1.How do I wear kimono?

There are many rules to wear kimono in a traditional way. For example, married women should wear shorter sleeve kimono, or some kimono should have obi with appropriate bows.

To wear a kimono in a complietely traditional way, here are the list of what you will need(for women's kimono attire):

  1. Hadajuban---Undershirt
  2. Susoyoke--Half slip
  3. Nagajuban(Juban)--Full-length under kimono
  4. Han eri--Half collar
  5. Eri shin--Half-collar lining
  6. Datejime--Under sash
  7. Koshi himo--Sash
  8. Obi
  9. Obi ita--Obi stay
  10. Obi makura--Obi-pad
  11. Obiage--Bustle sash
  12. Obijime--Obi cord
  13. Tabi--Split-toed socks
  14. Zori--Sandals

Please do not go away ! This is the traditional way but may be 70% of Japanese women do not know what to do, even if these things are placed in front of them.
Of course it is ideal to have all the items IF you would like to try the traditonal style. Actually there are kimono dressing classes and people have to learn how to wear kimono and tie obi in order to be able to wear kimono(formal) properly. Brides needs to be dressed by a couple of professionals at the wedding and many cases the guests need them, too unless the relatives or the friends know how to do it.

However, recently there are many `convenient' products which makes us easy to wear kimono. For example, `easy collar' or `pre-tied obi'. Using these helpful things, we can wear kimono with much ease. Also, there are there are many people who enjoy kimono with their own way in Japan. Some people wear their grand mothers' kimono (or even older kimono) with their own style. They are revaluating the unique designs and high-quality textiles and inventing their own way to enjoy kimono in many occasions.
Rules exist but at the same time, it is very happy to see more people enjoy wearing kimono, especially `old' kimono today.
Would you like to enjoy kimono? The least thing you will need is kimono & obi! (If you have a nice sash belt, obi won't be needed, maybe).
You can add other things if you like. To prevent the kimono from sweat, collar and juban are preferable. We have seen so many wonderful way of kimono wearing through our customers and we are so impressed and very very happy to see them. Each person looks great and beautiful in kimono and it was the most precious discovery for us through this site.
We hope you will visit `Enjoy KimonoPhoto Album' http://www.ichiroya.com/~webichiroya/enjoyphotoalbum/photoalbum.htm
You will see wonderful kimono style and will want to wear kimono right away!

*We have made and are selling origainal DVD 'Kimono Dressing with Yuka. You can lear how to dress yukata and kimono formally with this DVD. Please check the detail information here. Here is the sample movie of yukata part.

2. How does a sizing work?

The items we offer in our shop is mostly one-of-a-kind.
Kimono is basically a plain-patterned garment which is worn by laying right and left section one on top of another in front. Also kimono is typically folded over at the waist to adjust the wearer's height. Therefore most of the kimono and furisode will fit woman between sizes 4-14. Haori is not meant to close in front, so you can consider haori as free size. Sleeves tend to be short by Western standards, but even for Japanese, sleeves are often short. Kimono are made for Japanese figure, and antique kimono are obviously smaller. I've seen antique uchikake, the ornate bride's costume, exhibited and was surprised to see how tiny it was.
If kimono is worn as a house coat for your relaxing time, or a coat worn over a dress or pants, most of them can be used by anyone.

3. How do I clean my kimono and obi?

For each kimono's textile is quite different, using variety of techniques as handpaintings, tye-dyeing, embroidering and brocade. there is no standard method of washing. In addtion, some vintage fabric is not strong enough for the machine wahing.
I try hand washing by just soaking the item alone in cleaning water and pressing it gently. Spin dry lightly and dry it by hanging at the place with no direct sunlight or in thelow heat dryer. When ironing is needed, there should be a thin fabric before iron. Some work perfectly, but some wrinkle terribly, so I don't recommend it. To get a professional help on cleaning may be the best idea.
Obi is not made to wash.

4. What is the difference:men's kimono & women's kimono?

Men's kimono are much subdued in colors and designs. The most clear dfference is women's kimono has opening in the sleeves, while men's
kimono openings are sewn. The shapes of the bottom of the sleeves also have the difference--women's kimono sleeves have mild curve while men's kimono sleeeves are square shaped.
You may know the lining textile of women's haori often has lovely patterns, but it is amazing how much work is done in the lining of the men's haori. By seeing the right side only, most of the men's haori look alike(textile itself may be quite different), but regarding the lining, you will be surprised by its variety of work and stunning designs.

5.Are there any books about kimono ( history, textile and kimono wearintg directions ) ?

Here are the books about kimono written in English:

To give you the idea of kimono in general--

The Book of Kimono / The Complete Guide to Style and Wear
by Norio Yamanaka

Kimono:Vanishing Tradition
by Cheryl Imperatore & Paul Maclardy
A Schiffer Book for Designers & Collectors

Japanese Costume
by Helen Benton Minnich
Tuttle(Kodansha or Weatherhill imprimatur)

To make a kimono for yourself--

by John Marshall
Kodansha International

To learn about textiles and designs of kimono--

by Susan Briscoe
David & Charles

Textile Art of Japan
by Sunny Yang, Rochelle M. Narasin
Shufunotomo Co.,LTD

Design with Japanese Obi
by Diane Wiltshire & Ann Whitshire
Charles E. Tuttle Company
*It is full of obi display hint with beautiful photos.

Japanese Costume and Textile Arts
by Seiroku Noma
Heibonsha series on Japanese arts
review by Mr Jaxo Nobori
It has seen a number of printings, so several editions are readily available on the 'used' book market. It deals mostly with Noh costume tradition and Momoyama/Genroku kosode.

by Liza Dalby
review by Mr Jaxon Nobori
This is the most recent (and arguably the best). She is a cultural anthropologist by training, who studied the geisha of Kyoto in-depth and actually hired-out as one for a period of time. Besides writing a book on her experiences called "Geisha", she has also written a fictionalized autobiography of "Murasaki Shikibu", the authoress of Genji Monogatari / The Tale of Genji

by Merrily Baird

by Sadao Hibi and Motoji Niwa

WHEN ART BECAME FASHION, Kosode in Edo Period Japan
by Dale Carolyn Gluckman and Sharon Sadako Takeda

Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya