Japanese Kimono

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THE JAPANESE KIMONO : THE TRADITIONAL JAPANESE CLOTHING

Japanese kimonos are traditional clothes worn for pleasure or reserved for special occasions. Moreover, it is no secret that the Japanese kimono is the emblematic clothing of the Japanese, a real pride for the country. Emblem of the Japanese culture, this traditional costume remains the flagship outfit to go to official ceremonies. But, with time, Japanese and foreigners wear it every day. And for good reason, this long jacket, with unique seams and patterns, is comfortable and soft. This aspect of dress has significance and is not only a garment worn by women and men from the Land of the Rising Sun.

What is the Japanese kimono dress? What is the origin of this traditional? With what fabric is it made? Who is the Japanese kimono for? Zoom on the Japanese kimono: the traditional Japanese dress.

WHAT IS A JAPANESE KIMONO?

The term kimono comes from two words "kiru", meaning "to wear" and "mono", meaning "thing". Thus, the meaning of the word Japanese kimono is "thing that one wears". This Japanese traditional is a long T-shaped dress. One of its main characteristics is its long and drooping sleeves. It also consists of a wide obi belt. In addition, the Japanese kimono is usually worn with tabi socks and zoris, which are informal geta. Despite its reputation, the Japanese kimono is often confused with the clothing worn in martial arts, such as judo, even though they have nothing in common.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE KIMONO?

Contrary to popular belief, Japanese kimonos do not originate from Japan. In fact, these Japanese dresses come from China. According to history, this little dress was used as a substitute for underwear. But, its popularity took off only during the Muromachi era, in 1392. The Japanese wore them without pants and accompanied it with Obi belts. For your information, Japanese pants are called hakama.

The T shape of this Japanese dress was famous only from the Edo period. During this period, this garment was the traditional dress of Japanese brides and young women. Nowadays, you can easily find a kimono embroidered with Japanese motifs and symbols on the fabric. As for the obis, they are created with a wide style with longer sleeves for women.

WHAT FABRIC IS USED TO MAKE KIMONOS?

The Japanese fabric used to create kimonos is a noble material. Thus, they can be made of silk, cotton, vegetable fibers and linen. To obtain these traditional clothes, rectangular fabrics must be assembled. Special techniques are used to weave it. This is why colorful patterns, prints and relief are obtained, depending on the complexity of the Asian kimono dress. These steps are followed by the coloring of the fabric using natural powders. What about the color of the fabric? It depends on several characteristics. The combination of dyes takes an essential place in the design of this traditional garment, and is influenced by the seasons. Before being sewn, the kimono goes through the addition of embroidery, lace, ornaments and gold threads. Regarding the fabric of the yukata, the summer kimono, it is made of light cotton. Usually, yukata are white and blue, but you can find a model with floral and flowery print.

WHEN TO WEAR THE JAPANESE KIMONO?

In Japan, the kimono is worn for all occasions. Men and women wear it during funeral, wedding and graduation ceremonies. These embroidered women's and men's clothes are also worn during parties and rare occasions. Japanese people also wear Japanese kimono for artistic performances, traditional dances, ikebana, tea ceremony. Moreover, some professions require this outfit, such as geishas. Finally, young children also wear Japanese kimono during Shichi-go-san.

JAPANESE KIMONO FOR WOMEN: AN ELEGANT AND TRADITIONAL OUTFIT

The women's kimono is the most representative traditional outfit of Japanese women. In Japan, the Japanese kimono dress for women is worn during special events such as weddings and tea ceremonies. During the summer season, the yukata, comfortable and light, replaces this emblematic Japanese garment.

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN'S KIMONOS?

The kimono, a women's fashion, consists of a fabric embellished with Japanese symbols. This dress with thin straps closes in the front by crisscrossing the left part on the right side. To keep it in place, you have to wear obis: a Japanese belt. 

The sleeves of women's kimonos are characterized by a very large length and width. Moreover, on some models, the sleeves reach the ground. They are also worn with shoes, such as geta and tabi socks.

Fans of Japanese culture find this outfit trendy and fashionable. Despite the straightness of this outfit, the obi belt allows to mark the waist and to emphasize the curves of a woman. As for the long sleeves, they make the kimono lighter.

WHEN DO WOMEN WEAR JAPANESE KIMONO?

Worn by women, the Japanese tone kimono dress can be worn to design many looks and various moments. Besides, the textiles of women's kimonos are varied, allowing it to be put on for various occasions. Some women wear it for unique occasions, while others put it on as pajamas. Sometimes they are used to create a casual outfit, sometimes they are put on as chic evening dresses. Comfortable and loose fitting, the women's kimono also doubles as a loungewear. You can wear it as a nightgown or a bathrobe. With its cherry blossoms, floral prints and Japanese landscapes, you'll look stylish and chic any time of the day!

The most adventurous women will opt for colorful models, while others will bet on more sober kimonos. In any case, this garment will highlight your shape and your best attributes.

THE JAPANESE KIMONO FOR MEN: BETWEEN COMFORT AND TRADITION

As for women, the Japanese kimono for men is usually worn for rare occasions. Thus, to go to a wedding, to festivals and religious rituals, Japanese wear kimonos, but, not only!

WHAT ARE THE SPECIFICITIES OF MEN'S KIMONOS?

Men's kimono is made of a fabric with a T-shape. This shape is the best medium to present Japanese art. Men's kimonos also have short or long sleeves. As for their textile, you can find models made of thick linen, cotton or polyester.

WHEN TO WEAR MEN'S KIMONOS?

Apart from special occasions, Japanese wear this loose-fitting outfit to work, or when getting out of the bath. Comfortable and elegant, men's kimonos are worn by Westerners as a bathrobe and indoor wear. Nowadays, foreigners put on this costume to participate in a costume party, to imitate the Japanese style.

HOW TO WEAR KIMONOS FOR MEN?

To respect the Japanese tradition, men's kimonos are closed by intertwining the left side on the right side, before tying it with an obi. Concerning shoes, geta go very well with the Japanese kimono. Note that getas are sandals designed in wood and are raised on two platforms. To avoid shivering, the ideal is to put socks, especially tabis.

WHY WEAR JAPANESE KIMONO?

Because of its cuts, shapes and fabrics, Japanese kimonos are form-fitting. This means that everyone can wear it, women as well as men, children as well as adults.

A REAL WORK OF ART

It is an open secret that the kimono is a masterpiece. But, in addition to its traditional side, let's add its design and artistic creativity. This garment remains uniform, like a sweatshirt and a tee-shirt, but comes in many colors and original patterns. Moreover, currently, the approach of the craftsmen becomes more and more contemporary. Just like canvases, the kimono allows artists to draw their inspirations and bring their creativity to life. By wearing a Japanese kimono, you become a nomadic masterpiece and a samurai.

EASY TO WEAR

The complexity of the kimono is one of the main barriers that prevent consumers from wearing this garment. As said before, putting on a kimono follows a technique and a code in order to tie a knot, the obi and the accessories. The knowledge and mastery of these techniques are essential for women, even if these accessories slow down their movement. Thus, this outfit becomes restrictive, but with practice, it becomes comfortable and easy to wear. Moreover, nowadays, foreigners do not follow the Japanese traditions to the letter. Besides, some people wear this dress freely, despite the ignorance of the codes. If you get rid of the customs, you will find that it is easy to wear the Japanese kimono. By forgetting the codes, anyone can put on the kimono to spend time at home, go to work, or participate in a big event.

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