August is the period for Japanese festivals and this is an opportunity to get out wearing some traditional outfits like yukata, the summer cotton kimono. If I love to wear it during fireworks or at festivals that take place in the evenings, during a matsuri that start from the morning, I like to put a little more comfortable and more fun outfit : jinbei.
Jinbei is a light cotton or linen outfit which consists of shorts (or a skirt) with a crossed top. It closes with two cords and is therefore very easy to put on. It is also very affordable, like 20USD for the best ones.
Basically, the jinbei is an indoor clothes for men but the last 15 years, it became popular and widespread, so that now they is also pieces for women and childs.
During festivals, it is a popular alternative to the yukata, for men as women and also for young children (0~4/5 years old) because it is really easy to put in and confortable. It is good to point out that women's pieces can be divided into two categories: those that we put for matsuri (colorful and sophisticated, with long sleeves like yukata) and those for wear at home (similar to men ones).
Few years ago, I bought on Rakuten some very simple jinbei that I put to sleep or when I was at home. This year, I was going to buy a new obi (belt) for my yukata when I discovered a small jinbei corner and I decided to buy one, to alternate with the yukata.
I chose ablack one with white and pink tones flowers on it. It has a little white lace on the collar and sleeves which is a bit scratchy at wrists and makes it less traditional but it is so girly! The skirt has several flying and was covered with pink lace at first. I cut it all because it was very ugly (like a Barbie curtain, if you see what I mean).
As jinbei closes with two tie, the obi is not necessary but it was included in the set and I though it would be more fun and cute to add one (but I think it would be weird with short pants ). I tied it in a very simple way, like a ribbon. Above, a yellow obishime, also very simple, with just a few silver pearls. If this string is almost essential in a yukata or kimono wearing because it keeps the obi to be tighly tied, this time it was purely decorative.
As footwear, you can wear geta, of course, these Japanese sandals made of wood but to keep in the childlike and fun side, I chose to put crocs. Comfortable and practical, they are really popular here. I couldn't live without some at home.
For the hairstyle I also made it simple: twin tails each retained by an some Japanese fabric balls. Japanese traditional clothing marry best with an open neck. Then I added a hair ornament to match obishime. I love the small pearls that hang there.
Because it is quite embarrassing to be photographednwhile a festival where there are lots of people, I organized a small photo shooting by myself, in a quiet sanctuary not far from home. I brang yoyos, bubbles and windmills to be in a festival mood and the shooting could started ! (I do not know to pose so be gentle with me:) ).
Yukata (浴衣) : coton summer kimono
Obi (帯) : belt
Obishime (帯締め) : string to put on the obi
Matsuri (祭り) : festival
Mizu yoyo (水ヨーヨー) : colorful balloon full of water