Traditionally, the art of wearing a kimono is passed from mother to daughter. Today, there are also kimono schools that teach the proper techniques of how to wear a kimono. Below is a step by step basics of how to wear a kimono properly.
Kimono Under Garments An under garment like a slip is worn under the kimono with the collar showing beneath the kimono. The two pieces full slip is called juban. Today, many women just wear the collar called eri-sugata because it is much cooler and still gives the formal appearance.
Always, put on tabi socks first. It is difficult to bend to put on socks after the full kimono and belt is on.
Put on the undergarment slips. These undergarments consist of a white cotton top, han juban, and skirt, susoyoke (see above). These undergarments are held in place by a variety of belts, bokashi kosh himo and date jime. An alternative is to wear only the white collar that goes around the neck called the eri-sugata(see above).
Put on the kimono, making sure the back seam is centered.
For both men and women, wrap the right side of the kimono over the body, then overlap it with the left side. Right on top of the left is only used to dress a corpse for burial.
Adjust the white slip collar to show evenly around the neck just under the kimono collar as shown in the above pictures.
Don't worry if the kimono is too long for it is supposed to be.
See our obi article to learn how to tie the different types of belts over the kimono and the next step to wearing a kimono.