Like many other nations, Japan associates certain colors with certain seasons. And that trend affects what people wear during certain parts of the year. People were expected to have a wardrobe of at least the basic four seasons. But the calendar quickly became complex for those who stayed abreast of the latest fashion, such as socialites and the wealthy. In the spring, pale and bright colors are predominant, whereas dark colors like black and deep red take over in the winter. Fall comes on a wave of ruddy gold and dusky colors, while summer trends move toward “jewel tones” like emerald green or crimson.
If you’re looking for a summer kimono, you may want a yukata instead! Yukata are simpler robes derived from kimono that are commonly worn to casual summer events, around town in hot weather, or the beach.
While kimonos fit both men and women, to follow Japanese tradition, certain kimonos are worn by either a man or a woman. Women have the greatest variety of kimonos, from the ultra-formal furisode to the common kimono. Their sleeves tend to be longer and rounder than men’s. As well their obis are wider and tied more elaborately. They also have more complex and bright patterns and images on their cloth. While the simpler and darker men’s kimonos.
For formal events, married women in Japan wear different styles of kimonos than unmarried women. Furisode, which has very long sleeves and pronounced colorful patterns, is for unmarried women. Tomesode, their parallel for married women, is decorated with the family crest and otherwise are black. While they are both formal kimonos, the sort is worn to weddings; they have very different implications on the wearer’s status. Choose the correct one when purchasing kimonos as gifts!
Like any other type of clothing, there are different kimonos for different levels of formality. A wedding kimono such as an uchikake would be inappropriate to wear on the street. In comparison, a casual kimono would not be something to wear to a tea ceremony. Japanese Style has an in-depth guide to kimono formality so that you can pick out the most appropriate kimonos as gifts. If you have questions, email us here.
The kimono is a traditional and symbolic garment in Japan. In fact, so much that many are still handed down from parent to child as an heirloom. By gifting one to a friend, you are partaking in a historical tradition, so make sure to consult these details to treat your gift with the respect it deserves. The recipient will appreciate it as well!