How to Properly Wear a Japanese Kimono

Originally, kimonos were worn by Japanese peoples to lounge in after they took steam baths. Kimonos are basically gowns that have wide sleeves and open fronts. They are typically made from a cool cotton material. The material is dyed and patterned. According to the rules of the Japanese culture, the brighter, bolder colors and designs are worn by the younger people. Older citizens wear darker, more reserved colors and designs. But, whether you’re young or old, since a Japanese kimono resembles a lightweight American bath robe, it looks like you simply slip it on the same as you would a bathrobe. However, that’s not so. If you’re going to “do as the Asians do”, then you need to know
how to properly wear a Japanese Kimono.

Nowadays, Japanese kimonos are worn not just after steam baths, but as casual clothing in Japan. It’s not unusual for Asian actors and actresses to wear kimonos before a show as they are lounging.

To properly wear a Japanese Kimono, it would help if you stand in front of a full-length mirror so you can see what you’re doing. That is, by looking at the kimono, you should be able to tell if you’re properly wearing it by its look.

The first thing you need to do, is to grab the kimono collar at the front opening. Place both ends of the collar in your right hand. Then, move your hand to the right, and step forward.

Next, pull the Japanese kimono onto your back and over your shoulders. Grab hold of the lightweight cotton material where it overlaps in the front. Raise your arms so they are above your sides. Raise the Japanese kimono up and off of the floor. Check your image in the mirror as you adjust the length of the kimono. Its bottom edge should be at the top of your ankles.

The next step is to pull the left side of the kimono across the midsection of your body. The edge of the printed material should
run across your hip to properly wear a Japanese Kimono.

Raise up your left hand so the overlap moves away from your body. Bring your right hand in close, and pull the right side of the kimono’s overlap so it crosses your midsection. Raise the right side up about an inch.

Now, pull the left overlap of material over the right over overlap. Use your right hand to keep it in place. Then, with your left hand, smooth out as many wrinkles as you can from the material around your waist and back. Grab the sash and tie it around your waist to properly wear a Japanese kimono.

The next step is to grab under the arms of the kimono. Remove any other wrinkles you can from the front and back.

Now, you’ll need to locate the middle line on the back of the kimono. Adjust the collar so the line is centered. Then, pull the collar of the kimono either up or down until there is about four inches between the collar and your neck.

Grab the right overlap of the Japanese kimono and fold it down into a triangle. Then, in order to properly wear it, you’ll need to place the left overlap over the right side. Use another sash to tie the overlaps into place. Now that you’ve progressed through these steps, you’ll need to again check to make sure the kimono is the right length. Make sure the middle line on the back is in place too. Everything should look straight and in place.

Congratulations! You’ve now put on your kimono properly!

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