Types of Women’s Kimono
Kimono is the main traditional Japanese garment. Both women and men can wear different types of kimono. Underneath kimono, you wear juban, similar to a slip for the kimono, and under the juban you wear hadagi, traditional Japanese underwear. Silk is considered the ideal fabric for women’s kimono, but it is also made from hemp, cotton, polyester, or a combination of any of those materials.
Kimono in general is more formal than yukata, however komon kimono is one of the least formal of women’s kimono. It is characterized by a repeated pattern across the entire span of the kimono. It can be worn more casually with hanhaba obi, or dressed up with a more formal obi. Both married and unmarried women traditionally wear it. They are conventionally worn at home or to go out around town.
Furisode literally translates to “swinging sleeves,” a description of the longer sleeves. It is the most formal type of women’s kimono that is traditionally worn by unmarried women. They are usually worn by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings or at coming-of-age ceremonies.
Tomesode kimono are characterized by patterns or designs only below the waist. Excluding the pattern, they are a solid color. If the solid color is black, it is a more formal rendition of tomesode known as kurotomesode. If the solid color isn’t black, it is known as irotomesode, a slightly less formal version of tomesode. However, if the irotomesode has five family crests on the sleeves, shoulders, and back, as the kurotomesode almost always does, it is considered just as formal as a kurotomesode. Unmarried and married women alike may wear irotomesode. Usually, lose relatives of the bride and groom at weddings wear it. The kurotomesode is most commonly worn by the mothers of the bride and groom at weddings.
This type of kimono is usually considered a “visiting kimono,” used for visiting others’ residences. It is moderately formal and characterized by patterns or designs that run over the shoulders and sleeves. Both married and unmarried women may wear it. Homongi is usually worn at weddings by friends of the bride or at formal parties.
The name of this kimono also describes it: iro means color, and muji means plain. Iromuji kimono is characterized by its lack of patterns and design and use of only one solid color. The fabric may sometimes be textured, but never patterned. These are usually used during tea ceremony. Both married and unmarried women may wear this type of kimono.
Uchikake is a very formal garment that is worn over a kimono, in a manner similar to a coat, only by a bride or during a stage performance. It is longer than most kimono because it is meant to trail on the floor. They are usually either white or extremely colorful. Red is a very common base color for uchikake.
Mofuku kimono is solid black formal mourning-wear for both men and women. Women usually use a black obi and black accessories with mofuku kimono, while men usually use obi in subdued colors, such as gray. The tabi, the socks worn with zori, are usually white. The completely black outfit, including all accessories and the obi, is reserved for the family of the deceased.
KaedeNYC has kimono for rental and sale, as well as dressing services. Contact us for more information!