Another yukata coord.
If you were to ask me what kind of items you should start with when buying kimono and obi, I'd say that unless you have a special reason to go formal right away, try to find things that have the maximum amount of coordinating possibilities instead. It may be a good idea to start with a yukata set because they're the easiest to wear, but if you're planning on beginning to gather together a wardrobe, lined komon and iromuji are the two types of kimono that I've found the most usable, especially because I live in a cold country.
For obi, a nagoya is the most versatile as an obi type for women. There are other factors that define just how formal a nagoya obi looks like, but regardless of that it can technically speaking go with any yukata and kimono except for five crested ones and furisode. Even there can be small exceptions - if the obi is very fancy and the furisode has a simple design you may be able to coordinate them!
However, these occasions have to be looked at case by case: not just any nagoya obi can be worn with whatever kimono. It's safer to say that almost any nagoya obi does go with yukata that are meant to be worn with juban, komon and one crested iromuji, in short, all informal kimono. This site has a very handy chart and some good tips on what can potentially go with what (for both men and women), just remember that the chart is meant to show what could technically go with what if the combination is otherwise acceptable.
Well, what kind of a yukata is meant to be worn with a juban? Isn't yukata actually meant to be worn without one?
At its origin yukata was a bathing robe and as such was worn without a juban. With time the garment evolved somewhat, even if the most basic yukata still is the bathing robe/sleep wear you'll see in onsens and hotels. These onsen/hotel yukata are always worn without a juban and usually without a proper obi too, tied by a simple sash that makes dressing and undressing fast and easy.
(Btw be careful when wearing a yukata instead of a pajama. I tried this once in a hotel in Kyoto and let's just say it sort of disappear during the night.)
A good rule of thumb is that if the yukata is see-through it's definitely meant to be worn over a juban. :D Another one is the material it's made of. Cotton? Can likely go both ways unless the cotton is the thick "onsen-type". Silk? Always a juban. No fashion police is going to run at you for faulty juban-wearing though, so don't worry about that too much, just wear one if you need it but remember that if you add one your yukata's formality goes up a step. Some people would even say that a fancy yukata is on par with a komon kimono, or even above if the komon is very basic and the yukata is glamorous.
Well, this yukata definitely is a bit unusual by the pattern but the material is good quality cotton and it's not see-through, which means that it can be worn both with- and without a juban. Like earlier mentioned, multi-coordinating possibilities are always a huge plus! I decided to pair it with this sort of old-fashioned looking obi to both make the obi look more "fresh" and the yukata more "toned down".
By the way, something that I've been wondering about this obi (a nagoya obi, folded in half and the tesaki is stitched together) is that the tare part is really long, which always makes tying the otaiko a little bit challenging. The flower pattern is gorgeous though, so today I decided to just tie a tall otaiko just so I could show all of the best part of it.