The Haramaki: Samurai Fashion Turned Winter Wear
Following an ancient samurai fashion tradition is the Haramaki. Once used to protect the stomach and kidneys from sharp swords, this fashion item is now used to protect against much less harsh elements; namely the weather. Read on and decide if the Haramaki is a fashion statement for the future, or if it should have gone extinct with the Samurai's.
Today's idea behind the Haramaki also lies with the kidneys, but now the focus is not upon protection from Samurai weaponry, but rather as a source of warmth for those who live in colder climates. The concept is that by warming the kidneys, the rest of the body in turn stays warm, no matter what the temperature outside. The Haramaki can be worn under clothing, or as a layered piece belong a shorter shirt. It's also popular with sports enthusiasts and pregnant women who swear by it for the comfort benefits it offers.
We've seen a similar trend before with hip hugger bands meant to achieve the layered look without the bulk. At least this piece of fashion is meant to serve a purpose beyond its aesthetic value; but is it an effective method to provide warmth and fashion, or is it a clothing item that should have remained with the Samurais?