There is a difference between a
traditional Kimono and how Kimono is often referenced in the United States.
A kimono in the USA may refer to the traditional clothing worn by the Japanese,
but it can also reference clothing such as a type of bathrobe. The
term is also used for tops & dresses when referring to a kimono sleeve or
Traditional Japanese Kimono Style:
Kimono are T-shaped,
straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle (full length
robes), with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. This is a traditional
Japanese garment and the name literally translates to ‘thing to wear’.
The kimono style robe actually has no collar per se. Japanese kimonos are
wrapped around the body, sometimes in several layers, and are secured in place
by sashes with a wide obi
to complete it. There are accessories and ties needed to wear the kimono
United States Kimono Style:
In the United States kimono can refer to a type of sleeve
and a type of collar. Both of which are based on the styling from the
traditional Japanese Kimono.
The kimono style robe in the USA
primarily refers to a bathrobe which is different than a traditional Japanese
Kimono. It only shares in the collar styling. In America you can
find terry robes, fleece robes, silk, and
bathrobes made in other materials produced in a kimono style.
Kimono sleeve are wide loose
short or wrist length. This style is obtained from traditional Japanese dresses
and adapted as today fashion. Kimono sleeves are used on shirts, blouses,
and dresses. A kimono sleeve can also be used on outerwear.
More about the Japanese Kimono:
which literally means "sash" is for traditional Japanese dress, keikogi
(uniforms for Japanese martial arts), and part of kimono outfits.
The obi for men's kimono is rather narrow, 10 centimetres
(3.9 in) wide at most, but a woman's formal obi can be 30 centimetres (12 in)
wide and more than 4 metres (13 ft) long. Nowadays, a woman's wide and
decorative obi does not keep the kimono closed; this is done by different
undersashes and ribbons worn underneath the obi. The obi itself often requires
the use of stiffeners and ribbons for definition of shape and decoration.
There are many types of obi, most for women: wide obis
made of brocade and narrower, simpler obis for everyday wear. The fanciest and
most colourful obis are for young unmarried women. The contemporary women's obi
is a very conspicuous accessory, sometimes even more so than the kimono robe
itself. A fine formal obi might cost more than the rest of the entire outfit.
Obis are categorized by their design, formality, material, and use. Informal
obis are narrower and shorter.
The Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the
left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial) and secured
by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimono are generally worn
with traditional footwear (especially zôri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).
The modern kimono is not worn as often as it once was.
Most women wear western-style clothing and only wear kimono for special
occasions. In modern Japan, kimono are a marked feminine costume and a
national attire. There are multiple types and subtypes of kimono that a woman
can wear: furisode, uchikake and shiromuku, houmongi, yukata, tomesode, and
mofuku, depending on her marital status and the event she attends.
There are types of kimonos that are worn for different
occasions and seasons. Women typically wear kimonos when they attend traditional
arts, such as a tea ceremonies or ikebana classes. Girls and young single women
wear furisode: a colorful style of kimono with long sleeves that are tied with a
During wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom will often
go through many costume changes. Shiromuku or uchikake are worn by brides, which
are heavily embroidered white kimonos. Grooms wear black kimonos made from
habutae silk. For funerals, men and women wear plain black kimonos. (It is
acceptable to wear black suits for weddings and funerals.)
The "coming of age" ceremony, Seijin no Hi, is another
occasion where kimonos are worn. At these annual celebrations, women wear
elaborately colored kimonos, often with boas. Other occasions where kimonos are
worn today include New Year, graduation ceremonies, and Shichi-go-san, which is
a celebration for children.
Today, kimono are most often worn by women, and on
special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called
furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older
women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the
kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very
Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono
because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing
A yukata is a Japanese
garment, a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, and
unlined. Yukata are worn by men and women. Like other forms of traditional
Japanese clothing, yukata are made with straight seams and wide sleeves. Men's
yukata are distinguished by the shorter sleeve extension of approximately 10 cm
from the armpit seam, compared to the longer 20 cm sleeve extension in women's
yukata. A standard yukata ensemble consists of a cotton undergarment (juban),
yukata, obi, bare feet, sandals (geta), a foldable or fixed hand fan, and a
carry bag (kinchaku). Kinchaku are used by both men and women to carry
cellphones and other small personal items. For men, an optional hat may also be
worn to protect the head from the sun. Yukata literally means bath(ing) clothes,
although their use is not limited to after-bath wear. Yukata are a common sight
in Japan during the hot summer months.