The appropriate types of kimono for different occasions

The appropriate types of kimono for different occasions

Just as there are appropriate attires for different occasions with western clothing, different types of kimono are also worn in Japan depending on the event. Although there is more freedom today compared to the past, it is important to be aware of the correct dress code for occasions that call for dignity, courtesy and propriety.

We will explain the appropriate types of Japanese kimono for different occasions compared to those for western clothes.

Formal kimono (ceremonial attire)

Formal kimono (ceremonial attire)

The attire for occasions such as weddings and formal rituals or ceremonies.

Situations
Weddings, conferment ceremonies for decorations, formal events, ceremonial occasions, etc.

Kimono material
Pure silk

Type of kimono
For weddings
Men: black kimono and haori (kimono-style jacket) and hakama (formal pleated trousers) with family crest (grooms; fathers or relatives).
Women: black tomesode (formal kimono worn by married women) (mothers or married relatives).
Coloured tomesode (married relatives; married guests in attendance).
Furisode (formal kimono worn by unmarried women) (unmarried relatives; unmarried guests in attendance).

*The proper appearance differs depending on your position and the region.

For funerals
Men: black kimono and haori (kimono-style jacket) and hakama (pleated trousers) with family crest
Women: plain black kimono with family crest

*The proper appearance differs depending on your position and the region.

Seasonal attire
For both men and women: lined kimono for October – May, unlined kimono for June and September, lightweight kimono for July – August.

*For seasons in Japan

Semi-formal kimono (semi-formal attire)

Semi-formal kimono (semi-formal attire)

Situations
Commencement and graduation ceremonies, semi-formal corporate ceremonies and parties, anniversary celebrations at luxury restaurants, dinner parties or for guest entertainment.

Kimono material
Pure silk

Type of kimono
Men: Kimono and haori

*Wearing a hakama will make the attire more formal.

Women: Houmongi (visiting kimono), Tsukesage (less formal than Houmongi), or Iromuji (plain coloured kimono)
Between the Houmongi and Tsukesage, the Houmongi holds higher class, so it would better suit more formal occasions or social events.

*The proper appearance differs depending on your position and the region.

Seasonal attire
For both men and women: lined kimono for October – May, unlined kimono for June and September, lightweight kimono for July – August.

*For seasons in Japan

Casual kimono (everyday attire)

Casual kimono (everyday attire)

Situations
Everyday wear, for shopping, dates and going to museum, etc..

Kimono material
Pure silk, wool, cotton, linen, natural fabric, artificial fiber.
Pure silk fabrics are preferred for formal situations; however, various other materials can be enjoyed for more casual occasions.

Type of kimono
Men: Kimono

*The haori and hakama can also be enjoyed depending on your preferences, the place and temperature.

Women: Kimono

*The proper appearance differs depending on your position and the region.

Seasonal attire
For both men and women: lined kimono for October – May, unlined kimono for June and September, lightweight kimono for July – August.

*For seasons in Japan

Kimono for light leisure, summer festivals and as room wear

Kimono for light leisure, summer festivals and as room wear

The lightest attire for hot days. For festivals or firework displays.

Situation
Japanese summer festivals or firework displays. As room wear or robes.

Kimono material
Cotton, linen

Type of kimono
Men: Yukata (casual summer kimono)
Women: Yukata

Seasonal attire
For both men and women in summer only. Kimono for summers around the season of the summer festival.

The appropriate types of kimono outside of Japan

In Japan, there are customs for various occasions or regions that conform to traditional culture. Depending on the region, there may be strict rules regarding the correct dress code of kimono.

However, outside of Japan, you do not need to be bound by those rules. Please feel free to enjoy whichever kimono you wish to wear.

Nevertheless, for formal occasions, it is desirable to wear a kimono that befits the situation.