Get ready to step into the realm of the one and only kimono dress! A kimono dress is a modern variation of traditional Japanese clothes. In this post, we’ll take a journey through the cultural significance of the kimono dress, uncovering different materials and styles. Also, we will show you how to wear a kimono dress with expert tips on accessorizing and tying. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Japanese style or a bold fashion experiment, the kimono dress will definitely help.
So, what are you waiting for? Join us to discover fascinating ways to wear a kimono dress and shine your personal style on it!
What Is a Kimono Dress
A kimono dress is a modern take on the traditional Japanese garment kimono. The kimono is a traditional, full-length robe that was trendy in Japan for centuries. You can still see people wearing kimonos on special occasions such as weddings and traditional celebrations.
A traditional kimono is a single piece of cloth wrapped around the body, with sleeves and a collar. One of the most iconic features of a kimono is the obi around the waist. The obi is a wide decorative sash used to cinch the waist of the kimono. It has plenty of patterns and colors.
On the other hand, the kimono dress is a stylish adaptation of the kimono. It may have different styles and features, catering to today’s fashion. Also, it’s more casual than the traditional kimono. A kimono dress is not a whole piece but several pieces of fabric sewn together like other modern clothes. Its design allows the kimono dress to variate in different styles, fulfilling numerous needs of everyday settings.
Different Fabrics of Kimono Dress
Different fabrics can affect the look, feel, and drape of the kimono dress, as well as its breathability, durability, comfort, etc. In the paragraph below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular fabrics of kimono dresses, discussing their pros and cons.
Silk is a luxurious, lightweight fabric known for its softness and drapability. It is a popular choice for kimono dresses because of its shiny appearance.
However, silk kimono dresses are usually more expensive than other fabrics and need careful maintenance. They can only be dry-cleaned, so you should avoid machine-washing silk kimonos.
Cotton is a popular fabric choice for kimono dresses due to its breathability, durability, and comfort. It is highly breathable and durable, ensuring wearers feel good against the skin. Also, cotton is easy to wash. You can machine wash and tumble dry it very conveniently.
Of course, there are always disadvantages. Cotton kimono dresses may not be as expensive as silk kimono dresses, but they can still be costly depending on the quality of the cotton used. Besides, cotton kimono dresses may wrinkle more easily than other fabrics. Don’t worry. You can solve these wrinkles by ironing or steaming them.
Linen is a natural eco-friendly fabric that has become increasingly popular for kimono dresses. It is cheap, durable, and comfortable to wear. The knitting of linen allows air to circulate and keep the wearer cool, making it particularly attractive during the warmer months.
Nevertheless, linen kimono dresses are more expensive than cotton kimono dresses due to the process of producing this fabric. They require more care than cotton or polyester kimono dresses. You may wash it in cold water and tumble dry on low heat or line dry to avoid shrinkage.
Polyester is the cheapest material among these fabrics. It is known for its durability and wrinkle resistance. Also, polyester kimono dresses are easy to maintain, like cotton. If you are searching for a cost-efficient kimono fabric, polyester is absolutely the one for you.
Despite that, polyester has negative sides, too. It is a synthetic fabric that is not biodegradable or environmentally friendly. And it is not as soft as natural fabrics like cotton and linen, which will affect the comfort of wearers.
Juban, an under-kimono, is a simple long Japanese dress. It can be paired with formal wear, everyday wear, and even pajamas. Japanese wear juban under the kimono dress to protect the kimono from sweat and body oils. Apart from that, it helps to keep the kimono in place and to add an extra layer of warmth.
In terms of aesthetics, a favorable juban should have matching colors and patterns with your kimono dress. Besides complementing the style of the kimono dress, it can also enhance the sophistication of the whole look.
An obi is a wide sash tightening the waist of a kimono dress to create a defined shape. There are generally three types of it: formal, semi-formal, and casual.
Formal obi are wider and more heavily decorated than semi-formal or casual obi. They are often made of silk or velvet. A semi-formal obi doesn’t have as many decorations as a formal obi. Meanwhile, a casual obi has the least decorations and are usually made of cotton or linen.
There are many colors of obi. Traditionally, the Japanese will pick an obi with similar or deeper colors to their kimono dresses, which complements their entire styles.
Zoris are traditional Japanese sandals. They are typically made of straw or cloth and have a thong between the wearer’s big toe and the second toe. They are comfortable, easy to walk in, and complement the traditional kimono dress.
The history of zori dates back to the Heian period (794-1185) when they were the most common footwear. Over time, the design of zori has evolved, with various styles and designs to suit different occasions.
Until now, there are generally two types of zori: formal and casual. Formal zoris are more expensive than casual zoris, with more intricate patterns and embroidery. Also, formal zoris have higher heels because they are usually worn with long and flowing kimono dresses for traditional celebrations. Higher heels will keep the kimono from dragging on the ground.
On the contrary, casual zoris have simpler designs and fewer decorations. They are cheaper and adhere to everyday styles.
Geta are also traditional Japanese shoes. They got this name because they will make a “Geta Geta” sound when clicking on the ground. Compared with zori, geta have much higher heels and are mainly made of wood. It is hard to keep a balance with geta. Thus, geta are only for formal events.
Japanese wear geta during traditional festivals or celebrations, as well as in temples and other special occasions. Some people working near the sea like geta, because geta have high heels and will not let their feet soak in water. Similarly, people are more likely to wear geta on rainy days.
Geta have numerous styles with different heights of bases and various materials of thongs.
How to Tie an Obi / Kimono Belt
Tying an obi (sash) is the first step to mater kimono dressing. This decorative element not only accentuates the waist but also adds elegance to the overall look.
Taiko Musubi (Drum Knot)
There are several ways to tie an obi, each way having a specific name. The most traditional and formal way is the “taiko musubi”. It has a large bow like a drum at the back of your waist, which is why it is named “taiko musubi” (“drum knot” in Japanese).
Before tying a drum knot, you will need an obi, a temporary string, an obi-pillow (obi makura), and an obijime. And then, here is a step-by-step guide on how to tie a taiko musubi. (PS: We translated this guide from the さが美website. If you want to see the original edition, here it is.)
Cho Musubi (Butterfly Knot)
This is a knot for girls’ casual dresses. It looks like a little butterfly on the back of your kimono dress. More importantly, it is much easier to tie than the drum knot. What you need are only an obi and a clip.
The translated guide is below: (The original Japanese guide)
Our journey through the world of kimono dresses has come to an end, but it’s been an enlightening one. From exploring the fabrics of kimono dresses, delving into traditional matches, and even mastering the art of tying an obi, we’ve covered it all!
At the end of the day, don’t forget the real star of this show: the kimono dress itself. Kimono is a piece of Japanese culture that has stood the test of time. So we highly recommend you give kimono dressing a try. Trust us: you are going to fall in love with this exotic floral style!
Hope you have fun with Japanese culture and shine your inner fashionista with astonishing Japanese designs!
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