12 Ways to Add Japanese Kimono Style to Your Life


12 Ways to Add Japanese Kimono Style to Your Life

by Hans Liu & Diccon Sandrey | LIFESTYLE

Japanese kimono are renowned for their extraordinary beauty and exceptional craftsmanship. They can take a team of highly specialized artisans months of weaving, dyeing, stitching, and embroidery to realize, which is why they usually come with a hefty price tag!

But owning a piece of Japanese kimono fashion doesn’t have to break the bank! Authentic kimono fabrics are being snatched up by designers and artisans for their unique artistic value and endless creative possibilities. 

We’ve carefully selected 12 excellent designs that will inspire you to add the elegant kimono style to your wardrobe and into your home. All these recommendations are either made-in-Japan, or created with authentic Japanese kimono fabrics. 


1. Nishijin-Ori Bag by Mieko

Nishijin was the imperial center of kimono weaving catering to the lifestyle of Kyoto aristocrats as early as the 8th century. Specialized in silk weaving, Nishijin still produces the most sophisticated and elaborate kimono fabrics.

This sumptuous evening clutch is handcrafted from a Nishjin Obi (the lavishly decorated belt wrapped around the kimono). The gorgeous patterns are matched with a sleek modern design – a definite showstopper for your favorite cocktail dress!  


2. Floral Embroidered Cushion by Hunted & Stuffed

Floral Embroidered Cushion

British brand Hunted and Stuffed transforms authentic vintage Japanese kimono fabrics into sumptuous home furnishings.  These hand-made silk cushions and pillows are realized with intricate embroidery of famous scenes in Japanese art. The colors are simply stunning, and would make a unique addition to your contemporary sofa or armchair.


3. Antique Kimono Silk & Cashmere Scarf by Gallery Shili

Tokyo’s Gallery Shili sources the highest quality of vintage silk kimono to create one-of-a-kind fashion scarves. The reverse side is woven from premium cashmere for the added luxury feel. The designers believe that the combination of Japanese traditional textiles and modern design brings a deeper appreciation of tradition, art and culture.


4. Kimono Washbag by Kimono Studio

It’s such a meaningful experience to see a vintage kimono get a new lease of life.  The fabrics of this silk washbag are sourced from antique kimono in Kyoto, and are redesigned by Kimono Studio. This floral piece is available from the British Museum in London, so profits go to maintaining the museum’s collections as well.


5. Women’s Cherry Blossom Yukata

This cotton yukata, also made in Kyoto, has a sleeker, darker color palette. Among the cherry blossoms are some traditional patterns typical of Kyoto design motifs. The square dots are created through a method of shibori dyeing, where each individual square of material is tied up before soaking in the dye. This yukata would be ideal as a kimono style nightgown or loungewear.

(The Smithsonian Store is not currently accepting orders, they'll be back soon!)


6. Kimono Fabric Kinchaku Pouch by Sakura

This precious pouch is made in Japan from yukata cotton fabric. We love the vivid colors and Japanese chrysanthemum patterns. The size offers ample room for all your essentials. Its classic design makes for the perfect gift for lovers of kimono style design!


7. Women’s Hanten (Kimono Style Jacket) by Watanosato

A hanten is a short warm winter jacket that's the staple of Japanese traditional fashion.  This woman’s hanten with its rich yet understated floral patterns mean it is a classy companion piece to any outfit. Great for those chilly evenings or a stylish day look with a pair of dark jeans. It is made in Japan and lined and padded in cotton, so very comfortable to wear, even over bare arms.


8. Hand-Dyed Watercolor Clutch

The shibori resist-dye technique was developed for opulent silk kimono, but you can enjoy the luxurious texture of Japanese kimono shibori silk with this very reasonably priced clutch. It comes with adjustable leather strap for added flexibility.

(The Smithsonian Store is not currently accepting orders, they'll be back soon!)


9. Mount Fuji Cherry Blossom Yukata

For an added spring in your step, this hand-made cotton yukata from Kyoto is a winner. The iconic Mount Fuji coupled with richly illustrated cherry blossoms are guaranteed to cheer up even the gloomiest of days! Yukata is a light, comfortable kimono style robe; a must-have for heading into the warmer weather.

(The Smithsonian Store is not currently accepting orders, they'll be back soon!)


10. Pencil Pouch by Kiriko Made

Portland-based Kiriko Made imports hand-crafted new and used textiles from Japan. This canvas-lined pencil bag comes in a couple of unique patterns, both made from authentic Japanese kimono fabrics. This would make a great and versatile gift for any age or gender.


11. Men’s Hanten (Kimono Style Jacket) by Watanosato

This men’s hanten has the distinct dark indigo color that has been worn by Japanese men for centuries. Also made in the old-school way, this one is sewn from thick cotton, and padded to keep out the cold. They are extremely durable (as long as you follow the cleaning instructions!). Make sure you get a big enough size, as they are most comfortable when not too tight.


12. Men’s Yukata Robe

These days it’s not so common to see men wearing kimono in the streets, but there’s nothing more relaxing than padding round the house in a soft cotton yukata. This men’s kimono style robe is made in Japan and illustrated with scenes from Japan’s national sport – sumo – along with the characters for sumo, and yokozuna, the highest rank of wrestler. Ideal for the armchair sportsman!

JO SELECTS offers helpful suggestions, and genuine recommendations for high-quality, authentic Japanese art & design. We know how difficult it is to search for Japanese artisans and designers on the vast internet, so we came up with this lifestyle guide to highlight great Japanese artworks and designs for your everyday needs. 

All product suggestions are independently selected. We try our best to update information, but all prices and availability are subject to change. If you buy something through our links, Japan Objects may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.