The level of formality of women's kimono is determined mostly by the pattern of the fabric, and color.Young women's kimonos have longer sleeves, signifying that they are not married, and tend to be more elaborate than similarly formal older women's kimono.Men's kimonos are usually one basic shape and are mainly worn in subdued colors.Formality is also determined by the type and color of accessories, the fabric,
and the number or absence of kamon (family crests), with five crests signifying extreme formality.Silk is the most desirable, and most formal, fabric.
kimonos made of fabrics such as cotton and polyester generally reflect a more casual style.
It is said that the reason of these long sleeves is when confessed by man, in case of replying "Yes," she waves sleeves back and forth, but as for "no" left to right.
Many modern Japanese women lack the skill to put on a kimono unaided: the typical woman's kimono outfit consists of twelve or more separate pieces that are worn,
matched, and secured in prescribed ways, and the assistance of licensed professional kimono dressers may be required.Called upon mostly for special occasions, kimono dressers both work out of hair salons and make house calls.
Choosing an appropriate type of kimono requires knowledge of the garment's symbolism and subtle social messages, reflecting the woman's age, marital status, and the level of formality of the occasion.
A young woman wearing a furisode kimono: furisode literally translates as swinging sleeves the sleeves of furisode average between 39 and 42 inches (1,100 mm) in length.
Furisode are the most formal kimono for unmarried women, with colorful patterns that cover the entire garment.
They are usually worn at coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki) and by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings and wedding receptions.
literally translates as visiting wear.
Characterized by patterns that flow over the shoulders, seams and sleeves, Homongi rank slightly higher than their close relative, the tsukesage.
Homongi may be worn by both married and unmarried women; often friends of the bride will wear Homongi at weddings (except relatives) and receptions.
They may also be worn to formal parties.
Pongee Homongi are made to promote kimono after WW2.Pongee is used for casual clothes, so they are not for formal occasions no matter how expensive they are.
single-colored kimono that may be worn by married and unmarried women.They are mainly worn to tea ceremonies.
The dyed silk may be figured (rinzu, similar to jacquard), but has no differently colored patterns.
"fine pattern".kimono with a small, repeated pattern throughout the garment.This style is more casual and may be worn around town, or dressed up with a formal obi for a restaurant.
Both married and unmarried women may wear komon.
Edo komon is a type of komon characterized by tiny dots arranged in dense patterns that form larger designs.The Edo komon dyeing technique originated with the samurai class during the Edo period.
A kimono with this type of pattern is of the same formality as an iromuji, and when decorated with kamon, may be worn as visiting wear (equivalent to a tsukesage or Homongi).
Main article: Mourning#Japan
Mofuku is formal mourning dress for men or women.Both men and women wear kimono of plain black silk with five kamon over white undergarments and white tabi.
For women, the obi and all accessories are also black.Men wear a subdued obi and black and white or black and gray striped hakama with black or white zori.
The completely black mourning ensemble is usually reserved for family and others who are close to the deceased.
Irotomesode : single-color kimono, patterned only below the waistline.Irotomesode are slightly less formal than kurotomesode, and are worn by married women, usually close relatives of the bride and groom at weddings.An irotomesode may have three or five kamon.
Kurotomesode a black kimono patterned only below the waistline, kurotomesode are the most formal kimono for married women.They are often worn by the mothers of the bride and groom at weddings.
Kurotomesode usually have five kamon printed on the sleeves, chest and back of the kimono.
Tsukesage has more modest patterns that cover a smaller area mainly below the waist than the more formal Homongi.
They may also be worn by married women.The differences from homongi is the size of the pattern,seam connection, and not same clothes at inside and outside at "hakke"As demitoilet, not used in important occasion,but light patterned homongi is more highly rated than classic patterned tsukesage. General tsukesage is often used for party, not ceremony.
UchikakeUchikake is a highly formal kimono worn only by a bride or at a stage performance.The Uchikake is often heavily brocaded and is supposed to be worn outside the actual kimono and obi, as a sort of coat.
One therefore never ties the obi around the uchikake.It is supposed to trail along the floor, this is also why it is heavily padded along the hem.
The uchikake of the bridal costume is either white or very colorful often with red as the base color.
Susohiki / Hikizuri
Women dressed as maiko (apprentice geisha), wearing specially tailored "maiko-style" furisode kimonos with tucks in sleeves and at shouldersThe susohiki is mostly worn by geisha or by stage performers of the traditional Japanese dance.
It is quite long, compared to regular kimono, because the skirt is supposed to trail along the floor.Susohiki literally means "trail the skirt".Where a normal kimono for women is normally 1.5 1.6 m (4.7 5.2 ft) long, a susohiki can be up to 2 m (6.3 ft) long.
This is also why geisha and maiko lift their kimono skirt when walking outside, also to show their beautiful underkimono or "nagajuban" (see below).
Couple being married in traditional dress.In contrast to women's kimono, men's kimono outfits are far simpler, typically consisting of five pieces, not including footwear.
Men's kimono sleeves are attached to the body of the kimono with no more than a few inches unattached at the bottom, unlike the women's style of very deep sleeves mostly unattached from the body of the kimono.
Men's sleeves are less deep than women's kimono sleeves to accommodate the obi around the waist beneath them, whereas on a woman's kimono, the long,
unattached bottom of the sleeve can hang over the obi without getting in the way.