear. Once a woman became married, she would no longer wear this kimono. You can tell a Furisode by the very long draping sleeves (that can be nearly as long as the kimono).
  2. Tomesode are the most formal kimonos worn by married women. Unmarried women wore them too, but they would be the second the most formal kimono for an unmarried woman.
  3. Haori is a short kimono, like a jacket, that was traditionally worn over another kimono.
  4. Iromuji are plain, unpatterned kimonos in a single-colour. They could be worn by both married and unmarried women.These kimonos were considered the most appropriate for tea ceremonies.
  5. Obi is the name for the belts or waistbands worn with kimonos. Obi generally do not come with a kimono and you will see many listing say “Obi not included.” Listings do not always mention obi so it is best to assume one is not included.

There are many other types of kimonos with each type generally referring to the pattern used or where that type of kimono would be worn. You can easily Google for more information. Without further ado, here are my top vintage kimono finds on Etsy (links below images):

  1. Vintage Silk Kimono: $80                               
  2. Vintage 1970s Silk Iromuji Kimono: $57.45                      
  3. Vintage 1970s Houmongi Kimono: $75.46
  1. Vintage 1950s Silk Haori Kimono: $85                           
  2. Vintage 1950s Haori Silk Kimono: $65                     
  3. Vintage Silk Haori Kimono: $74.98
  1. Vintage 1930s Silk Kimono: $72.36                         
  2. Vintage 1960s Silk Kimono: $63.69                     
  3. Vintage 1960s Silk-Rayon Blend Kimono: $78

I really think these are all gorgeous kimonos that would make lovely robes. You could even dress the shorter robes up with jeans. I have been looking for ‘the ultimate decadent lounging robe’ for around the house. A couple weeks ago, I decided that robe would be a vintage kimono. There is one I am interested in (Furisode) but it is currently on reserve for someone else. If I do not get that one, then one of these beauties may disappear.

*All photos copyright of their respective sellers.

Song of the Day: House of the Rising Sun ~ by ~ The Animals

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s