The Obi belt: its origins and how to highlight it

The Obi belt is a very popular belt that comes in the form of a fabric band without buckle or clasp. This accessory has gone through time without becoming obsolete and is still trendy. It is a belt that comes in different forms: wide, narrower, different lengths and varied materials: silk, African print, leather, leatherette / faux leather, solid color or with patterns. It is one of our first products at Coo-Mon and we continue to produce it in different colors. 

What does the word 'Obi' mean?

According to Larousse, the word '' Obi '' designates in the traditional Japanese costume, a wide silk belt worn on the kimono and forming a knot in the back. The '' Obi '' is tied over the kimono to ensure a better fit of the kimono and to keep it well crossed.

A little history

The story of the Obi began with that of the Japanese costume because these two elements are inseparable. Its use began in the fifth century as a simple hemp rope like a sash on the haniwa figures. The width of the cord increased over time from 3 cm to 15 cm at the end of the fifteenth century, and it became a major element of the decoration of the Japanese costume. During this time, the Obi belt was tied on the side or in the back.

histoire de la ceinture obi staregan

In the 18th century, the width of the Obi reached 18 cm and the Obi belt began to be knotted more and more in the back. Advances in weaving and dyeing techniques during this period helped to embellish the Obi belt with fabulous patterns.

ceinture obi large

There are diverse types of Obi that vary according to the width, the length, the printed patterns on the belt as well as according to their use on a man’s kimono, woman’s kimono or kimonos for martial arts. The following can be counted: Maru obi, Fukuro obi, Nagoya obi, Hanhaba obi, Odori obi, Tenga obi, Heko obi, Tsuke obi, Kaku obi, Sakiori obi, Chuya obi and Darari obi.

What type of morphology is the Obi belt suitable for?

If you have a little curve, do not hesitate one bit: The Obi belt fits very well to your morphology. It marks the waist and makes you have a very beautiful shape.

femme ronde portant une ceinture obi en pagne africain wax

Also, if you are a plump and curvy woman with X sizes, it is also a great belt for you. One of my clients in the United States tried it and loved it.

femme mince portant une ceinture obi en pagne africain wax

For women who have a straight hip, it’s not the best fit for your body type. Well-known stylist and image consultant Cristina Cordula will say that you’ve missed the plot and you would need a low waist belt.

What’s the best position for your Obi belt?

Once again, I will refer to Cristina Cordula here, because for a few months now, when I have time, I watch the French show '' Les reines du shopping '' that she hosts. I like this show for the style advice she gives. In one of the episodes ''Être irrésistible au bal des pompiers'', one of the contestants wore an Obi belt as a low-waisted and she did not like it. The Obi belt is worn at the waist, high waist.

I agree with her regarding women who have curves because worn high waist, the Obi belt accentuates the  curves and puts the curves in value.

However, I have already tried an Obi belt under the chest on a plain dress cut under the bust (also known as empire dress, fitted empire dress) and it actually looked very good.

A pregnant woman can also very well wear an Obi belt over her belly on her pregnancy dress for a very nice effect. ceinture obi portée en bas du ventre par une femme enceinte

One of my friends who bought one of our Obi belts has also worn it low waist below her belly during her pregnancy and it was not bad at all.

Worn around the waist or around the hip, it refines your silhouette. To do this, wrap your Obi belt around your waist and with the straps that are thin or wider, tie a bow or loop on the front, side or back. Please watch the video for how to tie an Obi belt (you will also find other videos available on YouTube)

Worn under the bust, it adds a touch of originality to your tunic or ceinture obi portée sur robe de grossessedress cut under the bust and brings out the flared shape of the garment. It is one of the ways to wear the Obi belt or kimono belt suitable for the future mother or pregnant woman to refine her silhouette and bring out her beautiful round belly. Tied tight under the bust, it also keeps the back straight.

When worn under the belly by the pregnant woman as the Obi belt is flexible, it adapts to the shape of the lower belly and adds a touch of glamor to the pregnancy garment. The Obi belt is a long belt the pregnant woman can use throughout her pregnancy and later after giving birth.

In summary, the Obi belt is perfect for those who are curvy, plump with curves and pregnant woman can also very well wear it.

With what to wear an obi belt?

The Obi belt is a multi-purpose belt that can be worn with several types of clothing: dress, skirt, blouse, pants, tunic and even on a coat. I admit that I had never thought of wearing an Obi belt on a coat until a client told me that she uses her Obi belt this way. obi belt tied on a coat

Buying an Obi belt is, therefore, a very profitable purchase and a great investment since you can use it all year long, be it summer, autumn, winter or spring.

What are the advantages of Obi belts made by Coo-Mon?

These belts are handmade in Montreal, Quebec in faux leather (leatherette) paired with African print ankara, bogolan and soon also in Shweshwe (cotton fabric only produced in South Africa since 1982). You can choose between two sizes: extra small (XS) to medium (M) and large (L) to Extra large (XL). They are flexible, easy to handle, and can be attached to the side, front, or back. It's up to you to choose the style you want to adopt. They come in a wide range of patterns from bright, vibrant colors to more classic colors.

In addition, they are reversible, so you can opt for the printed side when you wear solid color clothes or the black side for printed clothes.

You will also find on the website of Coo-Mon, accessories matching Obi belts such as headbands, scarves, bow ties, suspenders, pocket square (handkerchief), cufflinks, all perfect for creating sets of accessories for a birth gift, couple, father and son, mother and daughter or for the whole family.


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I hope this publication will be helpful for you and feel free to ask questions by a message on our Facebook page. It will be a pleasure to help out.

Ingrid, Creative director and founder

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