Kimonos are ancient Japanese garments worn by both genders in a variety of styles and fabrics. After World War II, kimonos were worn less frequently, as the Japanese preferred less traditional clothing. Today, they are still highly prized, but typically reserved for special occasions and ceremonies. Quality kimonos for men are made of silk and consist of five or more pieces -- a nagajuban, which protects from stains; a bottom piece called a hakama for more formal events; a jacket called a haori; and a belt called an obi.
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The Komon kimono is a casual garment traditionally worn for small gatherings, tea parties and tea ceremonies. Despite the attractive, intricate designs, this kimono is one of the least expensive. The name is derived from stencil prints that were traditionally painted throughout the silk, although contemporary styles use synthetic material with scattered patterns. Komon kimonos are available in both traditional and contemporary styles, with male versions adorned by a casual-soft obi, such as the heko or han.
Homongi kimonos are considered stunning and more complicated to make than a Komon. Developed in the 1900s, it's worn for special visits, dinners, and similar occasions. According to Kimono Guide, the name means "visit wear," as it's used for formal occasions. This dress is traditionally made from hand-spun silk, with painstaking designs incorporated along the border called Eba. Typically depicting scenes of nature, Eba flows across the garment seams. The obi for Homongi is usually made of stiffer silk or synthetic fabric.
Usually worn in the summer, the Yakata is a lightweight kimono. For men, it's blue and white with recurrent geometric patterns throughout. Unlike most other styles, cotton is the preferred fabric choice for the Yakata and makes it cool in hot weather. This kimono is easier to wrap and has the least number of layers, making it a good choice for tourists or people new to the dress. The Yakata consists of a nagajuban, kimono upper and dark-coloured or white obi.
Kuro Tomesode Kimono
The Kuro tomesode is made using only black fabric. This style has an attractive display of art along the bottom hem, spreading across the front panel. These painted designs are usually bold and full of colours, providing a stark contrast from the remainder of the black dress. Kuro tomesodes are worn for less formal occasions, like parties and family gatherings. The male designs are not much different from females'. The major differences are the lengths of the sleeves and garment overall.
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