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  • Writer's pictureJulie Diana

How to Tie an Obi Belt on a Head Wrap

Updated: May 12

Woman in navy headwrap

Obi belt: Amazon / Scarf: Iristide / Earrings: Amazon Collection / Duster cardigan: Amazon Essentials

Woman in navy headwrap and navy duster

Creativity is the joy of headwrapping. It makes me feel like I'm back in art school.

The combinations of color, pattern, shape, and texture are limitless. As a fashion major at Parsons School of Design, these artistic elements were my world.

Strolling the streets of Greenwich Village, my eye was primed to notice the aesthetic details all around. Fashions from all over the world. Older ladies in tailored designer daywear. Exquisitely hip classmates from Pacific metropoli: Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo.

Hailing from Japan, the obi belt was traditionally a wide silk sash. Women have used them to secure kimonos since ancient times.

How to Tie an Obi Belt on Your Headwrap

In the West, many of today's obi belts are made of suede, linen, or leather. The one I'm wearing was made in France with Italian leather. At about three inches at the widest point, it has ideal dimensions for tying on your head.

The Video Tutorial

In the diagrams and tutorial below, I demonstrate how to tie an obi belt around your headwrap.

Place the belt over your headwrap on with the straighter edge toward the back of your head, and the more curved edge toward your face.

Diagram of an obi belt

Diagram of how to tie an obi belt on your head

Which color and size?

While this belt comes in over a dozen colors, I felt the navy colorway would be the most versatile for my wardrobe. It matches my favorite navy rectangular scarf. It's a deep, neutral shade; but not black.

I rarely wear black as it's harsh against my fair--almost translucent--complexion. Chiaroscuro is not the look I'm going for (note the art school reference).

For headwrapping, I recommend buying the smallest belt size, listed as small-medium. As shown in the video tutorial above, simply cross the ties in the back. Use the hole when wearing the belt around your waist.

The Modest Outfit

Modest outfit and headwrap with obi belt

After tying, you'll want to wear pair your hip headwrap with a classic, comfortable outfit. I love a cohesive color scheme, so I've chosen a navy duster cardigan. It's a cotton-blend knit and hits my 5'4" frame (162 cm) just above the knee.

The green midi dress from WoolOvers has navy sprigs and a matching sash belt. Sparkly rose gold leverback earrings add a final touch.

Wearing the Obi Belt on Your Waist

Obi belt worn around the waist

Earrings: Etsy / Shoes: Vionic

You can also wear the belt around your waist, of course. Take your waist measurements so you know which size to order. I keep a small measuring tape by my computer for this purpose.

When tying around your waist, thread the narrow part of the belt through the gap on the back of the belt. Secure the narrow tails in a double knot or a bow.

Thank you for reading!

Wishing you endless enjoyment in tying scarves and creating modest outfits.

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