Well choose an obi may seem simple. What is simple, generally, is the color. For the material, the weaving, the thickness, the sheen, or the whole harmony with your outfit, it can be a bit more complicated…

Good concrete examples? Take silk: it can be satin, jersey, crepe, doupioni, bourrette, taffeta, wild, … Cotton? it can be canvas, twill, batist, satin, … This means that, if you were simply willing a black obi, maybe it can be a little more complicated than what you thought. So, here are 4 simple hints to help you make the right decision.

1. Choose the material that match the one of your outfit, or which dominates in your closet.

It’s kind of obvious that a thin belt in wild silk is not the choise for a thick cotton jersey dress. Of course, can play disruption, but get the same kind of material for the belt and the outfit will always be a good safe choice.

Beyond, you can consider 3 criterias:

  • rather mate or satin or shiny;
  • rather thin or thick;
  • rather soft or stiff.

If you want to play with contrasts, it’s good to have a minimum of common features between the belt and the outfit. Concretely, it means that “shiny silk on mate silk” is more harmonious than “shiny silk on mate cotton”.

You can consider this hint for your whole closet, thinking about the material or the kind of drape that you tend to prefer.

Choose the width according to your body.

A waist belt may have a width, let’s say between cc. 8 cm / 3″ and cc. 12 cm / 4.5″. But the widest will impact differently on a 1.50m / 5′ tall woman, and on a 1.80 / 6′ one. Matter of balance.

So, the taller you are, the more plus size you are, then the wider the belt. And vice-versa.

If you are rather petite and plus, I recommend to give priority to narrower width: that’s a matter of balance (in height), and because my belts -with their slit- have a good hold around the waist.

If you are rather tall and slim, any will be OK, and then, it becomes matter of taste and style.

In case of doubt, you can do a simple test: you fold a kerchief / cloth / scarf at the width, and look at the effect around your waist.

3. Choose the 2 sides according to your tastes

All obis have 2 sides. And both sides are -most often- visible. At least on the knot and on the straps.

So, it does really matter that both sides match. It’s the case for a single colored belt, but you may also consider:

  •  2 shades of the same color (eg dark and light green)
  • single color but the 2 sides have a different shine or texture
  • matching solid and print fabrics.

From that perspective, the solid color belts fit well with print dresses or tunics. And vice-versa.

NB: for “technical” reasons, certain fabrics can’t be associated; for instance, thick with thin generates higher risk of tearing.


4. Determine the length considering how you want to knot (on the front / on the back).

I do my belts so that they are knotted on the front.

So that a knot in the back becomes possible, it requires longer straps. In that case, when you knot on the front, the straps fall lower (since longer).

Anyway, if you have a doubt, best is to contact me and discuss. Email me your outfit, precise me its material can only be useful. On my side, I will do my best to be objective and concrete.

2 Possible Patterns for your Obi Belt

1. All my obis / waist belts are reversible. The 2 sides can be identical, or different.

2. The central parts and the straps are separately made. And can thus differ.

This offers plenty of possibilities. Here are 2 patterns, made with the 2 same fabrics:

On the left (A model), the straps are fully black on both sides. This enables to wear a fully black belt, without seeing the print on the other side. And when you wear on the other side, than, the print is partly covered by the black straps.

For technical reason, this pattern is only proposed with a wide width (cc 11.5cm / 4.5″).

On the right (model B), each side is fully made with the same fabric, including straps. In that case, you can wear the belt on the print side, or the solid colored one. Though, the other side will always be partly visible. Namely on the knot, and on the back of the falling straps (below the knot).

This pattern is proposed in 2 widths. With certain fabrics, it can be narrower.