The kimono (着物?)[1] is the national costume of Japan. Originally the word “kimono” literally meant thing to wear (ki wearing and mono thing)[2] but now has come to denote a particular type of traditional full-length garment.

Kimono are T-shaped, straight-lined robes that fall to the ankle, with collars and wide, full-length sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial)[3] and secured by a wide belt called an obi, which is usually tied at the back. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).[4]

Today, kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode,[4] which have floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear kimono on a daily basis. Men wear kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.[5] They commonly wear the kind of casual Japanese attire that is referred to as yukata, which is of plain unlined cotton.

Kimono hobbyists in Japan can take courses on how to put on and wear kimono. Classes cover selecting seasonally and event-appropriate patterns and fabrics, matching the kimono undergarments and accessories to the kimono, layering the undergarments according to subtle meanings, selecting and tying obi, and other topics. There are also clubs devoted to kimono culture, such as Kimono de Ginza.

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