Looking Good in a Big Brown Bathrobe
Sartorial Training


Pia Jesu Domine... *thump*The true test of a real Jedi is not whether she can blow up starships, or kill evil overlords, or refrain from giggling at Yoda's Fozzie Bear voice. The true test is how good she looks in a big brown bathrobe.

The aspiring novice does not merely don the big brown bathrobe and suffer in it until she finally looks good. She advances through a number of stages, each time pitting herself against successively greater sartorial challenges. Her master guides her carefully, avoiding both allowing her to rest on her laurels and forcing her beyond endurance until her fashion sense breaks and she refuses to shop anywhere but at the Gap.

As Jedi training involves serious physical conditioning, g ym clothes are a fact of life. One might think that looking good in g ym clothes is an easy step. They're tight, they're sexy, what's the problem? The human ass, that's the problem. If the ass isn't attached to someone well-advanced in Phase I, if not II, then it's likely to be lumpy, wobbly, and in general just too much ass for the clothes to handle. Looking good in g ym clothes is actually slightly advanced.

Looking good in a kimono and hakama, on the other hand, is an easy step. Everyone looks good in a kimono and hakama. It's the perfect combination of all-concealing and gracefully-draping--as long as your waist is narrow enough that you don't look like you're wearing three layers of untailored thick cotton and a pile of sashes, you look good. I reject the premise that I have a bishonen fetish and therefore think that anything with a long pleated skirt on looks good. We are discussing aesthetic truth; my personal convictions have nothing to do with it. I also reject the objection that no Jedi in the series has been seen wearing a kimono and hakama--or, for that matter, g ym clothes. Since these outfits are merely the first and second steps in sartorial training, any Jedi who has advanced far enough to call herself a Jedi immediately dons the next outfit, the dirty g i, and refuses to lower herself by wearing anything lesser.

Looking good in a dirty g i is an advanced step--no one actually looks good in a g i. Making the viewer think the Jedi looks good in a g i is a Jedi mind trick. Note the multiple layers of fabric forming a dwindling-into-the-distance, hypnotic, "you are getting sleepy" pattern on Obi-Wan's chest. This is not merely a fashion statement.

The gi must be slightly dirty. It's essential. Real Jedis don't have time to do laundry.As you can see, the traditional Jedi g i presents the Jedi with several challenges. The first challenge is bulk. Obi-Wan has at least five layers of fabric tucked into the front of his belt, plus what is likely a double thickness of obi, with a thick leather belt holding it all together. He looks five months pregnant. Yet he looks good. Such is the skill of one advanced in the ways of the Force. The second challenge is color. The g i is a light ecru with tobacco-stain undertones, a color designed to make the most tanned white boy look washed-out. Yet Obi-Wan looks pink and healthy. The third challenge is overheating. Not even the finest muslin or khadi will keep its wearer cool when piled on five layers deep.

This may be why Obi-Wan looks pink. And healthy.

The ur-challenge, the test which makes or breaks many a young Padawan, is how good she looks in a big brown bathrobe. Worn incorrectly, the bathrobe makes one look like a Name of the Rose extra. Carried off with insufficient panache, the bathrobe makes the Jedi look like a small girl in her daddy's clothes. Carried off with insufficient dexterity, the bathrobe makes the Jedi look like a woman sprawled flat on her face and snorting sod. Many young Padawans begin training in wearing the big brown bathrobe on messy worlds like Dagobah, where faceplanting is a way of life and the Padawan's sartorial failures are less obvious. Earthbound Padawans are advised to begin training at science fiction conventions, where sartorial failures will merely make the novice fit in.

Once the Jedi has attained the big brown bathrobe, she is encouraged to go further. Jedi institutes across the galaxy stock their training rooms with Salvation Army bathrobes in a vast array of unflattering colors for the aspiring master or mistress to pit herself against. The greatest Jedi of all could look good in a fuzzy mustard-colored bathrobe with orange curry stains on the hem. Truly dedicated Jedis are sometimes given permission to test themselves against articles of clothing other than bathrobes, such as beige bell-bottomed capris.

So here we have the four stages of Jedi sartorial training:

1. Looking good in a kimono and hakama
2. Looking good in g ym clothes
3. Looking good in a g i
4. Looking good in a big brown bathrobe

Masterless Padawans are encouraged to train slowly, being always mindful of the vast seas of aesthetic misery already surrounding us and the need not to add to them. Training clothing can be bought ready-made, especially for Phase II, but Padawans are encouraged to deepen their sartorial training through sewing meditation.

  Useful Links

Phase I
Looking Good in a Kimono and Hakama

Instructions for Sewing Hakama

Mr. Cardon's Basic Japanese Garb

Round Earth Publishing Pattern for Japanese Clothing

Sewing Central Hakama Patterns

Buy Japanese clothes from:

Mugendo Budogu
Kyoto Kimono
Shop Japan

Phase II
Looking Good in G ym Clothes

Honestly, nothing can help you here. Work out hard, watch what you eat, and for God's sake don't wear lime spandex.

Phase III
Looking Good in a G i
Phase IV
Looking Good in a Big Brown Bathrobe

The Padawan's Guide to Basic Jedi Garb

Amber's Jedi Meditation Center

Star Wars Costuming Board

Jedi Robes: A Uniform Approach?

Obi-Wan's Jedi Academy - Costume Tips

TheForce.net - Costumes

Jedi Costumes

Email me
Back to Life Skills
Back to Issendai's Lair