Difference Between Yukata and Kimono (With Table)

Yukata and Kimono are traditional Japanese clothing that has enchanted their way throughout the world owing to their elegance and flair. These are both full-length T-shaped robes that are long-sleeved tied with a beautiful belt that is donned by both men and women. While they may appear identical, there are subtle differences between a yukata and a kimono that many people are unaware of.

Yukata vs Kimono

The difference between yukata and kimono is their length of sleeves. The length of the sleeves of a kimono varies depending on several aspects such as age and the formality of an event; certain kimono has sleeves that are so long that they could fall to the floor.  But on the other hand, a yukata will not have sleeves longer than about 50cm, so they will never reach the ground.

Yukata is a combination of the words ‘Yu’ (bath) and ‘katabira’ (underclothing). They are more commonly worn by ladies than by males. A yukata is similar to a summer kimono in that it is constructed of lighter fabrics and provides a varied and acceptable look for a more relaxed occasion.

The kimono was initially presented as a Japanese version of the hanfu, a classic Chinese robe. The typical kimono robe is really a T-shaped garment made up of four independent sections when stripped down to its essentials. The obi belt cinches the waist and holds the parts together with complex folds.

Comparison Table Between Yukata And Kimono

Parameters of ComparisonYukataKimono
FabricPolyester and cottonSilk or brocade
ShapeHalf-width and firmer collarSofter, full-width collar
SeasonWorn during the summerMore suited for winters
OccasionOften worn during informal occasions like fireworksWorn for more formal occasions like weddings
AffordabilityYukata is cheaper and more affordableKimono is a more expensive garment

What is Yukata?

The yukata is a sort of kimono that is worn in the shape of a T. They are often linked to as yukata kimono, a sort of summer robe, but are more commonly referred to as a distinct category. Significantly lighter (in terms of material), more relaxed, and adaptable, their function falls between breezy summer dress, robe, and a kimono

The term yukata translates to “bath cloth,” and that’s how the original garment got its name. They were initially worn by bathers going from one hot tub to the next, much like a bathrobe or dressing gown in the West. Dressing in a yukata is as easy as draping it over your body like a bathrobe. However, they have grown into a summer robe worn by all keen Japanese fashion enthusiasts.

Yukatas, being affordable clothing with a less formal rank, allow for color, pattern, and accessory experimentation. Yukatas are considerably easier to clean, which is why you don’t really need to wear an additional layer of fabric below.

Yukata clothing is often fashioned with a single collar that is closer to the neck. Though they are most commonly worn by women, males are increasingly wearing yukatas in the summer. Modern yukata designs, which are intended to be worn during music festivals, are occasionally constructed from synthetic fabrics, which have better sweat-wicking capabilities.

What is Kimono?

The term kimono is derived from two characters: “ki” which means- to wear and “mono” which means thing thus a kimono is simply something you wear.

Japan has turned to China for inspiration for ages, especially in dress. The kimono was simply a localized form of the hanfu, a classic Chinese garment. In its most basic form, a kimono is four distinct pieces of cloth sewed into a T-shape, kept together with delicate folds, and tied with an obi belt.

The Japanese kimono is also aesthetically older, more traditional, and substantially more costly than the yukata. Another thing that attracts the eyes of people towards this beautiful garment is the obi that is the kimono sash, which serves a decorative purpose rather than keeping the kimono closed. Informal obi is smaller and shorter, but ceremonial obi are larger, longer, and more ornately ornamented. According to the occasion and solemnity of the event, there are several methods to tie an obi.

Kimonos are often composed of luxury fabric such as silk and elaborated with brocade decorations. They have an outer and an inner layer. Furthermore, while kimono cuts change based on the season, all kimonos, regardless of season, must be worn with at least two collars. Summertime kimonos are unlined, whereas lined versions are preferred for autumn and spring.

When donning a kimono, one element is essential: socks must be worn in addition to the ever-popular Japanese sandals.

Main Differences Between Yukata And Kimono

  1. A yukata is often composed of breathable textiles like as cotton or light, synthetic fabric, whereas a kimono is typically made of silk or brocade.
  2. A yukata has a half-width and firmer collar due to the cloth is used, whereas a kimono has a softer, full-width collar.
  3. A yukata is often worn during the hot summer months, that is why it is created of breathable fabric, but a kimono is constructed of a heavier material, making it much more suited for winter.
  4. In the summer, yukata is often donned more informally to enjoy fireworks shows or other summer festivities.  As yukata contain colorful designs, they are less formal, meanwhile kimono is donned for more formal occasions like weddings and graduation ceremonies.
  5. Because silk is considered a more expensive material, yukata is frequently cheaper than kimono, and the designs of the kimono reflect this.

Conclusion

For many years, people from all around the world have been drawn to Japanese clothing. Outsides, the traditional kimono, and the more relaxed yukata are becoming increasingly fashionable. And, depending on the season, both are worn by women and men. To the untrained eye, yukatas and kimonos might look identical.

While yukata is a much more relaxed unlined traditional dress, often made of cotton, linen, for summer use, it may be worn by anybody, of all ages, for a variety of informal situations.

Kimono, on the other hand, is a traditional Japanese robe and the national dress of Japan. Whenever donned, a kimono frequently reveals the wearer’s age, gender, the formality of the event, and, less frequently, their marital status.

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4811272/
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhej1987/49/3/49_3_255/_article/-char/ja/
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