Kimono Shirt Guide 2021

So you want something a bit Kimono, but not too Kimono? You want the vibe but, don’t want to commit to the full six feet of flowing robe? Well, join the club!

I’ve been experimenting with wearing different Japanese clothes for over 25 years, both living in Japan and outside Japan. In putting this post together I’ve consulted mostly with Japanese language sites, translated and synthesized a lot of the information here. I’ve also written articles on the closely related Japanese clothing types including jimbei, hanten jackets, kimono for menJapanese minimalist fashion and kimono fabric, so it might be worth checking those out as well.

What is a kimono shirt anyway?

You’ll find that quite a few different garments get lumped under the term “Kimono shirt” (Kimono literally just means “clothing” in Japanese, not a particular type of clothing). There are free flowing, split at the front, cardigan shaped garments that would more commonly be called a Happi or a Hanten in Japan. These variously get called a kimono wrap shirt, cardigan or jacket across different places across the internet. Some places will use the Japanese names for them. 

Wearing a Kimono shirt as a wrap around

These types of Kimono shirt are commonly worn over the top of other items of clothing, most commonly a simple white t-shirt, singlet or tank top. They can also be worn over something more skimpy, such as a swimsuit or underwear, a la something like this:

Kimono Theme Shirt

There are also more Western-shaped shirts that are made from materials or patterns that are often associated with Japanese kimono such as this:

Other options to a Kimono Shirt

If you are looking for a light Japanese style wrap-around, it may be worth considering getting a Jinbei, which is a wrap-around top and bottom combination. The design of these garments are essentially unisex, but are often given more masculine of feminine patterns and colors.

Hanten Wrap Around for Winter

There are also warmer versions of Japanese wrap-around, such as the cotton filled Hanten jacket.

How much does a Kimono Shirt cost?

There is a really wide range of price points for kimono shirts and kimono wrap arounds. There are some great high-brand items from the likes of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ambush, Visvim, Haider Ackermann that will easily set you back more than $1000. 

High End Kimono Shirts

Visvim Indigo Denim Happi style kimono top

Half-sleeve garment-dyed non-stretch denim kimono-style shirt in indigo. Shawl collar. Open front. Welt pockets at waist. Partial cotton twill lining. Contrast stitching in white.

  • High end fashion piece
  • Classic Denim
  • 100% cotton.
  • Made in Japan

NAKED & FAMOUS DENIM SSENSE Exclusive Khaki Rinsed Oxford Kimono Shirt

Long sleeve cotton twill shirt in khaki. Shawl collar. Integrated self-tie fastening at waist.

  • High end fashion piece
  • 100% cotton.
  • Made in Canada

There are highly original, sometimes hand made, items on Etsy from the 1-300 range, such as this:

If you are after a bargain, you can find some great stuff at low prices at Newchic.

If you want some super bargains, and are willing to wait a little longer for postage, you can find some outrageously inexpensive items at Aliexpress:

Kimono Shirts We Like

Women's Kimono Shirt

Men's Kimono Shirt

Other options in the world of Kimono shirts include a warm Hanten style jacket top, or a Jinbei with matching top and bottom. You could even try making your own using kimono fabric. If you’re after a full blown male kimono, look here.

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Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records.


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