Guide to Obi Belts

Are you sick of always complementing your outfits with the same belt? Although there are dozens of variations of belts, the most of them are identical. A long piece of material with loops and a buckle composes them. However, belts are available in several alternative forms, obi belts being among the most popular. You may take your fashion sense to the next level with an obi belt. 

Read on for a comprehensive guide about obi belts, including how to wear them!

A woman wearing floral dress and a tied bow obi belt.

What is an Obi belt?

Obis have existed for hundreds of years. The earliest obis arose in seventeenth-century Japan, where both men and women wore them. Historically, obis consisted of a ribbon that Japanese men and women wrapped around their waists.

Obi leather belts have the same design. The main distinction is that they are totally made of leather. They are still sashes, and they are still wrapped around the waist using an obi (followed by tying the front or back into a knot). Obi leather belts are fashioned of only the finest leather. This is the primary distinction between them and traditional obis.

Types of Obi Belts

The Obi Maru:

It translates to “circle belt” in English. This belt’s name derives from the fact that its cloth must be folded in half. The covering side is the same as the covered side. It is the most weighty obi belt. Due to the fact that it is adorned with a particularly complex design. Therefore, it is frequently worn for the most important occasions.

Fukuro Obi:

This is equivalent to “bag belt.” The name derives from the fact that the seam is sewn in two phases. It is the only belt with an interior. Always reserved for formal situations.

Hanhaba Obi:

Its meaning of our language is “half width obi.” These belts are, as the name says, half the breadth of the others. Therefore, they are significantly simpler to fasten. This is why children frequently select it.

Nagoya Obi:

Nagoya is a well-known Japanese city. This belt was named for it. It is intended to be the smallest in size. This small size facilitates the creation of intricate knots.

The Heko Obi:

This belt was once a component of the Japanese military uniform. Because of this, it is dubbed “young soldier.” It is as delicate and delicate as a spider web.

Kaku Obi:

This is known as “straight and angular obi.” Because it is significantly longer, it is created exclusively for males.

A woman in red dress and a black obi belt.

Tying an Obi Belt

There are a variety of methods for tying an obi, some of which are quite simple despite the fact that it may appear intimidating. You may have witnessed geishas and aristocrats being assisted in donning their kimonos and tying their obi, but this is not the only option!

For ladies, the obi is knotted around the abdomen; for men, it is tied lower, around the waist or above the hips.

As for front versus rear, that depends on the knot used. Initially, when the obi was worn as a simple belt, it was fastened in front. Obviously, it would be easier to see what you’re doing, so individuals could tie their own belts. How did we then transition from front to back? As the obi grew larger, more showy, and the knots more intricate, it became a hindrance. Additionally, it became increasingly fashionable to tie the obi to the side or back, rather than the front. The back knot grew in popularity and eventually became the classic hairstyle of the 20th century. Today, tying the obi in the front has become an eccentric fashion statement, circling back to its origins.

Selecting an Obi Belt

If you intend to wear an obi leather belt, you must select the appropriate type. First, ensure that it is made of high-quality leather. Not every obi is made from leather. Historically, they were all made from a thin, ribbon-like cloth. These traditional obis are still available for purchase. For the greatest degree of adaptability, however, it is advised that you use an obi made of fine leather.

Some obi belts are crafted from napa leather. The ultra-supple texture of Napa leather is appreciated. This leather has one of the finest grains available. The delicate texture of napa leather makes it supple. When utilized to create an obi leather belt, napa leather will provide the optimal blend of softness and durability.

Choose a leather obi belt in the appropriate hue. As with all belts, the color will dictate which clothing it can be worn with. If you choose a brown obi leather belt, for instance, you will only be able to wear brown-coordinated items. The good news is that practically any color is available for obi leather belts. Whether you choose brown, black, red, or white, you may likely get a leather obi belt in your desired hue.

Obviously, you will also need to select the proper size obi leather belt. To wear an obi leather belt, it must be wrapped around the waist. If it is too small, it may not be wearable. If it is overly large, there may be a surplus of material. You can avoid these and other issues by selecting an appropriately sized obi leather belt.

A woman reading a book outdoors wearing skirt and a belt.

Styling an Obi Belt

Colors and patterns

Although the obi belt is best recognized for its ability to constrict the waist, its adaptability to many color palettes and patterns is equally essential. Colors play a significant influence in identifying a fashionista’s personal style. As such, the obi belt meets this requirement by complementing both neutral and vibrant hues. Adding a touch of nonconformity, the obi can also be worn in prints such as polka dots and stripes.

Ensembles that match

As always, when selecting a stylish ensemble to wear with an obi belt, a sense of intention is necessary. Detailing like texture, design, and details ensure a fantastic ensemble. To demonstrate, the obi can be worn over a blazer and midi skirt for a fancy or formal look. Alternately, it can be worn informally with a loose-fitting shirt and denim shorts.

Accessorize to achieve a balance

The skill of accessorizing with an obi belt requires equilibrium. This is crucial, as the wide strip item is a standalone accessory, and complimenting it is crucial. To accomplish this, a monochromatic technique may be utilized, in which the color of your obi belt is coordinated with your footwear or handbag. Similarly, small jewelry items serve to preserve a subdued yet seductive accent of the obi belt.

To summarize

The appearance of the obi belt is appealing. A multitude of subtle features add to the exquisite design of the sash-like strap. From texturing to cut to practical details.

Add an obi belt to your favorite dress to create a waistline that is really attractive. The obi belt produces a slimmer silhouette when worn with a traditional white tunic top and thin black slacks. Turn your favorite ruana or wrap into a jacket to make a statement. Wrapping the obi belt around a luxurious faux-suede trim wrap is possible.

An obi belt is so versatile that styling it is simple.