Last Halloween, my good friend Megan had blond hair. But during the spring, she went crazy and dyed her hair black. I don’t know what she was thinking. Everyone knows that blonds have more fun! Actually she looks hot with her jet-black hair and she’s taking advantage of her darker do. She’s been talking about dressing up as a geisha for Halloween. I love the idea and can’t wait to see what she comes up with. In the meantime, I looked around for online inspiration.
Since this is Upon a Midnight Dreary, I have to dreary-ify everything. The geisha costumes in this post are less traditional and more fitting for vampire, steampunk or zombie geishas.
Traditional geishas always wear a kimono with a dramatic obi (the wide sash that goes around the waist like a belt or waist cincher). On their feet they wear tabi socks (the split-toed socks) with zori (similar to flip flops). They have their hair up, often in complex buns with hair ornaments.
If you are looking for a kimono for a costume, you might consider searching for a yukata. A yukata is a light, summer kimono. It’s made of cotton instead of silk, so it’s comfortable but often less expensive than a silk kimono.
Kimonos and Kimono inspired Dresses:
I also found this next kimono by chance, but it’s from a Japanese site. I think that it’s for sale, but I could be way off. I suspect that someone with Japanese language skills would be able to find additional goth-appropriate patterns featuring spiders, bats or skulls. Unfortunately, most of the yukata I found featured flowers and cheerful patterns.
If you google obi you’ll find plenty of solid obi in every color of the rainbow to coordinate with your kimono. Somebody with good embroidery skills could take a solid color obi and add a darker motif such as a skull, spider, bat or black cat. For a non-traditional, more severe look, consider substituting a thick belt or waist cincher over your kimono.
A third option is to modify a scarf. Elizabeth Abernathy created this tutorial to make an obi style belt from any silk scarf that you can wrap around your waist one and a half times.
If you want to style your own hair, there are tutorials like this one on Youtube.
For your Feet:
Sock Dreams is always my go-to website for hosiery. They have a bunch of different Tabi sock styles including some Halloween-appropriate striped ones:
A note on makeup: Makeup is going to sell the geisha look. You can find tutorials on Youtube for both traditional and non-traditional geisha makeup styles. I recommend doing an image search and finding a look that fits with your costume. And as always, I’d advise you to go with Ben Nye and/or Mac makeup products for best results.
Aside from frustrations with the language barrier, I had a good time compiling this post. Does anybody have any ideas to add? Are you considering a costume that I could do a similar scouting post for? I love these kinds of challenges, so feel free to leave a comment or email me with your costume desires…