This is one of my mid-summer traditional wear, my favourite:
Bush clover and moon print pattern
Its textile is woven with different sizes of threads so that density is reduced and more air can pass through – what a clever idea my ancestors came up with for summer clothing! But, there is a down side… the density is so low, you can easily see through it, like this:
Please excuse my right paw!
So, unless you attach lining or wear some underclothing, everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!) underneath it shows. I wonder if the photo below tells what a difference even a thin underclothing can make (I folded the traditional wear in half and put the underclothing in between – see how much more the print pattern of the bottom layer shows going from left to right?):
Left: with underclothing; right: without underclothing
It is less cool with an extra layer of clothing, no matter how thin it is, but if you are sensible enough you would wear it to save yourself from embarrassment. Besides, research on textiles for summer wear (and also for sportswear and space wear) have advanced considerably and they can now let more air through, absorb sweat better, and even cool your skin down – keep up the good work!
Today, on my way to work, I saw an old woman wearing a mid-summer traditional wear very gracefully. I could tell she was wearing one of those advanced underclothing underneath, but she kept her cool, both temperature- and temper-wise, and did not sweat wearing it (double meaning intended).
On my way back from work, I saw another person appearing to be dressed in a mid-summer traditional wear, but this time a young teenage girl. But I had to turn my eyes away very quickly, because she was wearing a cheap imitation of a traditional wear, thin and scrunched up like a coffee filter… and thus, showing EVERYTHING underneath!
Maybe our traditional wear has lost a lot of wearers over the years.
And maybe their producers are trying out many things to get more people, especially the younger, to wear them.
Maybe they must think of radical changes to keep the tradition alive.
Maybe using less expensive textiles and lowering the price is one approach.
But maybe there should be a limit to how far they go.
I get very excited to see young people trying to wear traditional wear. I think it is great for them to show interest in our heritage and get involved in keeping it alive. I wish very much for our traditional wear to be worn by many generations to come.
But I was extremely disappointed to see the young girl thinking she looked pretty in the imitation, when she was actually nothing but a disgrace, through no fault of her own (though I wish she checked herself in the mirror before she left the house). I believe there are certain qualities tradition cannot lose to stay traditional, and I worry that our traditional wear may be losing those qualities.
I really do want our traditional wear to live on… but not like this. I would rather see it come to a graceful death than continue living in disgrace.
Maybe I am being too radical thinking this way, but I cannot bear to see our truly beautiful tradition turned into abominable trash.