Japanese culture is certainly vast and full of facets that we Westerners might miss. One of these is the difference from Kimono and Yukata, two traditional dresses which appear very similar, but which are different in many respects. In this post I will explain the difference between the two dresses, in which occurrences they should be worn and who can wear them.
The yukata and the kimono are traditional Japanese clothes very similar to each other whose main body is made from a single piece of fabric that is held by a large "belt" that is tightened around the waist. The shape of the knot at the waistband can change. There are dozens of parts of the women's kimono and each one has a specific name, there are as many accessories. On the contrary, the men's one is made up of only 5 pieces. In general we can say that the kimono is a very formal garment used in important events.
The yukata, on the other hand, is a lighter summer dress and decidedly less formal. It is mainly used in summer, during fireworks displays, at bon-odori parties and other summer holidays. Another use of the yukata is as a dressing gown after the traditional Japanese bath (onsen); the meaning of the word “yukata”, in fact, is bathing suit. We can find this use of the garment especially in traditional Japanese hotels (ryokans) that offer it to guests.
The first difference between the two garments lies in the materials used. The kimono is traditionally made of silk, but today there are versions made of cheaper materials, such as cotton, polyester, rayon or other synthetic fibers. The use of these materials not only makes the dress more accessible, but also more resistant. In addition, there is a lining, which makes it warmer.

The yukata, on the other hand, is generally made of cotton, linen or hemp as it must be lighter to be worn in the summer. Obviously, it is unlined and the sleeves tend to be shorter.
The kimono is a generally formal and fine dress, although there are many styles of the garment that also vary in the degree of formality. On the contrary, the yukata is a purely informal garment and practically varies only in colors and decorations. Generally, however, we are talking about women's clothing, given that men's clothing is decidedly more monotonous and classic, men in fact focus on dull colors such as dark blue.
Literally the word yukata (浴衣) means "bathing suit", and indicated the typical clothing worn by Japanese nobles after bathing in the onsen during the Heian period. Even today, the same ancient custom has remained, before and after the thermal baths, but it is not the only opportunity to wear yukata in Japan.

Originally the yukata was indigo colored, while nowadays it is found in many patterns and colors. Girls wear very bright colors, and all kinds of patterns, girls often opt for floral patterns, which are also colorful, while adult women usually choose simple, inconspicuous patterns and colors. Girls can indulge themselves with hairstyles, hair decorations, accessories such as bags or fans, and the obi knot, while men are more sober, both in clothing and in the type of yukata, and in the hairstyle.
If you have been to a ryokan (旅館), the typical traditional Japanese hostel, you will have happened to find in your room a yukata folded and placed on the bed. Here, the yukata can be used as a "dressing gown", to go to the internal onsen of the ryokan, or to eat in the dining room with the other guests of the hostel. This type of clothing is not limited to summer, but can be used in any season, so much so that in winter, if you are cold, you can wear the hanten, or the chabaori, a sort of heavier jacket that is provided in ryokans, and stroll the streets with your yukata.
yukata is the typical clothing worn during summer festivals (祭 matsuri) in Japan, or fireworks events (花火 大会 hanabitaikai). Unlike the kimono, which is worn on formal occasions such as weddings or funerals, the yukata has become a fashionable adornment and cannot be used in formal situations.
The yukata consists of a cotton robe, an obi belt and geta sandals. Generally, underwear is worn under the yukata, or there are those who wear a tank top to prevent the yukata from being in direct contact with the skin too much.

These are the steps to follow to wear yukata correctly:

The first thing is the robe. Insert the sleeves like a bathrobe, and first close the right side on the left side, also trying to adapt the length of the robe, and place over the left side doing the same here for the length as well.

 Remember: the left side (that of the heart to be clear) must be above the right side, because the opposite sense represents mourning, and there will be no lack of people on the street who will point it out to you. The yukata must not touch the ground, but must always remain about 10 cm above the ground, showing the feet, as well as walking more comfortably.

Once you have closed the flaps of the fabric, it is time to secure your yukata with the obi. For women, the obi belt is first knotted in front of you, creating a particular bow or knot, and then you can twist it on your back while keeping it around your waist. Men, on the other hand, will have to tie it around the hips.

The yukata is quite wide, it can be adapted to various sizes, but be sure to buy a size L if you are very tall, or if you are particularly sturdy.
Now is the time to put on the geta sandals. For yukata, geta are used without socks, unlike kimono, where white socks are used.


Japan has always fascinated me. A vision of the world so far removed from that of the West, the contrast between discreet and refined voices and feelings, against rigor and absolute respect for honor. The figure of the Geisha and the world of the Samurai.
How is the kimono made? Women’s dresses are made up of at least 15 parts, each with a name that describes it (outer, inner, over and under collar lining, sleeve hole and drape, etc.). The dressing starts from the first layer, in contact with the skin (in the demonstration the models remained dressed), to continue with different layers as the quality and uniqueness of the kimono increases. In the demonstration, the girls were swaddled with meters and meters of fabric, every time they wore a layer I thought it was the last, but the dressing still continued. Even the middle layers (linings and petticoats) are of fine fabric, with refined decorations and colors.
The kimono is the traditional Japanese dress, both for men and women. There are long lists of names that define different types of kimonos, more or less valuable, according to the use and the category of people who wore them: formal for married women, business dress, with a decorated motif (which gives the name to the type of dress), or in common fabric to go to the spa, to practice martial arts or the art of entertainment of the Geisha.
Although the kimono is a distinctly Japanese form of clothing, its roots are said to be from China. The earliest form of kimono was worn as a type of underwear, gaining popularity in Japan during the Muromachi period (1392-1573), when they began to be worn without hakama (traditional Japanese pants) and paired with a shaft called an obi. Since the Edo period (1603-1867) the kimono as we know it today has truly become part of Japanese costumes, with an ever-increasing variety of colors, fabrics and styles available. The obi has become wider and the length of the sleeves has grown. The kimono is worn by women or girls and by men

There are several elements involved when wearing a kimono. To understand a kimono, it is important to know the pieces that make it up, here are some of the main parts that make up a kimono:
Kimono – is the main garment, which can be made from a variety of materials including, cotton, linen, wool and silk.

Obi – the outermost belt tied to a kimono. The knot can be tied in a variety of decorative ways.

Juban – A type of underwear specifically used with kimonos.

Koshi-himo – the belt tied around the waist to secure the kimono in place.

Datejime – A belt attached to the kimono, but under the obi, which helps obi maintain shape.

Tabi – Socks specially designed to be worn with traditional Japanese footwear.
The foot area is divided into two sections.

Geta, Zori – These are some of the traditional types of footwear worn with kimonos. They look a bit like modern sandals.
Types of Kimono

Furisode – This is the type of kimono worn by young unmarried women and girls. It is distinguishable by the long sleeves and in bright colors. Furisode is the typical kimono worn during the Japan Age Day (‘Seijin no Hi’).

Tomesode – A formal kimono that is worn by women who are married. It can be decorated in intricate crests and patterns, however these decorations are typically found below the waist. Mothers traditionally wear a black tomesode at their child’s wedding. There are also colorful tomesodes, which are sometimes worn by single women on special occasions. ·

Houmongi – literally meaning “to dress kimono”, a houmongi is a type of kimono suitable for any age and marital status. You can identify this kimono with the patterns that run over the shoulders and bottom. This type of kimono can be worn to attend wedding or tea ceremonies.

Yukata – the type of kimono most often seen in Japanese summer festivals. Yukata are made of thin material and suitable for both women and men. However, men’s yukatas are not as colorful as those worn by women.

Komon – Another type of casual kimono. A comone is usually decorated in a repeating pattern. The comone is perfect, everyday casual, as it was the common everyday dress in the days before western clothing became standard wear.

Iromuji – A solid color kimono worn by married and unmarried women. Iromuji can be in any color with the exception of white or black, however, they are in rather muted tones. They can also be decorated with crests – the more crests there are, the more formal the kimono is. This is a simple yet sophisticated kimono.
Over the course of history the kimono has had more or less fortunate periods, remaining, however, a latent reference in patient waiting for a gust of wind or style to bring it back on the catwalks and in our wardrobes. From Poiret to Yamamoto, from Galliano to Saint Laurent, from Thom Browne to J.W. Anderson, no designer has been able to ignore its charm by proposing it, each in its own way, even in recent seasons. Despite being very current and loved by stars like Florence Welch and Beyoncé, who, still pregnant with twins, wore a Gucci one to a basketball game, this pivotal piece of Japanese costume has a very ancient history.

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