Wearing a kimono is not as simple as some would assume it would be. While some see it as merely a Japanese robe, putting on a kimono properly can be a ritual in and of itself. While there are many ways of wearing a kimono, there is only one proper way how to wear kimono. While there are differences between a men’s kimono and a women’s kimono, it can be a piece of Japanese street fashion for both. While it is advised that you try to wear the kimono as it was meant to be worn, there are nonetheless less formal ways to wear it.
Properly Wearing a Kimono
Wearing a kimono involves a lot of moving parts. It is possible to wear just the garments associated with the kimono and remain warm during winter, but the ritual is well worth the investment. The first step is to put on the tabi, or toe socks; while it is possible to put tabi on when you are finished, it can be a little complicated, so putting them on first is a good idea. The next phase is to put on the susoyoke, a simple slip for the bottom half, followed by the hadajuban; do not tuck the hadajuban into the susoyoke, and make sure that the hadajuban has been pulled down to show the neck.
The next piece is the nagajuban. Ideally, you should have erishin to keep the collar wrinkle-free, but washi paper can work. Make sure that you pull any extra material to the seam. Use one of your koshi-himo belts to hold it in place, as well as one of your date-jime. Next put on the kimono itself; center it and make sure that you wear the left side over the right; the reverse is used to dress bodies for funeral services. Use another koshi-himo and date-jime to secure the kimono, and then use the obi as a belt to secure it all. Slip on your footwear and you should be good to go.
This applies to both men and women; women may want to wear a bra that flattens the chest if at all possible. Bear n mind that asking for help is not a bad thing, and there are some times when you may want some help. While it can be a little romantic to help each other dress, it does have a practical purpose as well, considering how difficult it can be to put on a kimono. Nonetheless, it can be a practical form of dress, and comfortable enough to do most daily chores.
Other Reasons to Wear a Kimono
The kimono is used for more than wearing around the house and doing daily business. Some Japanese companies use the kimono as their traditional business wear, so it can be useful to know how to wear a kimono. However, some people have a kimono that they use for the bath, using just the kimono on the trip from room to the bath, while some have a kimono that they use just for drinking; this last kimono is made of thinner material than most, making it more comfortable when worn by itself. In essence, the robe can be worn in a number of different situations, just so long as it is not the same robe.
Wearing The Kimono More Informally
Obviously, there are less formal ways to wear a kimono. For example, both sexes can wear a thin kimono as part of their sleepwear, combined with ideally matching pajama bottoms; this is usually paired with a light shirt. It is advised that women wear a bra if they choose to ignore the shirt. This is also a comfortable way of wearing the kimono around the house, especially for those seeking to relax a little. This is also a good way to dress if you are expecting company over.
As noted the kimono makes for an excellent between room and bath. Those who have a sauna or steam room may even choose to wear the kimono into the room; a light kimono is excellent for enjoying the steam while at the same time preserving one’s modesty. The best robe for this is a cheaper, thinner robe; the robe will likely see a lot of abuse and so it may need to be replaced sooner than other robes.
For those attempting to look more like they are into Japanese street fashion, there are a number of ways to wear a women’s kimono to please any fashionista. The kimono can be worn loosely as a cover; when worn over a light shirt or blouse and topping a pair of pants or shorts, it can come off as particularly striking. If worn with a dress or skirt, especially one that is free-flowing, it can come off as almost ethereal, especially if there is a wind blowing. A men’s kimono is best worn inside; it just does not have the same versatility.
When you decide how to wear a kimono so that it works best for you, know that the robe will look great. It is just a matter of deciding how and when you wear one. However, keep in mind that is best to have a different kimono for each use; it just seems to do work out best when a kimono serves a particular use rather than used for any purpose imaginable. It can be more than just Japanese street fashion; it can be used to define your mood and purpose, making it a truly expressive piece of clothing, becoming a piece of your mood at the time.