Literally meaning ‘a thing to wear’, the kimono used to be the daily garment worn by both men and women. However, due to western influences in the late 19th century, its prominence started to gradually recede. These days, it’s mostly reserved for special and formal occasions, such as wedding ceremonies and the Coming of Age Day. The kimono dress code denotes different colours, patterns and designs based on age and marital status.
A traditional-style kimono is made from long pieces of silk fabric, sewn together by hand, while a complete outfit involves putting on 12 or more separate pieces. The length of the straight-lined T-shaped robe can be adjusted by folding the excess fabric around your waist and securing it with a koshi himo belt before layering on the more ornate obi belt. Do note that you should fold the left side over the right as the other way around is only used to dress the dead for burial.