What Is a Kimono?

The History of a Traditional Japanese Kimono

The traditional Japanese kimono started out as perhaps the most inclusive garment of all time. The first precursor to the kimono featured straight cuts of fabric, sewn together to create a structure that fit every shape. It was easy to wear and infinitely versatile. It’s that versatility that allowed the kimono to be worn by men and women as an outer garment. It was so common in Japan and nowhere else in the world because from 1603 to 1868, Japanese culture developed with almost no foreign influence. And the kimono was one of the key cultural elements of what it meant to be Japanese. While the kimono is the traditional garment of Japan, and the hanfu of China, sartorial influences and inspirations have since been passed back and forth between cultures. While both cultures, Chinese and Japanese, remain distinctive of one another, they have borrowed and built off of each other to create new and unique garments particular to each culture.

The Design Elements of the Traditional Japanese Kimono

During the Japanese Heian Period, clothing similar to the modern day kimono was often worn with the Chinese-influenced hakama (trousers with long pieces of fabric for each leg that looked similar to a skirt), or a type of apron known as mo. As trends changed, the hakama became less popular, which meant the wearer required a different way to hold the robe closed. This is when the obi developed, which is a wide sash for the waist. Now, kimono are typically four single pieces of fabric called tans, hand-sewn into a “T” shape and secured with an obi, or belt. While the kimono is a Japanese garment, the cultural conversation between both China and Japan influenced how the garment changed over time to become the modern kimono we see and know today.

Inspired by Heritage, Designed with the Modern (Wo)man in Mind

Our modern-day kimono robes for women and men take inspiration from the best parts of traditional kimono. Our floral kimono robes feature a sleek silhouette and generous cut, utilizing the T-shaped design from four panels of fabric. All of our pieces are inspired by vintage Asian art with tranquil scenes. Our designs feature the beauty of botanicals and the soothing effect nature has on us when we connect with it. We hope each and every time you slip into one of our beautiful maxi kimono robes, you’re inspired to take a deep breath and slow down. We’ve added modern elements to these inspired designs: in our kimono wrap collection, we feature side seam pockets for utility and function. And all of our kimono robes and wraps can be worn inside as well as outside. Lounge at home in a little luxury, or head out on the town in a head-turning look. These modern pieces are as versatile and beautiful as you are.

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