Thursday, 15 January 2009

Kimono Opinions: Of Hobbies and Choices

Have you ever looked back and wondered if you'd chosen the right hobby?

Years ago, I was faced with three hobby-crossroads - kimono, cosplay, or ball-jointed dolls. I was in love with all three, but because they're all very expensive hobbies, I decided I'd pick only one. Only thing was, which one should I choose...?

Empress Augusta Vradica i.e. Seth from Trinity Blood:

Catherina Sforza from Trinity Blood:

I can't remember who these people are cosplaying, but I got their picture from

I was still shy about actually going out and cosplaying at that time. I had no self-confidence and didn't really like having attention on myself, and cosplaying would've killed me: showing off my sewing "skills", my less than stellar body, and having people stare and whisper. Of course, back then, I'd never actually tried doing it, so I didn't have any idea how fun it really was. So cosplay was out.

Ball-jointed dolls:
(I got these pictures from Dream of Doll)
I want this doll, E-an:

I also would like Luke (the middle one):

Oh this one was a tough choice. These dolls are just so beautiful that I wanted all of them! I fell in love with every face I saw, every picture I stumbled across.... I would've been glad to spend my time looking for patterns, designing and sewing clothes for them, as opposed to using my laptop 24/7.

The major downside is that it's very expensive to begin with, and to maintain. For this, you have to put your all into it: the "starting costs" are about USD500 a doll. The E-an doll I want would cost $520 for the doll alone, with no make-up or clothes! If I want to add clothes, it becomes $595. If you want make-up, that's $60 extra. Not to mention customs taxes, which are a sure thing given its price! *shudders* No thank you. When I'm working and earning over RM100k a year, and have at least RM20k in my hobbies account (siphoning about 10% of earnings every other month and out of any bonuses), I'll buy a doll out of my own earnings, thanks. I just hope I won't be married already by that time.


This hobby was unusual. You rarely see people wearing kimono in the UK or in KL unless there's some event. I'd heard of horror stories of how one kimono can cost thousands of dollars. Then suddenly, I discovered eBay. I saw kimono being sold for anything from $1 to $90 each. I realised that, unlike BJ dolls, you can start out small, with one kimono here, an obi there, a few accessories. If I decided I didn't like it, then I hadn't spent all that much money and so it was okay. Besides, it looked pretty! Plus, I'd already had two yukata sets from Naoi-san, a foreign exchange student we hosted. And so, I bought two kimono at less than $10 each, including shipping. I was hooked.

So there you have it - how and why I chose kimono to be my hobby. Except for one thing....

I'm still insanely obsessed over ball-jointed dolls and cosplaying.

I regularly visit Dream of Doll (they're my favourite designer) and cosplay forums. Whenever I find a nice anime, I immediately look for cosplay pictures. Everytime I login to eBay, I search for cosplay costumes that look relatively good (not that I'd buy them). And once in a while, when my kimono obsession has cooled off slightly, I look at the pictures I've collected and wonder why I didn't choose those instead.

But then I remember - both cosplaying and BJDs are very expensive hobbies if you want to do them right, and besides, how often can I cosplay? I can dress up and feel just as pretty, if not prettier, by wearing kimono, can't I? And with kimono, I can always buy $1 pieces and find they're still perfectly wearable/useable.

With that in mind, I once again turn devotedly to my kimono - until the next time I feel tired of kimono for a bit, and the whole cycle starts again.

P/S: If my parents lay into me about spending too much on kimono, maybe I should show them my alternative hobby in BJDs instead *snickers*

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these pictures! Some are random pics I've collected over the years, and the doll pictures are from their official website, Dream of Doll.

1 comment:

SilberRegen said...

Good to know there are other poeple who struggled deciding on a hobby (^.^) I love cosplay, too. But somehow kimono managed to come first, so now I stick with them ^^