I just love these belly-warmers called haramaki. They were popular a long time ago and are back in fashion with trendy designs and fun shopping websites. Grandmother was right: keep your belly warm. If you have low-cut jeans you are probably exposing your stomach and lower back; not a great idea in winter.
I managed to reduce my electricity bill last month by turning off my fridge and not heating the room where it stands. But February is the coldest month here in Japan, and as I type, I'm covering my legs with a blanket... I need a belly-warmer!
They look fun to make. PlanetJune has the how-to-make tutorial on her blog, and the trick seems to be to use two layers of different materials, one thick and one thin, to get that snug fit. You could of course knit one, or buy from the online shop over at Hobonichi (many items on sale from March 15).
They don't just want you to take their word for it, they even took the thermographic images above to show how much warmer your belly will get by wearing the haramaki and leg warmers. The material is a warm mix of 97% cotton and 3% polyurethan. And then there is Dr. Akira Kawashima from Tokyo Women's Medical University who is a great supporter of haramaki:
I often tell my patients "warm up your body". Our culture has developed lots of "cooling habits". Drinking cold drinks or staying in a cool room all result in chilling one's body when we need to do the opposite. Always keep in mind to warm your body and protect your health. Considering all these facts, Haramaki is a very precious product to protect one's body and to stay healthy. I can only - warmly - recommend to use it.
Written by Martin Frid at greenz.jp