B1 Intermediate US 185 Folder Collection
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In this video I'm going to tell you what a kimono is.
Technically kimono means "thing to wear" in Japanese, but it's more than that.
There are a lot of different styles of kimono.
Of course you have the very long one, but it can be short like a kimono jacket like the one I'm wearing here.
It can also refer to the undergarments and many other things.
So I'll tell you a little bit about the variations you might find on my website and anywhere else, if you're shopping for a vintage kimono.
But the first thing you should know is that they're pretty much all unique.
They're not exactly one-of-a-kind because they do make them in small lots of 10 to 20 pieces.
But in 15 years I've only seen the same one twice, so we pretty much considered them one of a kind.
Aside from the fact that they're made in small batches, what makes them unique?
Well, they're all hand-sewn for the most part, at least until the 1970s, all hand-sewn, all custom-made for the women that originally commissioned it.
That includes her age, her status...Is she married?
What's the occasion she was going to wear it to?
What season was it made for?
What were her favorite flowers?
Maybe it would be designed to include those.
So our most popular style however is the haori jacket.
This is a casual jacket for women although it can also be quite formal.
So it does not cross in front like a kimono does.
It's meant to lay open so you can see the kimono you're wearing underneath, although I rarely wear a kimono underneath.
I wear it casually.
So don't try to belt it because there isn't the extra piece in front that you'll find with the regular kimono.
The length of the sleeves and of the garment itself will vary based on the occasion it was originally created for.
The one I'm wearing here you see has very long sleeves compared to this one more casual.
So now let's take a look at the different styles of kimono, kind of arranged by length.
First we have this blue uchikake kimono, which is an over-kimono for a wedding.
This is very long and not belted, just used for photos.
Here's another version, also very long, you'll notice the big wide padding at the bottom drags behind you like a train.
Here's another version of a wedding kimono, but it's an under kimono.
It's white and it is a little a bit shorter and can be belted.
Then we have another formal kimono, a furisode kimono with long sleeves, also a longer length but it also can be belted with the length brought up at the waist.
Then here's another fuchsia kimono with an asymmetrical design at the hem.
You can tell it's a little bit shorter than the previous ones as well.
Next we have an underkimono. Look how short that is. Again, belted comes way up because it's not to show.
The next set of pictures are for men.
Men's kimonos even though they're modeled by a woman.
This is a man's underkimono you can see the length just barely goes to her ankles.
Here's a man's formal over kimono. Also fairly short.
Men do not have the extra length that women do on theirs.
Next we have two of the men's jackets. Sometimes they're plain, sometimes they're quite elaborate.
But the length again is longer than the women's jackets.
Keep in mind that the jackets don't close in the front.
She wears it open to see the kimono underneath.
This is quite a long one.
The longer ones tend to be more formal or older from the 40s and 50s.
Next this orange one is a little bit shorter and the pink one a little bit shorter still.
Now I'm showing the pink one belted even though these are not made to be belted.
If you're very very small you can get away with belting it.
Then we're looking at other jacket styles.
This orange one is called a michiyuki, with a square neck.
Michiyuki means "to go out into the street".
This next blue one is a dochugi jacket which has a crossover in the front.
You tie with ties or a little frog. And again, this is worn on top of the kimono.
Next we have, shown from the back, a woman's hanten jacket.
Hanten are usually made from cotton or wool and are considered more like peasant jackets, because you notice the tapered sleeves, they're more like work jackets.
Next, this yellow gold one is called a "neneko", and is very interesting in that nene means "sleep".
And these were designed for young mothers to carry their babies on their backs under the jacket, which is why you'll find these to be the largest jackets available.
And finally a happi coat which is usually a cotton festival jacket, and tends to be a smaller size.
So that'll give you some idea about the most common styles of kimono, but there's so much more.
There's the hakama pants, there's the "juban" under kimono, there's the tabi socks, the geta shoes, the shawls....
So much much more, but those are a topic for another video.
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Kyoto Kimono - What is kimono?

185 Folder Collection
Courtney Shih published on July 30, 2019
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