Japanese Women Clothing

In order to wear stylish Japanese clothing for women, you need : a kimono, a Japanese kimono jacket, geta sandals and fashionable streetwear in your wardrobe!

The word kimono literally translates to clothing. It is the traditional and iconic Japanese garment from the land of the rising sun. This Japanese garment wraps around the body with the left side over the right side.

But Japanese fashion is much more complex. There are of course all the traditional clothes but also the Kawaii style clothes with all their apanage of Japanese dresses colorful, short skirts, high socks, scarves, and cute patterns! In order to help you in your choices, we are going to present you with the different Japanese styles in all their aspects. And we will explain to you how to choose your clothes according to their Japanese patterns, the cut, and also a little bit of their history.

What are the different types of traditional Japanese clothing?

As westerners, we have a hard time perceiving the subtleties between the different Japanese women's kimono. In order to properly choose your future Japanese outfit, you must first learn to differentiate the kimono styles and know when to wear them.

1. The Japanese kimono for women

When can you wear a women's kimono?

The kimono is an iconic garment from the land of the rising sun. It is a Japanese women's garment that has traveled through the ages but has survived the modernism of the Meiji period! This authentic kimono is an official Japanese outfit that is worn by married women, during a graduation ceremony, during the celebration of the passage to adulthood or for some Shinto ceremonies! It is also the preferred attire of geisha women during the tea ceremony.

The traditional women's kimono must meet a number of codes. Simply wearing a kimono is not enough. It is accompanied by several accessories. To meet this dress code, the woman kimono must absolutely be worn with:

  • A nagajuban : this is a Japanese undergarment for kimono. It keeps the fabric of the kimono from getting dirty
  • Tabi Socks : the Japanese tabi socks are essential because they have a split toe. We advise you to choose the white tabi ones!"
  • Japanese sandals : these wooden sandals have a fabric strap. Some have teeth under the sole
  • An obi : this is a Japanese belt made of fabric
  • A Kanzashi : this is a Japanese comb
  • A haori : it is a women's kimono jacket
  • A sense : folding Japanese fan

The noble materials of the kimono are satin and silk!

2. The Yukata Kimono

Given all the parameters to consider when wearing the kimono, the Japanese invented the yukata which is a form of casual kimono. Its origin goes back to the Kamakura period (12th century) or it was put on in Japanese onsen (public baths). The nobles of the time used this Nipponese garment to cover themselves when getting out of their baths!

When to wear the traditional women's yukata?

Nowadays, the yukata is worn on various occasions. It is still used as a Japanese dress of interiors because it is nice and simple to wear. It is ideal casual wear when you stay at home because the cut is loose. The short yukata is also used as a Japanese night dress. But it is also a dress put on outside and especially during matsuri festivals. This lightweight kimono is ideal for a romantic outing without adhering to all the etiquette of wearing the classic kimono!"

How to wear a women's yukata?

The traditional women's yukata is simply worn with a pair of geta or zori. This summer kimono is not subject to the same strict rules as the kimono. In fact, it can be worn without split-toe socks during the summer period.

You still need a Japanese Obi belt.  Here is a little tuto on how to close it as well as tie the Japanese belt around the waist. Be careful to always close the left side on the right side. The reverse is reserved for the deceased wearing a white kimono during funeral ceremonies!

3. Between tradition and modernism: the women's kimono jacket

The kimono jacket goes by the name of haori. There are two ways to wear it. Firstly over an authentic kimono for a traditional style. Or over a t-shirt or a swimsuit for a summer style. It is a piece of choice to have absolutely in his dressing room because you can literally wear it throughout the year with pants or jeans. This kimono-style jacket can have short or long sleeves depending on the final style desired.

What do you need as an accessory for Japan?

Accessories are essential to enhance a traditional Japanese outfit.

1. Geisha hairstyle: the kanzashi hair comb

The kanzashi comb is considered a Japanese jewel that is worn according to the seasons. So according to the month of the year, the traditional Japanese symbols will change. There are more than six types of kanzashi hairpins:

  • The Kanoko dome has a tube shape and is rounded. This traditional jewelry is decorated with precious stones or valuable pearls
  • The kushi is a comb that holds the hair in place. Cherry blossoms (sakura) are often hand painted on it.
  • The bira bira is characterized by small bells
  • The hana kanzashi is a hair accessory placed at the back of the hairstyle. It is a Japanese women's jewelry elegant
  • The ogi is a Japanese fan-shaped pin
  • The tama kanzashi is the most common. This Japanese women's accessory is worn with a bun. It has a small ball at its end

2. The Japanese fan: a timeless accessory

Historically Japanese fans were worn by the samurai class during the feudal era, during Japanese performances (theater) or during ceremonial dances. Today, it is worn with a traditional Japanese women's outfit but also men's.

Know that you have several choices of fans on our Japanese store:

  • The Uchiwa fan is very common in the Japanese archipelago. Companies use it as a goodie on which is written kanji, promotion or any kind of marketing message
  • The fan sensu is a foldable fan. They are made with a bamboo or sandalwood base. It is a great idea for an original gift for a fan of the land of the rising sun

3. The obi belt

This Japanese belt is essential for wearing a kimono. To perfect your Nippon style, we suggest you have the same color for your Japanese tongs strap and your Kimono Obi belt...

4. Tabi Socks

In Japan, there is a real sock culture. It is quite common to take off one's shoes when one is invited into a Japanese home. One is also asked to take off one's shoes when participating in a traditional tea ceremony on a tatami! In fact, you should have socks in good condition and not mismatched.

Split-toe tabi socks are a must for wearing geta sandals. But for a more fun and casual look with sneakers, we recommend printed socks. Get inspired by Japanese folklore or ukiyo art. Our socks go perfectly well with a Japanese streetwear look!

5. Zori or geta sandals

Although made of wood the traditional sandals are comfortable. You just need to adjust the size well with the colored strap. The women's Japanese sandals are good for posture and eco-friendly. They last almost a lifetime and you can change the cotton strap when it gets too worn out.

There are two main categories of traditional Japanese women's sandals. The geta have teeth under the sole and the zori. We advise you to always take a size above your usual size.

6. The festival mask

Japanese mask culture is embedded in the habits and culture of the land of the rising sun. Outside the Covid period, Japanese society already wore a type of anti-pollution mask called: masuku. Much more than just a cloth mask, it is a fashion accessory with colorful and trendy printed motifs.

For matsuri festivals, women and men wear a traditional mask featuring kami or yokai. For example, the Japanese fox mask is worn during the Shinto ceremony of Kitsune no yomeiri gyoretsu, and the Oni mask during Setsubun. The J-pop group Baby Metal also wears this mask kitsune and mixes Rock, Kawaii, and traditional styles to follow the Harajuku fashion. If you want a streetwear style, we recommend you wear a half-Japanese mask. All our traditional Japanese masks for women are popular in the world of cosplay and fashion but you can also use them as Japanese decor!

How to have a Japanese streetwear style?

If you are looking for a modern Japanese style, we have several choices available to you on our Japanese shop!

1. The kawaii style: cute and colorful

Kawaii fashion was born in the 1980s in the Harajuku district of Tokyo. It was initially a student protest movement. Nowadays, kawaii means everything that is cute in Japan. To give you some examples, Pokemon, Hello Kitty, and Kirby are kawaii mascots.

To wear kawaii clothes, we recommend you to choose flashy and pastel colors. We have a whole collection of pink Japanese sweatshirts with cute Japanese patterns. Add accessories like ribbons, colorful makeup, frills, or printed tights to finalize your outfit

2. The bozozoku style: dark and manga

The bozozoku were originally student youth gangs. Their history dates back to the 1950s. They marked their time with their atypical Japanese biker style. The fashion women's bosozoku is characterized by dark Japanese clothing and embroidered or printed kanji. The symbols also represent Japanese demons, Japanese Noh theater masks, or cats with Irezumi tattoos. This style has inspired much manga and in particular Akira or even Ghost in the Shell!

3. Streetwear style: hip-hop and trendy

A Japanese streetwear shirt is worn with an oversized fit. The color match is very important to perfect your style. We recommend you always make an encore with a pair of sneakers or a cap for example.

As for the Japanese sweater, it is ideal for a casual or sportswear look but always with some style. All of our women's Japanese hoodie or men's have a mixed cut.

What is the meaning of Japanese patterns the KimuraKami clothes?

The meaning of Japanese patterns has a deep meaning that draws from the history of the Empire of the Rising Sun and Shintoism! Here are the meanings of the symbols you'll find on the products in our Japanese online shop.

🌸 Sakura Flowers
It is one of the iconic symbols of Japan. It is often combined with other motifs. Japanese cherry blossoms even have their own festival: hanami. It celebrates the ephemeral nature of the beauty of these flowers of Japan!

🌊 The Great Wave of Kanagawa
It's a symbol known even to the initiated names. This Japanese print by artist Hokusai has crossed the oceans. You can even see Mount Fuji in the background!

👹 Hannya
This revenge demon is often mistaken for a classic Oni. This woman is consumed by desire, hatred and love!

🦊 The Fox Demon
Also known as the kitsune, this is the most well-known and recognized Japanese deity outside and inside the Japanese archipelago. The kitsune demon makes many appearances in manga (naruto in particular)!

👺 Traditional Japanese tattoos
The traditional Irezumi art is printed on Japanese women's t-shirts or any type of women's streetwear for the beauty of the lines!

😾 The Oni cat: bakeneko
This is a demon cat that is mistaken for the lucky cat. This demon cat is pictured with yakuza clan tattoos!

🐱 The lucky cat: maneki Neko
This is one of the icons of kawaii fashion. This cat approaches luck and good fortune!

🔷 Japanese geometric patterns
There are hundreds of them. They are embroidered or printed on women's kimonos. Each pattern has its own meaning!

🐉 The Japanese dragon
It is a kami, a deity and the protector of the gods. It symbolizes wisdom and strength.

🎏 The Japanese carp
The koi carp represents courage and strength! It is the icon of the Koinobori festival.

🐦 The Japanese crane
It is also called tsuru. This Japanese bird symbolizes longevity and peace.

If you have the chance to travel to Tokyo, we recommend you to go to Harajuku street. There you will find the best sources of inspiration in terms of Kawaii, Lolita punk, Gyraru, or Hip-hop fashion trends.

If you don't have the opportunity in the coming weeks or months then we wish you a great shopping experience on kimurakami.com.