How to wear a kimono men: Mastering the Art of Japanese Traditional Dress – CYBER TECHWEAR Skip to content

How to wear a kimono men: Mastering the Art of Japanese Traditional Dress


Wearing a kimono, the traditional Japanese garment, is an art that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Japan. The Japanese kimono, as a traditional kimono, carries with it centuries of history and cultural significance, embodying the aesthetic sensibilities and traditions of the Japanese people. This article will guide you through the different occasions and styles for wearing a men’s kimono, detailing the appropriate accessories and practices to ensure you honor this timeless tradition.

Understanding the Basics of Wearing a Kimono

Men’s kimonos vary by formality, occasion, and season, each requiring specific styles and rules. The fundamental rule for wearing a kimono is to cross the left side over the right side. This is essential as the reverse is traditionally used to dress the deceased in Japan. The evolution of the kimono, especially during the Edo period, highlights its importance in Japanese culture, reflecting changes in social status, fashion, and craftsmanship over centuries.

Formal Occasions: The Hierarchical Dress Code

For highly formal events such as tea ceremonies or weddings, men should opt for a high-ranked kimono, which might include a haori (a kimono jacket) and hakama (pleated, skirt-like trousers). The ensemble is complemented by a formal obi (sash) tied in a neat knot. Always ensure the kimono’s fabric aligns neatly and the collar fits closely around the neck.

Second Level Formal Outfit

A step down in formality still requires precision in dress. Here, a simpler silk kimono with a subdued obi can be appropriate. Matching tabi socks (white split-toe socks) are a must, enhancing the elegance of the attire.

Casual Occasions:

Embracing Comfort and Style For more casual settings, the yukata, a lighter summer kimono usually made of cotton, is suitable. It is typically worn during summer festivals and informal gatherings. The yukata is less restrictive, allowing more freedom in terms of fabric patterns and obi styles.

Choosing the Right Obi

The obi for men is narrower than those worn by women and comes in various styles that can signify different levels of formality. From the simple knot for casual wear to the more intricate styles for formal occasions, selecting the right obi is crucial for the appropriate presentation.

Can Men Wear Kimono?

Absolutely, and many do! In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional Japanese clothing among men. Events, workshops, and cultural festivals often encourage men of all ages to don kimonos, celebrating their heritage and participating in the beauty of Japanese traditions.

Special Considerations

When wearing a kimono, always pay attention to the length of the sleeves, the right side remaining under the left, and the fit around the waist and shoulders. It’s important not to wrap too tightly to allow ease of movement.

Accessorizing Your Kimono

Accessories play a crucial role in completing the traditional look of a kimono. Besides the obi, men should consider wearing zori (traditional sandals) or geta (wooden sandals), depending on the formality of the occasion. The haori can also add an extra layer of elegance for more formal events. Additionally, the choice of haori-himo (a cord used to fasten the haori at the front) can be a subtle yet significant detail that complements the overall outfit.

Understanding Different Types of Kimonos

There are several types of kimonos to fit various occasions. The Yukata is ideal for casual summer events, while the Tsumugi and Hōmongi serve more formal purposes. For highly ceremonial occasions such as weddings, a Shiromuku—typically all white—is preferred. Each type of kimono has its own set of rules regarding how it should be worn and paired with other garments and accessories.

Seasonal Considerations

The fabric of the kimono also changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, lighter fabrics such as cotton or linen are favored, especially for yukatas. During colder seasons, silk and heavier brocade fabrics are more appropriate, providing warmth and showcasing luxurious patterns. Seasonal changes also influence the color choices and motifs used in kimono designs, with spring favoring floral patterns and autumn often represented by leaves and natural landscapes.

Preserving Kimono Traditions

While the kimono is a symbol of traditional Japanese culture, it also evolves with modern times. Learning to wear a kimono properly respects this cultural heritage and ensures its continuation into future generations. Workshops, cultural events, and even online tutorials offer opportunities for men to learn the intricacies of kimono dressing, helping keep this ancient art form alive and relevant in today's globalized world. Whether worn for special occasions or adopted as a statement of personal style, the kimono remains a profound expression of Japanese identity and aesthetic sensibility.


Wearing a kimono in the correct manner is more than just following a set of guidelines; it requires a deep appreciation for its cultural significance and a strict adherence to traditional etiquette. Whether you are preparing for a grand formal event or a more relaxed casual gathering, choosing to wear a kimono provides a distinctive opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and articulate your personal aesthetic through the intricate art of traditional dressing. It is crucial to remember that the true elegance of the kimono is derived not merely from the fabric or design of the garment itself, but from the thoughtful and respectful manner in which it is worn. Embodying grace and respect while wearing a kimono elevates both the wearer and the observance of this enduring cultural symbol.

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