History of Kimono
Although most people, when asked about Kimonos, think they are a unique thing to Japan–however, Japanese embassies brought them back from China around the 5th century AC. Over the centuries, the kimono evolved and changed to different styles. However, western style clothing and the yukata (Which I purchased) eventually took the place of a formal kimono. A kimono is often worn with geta (wooden shoes) and tabi (special white socks). ~Kimono literally means something to wear~
A yukata is a single layered cotton version of the kimono. It is said that Yukatas are often worn after bathing at a Japanese hot bath but can also be worn during festivals and other spring/summer events. Because it is unlined and normally worn without an under robe, it is not advised to wear in the fall/winter months. Yukatas are normally worn with geta without tabi socks. As with kimono, there is a version for males and one for females.For Females, married and umarried women can wear long sleeves. ~Yukata literally means bath clothes~
Buying a Yukata/Kimono
There are some important measurements that you should know of your body before seeking out to purchase one (especially if you live in a country where kimonos and yukatas are not normally sold). You want your measurement at your hips and waist. You’ll also, depending on the tailor, want your shoulder and/or arm length.
Here is a good guide on where to measure and how to do so.
Going about purchasing:
As a plus sized girl, I had to do some extra digging for my yukata. However, I was able to find a site that makes beautiful formal kimonos and yukata: Sakura Market. Sakura Market is actually located in Tokyo, Japan. As you can see, they have everything you could possibly need for a proper attire. They have the under garments, the formal kimono, obi, geta, tabi, and yukata and more! They have average sizes for children, men, and women and also plus sizes. Your package is shipped by EMS and will be given a tracking number. Shipping took about a week but you can do a faster shipping option. The prices for the yukata (non-clearance) ranges from $40USD-$70USD. The Kimonos are much more, around 80-140USD. You can purchase a obi and geta set for around 40-80USD. Geta come in two sizes, regular (7-9 US size) and small (5-6 US size).
Wearing your Yukata:
If you’re like me, you had no idea how to properly wear one! Thankfully, Sakura Market has a wonderful video library on how to wear a robe properly and how to tie an obi. Although they do not speak, mostly because they are an international store, they do the process slowly and clearly!
Because I just recently purchased a house and am moving, my yukata, geta, obi, and senshu are still in their packages and will be taken out once the move is complete. I will be making a small post then with me in my yukata and a short review of it! This is what it looks like on a wonderful model!
Care for Yukata:
According to their site, you can machine wash the cotton yukata! However, it is advised you use a machine washing bag, like the one shown above. However, Please, PLEASE do not machine dry it. Allow it to air dry in a safe place!