This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)
We all know that kimono is Japanese traditional attire and it is often worn during special occasions, mostly by women. The female kimonos have become a fashion trend, not only among the Japanese themselves, but many foreigners are interested to try it once in a lifetime.
So, before you choose your kimono, let’s have a look at some of the styles available. Make sure you are wearing the correct one for the occasion.
Furisode (pronoun foo ri sody without any syllables) is worn by unmarried women. Basically, furisode means swinging sleeves due to long sleeves that fall into 39 to 42 inches. They are decorated with color pattern that cover fully the whole garment. The longer the sleeve is, the more formal it is. It is the most formal clothes for unmarried women to wear in special occasions including coming of age ceremony, voting, wedding ceremony (unmarried female relative from the bride’s family) and tea ceremony.
Komon (小紋, literally small pattern) are worn by married and unmarried women. They have a pattern covering the entire kimono but with no particular direction or layout. Komon are the most informal silk kimono.
Tomesode (留袖, literally fastened sleeve) are the most formal kimono worn by married women. They always have crests, and the patterns, which may incorporate gold and silver, are only below the waist.
There are two kinds of tomesode kuro (黒, black) and iro (色, coloured); kuro tomesode are the most formal, and always have five crests. They may be worn by guests at formal events like weddings. Iro tomesode can have any base color other than black, and may have one, three, or five crests.
Worn by geisha or stage performers of traditional Japanese dance. In comparison to a regular kimono, these are much longer and trail the floor.
5. Odori Katamigawari
Odori means dance, so this is a traditional Japanese dancer’s kimono. Katamigawari means half and half, referring to this kimono being half one design and half another, which is more likely to be seen on an odori kimono than any other. Many odori kimonos are tsukesage, houmongi or komon in style. They are often in synthetic textiles, so they can, unlike silk, be washed regularly and they are most frequently unlined or just lower lined, to keep the dancer cooler
Iromuji (色無地, literally plain colour) are unpatterned kimonos in a single-colored kimono worn by both married and unmarried women. They are most appropriate for tea ceremonies. The formality is determined by the absence or presence and number of crests.
Mofuku is the mourning dress worn by both male and female. They wear a complete plain back silk with five crests over white undergarments and white tabi. As for women, obi and other accessories are also black. The completely black mourning clothes is for family and those who are close to the deceased.
Yutaka is worn at festivals taking place in summer. Yutaka has a bright color and simple design. It is a cotton and unlined kimono that is informally worn by male, female and any one in any types of ages. Compared with other types of kimonos, Yutaka kimonos are much easier to wear and maintain and less expensive. In Vietnam, this type of kimono is very popular, noticeably, they are mostly worn in manga and cosplay festivals.
A houmongi, sometimes spelled homongi, often has a pattern around the hem and sleeve and sometimes up over the body of the kimono. On houmongi, the pattern joins up at over the seams. Houmongi means visiting dress and they are less formal than tomesode but more formal than tsukesage or komon kimonos.
A very formal kimono only worn by brides or at a stage performance. It is usually all white or very colorful with red as a base color. It is to be worn outside of the actual kimono and is never tied with an obi.