Japanese Clothing:The Kimono


Traditional Clothing in Japan

There are various styles of ethnic Japanese clothing worn strictly in Japan. In recent years, most of these types of clothing are only used on special occasions rather than in daily life. Modern, western clothing has largely replaced the traditional ethnic clothing as more convenient. Some of the traditional clothing styles include the kimono, fundoshi, and hakama.


Perhaps the most well-known and encompassing traditional Japanese clothing is the kimono. The kimono is a floor-length robe worn by women, men and children. They are T-shaped, wrapped around the body and held in place by a sash, or an obi, tied in the back. The shoes one wears with a kimono are traditional sandals called zori or geta with tabi, which are the split-toed socks. In recent times, women more often wear the kimono and men wear them at weddings, tea ceremonies and on formal or special occasions, although the professional sumo wrestlers wear them whenever in public.

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Kimono Styles

There are many types of kimono and they range from formal to casual. Formal kimonos are made of silk, while less formal kimonos, such as the yukata, are made of cotton or synthetic fibers. The styles of women’s kimonos are much more extensive than those worn by men. The types of kimonos worn by women indicate the type of occasion, as well as their marital status. Some of the types of women’s kimonos include:

  • Furisode
    These are the most formal type of kimono for young women. The furisode has very long sleeves indicating the woman is unmarried. They are worn at seijin shiki, or “coming-of-age ceremonies.” The single female relatives of the bride wear them at weddings and wedding receptions.
  • Mofuku
    These kimonos are for both men and women and are for formal mourning. They are usually made of silk and dyed black, worn over white tabi and white undergarments. Only family and those who were close to the deceased wear all black.
  • Tomesode
    Are reserved for married women. There are two types of tomesode, one that is more formal and one not as formal. The irotomesode is slightly less formal and is single-colored worn by close relatives of the bride and groom at weddings. The kurotomesode is a black kimono with patterns below the waistline and are the most formal kimono for married women. Mothers of the bride and groom wear this type of kimono at weddings.
  • Uchikake
    A very formal kimono only worn by brides or at a stage performance. It is usually all white or very colorful with red as a base color. It is to be worn outside of the actual kimono and is never tied with an obi.
  • Susohiki/Hikizuri
    Worn by geisha or stage performers of traditional Japanese dance. In comparison to a regular kimono, these are much longer and trail the floor.
  • Yukata
    A summer kimono made of cotton. They are often worn at fireworks displays and other summer events and festivals. Wearers typically wear geta with these kimonos without the tabi.

Men’s Kimonos

Men’s kimonos are less of an affair as women’s kimonos. They are much more simple and subdued in color. The most formal men’s kimono is plain black silk with five kamon, or family crests. The less formal kimono for men has three kamon.

Kimono Material

More formal and expensive kimonos are made of silk, while less expensive kimonos are made of cotton, natural fibers, such as hemp and flax, and synthetic fibers. Silk requires more frequent care and is much more delicate than the other material types. Natural material, cotton and synthetic fiber materials, require less attention to care detail and can be washed at home. They are much less expensive than silk kimonos.

Costs of Kimonos

Kimonos are typically expensive. They range anywhere from $300 to $5000 or more… it depends the material of kimono,design, order made and so on.

So where can you buy your very own kimono and accessories? Below is a list of shops where you can buy custom-made or ready-to-wear kimonos:

Where to buy an authentic kimono
Here some links to shops of ready-to-wear-kimonos

Below includes a few links to shops that will custom make your kimono


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