xploring Traditional Japanese Male Kimonos: Styles, Occasions, and Buying Guide – CYBER TECHWEAR Skip to content

What is a male kimono called

What Is a Male Kimono Called?

The traditional Japanese garment known as a kimono has a rich history and cultural significance. Rooted deeply in Japanese culture, the kimono is not just clothing but a symbol of the country's historical depth and the intricate relationship between its fashion and cultural identity. While many are familiar with the term “kimono,” it is essential to understand that this attire varies by gender, occasion, and historical period. This article explores the traditional male kimono, its variations, and its modern relevance.

Male Kimono, the New Traditional Fashion Trend in 2021 for the Boys

Traditionally, the term “kimono” refers to the classic Japanese garment worn by both men and women. However, when specifically referring to male attire, the garment is often simply called a “kimono” as well, embodying the unique cultural attire known as japanese kimono men. There are distinctions in style, fabric, and design that differentiate men’s kimonos from those worn by women, emphasizing the need for specific accessories like the obi belt, tabi socks, and geta sandals to respect cultural practices. The traditional japanese kimono has transcended its ceremonial origins to become a staple in contemporary fashion, blending tradition with modern style in a way that appeals to a broad audience.

Rank Number Two Kimono: Second Level Outfit for Formal Occasions

For formal occasions, men might wear what is known as the “Montsuki Hakama,” a formal dress that consists of a formal kimono (often in black or another dark color), featuring family crests, paired with wide-legged trousers known as hakama. This outfit might also include a Haori, a jacket worn over the kimono. The Montsuki Hakama serves as a formal dress for various occasions such as weddings and age ceremonies, highlighting its importance in traditional ceremonies. Additionally, a variety of formal kimono worn by performers like geisha, maiko, kabuki actors, and those performing traditional Japanese dance, emphasize the cultural significance and variety of formal attire in Japan. These formal kimono, made of fine silk, are akin to those of hōmongi formality and above, showcasing intricate patterns and vibrant colors suitable for engagements and performances.

Is It Okay for Foreigners to Wear This Traditional Japanese Garment?

Cultural appreciation is vital when it comes to wearing traditional garments from another culture. Foreigners can wear kimonos respectfully, especially if they understand the garment's cultural significance and adhere to traditional wearing methods.

From the Yamato Period to Nara Period (300–794)

The evolution of the kimono began in the Yamato period, with significant developments during the Nara period, as Chinese influences introduced more elaborate styles and the use of silk. This period marked the beginning of the kimono's aesthetic evolution into what would be recognized today as the traditional Japanese style, incorporating elements of design and cultural significance that have been cherished through the ages.

What About for Men? What's the Difference Between Kimono and Yukata for Men?

A Yukata kimono is a more casual version of the traditional kimono, typically made from cotton or thin synthetic fabric, making it lighter and ideal for the summer months. This garment is distinguished from the more formal silk kimono by its breathable fabric, the absence of an under-kimono, and simpler, lighter accessories, including the obi belt. For men, these distinctions are particularly notable in the fabric choice and the overall lighter, more relaxed attire suitable for summer festivities.

High Rank Informal Occasion Kimono

For high-ranking but informal occasions, men might choose a simpler silk kimono without family crests and perhaps a less formal version of the hakama or no hakama at all.

Do Men Wear Kimonos?

Yes, men wear kimonos for various occasions, from everyday wear historically, to ceremonial and highly formal events in contemporary times. The Japanese kimono, with its rich cultural significance and variety, including traditional T-shaped silk garments and men's kimono jackets, highlights the enduring popularity and historical depth of men's kimonos across different countries.

Which is Better, Yukata or Kimono?

The choice between a yukata and a kimono for men depends on the occasion. Yukatas are best for casual events and hot weather, while kimonos are suited for formal gatherings.

Casual Occasion Kimono

For casual occasions, men can wear a plain, single-color kimono, often without an obi belt, providing comfort while maintaining an element of traditional elegance.

Can Men Wear Kimono?

Men can and do wear kimonos. Modern fashion trends have seen a resurgence in men wearing kimonos, even incorporating them into contemporary wardrobes.

Where to Buy Stylish Kimonos?

Stylish kimonos for men can be purchased at traditional Japanese clothing stores, online from retailers specializing in Japanese garments, or at local and international fashion outlets that offer ethnic attire. Additionally, considering vintage kimono can be a unique and cost-effective option, as these garments, especially those made of premium silk, are often one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces in almost perfect condition at a fraction of the original cost.

What Other Types of Kimono are There?

Beyond the formal and casual kimonos, other types include the Furisode (usually worn by unmarried women with long, flowing sleeves) and the Uchikake (a highly decorative kimono used for weddings). In contrast, women's kimono varieties such as irotomesode, kurotomesode, iromuji, and komon showcase a rich diversity in design, formality, fabric, pattern, and decoration, highlighting the intricate differences in sleeve length and historical evolution compared to men's options.

What are the Differences Between Underwear for Yukata vs Kimono Underwear?

The primary difference is that yukata underwear is typically lighter and less structured than the traditional undergarments worn under a kimono, which are designed to shape and smooth the silhouette beneath the more formal silk kimono.

What are the Differences in Hairstyles for Kimono Compared to Yukata?

Hairstyles for wearing a kimono tend to be more formal and elaborate, often requiring professional styling, whereas yukata hairstyles are simpler, often just tied back or left loose.

Always Wear Your Kimono with an Obi Belt and Geta Sandals

An obi belt and geta sandals are essential accessories for wearing a kimono properly, adding to the traditional look and helping to maintain the garment's structure and fit.

What are the Differences Between Yukata and Kimono Jackets?

Kimono jackets, such as the Haori, are typically made from silk and are worn over the kimono for extra warmth and formality. The traditional kimono, including these jackets, plays a significant role in Japanese attire, highlighting the cultural distinctions and the meticulous craftsmanship involved. Yukata jackets are more casual and often made from cotton, similar to the yukata itself.

Wear a Yukata During Summer Instead of a Kimono

Due to its lightweight material and simpler wear, a yukata is preferable during the summer months, providing comfort and ease while participating in traditional festivals or casual gatherings.

Wear a Male Kimono to Look Like a Samurai of Modern Times

Wearing a male kimono can evoke the historic elegance and dignity of a samurai, blending traditional cultural elements with a modern aesthetic.

Should I Buy a Kimono or Yukata?

Deciding whether to buy a kimono or a yukata depends on your needs. If you need something for formal events, a kimono is suitable. For casual or summer wear, a yukata is the better choice.


Embracing the traditional male kimono offers a unique opportunity to connect with Japanese culture, whether you're participating in a formal ceremony or simply appreciating traditional fashion. Understanding the differences between kimonos and yukatas, as well as the appropriate contexts for each, enables both locals and foreigners to wear these garments respectfully. As fashion continues to evolve, the resurgence of kimonos in men's fashion highlights a growing appreciation for traditional attire, adapted for modern sensibilities. Whether for formal occasions, casual events, or cultural ceremonies, a male kimono or yukata offers a stylish and significant way to honor Japanese heritage.

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