So far, most of the adaptations listed here have moved along the axis of the current kimono style. That style, however, is a crystalization of specifically upper class style from one to two hundred years ago. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, all there is to the history of kimono.
People who actually had to do things with their day, who had to move and work, did not, of course, wear their clothes after the same manner as the leisured class. When being active, it is both wise and appropriate to ignore the "rules" based on inactivity.
One option is to tuck the hem of the kimono up into the belt, and to use a simple belt not an elaborate one. For a modern variation on this, one can also gather the kimono up to the knee when wrapping it.
Another option is to adopt the two-piece kimono once again. For daily wear to, say, an office job, one might simply cut a kimono or yukata and re-hem it at the bottom of the eri, and wear it as a top over slacks or skirt.
Even the hanhaba obi is really too much for a daily-wear adaptation, and if you look at artwork from the "kimono as daily wear" periods, you can see that working people used far simpler and narrower belts than people in formal settings. Pretty much any belt that harmonizes with your kimono will be perfectly fine for normal, as opposed to formal, wear. I find that a quilted double-wrap sash about three inches wide works charmingly.
Rule of Thumb
The thing to remember, when you set out to wear kimono as an actual, utile, daily article of clothing, is that it should not impede whatever you're doing and should not look strangely formal in the circumstances. What you wear to work should not be what you wear to garden should not be what you wear to a dressy night out, but there's no reason they can't all be kimono. This is the basis of all clothing fashions in any culture and no less so for the kimono.
Last modified: 07/26/09
First Posted: 6/11/2009