It is said that in Japan there is a Kimono for every stage of life.
Kimono, which literally means “thing to wear” in Nihongo, is a traditional Japanese garment. It is generally a T-shaped robe that reaches the ankles. They typically vary in price and quality, and are mostly worn for events such as coming-of-age ceremonies, tea ceremonies, weddings and the like.
Wafuku: the Tradition Lives On
East meets West in Japanese fashion, with clothing in Japan is generally divided into two categories: Yofuku refers to Western style clothing, while Wafuku is used to describe more traditional Japanese garments. Kimonos fall under Wafuku. But whereas in the past kimonos were worn in daily life, they are now mostly reserved for special events.
Kimonos in Japan are worn by men and women alike. Women's kimonos, owing to their more complicated designs, are usually more expensive than their male counter-parts.
Kimonos come in many different shapes and sizes as people from all ages wear kimonos for many different occasions. The prices of kimonos can also vary in price according to their quality. Some kimonos have intricate designs and patterns, and these garments can easily cost upwards of USD 1000.
Choosing a Kimono
Kimonos come in various shapes and sizes, and range from casualwear to more formal styles. In choosing the right kimono, you have to consider the pattern, the fabric, and the make of the garment. Kimonos have many subtle details that show appropriate social cues such as being married or unmarried. The type of kimono worn need also to match the degree of formality of the event. Many Japanese social norms are reflected in the tradition of wearing kimonos.
Kimonos are also made up of different parts and accessories, and in Japan, the services of kimono dressers are sometimes used for the proper wearing of the kimono and its matching accessories.
Measuring for Size and Fit
Another thing to consider when buying a kimono is the size and fit. A kimono is essentially one large fabric sub-divided and sewn into a T-shaped robe. The length of the kimono from the shoulder top to the bottom of the robe is called the Mitake. The width of the kimono from the center of the kimono to the end of the sleeve is called the Yuki, while the Sodetake is the measurement of the width of the sleeve. These three things are important considerations when measuring for the proper size and fit of a kimono.
The following are some guidelines for choosing the right size of kimonos for women:
Mitake – Measure your height and then add an approx. 3 to 5 cm for the length of the Kimono.
Yuki – Measure from the center of the kimono to the end of the sleeve, while holding up your arm at a 45 degree angle.
Sodetake – The measure of the sleeve is dependent on social status. On average, however, the measure of the sodetake ranges from 45 cm to 60 cm.
New Styles and Patterns Available for the Summer
Different styles of kimonos also change with the seasons. In warmer months, the fabric of kimonos are typically thinner, and the patterns more bright. Some popular prints are cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums, and other flowers.
JapaneseStyle.com offers the traditional elegance of Kimonos in various styles and patterns fit for the summer weather.For more information, browse through our catalog at: www.japanesestyle.com.