A kimono jacket is a type of traditional Japanese clothing that consists of a loose-fitting jacket typically made of lightweight fabric with wide sleeves and a wrap-around style. Kimono jackets often feature vibrant Japanese inspired patterns or designs, and they are worn by both men and women over their kimono outfit.
The origins of the kimono jackets date back to the Edo period when affluent merchant classes experienced economic growth and had surplus income. They spent a significant portion of their disposable income on clothing. As a result of dress regulations imposed by the ruling classes, merchant-class Japanese men started wearing old style kimono jackets called "haori" with simple exteriors and intricately decorated linings. This trend continues today.
In the early 1800s, geisha in the Fukagawa district of Tokyo began wearing these kimono jackets over their kimono, which was previously exclusively worn by men. These geisha, known for their distinctive and fashionable choices, popularized the trend of women wearing haori, which became widespread by the 1930s. In modern-day Japan, both men and women wear haori.
Types of Kimono jackets
Men's Kimono jacket
A Men's kimono jacket is open-front jacket with wide sleeves and a loose, flowing fit traditionally worn over traditional japanese outfits by men in Japan. They often feature a wide range of designs, each with its own unique characteristics and meanings and that often symbolize nature, spirituality, good fortune, and historical tales.
Women's Kimono Cardigan
Women's kimono cardigans, inspired by traditional Japanese style, are open-front jackets with wide sleeves and a loose, flowing fit. They are designed to be worn over various outfits and serve as a stylish layering piece. Like their male counterparts, women's kimono cardigans come in a diverse range of designs, each with its own distinctive characteristics and symbolic meanings. These designs often draw inspiration from nature, spirituality, good fortune, and historical narratives, creating a fusion of beauty and cultural significance. The patterns and colors used in women's kimono cardigans can vary widely, from traditional motifs to contemporary interpretations, allowing for personal expression and individual style.
A haori is a traditional Japanese garment that can be described as a kimono jacket or a hip-length coat. It is worn as an outer layer over a kimono or other traditional Japanese attire. Haori jackets have an open front and wide sleeves, allowing for ease of movement and providing a graceful and flowing appearance. They are typically made from silk or other high-quality fabrics and feature intricate patterns and designs. Haori jackets are versatile and can be worn for both formal and casual occasions, adding a touch of elegance and traditional charm to an outfit. In modern fashion, haori jackets have also been adapted and incorporated into contemporary styles, allowing for creative interpretations and combinations with Western clothing.
A Michiyuki is a kimono jacket that is worn as an outer garment, similar to a coat or jacket. It is typically made of lightweight fabric and features a closed front with buttons or ties. Michiyuki jackets are designed to provide warmth and protection against the elements.
A Happi is a traditional Japanese jacket that is often worn during festivals or special events. It is typically made of cotton and features a loose, straight-cut design with wide sleeves. Happi jackets often have bold patterns or symbols representing a particular group or organization.
A Hanten is a padded kimono jacket that is commonly worn during the colder months. It is made of quilted fabric and features a wrap-around design with a tie closure. Hanten jackets provide warmth and insulation and are often worn as casual outerwear.
How to wear a kimono jacket?
1. Start by choosing a kimono jacket that fits you well and complements your style. Kimono jackets come in various lengths, patterns, and fabrics, so select one that suits your preference.
2. Put on a suitable inner layer, such as a plain top or a lightweight camisole. Make sure the inner layer is comfortable and doesn't clash with the colors or patterns of the kimono jacket.
3. Hold the kimono jacket with the back panel facing you. The sleeves should be spread out to the sides.
4. Wrap the right panel of the kimono jacket over your body, bringing it across to the left side. Adjust the jacket's fit so that it's comfortably snug around your torso.
5. Take the left panel of the kimono jacket and wrap it over the right panel, crossing it at the front. The two panels should overlap, creating a V-neckline.
6. Secure the kimono jacket by tying the attached belt or obi around your waist. You can tie a simple knot or create a decorative bow, depending on your preference and the style of the jacket.
7. Adjust the fit of the kimono jacket by pulling gently on the fabric to ensure it sits evenly on your shoulders and drapes nicely.
8. If your kimono jacket has long, flowing sleeves, you can adjust their length by folding them back slightly or leaving them as they are for an elegant look.
9. Take a moment to check that everything is properly aligned, and make any necessary adjustments for a comfortable and flattering fit.
10. Complete your outfit with suitable bottoms, such as pants or a skirt, that complement the style and colors of the kimono jacket.
11. Finally, accessorize your kimono jacket with jewelry, a belt, or other accessories to enhance your overall look.
What to wear under a kimono jacket?
1. Plain Top: Opt for a simple, solid-colored top that complements the colors and patterns of the kimono jacket. A plain white or black top can create a clean and elegant look, allowing the focus to be on the jacket itself.
2. Camisole or Tank Top: A lightweight camisole or tank top is a popular choice as it provides coverage while keeping you cool and comfortable. Choose a color that harmonizes with the kimono jacket or go for a neutral tone that won't clash with the patterns.
3. Blouse or Button-Down Shirt: For a more polished and sophisticated look, you can wear a blouse or a button-down shirt under the kimono jacket. This works well for formal or semi-formal occasions.
4. Dress or Jumpsuit: If you prefer a one-piece outfit, consider wearing a dress or jumpsuit under the kimono jacket. Choose a style that complements the jacket and fits the occasion.
5. Traditional Undergarments: In a traditional setting or when wearing a formal kimono jacket, you may wear traditional undergarments such as a juban (a type of slip) or a nagajuban (a kimono-style undergarment). These are typically worn for ceremonial purposes or when maintaining the traditional aesthetic is important.