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Choose Japanese kimono

Our guide to choose a Japanese Kimono

Between tradition and modernity, the Japanese kimono is no longer limited to the confines of the East. Very fashionable in Europe for some time, it is not always easy to know which kimono to choose for an occasion.

You probably have a lot of questions about Kimonos. We will answer them in this guide.

What is a kimono?

Before buying a Japanese kimono it is interesting to know the history of this emblematic clothing. Indeed, the Japanese kimono is a traditional dress worn during various occasions. In the respect of traditions, it is an established dress code. Thus, each kimono represents a specific thing that can say a lot about the person who wears it.

As it crossed the borders of Europe, the kimono left certain constraints to become a kind of interior dress, a kind of bathrobe, a dressing gown or a very popular summer outfit. There is something for everyone, depending on the decorative patterns, colors and materials.

The choice of the kimono must be defined according to its use. Will you wear it in a traditional way as the Japanese do on special occasions or more as a comfortable and casual garment? It's up to you! But still, the colors and patterns of your kimono should be chosen carefully taking into account its use.

What material is it made of?

Instant Japan uses mainly polyester because it allows to wash them in the washing machine unlike traditional kimonos where the patterns were painted on the fabric.

Light and airy, it is an excellent alternative to cotton or linen.

how to put on a traditional japanese kimono

How to wear a kimono?

It is not necessary to wear traditional Japanese underwear, a cotton shirt and shorts will do perfectly.

Step 1: Let the kimono hang

The first thing to do is to simply put on the kimono and let it hang like a robe, making sure it is centered on you.

Step 2: Adjust the size

The second thing about wearing a kimono is that you need to adjust the length of the Kimono by pulling the right side of the Kimono until it touches the top of your feet.

Step 3: Adjust the bottom of the kimono

Pull the left side of the kimono up so that the hem brushes the top of your feet. Leave about 10 cm between the bottom of the kimono and the floor.

Step 4: Cross the two sides

After that, you should first wrap the right side of the kimono over your body, then bring the right side of the kimono to the left side of your body, covering it with the left side. This way you can adjust the width and length of your kimono.

Step 5: Tie it all together

Take in hand the koshi-himo (small fabric belt), wrap it around your kimono at the level of your waist. Tie a knot tight enough so that the kimono does not move.

Step 6: Pull the fabric

Pull the fabric in front of you so that it hides the small koshi-himo belt. The fabric should fall on the belt all around your waist. This Ohashori (falling fabric) will be covered by the obi belt later.

Step 7: The jime date belt

Use a "Date Jime" belt and wrap it around your waist.

Step 8: Put on the obi

Tie it at the front. Tuck in the ends. You're almost done, just put on the obi, and here it is!

Japanese kimono accessory

What to wear with a kimono?

Obi is the colorful belt that wraps around a kimono. The most common type of obi is the obi fukuro which is about 2 meters long and usually has only embroidered brocade on the visible parts.

The obi is not used to support the kimono. Indeed, its purpose is almost exclusively ornamental.

How to wash and store your kimono?

Traditionally, kimonos were washed in a process known as kiri arai: you remove each element from the set and wash them individually by hand. Naturally, this is a rather long process.

All Instant Japan kimonos are machine washable or hand washable.

When storing your kimono, avoid hanging it on a hanger in your closet at all costs. Hanging kimonos tends to have a stretching effect on the seams and panels.

Traditionally, kimonos were stored in tatoushi envelopes: these are paper envelopes that look like the bags we usually use to store a suit.

But you can also simply fold your kimono neatly to avoid wrinkling it.

Where can the kimono be purchased?

If you are in Japan, you will find them in small antique stores: furugi. Furugi stores are usually located in old shopping areas like Shimokitazawa in Tokyo.

Then there are those well established stores in big cities where kimonos are also sold. This is the case of Sakaeya in Tokyo.

If you are not in Japan, buying online will be the best solution. You will have access to a varied choice and good prices.

Conclusion

The Kimono is a unique garment that you can use in many different occasions. You are free to wear it as you wish, it is a purchase that is impossible to regret as the kimono is flexible in its use!

It is a garment known to be very comfortable in all seasons. Especially in autumn and spring, when temperatures are not too extreme.

Discover our collection of Kimono for Men. These models have been specially chosen for their quality and beauty.