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  • Can Men Wear Kimono Robes?

    January 16, 2024 9 min read

    The Firefly of the Sea Kimono on a man

    Jump To: The History of Kimonos | A Guide to the Kimono | Our Favorite Kimono Style Robes for Men

    Can Men Wear Kimono Robes?


    Article over. 

    See you all in the next one. 

    In a world where everyone can do whatever and wear whatever they want, “yes” is the short answer.

    But, you all know me by now and I never give the “short” answer to anything. So here is my long detailed answer. 

    When I was seven I asked my mother if I could pee like a boy.

    She said “no.”

    And one Easter morning while dressed in my Sunday church best, I proved her wrong. I stood over the toilet and I peed like a boy. Did I make a mess? Sure did. I peed all over my white tights and purple ruffled dress…BUT I peed like a boy.

    Needless to say, my mom was pissed (pun intended) I had to clean up the bathroom floor and change my clothes, which made us really late for Easter Mass. But I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. To prove her wrong. And that made me feel really proud of myself. 

    All that to say, I don’t subscribe to what men and women can and can’t do based on gender norms. I believe that we can all do and wear what we want. Or at least try to. As long as we're kind. Because kindness never goes out of style.


    Men can ABSOLUTELY wear kimono robes. Kimono inspired fashion is not limited by gender. Nor should it be. Kimono robes and kimono-inspired fashion is embraced globally by all for their unique blend of comfort, style, and elegance. 

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    Traditional kimonos are formal and are usually made using luxurious fabrics like silks and can often be decorated in a wide range of patterns from subtle to bold statements. And wearing a kimono robe is a more modern take on a piece of traditional Japanese heritage.

    Kimono robes are more accessible to a broader audience and a fun way to tip your hat to the beauty and rich history of the traditional Japanese Kimono. And obviously it goes without saying, that it is important to remember the cultural significance of the Kimono and the role it has played. 

    It’s hard to look at a traditional Kimono and not be in awe of its beauty and intricacy. I have nothing but massive amounts of appreciation for this classic and beautiful garment, that has over sixteen components to it! What?! Sixteen, you asked? That’s right. More on that later. 

    I’m just used to my sweats, which have an opening for the head, two for my arms, one for my torso, two for my feet and one for my waist. So any garment that has more than that, I bow down to. The kimono is a masterpiece in my opinion. And one of great engineering.

    And even though my article is focusing on men’s fashion and kimono style robes, it’s important to discuss where the inspiration came from in the first place. 

    What Exactly Is A Kimono?

    A kimono is a thing to wear. 

    Or a thing to put on.

    Seriously, that's what it is. 

    The word kimono literally means “a thing to wear” or “a thing to put on.” It stems from the Japanese root words, ki, “wear” and mono, “thing.”

    So next time you see someone wearing a Kimono or Kimono- inspired fashion, simply say “nice thing to wear.” And technically, you won’t be wrong. 

    The History of Kimonos

    The Japanese Kimono is a garment with a rich history. This piece of clothing reflects cultural significance, politics,  societal changes, and evolving Japanese lifestyles through centuries. 

    Fun fact! The Kimono did NOT originate in Japan. It originally originated in China.

    The Chinese wore loose fitting garments during the Wu dynasty. Many of the traditions prevalent in the Chinese Hanfu of the Wu region in Jainghan, heavily influenced the Japanese. Japanese ambassadors started visiting China during the Yayoi Period to learn more about their culture. The Japanese kimono is an inspiration from the silk robes worn in traditional Han Chinese clothing. 

    During the 8th Century, also known as the Heian Period which dates 794-1185 AD, the Kimono saw its earliest incarnation. This style which was known for its straight line cut method, made it adaptable to different body shapes and sizes, and was influenced by Chinese Hanfu during the Nara period (710-794 AD) 

    During the 12th to 16th Century, Kimonos evolved as the Samurai class emerged during the Kamakura and Muromachi Period. The political and military force was changing and the kimono’s style was reflective of the need for functionality and simpler designs were favored. 

    The Kosode, a precursor to the Kimono as we know it today, became popular during the Azuchi-Momoyama Period from 1568-1600. This style kimono became popular amongst common people and featured smaller sleeves than the traditional look that we know today.

    During the Golden Age (17th to 19th Century) The Kimono became more elaborate in design. Colors and intricate patterns quickly became popular. And as the merchant class gained wealth, the evolution of the Kimono reflected this prosperity. 

    During the 19th Century until today we have seen the Kimono transition from everyday attire to formal wear. During the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Japan became more Westernized, and the clothing reflected this, especially amongst men. 

    During the 20th Century, the Kimono has been reserved primarily for formal occasions, sumo wrestlers, traditional art ceremonies and for geishas.

    In the 21st Century, Kimonos are viewed as a piece of heritage and culture for the Japanese. They are often worn during festivals, special events, and weddings. In recent years, we have seen an interest in kimono culture and Japanese-inspired fashion. Designers are incorporating the bold colors, patterns, and sleeves of the traditional kimono and giving it a modern adaptation, making it appealing for a wider audience. 

    Hence, why we see Kimono Robes everywhere.

    These robes are loved for their beauty and effortless chicness. Wide sleeves, wrap around sashes and belts create a beautiful and elegant flow while wearing them. The Kimono robe as we know it today is a versatile garment and is no longer just reserved for lounging around the house. This robe-like style is a much easier garment to wear than the more traditional Kimono. 

    Kind of like my sweatpants. 

    Here, I’ll break it down for you so you can get a visual.

    My sweatshirt has:

    A head opening- Which is a basic hole or cut in the fabric in the center of the garment where my head goes.  

    A right sleeve with a hole in the bottom- This is where I slip my right arm through, exposing my right hand so I can do things like write this article about men wearing kimonos. 

    A left sleeve with a hole in the bottom- This is where I slip my left arm through, exposing my left hand so I can assist my right hand in writing this article about men wearing kimonos. 

    My sweatpants have:

    A torso opening-  A large opening at the top of my pants where I put one leg in and then the other. Usually, I put my right leg in first and then my left. But, I’ve been trying to retrain my brain and take contrary action, so lately, I’ve been putting my left leg in first and THEN my right. Then once both legs are in, I pull up the rest of the material and it sits around my waist.

    A right leg with a hole in the bottom- This is where my right leg takes a long trip down a tunnel of soft cozy fabric. Eventually, my right foot makes its way out of the hole opening and then the material gathers around my right ankle.

    A left leg with a hole in the bottom- This is where my left leg takes a long trip down a tunnel of soft cozy fabric. Eventually, my left foot makes its way out of the opening and then the material gathers around my left ankle.

    As opposed to the traditional Kimono, which has many parts.

    A Guide to the Kimono 

    Kimonos, which are made from one large single piece of fabric, consist of SIXTEEN parts.  

    A Doura- The upper lining of a kimono.

    A Hakkake- The lower lining of a kimono.

    An Eri- The collar.

    A Fuki- The hem guard.

    Furi- The part of the sleeve that hangs below the armhole.

    The Maemigoro- The front panels. They are divided into two parts (kind of like my sweatpants) The “right maemigoro” and the “left maemigoro.”

    A Miyatsukuchi- The opening under the sleeve of a woman’s kimono.

    The Okumi- The overlapping front panel.

    Sode- The entirety of the sleeve.

    The Sodeguchi- The wrist opening of the sleeve.  

    The Sodetsuke- The kimono armhole.

    The Susomawashi- The lower lining. 

    A Tamoto- The sleeve pouch. 

    A Tomoeri- The collar sewn on top of the neckband lining. 

    The Uraeri- The inner collar.

    Ushiromigoro- The back panels. These back panels consist of a “right ushiromigoro” and a “left ushiromigoro.”

    So you can see how my sweatpants and kimonos have a lot in common. Right?

    Six of twelve or half dozen of the other. 

    You tell me.

    Kimono Style Robes For Men

    There are several common types of Kimono robes for men. 

    A Yukata is an unlined cotton summer kimono. The name is literally translated as “bathing cloth” and is usually the unisex style robe that guests wear at spas or bath houses. 

    A Happi is a straight- sleeved coat made of cotton. It is much shorter than a kimono and resembles a jacket. 

    A Montsuki is a formal kimono. It is usually worn at celebrations and is often accompanied by a Hakama,  traditional pleated style pants that are worn over the kimono top.

    Some of Our Favorite Kimono Style Robes For Men

    Of course, we love our SpiritHood Kimonos. All of our Kimono style robes are unisex and can be worn by anybody that has a body. 

    Our Emerald Tiger Burnout Velvet Hooded Kimono Robe features pockets, and beautiful jewel toned velvet trimming. 

    And for the moments when you really want to stand out, we love our Firefly of The Sea Hooded Sequin Kimono. This piece is perfect for the times when you don’t feel like talking and just want what you’re wearing to “say-it-all.” The sparkle in this number will turn all the heads, you won’t even have to say a word. Don’t believe me, wear it out one night and call me if you don’t get all eyes on you. Just pull this sequined studded hood over your head and let your walking do the talking. 

    We also love the styles at Beautiful Robes. They have a large collection of gorgeous Kimono robes in a wide range of colors, patterns, and lengths. The black dragon long kimono is awesome. Why? Because it has dragons on it and ANYTHING with dragons is the bomb diggity. It just makes us want to throw it on and go out and slay the day away Renee! 

    And because we LOVE anything that shines and brings out our WILD side, we love the black sequined kimono by Kaftko. This kimono-style jacket is perfect for a night out when you feel like upping your game. Not that you have to. You’re fabulous just as you are. 

    If you’re looking for something that has a nod to the old smoking jackets, you’ll love the velvet kimono robes at Baturina Homewear. They come in rich gorgeous jewel toned velvet colors and will have you looking like you just stepped off the set of a 1940’s Cary Grant film. 

    The kimono robes at KIM+ONO are serious works of art. These gorgeous hand painted silk robes are literally wearable art. Wrap your body in pure luxury and when you’re done wearing it, hang it on your wall. Seriously. Show that gorgeous painting off. I almost demand you do it. Get a frame and hang it. On your wall. Now. 

    And if you’re looking for a more basic entry level kimono style robe, the terry robes at RobesNmore are a great choice. They’re super affordable and offer a wide range of great colors. The cozy terry is made in Turkey and the quality is great for the price. You’ll feel like you just stepped into a spa retreat when you wrap your bod in this after a shower. 

    How to care for your Kimono Robe

    Always remember to check the labels for specific care and washing instructions. We always recommend that you hand wash our clothes in cold water with a mild detergent. And if needed, you can wash on a gentle cycle in cold water. Always hang dry on a hanger away from direct sunlight. 

    And if you ever have any questions, always call the manufacturer and speak to them directly. They will be able to instruct you on the best way to care for your robe.

    Share your pictures with us

    You know we love to see you in our clothes! So send us any pictures or videos that you have wearing our Kimono style robes. Or tag us @SpiritHoods.

    Our kimono robes are perfect for your vacations, staycations (if you're like me and on a budget) and getaways, we want to see you lounging around and giving all the lewks!


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