Appropriate attire for teahouse work?

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Appropriate attire for teahouse work?

Post by IG Team » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:27 am

The Tea Tanuki

I work in a teahouse and am starting to collect kimono with the aim of cycling them in to my everyday wardrobe. If you all don't mind, I'd like to pick your brains about what levels of formality it's appropriate to wear to work, with what musubi. I'm youngish (31) and married, and serve tea in regular and gong fu service. (No chanoyu yet) :(
Thanks!

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Re: Appropriate attire for teahouse work?

Post by IG Team » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:28 am

Chiisana Hato

I'm only basing this on Nana-Oh magazine's pictures. The ladies working in shops seem to have on plainer komon kimono with either taiko bows or some form of flat bow tied from a hanhaba.

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Re: Appropriate attire for teahouse work?

Post by IG Team » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:28 am

owl

I think it would depend on the atmosphere of your work enviroment. Is this a modern/hip establishment or is it more subdued, traditional and quiet?

I am just going to assume that it is the second type and roll with it. Coming from what my Ikebana/Tea ceremony sensei has said, one who is serving tea should be very natural and subdued when it comes to the kimono that he/she is wearing. As the whole deal is about the beauty of the tea and the serving process, not what the one preparing the tea is wearing. As you are in a shop and not a " ceremony" setting though, I would say stick with synthetic komon's ( that way you can wash them if something is spilled..and there are some VERY nice looking synthetic kimono now-a-days) that are 1.Low on the motif side of things and 2. Are seasonally appropriate in color.( Touching on the seasonality appropriate color of things, that would also be a good way to tie in the spirit of the tea and or wagashi and such that you may be serving at that particular time).

Obi motif should probably also be subdued and simple. EX. a single branch of ume blossoms or a solid obi with a woven bamboo pattern.

As a more forward example, lets take something one would wear in July. Could you wear a bright neon teal ro-iromuji to tie in with the water themes that are popular during the summer months? Yes. But a cool, dusty teal ro-kimono would probably be more appropriate and would tie in to the some-what quiet nature of tea serving and drinking.


Actually..now that I think about it you could probably take some inspiration by the teas you serve and go with that. Think fresh, cool, and natural.


PS. I am GREEN with envy of you and your awesome job! Congratulations!

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Re: Appropriate attire for teahouse work?

Post by IG Team » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:28 am

The Tea Tanuki

Actually, it's more of a low key hip, chic kind of place, here in San Jose. (One of our walls is hot pink, and covered with three giant ceramic kewpie doll heads!) We serve the whole spectrum of teas, but my focus is more on gong fu ceremony.
Thanks for the advice, I'll go for the more subtle patterns, and concentrate on texture, as opposed to print. If anyone is in the Bay Area, we'd love to see you at Satori! :)

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