Hello everyone! Victoria Bane here!
Today we’re going to take a quick look into the undergarments we created to wear beneath our yukata. This is really more of an informative article on what you will need and how to wear them rather than a creation tutorial, but there are links to the tutorials we used to make them as well. These undergarments help create a smooth, clean shape for your yukata!
An Extremely Useful Guide for All Things Yukata
Firstly, I highly recommend purchasing The Yukata Handbook by Yasuda Takako. There are a lot of nuances to wearing yukata properly as well as ways to pair colors and create different moods with fabric choices.This book has such a wealth of information in that regard as well as a number of different ways to tie your obi, notes on different accessories and footwear as well as ways to care for and properly store your yukata. Definitely worth the purchase! There are also notes on how to wear your yukata beautifully that include recommended ways to sit, walk and drink tea while wearing your yukata, but we will delve into that in a different article!
Base & Undergarments
A Han-juban and Susoyoke
To start, when wearing a yukata, you want to create a nice, smooth almost cylindrical shape, reducing the curves of the body. There are kimono bras available from Rakuten Global Market (https://global.rakuten.com/en/search/?l-id=rgm-search-cmnhead-en-sp&tl=&k=kimono+bra) to help de-emphasize the bust. Some come with additional pads that help shape the collar. There is also a garment called the hadajuban which is essentially your yukata ‘slip’. Alternatively, (as we did) you can wear a sports bra under a v-neck tee and snug fitting leggings to keep things nice and smooth. For these, it’s whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Over that, you can choose to wear a one piece nagajuban, or a two piece han-juban and susoyoke. We went for the two piece option. Either is fine, but we found that the two piece option is easier to adjust through the day. These undergarments help keep sweat and body oils away from the main fabric of the yukata, making it simpler to clean.
To create our han-juban and susoyoke, we followed the tutorials from kimono de cheapau (http://kimonodecheapau.web.fc2.com/hajimenienglish.htm) & Bebe Taian’s blog (https://bebetaian.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-make-susoyoke-under-juban-skirt.htm using cotton lawn. We adjusted the measurements for each of the garments to best fit each individual member.
When worn, the han-juban and susoyoke are crossed left over right just as the yukata are. These pieces close with bias tape straps that are tied in a simple bow or knot, and the ends tucked under to reduce bulk and help keep that smooth look..
Padding and Shaping
Hip Pad with an Adjustable Band and Hook Closure
The item worn over the undergarments is a hip pad. This helps to fill in the curves of the body. There are a couple of different styles available; there are pads that have the ‘U dip’ shape and other that are more of a belt, some with different closures, and some that also come with additional pockets to add more padding into them. We purchased our hip pads from Rakuten Global Market. You can find them by doing a search for ‘kimono padding’. These fit around the waist and are secured with a hook or velcro closure in the front. If you find that you still have some gapping or the shape you’re after isn’t quite there, you can use hand towels or folded cotton lawn to adjust.
Note: The hip pad is more for those with a deeper waist/back curve or a more prominent bottom. If you have a less curvy waist you can skip this padding or use a hand towel or folded cotton lawn to achieve your shape.
And there you are! You’re now ready to put on your yukata! You may be thinking to yourself, ‘Is all of this really necessary? It’s just for a costume.’ Even though these were for costumes, we wanted to treat them as one would a normal yukata. These steps are integral to creating the correct shape for a traditional feel. Now it isn’t necessary to make the undergarments from scratch, but in making our own, we could ensure that everything fit properly since sizing can often be an issue.
Please look forward to the next yukata installment!
Featured image by Ash Snap ‘Em Photography