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How to Create a Japanese Geisha Outfit

From finding the perfect gift for a loved one to creating an authentic Japanese haven at home, everyone visits The Japanese Shop for a different reason. For Hana, a trip to The Japanese Shop helped her create her geisha inspired World Book Day costume (a costume which helped her to win the title of ‘Best Costume’ in her school’s yearly competition!).

Creating a Geisha Outfit

Inspired by her favourite book, Memoirs of a Geisha, Hana came The Japanese Shop’s showroom in Harrogate to find a costume befitting the book’s central character, Sayuri. To recreate the iconic geisha style, Hana:
  • Shaped her hair into a ‘split peach’ style, otherwise known as ofuku. This Japanese hairstyle was traditionally worn by geisha who had attained a certain level of maturity.
  • Adorned the sides and back of her hair with flowers. In keeping with the traditional geisha, who relied on their skill rather than their appearance to entertain guests, Hana chose subtle, muted-coloured flowers.
  • Applied an extremely light, almost white foundation to her face to achieve a flawless complexion. For centuries, women in Japan have adopted the porcelain skin look to draw attention to their features.
  • Complimented her porcelain-coloured face with a plum eye shadow, a thin line of black eyeliner drawn into a flick at the edges and a bright red lipstick. The signature feature of the geisha look, the bright red lipstick is thought to exemplify fullness and rich health. If you would like to have a geisha makeover, check out the techniques in the geisha make-up art.
A person in Japanese geisha attire, including a floral kimono and a decorative hairpiece

Hana’s Experience at The Japanese Shop

“When I visited The Japanese Shop, I was met with smiling faces and warmly welcomed into the showroom. I was immediately drawn to the stunning collection of colourful kimonos. Out of the array of beautiful silk garments, I tried on two: a traditional kimono decorated with a Japanese pattern and a vintage cream one. Both were a perfect fit. I was over the moon!A person in a complex geisha outfit with a fan partly concealing their face
Then, I caught sight of the most charming, deep blue hand fan, adorned with the iconic cherry blossom. This fan would make the perfect accompaniment to my geisha costume! I could already envisage myself sweeping the competing line in confidence. Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly fallin love with another item, I found the delicate branches of the prettiest pink blossom flowers (they would look great in my new bedroom!). I had to buy them! I left the shop with a head full of happiness, my geisha costume and an armful of cherry blossom branches- the joys! The Japanese Shop was certainly one of the most beautiful and enjoyable shopping experiences I’ve ever had”. If you, like Hana, are fascinated by geisha, check out our very brief history of the Japanese Geisha. Alternatively, browse our wonderful collection of authentic Japanese products to help you recreate your very own traditional geisha outfit.
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