After all these years I finally found out how clothing works. Okay, that sounds odd… Let’s say: I think I finally understand why so many women have fun shopping for clothes. And it happened in a shop selling kimono.

kimonoI never liked shopping for clothes: The sleeves are too long, the shirt too tight, the pants don’t sit right… in short, there is always something wrong with whatever I try. By now, I have learned to compromise and have at least a rudimentary understanding what works for my body and what doesn’t, which speeds up the selection process considerably, but still, clothes shopping is not one of my favourite pastimes. Especially here in Asia, where women are shaped like Greek columns, it is very hard to cater for my curves.

But the other day, I went to a department store in town. They sell everything – I love browsing through their stationary department – and there is always a space near the entrance that sells clothing and accessories: Hats and scarves in winter, rain boots and umbrellas during rainy season, and right now: yukata.

Yukata are light summer kimono made from cotton, and the patterns are usually airy and fun. Even though I can’t wear yukata easily, I like to browse through them and enjoy the patterns. And suddenly it struck me: Essentially, a yukata fits everybody. You just tuck a bit more or less here or there, but at the end of the day, anyone can wear a yukata – and will look good in it! So, with that in mind, you can really focus on colors and patterns and there’s no need to worry about anything – the thing simply fits!

At this point I finally understood why there are women out there who love shopping. They obviously know exactly what fits them and makes them look and feel good – and they can go wild with colors and patterns and materials and accessories etc. And of course, if something is fun, you want to do more of it. I don’t think my personal attitude towards clothes shopping will change, but it’s nice to understand what others see in it.