The Japanese dress style has evolved over the centuries. Fashion is influenced throughout the world by the West.
However, the kimono is still worn at special events such as official ceremonies, graduations and weddings. To wear a kimono while respecting the Japanese tradition it is necessary to respect certain rules. It requires a lot of learning and practice.
Japanese society even has a word for the art of dressing with the traditional garment: kitsuke. This art is codified, so choosing the right accessories (Japanese fans, Kanzashi, japanese umbrellas) is never done lightly.
Kitsuke teaches for example women to choose their kimono according to their age, the type of event and if they are married or not. The subject is very complex and quite long, that's why we decided to present in this article the 5 golden rules to wear your Japanese kimono.
We recommend you to follow the next steps :
1. WEAR TABI SOCKS
Japan is known for its conformism and respect for traditions.
The kimono is a formal garment, it is mandatory to wear white tabi socks in its geta or zori when wearing a traditional kimono.
We give you a little extra tip! Put on your pair of japanese socks first before putting on the kimono. If it is tight, it can sometimes restrict movement!
On the other hand, yukata is also a traditional Japanese garment, but is worn in a more informal way. You can be barefoot in your Japanese sandals and It's also an opportunity to let loose with multicolored socks.
2. WEAR THE KIMONO YUKATA JUST FOR UNFORMAL EVENTS
Source photo Victoriano Izquierdo
Yukata is lighter and more informal than the kimono. The material used is polyester or cotton. It is a summer kimono worn without the Japanese nagajuban.
Historically this Japanese garment was worn in the onsen. These are hot springs. The Japanese yukata is also very popular during summer festivals. Young Japanese people also wear it on dates.
In Japan, respect for tradition is essential. One should never go to a wedding, a tea ceremony or any kind of formal event dressed in a Yukata.
We can understand that it is difficult to distinguish them... That is why we wrote an article on how to differentiate them. You'll never make the mistake again!
3. WEAR A NAGAJUBAN INSIDE A KIMONO
The fabric of the Japanese kimono is expensive and very delicate. In order to ensure its good life span over time, this Japanese garment should be washed as little as possible.
This is why the Japanese invented the Nagajuban. It is a kind of white cotton dress that is used as underwear, It is worn under the kimono!
The only visible part is at the level of the collar. The double collar is an indication to differentiate a yukata and a kimono.
When it is worn with a woman's kimono, the neck must be clear, because it is an area defined as "erotic" for the inhabitants of the land of the rising sun!
4. CROSS THE LEFT SIDE OVER THE RIGHT SIDE
When closing a Kimono (or a Yukata) it is mandatory to fold the left side to the right side. Please note that the right side folded over the left side is a symbol of death. This way of closing is reserved for people who have died during death rites!
Our little tip so you'll never make a mistake:
The side of the kimono that closes last is the side of the heart. So make sure you check your kimono before you go anywhere!
5. WEAR THE OBI BELT AT THE BACK
More than 300 years ago, the knot of the obi was located in the back. But that wasn't always the case! If you wish to know how to wear obi belt? We explain to you everything you need to know...
The Japanese obi belt was located in the front, on the sides or in the back at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868). The choice of the side depended solely on the tastes of Japanese geisha or women... If you want to learn more about the Edo Japanese woman, we recommend you to read our article on the Japanese geisha
However, at the end of the Edo period, the social status of women was known according to the position of the node.
The knot at the front meant that women were widows, wooers or single. Conversely, married women wore it on their backs.
Today, this Japanese belt is also worn on the back. For formal events, we advise to make elegant and simple knots.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY A TRADITIONAL JAPANESE KIMONO?
We have seen in this article the 5 golden rules to respect when wearing a kimono. So why not try kitsuke?
If you are looking for a geisha costume cosplay or a Japanese kimono for a party, we put at your disposal our collection of Japanese kimono dresses and men's kimono!