Kimono - YES!
The Kimono is a Japanese garment that is recognisable all over!
Kimono means "thing to wear" in the Japanese language
Ki - wear
Mono - thing
It is always worn for important festivals and formal occasions in Japan. It is also a casual and informal style of clothing and has become the traditional Japanese garb!
FUN FACT : Kimonos are often related to good manners and politeness.
The Kimono is quite the unique outfit. It is wrapped aroung the body with the left side over the right and is secured by a sash called Obi, which is often tied at the back.
They are typically worn with traditional footwear known as Zôri or Geta and split toe socks called Tabi in the Japanese language.
It would interest you to know that Kimonos first originated from China and became popular in Japan during the Muromachi period (1392-1573).
Kimonos are traditionally sewn by hand with hand-made designs and fabric, typically hemp, linen, silk, satin or brocade. Satin weaves and silk are the most ideal fabrics for traditional Japanese Kimonos. No wonder they are very delicate, expensive & maintained in a diligent manner.
Nowadays, the less traditional, modernised and less expensive versions of the Kimono have been produced using Rayon, cotton and polyester.
Kimonos are hardly just another article of clothing in Japan. Everything down to the pattern has an important meaning behind it and can determine in which season it should be worn.
Patterns with butterflies or cherry blossoms are typically worn in Spring, watery designs are worn in summer, the ones designed with the leaf of the Japanese Maple are for Autumn and designs with bamboo, pine trees and plum blossoms are usually only worn during Winter.
The level of formality of a Kimono is also determined by the fabric, colour and of course the design.
Kimonos come in a variety of colours, fabrics and styles and are mostly worn only by Japanese women and girls.
The typical Kimono style for women has 12 or more separate pieces to it and most females need help getting them on and seek the help of licenced professional Kimono dressers.
Unmarried Japanese women often wear the Furisode. They are usually bright, vibrant and made of silk while the young Japanese girls wear long sleeved kimonos.
You will often see Japanese men wearing subdued coloured Kimonos, typically dark and matte fabrics. These Kimonos come in only 5 pieces.
Some other Kimono styles are as follows :-
This is a formal Kimono that is often worn by married women. They have intricate crests and pattern designs with the decor usually at the bottom or below the waist.
This is known as the "Visiting Kimono." It is appropriate for any age and marital status. The Houmongi often has patterns that run over the shoulders and across the bottom of the Kimono and are also popularly worn for weddings and tea ceremonies.
This is especially popular at Japanese summer festivals as it is made from very thin material and can brave the hottest summer weather. The Yukata is worn by both men and women although women often go for the more colourful and flashy styles!
The Kimono, although already quite elaborate on its own, is often worn with other accessories.
Juban • An under garment used specifically with Kimonos.
Datejime • A belt that is fastened over the Kimono & under the Obi (sash) to help it keep its shape.
Kasa • Traditional Japanese umbrella often used by females along with their Kimono outfits. A unique feature of these umbrellas is that they reveal flower patterns when they become wet!
Kimonos have been westernised and modernised over the years and so have become extremely popular all across the world! They are worn with jeans, skirts and also as cover-ups.