Male Kimono

Male Kimono

男性着物

That's how you rock a Men's Kimono

If you’re a fan of Japanese culture like me, you probably take an interest in Japanese clothing as well. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at different men’s kimonos, men’s yukata and men’s silk robes that are out there. 

Once you start looking into the world of Japanese traditional clothing, it’s deep and diverse world. So I’ll try and simplify things a bit so that we can get the lay of land. 

The main message is that kimonos are not just a relic of the past, but can actually be one of the more versatile, comfortable types of clothing out there. Warm in the winter and cooling in the summer, quality kimonos are easy to layer and made from breathable fabrics. With proper care, high-quality kimono garments can last you for years.

Let’s start by taking a look at a few of the most interesting kimono for men, and kimono inspired garments for men, available today. Then, we’ll dive a little deeper into the world of men’s kimono.

Also check out the Japanoscope Jinbei page if you are interested in finding out more about the summery jacket-and-shorts type kimono.

If you are interested in making your own, have a look at the Japanoscope fabrics page.

Mens Japanese Linen Loose Jacket Casual

Kimono inspired without screaming in your face “I’m wearing a Kimono”.

Pros

  • Breathable linen material
  • Button up or leave open
  • Short sleeves leaves hands free

Cons

  • Not as ditinctly Japanese looking as some other items

Casual Loose Horn Button Linen V-Neck Coat

Casual, understated Kimono haori-style jacket

Pros

  • Genuine linen
  • Range of sizes
  • Can be combined with Japanese or non-Japanese clothing

Cons

  • Can’t be tied or buttoned at front

ArmorStyle Silk Japanese Kimono (With Mask!)

Made from a high-quality blend of polyester and cotton, this silky Japanese Kimono creates an effortless flowy motion on the slightest movement. The robe is extremely soft to the touch, making it perfect for lounging on the home or taking a reflective walk on the beach.

The kimono features a three-quarter length sleeve and straight-edge trail. A simple tie-on belt helps to secure the waist. The black kimono features illustrated blossoms and parakeets for a naturalistic look.

Pros

  • Offers simple, elegant design
  • Lightweight materials allow for natural movement of the fabric
  • Perfect for Spring and Summer

Cons

  • Some would prefer a more traditional style
  • Does not come with matching face mask like the title implies

Folding Leg Japanese Table Set

Looking for something with a modern twist? The budget-friendly LifeHe Kimono tapers right at the waist like a cardigan, yet boasts the look and fit of a traditional kimono. The double-layer polyester fabric is sufficiently lightweight for a smooth, silk-like feeling on the skin.

The kimono is available in two patterns: black floral fabric with red cherry blossoms or an all-white fabric with pink cherry blossoms. On both, an illustrated koi fish decorates the back for a striking look.

Pros

  • Cardigan fit is great for informal settings
  • Great for casual outdoor wear
  • Polyester fabric is soft yet inexpensive

Cons

  • Should only be washed through hand-washing
  • Colors may fade over time with frequent sun exposure

Haorun Men's Japanese Kimono

Made from a delicate cotton blend, the Haorun yukata is perfect for warmer seasons. The kimono features a slimmer profile, yet flows very well upon movement.

The slightest wind picks up the back of the kimono, revealing the pattern of birds in flight. This black yukata is designed for informal wear indoors, use as a bathrobe, or for hot summer days.

Pros

  • Mid-calf length is perfect for outdoor trips
  • Unique pattern emphasizes the movement of the back of the robe
  • Cotton-polyester blend offers thinnest, most lightweight feel

Cons

  • Sizes run on the small side – buyers beware!
  • Not fit for winter wear

The Ins and Outs of the Male Kimono

Materials Used in Men’s Kimonos

Kimonos and the obi belts used to tie them are made from many distinct types of fabric. Linen, silk, hemp, crepe, wool, and cotton are all popular varieties.

When purchasing a kimono, the materials used are the best insight you have into the quality.

On the less expensive end, 100 percent polyester is used to mimic the movement and feeling of silk. Often, a cotton-polyester blend is employed to give the kimono more weight.

Hemp and linen kimonos are the easiest to take care of. Featuring a cooling texture, these kimonos are great for the warmer season and can usually be machine washed. Keep in mind that these materials are not suitable for formal events.

Though it’s decreased in popularity, wool kimonos can still be found. Wool kimonos are great for winter and retain their shape very well.

Still, when it comes to a kimono, pure silk is second to none in terms of quality and comfort. Curiously, silk is cooling in the summer and keeps you warm in the winter – that’s why it’s often referred to as a “second skin”. High-quality silk kimonos can be a lifelong (or even intergenerational) investment.

Types of Men’s Kimonos

There’s a bunch of different types of kimonos for men to choose from. Probably the most well known is the casual light summer attire yukata. This is probably because you see this type of Kimono around so much at festivals or at onsen bath towns in Japan.

Others include: 

Iromuji 

Patternless Kimono that can have house insignias printed on them to be used at formal occasions. They can be worn as everyday wear. They are also der rigour at tea ceremonies because they are considered understated enough to not clash with any decorations or utensil patterns involved in the ceremony.

Samue

Pants and jackets sets that are often used as work wear for artisans etc.

Jinbei

Light jacket and short sets that are breezy garments for hot days or for after the bath. Check out the Japanoscope Jinbei guide here.

Happi

Jackets that are often used for festive occasions and may have writing on the front lapels advertising a team, house, company etc.

Hanten

Hanten jackets are popular house ware, especially in their warm winter coat variety. I personally live in my hanten jacket throuout the colder months. They are very popular for children also. See the Japanoscope Hanten page here.

Tsumugi

A woven silk garment. These have the high quality and durability of silk but are not as silky or flashy. They are popular due to their more subtle, refined nature. They are often so well made and long lasting that they are passed down from father to son to be worn by a whole new generation. 

Montsuki

“Montsuki” literally means “crested” and denotes a kimono with some kind of family or house crest. These are considered the most formal Kimono and are usually worn with a full length under robe “Nagagi” and a pair of pants called “Hakama”. This sort of attire is commonly worn for weddings or formal ceremonies.

Male kimonos can also be divided by material. Silk kimonos are generally reserved for special occasions, while thicker clothes (like cotton) are suitable for lounging.

 

A diagram of Japanese men's Kimono from informal to formal (left to right)

What Are The Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Kimonos?

Men’s and women’s kimonos differ significantly. Typically, women’s kimonos feature more vibrant colors, patterns, and fold varieties, while the traditional male kimono is usually subtle in color. Brown, black, gray, and navy blue are all common variations.

Additionally, the belt used to hold the kimono together, also known as the obi, is distinct for men. While kimonos geared for women feature thicker obi, male kimonos’ obi are thinner and less decorative.

Traditionally, male kimonos designed for less formal occasions were brighter in color and may have featured simple patterns. Today, there’s no shortage of male kimonos with ostentatious, complex, and vibrant colors.

You might notice that women have much more to choose from when selecting a new kimono. The reason is simple: More women demand kimonos than men, especially for formal events like graduations and weddings. This divide came about some time in the Meiji restoration when Japan went through a rapid transition to westernisation. Men were very much expected to “move with the times” while women were expected to be more “traditionally decorative”.

What is a male kimono called?

There are many names for different types of male kimono including yukata, montsuki, samue, jinbei, happi, hakama etc. “Kimono” literally just means “clothing” so if you think of the range of different types of clothing that exist in contemporary western culture, you will find that just as many different types and categories exist within Kimono.

What do men in Japan wear?

Contemporary Japanese men wear very similar clothing to contemporary Western men. They also have the option of wearing a range of different Kimono such as yukata, montsuki, samue, jinbei, happi, hakama etc. either in combination with Western clothing or independently.

Do males wear kimonos? Can a man wear a kimono?

Yes, throughout most of Japanese history Kimono is all Japanese men wore. Japanese men still wear kimono in a range of contexts, mostly anywhere that involves traditional Japanese culture, such as ceremonies, at temples, around bath houses, taking part in traditional crafts and performances.

Can you wear kimono with western clothes?

Yes, go for it Many Japanese and non-Japanese people have experimented with combining Western and Japanese clothing, coming up with all sorts of interesting combinations. 

Black Dragon Men's Kimono Haori

The JEArtGallery kimono certainly makes a great first impression. Featuring a white dragon on the back and delicate koi fish on the front, the black kimono is a statement piece.

 

The delicate robe is made from lightweight, flowy materials that emphasize movement. It’s finished with an open-front fit and three-quarter length sleeves. Moreover, it can easily be layered over clothing for colder seasons or worn as-is for warm weather.

 

Pros

  • Comes with a thick polyester-blend belt for closure
  • Three-quarter sleeves offer a broad, oversized opening for the forearms
  • Larger fit kimono can easily be layered over thick-knit winter clothing
  • Comes in several different unique patterns featuring white dragons

Cons

  • Some might prefer more traditional Japanese kimono designs
  • Only offered in cardigan length fit

Black Dragon Men's Kimono Haori

Sourced from pure linen with a natural silk belt, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more comfortable than the ChinatamaniAlchemi kimono. This Bohemian-style kimono is shaped akin to a classic yukata, yet is set apart by its asymmetric tunic fit.

 

The kimono features a wide belt and is offered in shades like dusky pink, classic black, and silver-gray. The pure linen material is ideal for days spent on the beach or out around town.

Pros

  • Offered in several different shades
  • Made from breathable linen and silk
  • Asymmetric fit offers many different styling options from cafen to yukata, kimono, or tunic

Cons

  • Some may prefer more traditional Japanese kimono look, fit, and feel
  • Linen material retains wrinkles, unlike classic silk kimonos

Black Dragon Men's Kimono Haori

Sourced from pure linen with a natural silk belt, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more comfortable than the ChinatamaniAlchemi kimono. This Bohemian-style kimono is shaped akin to a classic yukata, yet is set apart by its asymmetric tunic fit.

 

The kimono features a wide belt and is offered in shades like dusky pink, classic black, and silver-gray. The pure linen material is ideal for days spent on the beach or out around town.

Pros

  • Offered in several different shades
  • Made from breathable linen and silk
  • Asymmetric fit offers many different styling options from cafen to yukata, kimono, or tunic

Cons

  • Some may prefer more traditional Japanese kimono look, fit, and feel
  • Linen material retains wrinkles, unlike classic silk kimonos

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you’ve got something out of this little exploration of the world of the male kimono.  If you’re in the market for to buy some men’s kimono garments, it really does depend on what you’re looking for. But personally I like the men’s linen options from Newchic. Made from 100 percent cotton, the kimono is cheaper than its silk counterparts yet doesn’t skimp on quality. The full-length kimono is handcrafted by artisans from Kyoto. The simple pattern is good for use in casual settings or combining with other clothing items. Here’s to the continued varying history of the mighty! Also check out the Japanoscope Jinbei page if you are interested in finding out more about the summery jacket-and-shorts type kimono. If you are interested in making your own, have a look at the Japanoscope fabrics page.  

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

All about Jinbei clothing (or Jimbei, Jimbe, or Jinbe if you prefer)

Get your Jinbei on

甚平

I love my Jinbei. In summer you can’t get me out of the thing. They are just so light and airy, with their open hatched seems and light cotton/hemp fabric.

Jinbei 1
A typical Jinbei

There is a long history of women wearing Kimonos as Japanese nightwear stretching back to the Japonism movement in Europe. Here’s a Klimt painting of a European woman in a kimono.

Gustav_Klimt_-_Dame_mit_Fächer
Klimpt painting of woman in Kimono

Jinbei are light cotton or hemp material top and bottom pairs that are made to be airy by including hatched gaps along the stitching. The great thing about Jinbei is that they pass both as pajamas and as casual wear that can be worn outside the house. In Japan, you sometimes see people wearing these at festivals, or around hot springs. A common pattern goes: relax in hot-bath, put Jinbei on for the evening, then wear them straight to bed.These garments are designed to be super cool for hot summer nights, loose fitting and comfy.

Are Jenbei worn by both men and women?

Cotton vs. Hemp

Traditionally Jinbei have tended to be worn mostly by men and children. Recently there are a lot of designs that have been made for women also, but the more robe-like Yukata (of which Jinbei are considered to be a sub genre of) are more common. 

Many of the Jinbei are “unisex”. Indeed the only real difference between these Jinbei is the coloring and visual patterns.

Jinbei materials are roughly divided into cotton and hemp (linen), either of which may be 100% or mixed. The more cotton you have, the better it feels and the easier it is to clean.  Hemp tends to wrinkle more than cotton, but will give you a breezier feel.

Some jinbei also use Japanese paper, “washi”, as a mixing material – especially in some of the more high end examples.

When to wear Jinbei?

  • In hot weather
  • In bed as pajamas
  • Going out to a festival
  • Before and after a bath

What to wear with Jinbei?

Generally people wear open footwear with Jinbei in the form of Geta. Sandals will do the job just as well.

File:Geta.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Jinbei vs. robe style Yukata

Jinbei are a bit closer to Western style clothing than a full blown robe-style Yukata. So they are a little bit less of an overt “statement”. They are also easier to slip on and off because you don’t have to worry about tying up your obi belt.

People often accessorize with tradional, such as a kinchakubukuro bag.

File:Kinchaku Sack.jpg - Wikipedia

Now you’ve got all the info you need to embark on your quest for the perfect Jimbei. We’ve searched across the internet to find a selection across a range of outlets:

Recommended women's Jinbei

#1 Seigaha Jinbei

Women's Jinbei

Seigaha Ocean Wave Pattern Women’s Jinbei on Foxtume

Pros

  • Quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Distinctive Seigaha Pattern, at once classic and modern
  • Soft, breathable cotton
  • Aerated seams
Update: Use Discount Code “japanoscope” for  15% discount from Foxtume

#2 Muted Tone Jinbei

Muted tone, large dotted jinbei on AliExpress
 Pros
  • Muted Tone with subtle, sparse polka dots
  • Elastic waste shorts suitable for using as sleepwear
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons

  • No aerated seams 

#3 Cat Print Jinbei

Women’s cute cat print Jinbei on AliExpress

Pros

  • Range of Cute Designs
  • Relatively long pants
  • Front Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#4 Traditional Dark Jinbei

Black floral Jinbei on Etsy

Pros

  • Distinctive dark design
  • Traditional design

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#5 Traditional Light Floral Jinbei

Summer white & red jinbei on Etsy

Pros

  • Bright, floral design
  • Traditional design
  • Front Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#6 Unique High Contrast Jinbei

Peony Floral pattern Women’s Jinbei on CDJapan

Pros

  • Highly unique contrasting black & floral design
  • More vivid colored pattern than more traditional designs
  • Peony & Sakura

Cons

  • 70% cotton, 30% polyester

#7 Kawaii Pink Jinbei

Women’s Pink floral Surugajino Samue on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#8 Kawaii Red & White Jinbei

Women’s floral Jinbei Surugajino Samueya on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#9 Black Floral Jinbei

Tokyoin breathable Matte Cotton on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Drawstring Elastic Waste
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#10 Pink Floral Jinbei

Tokyoin Pink Breathable Matte Cotton on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Drawstring Elastic Waste
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#11 Simple Striped Jinbei

 

Simple red & white Stripe Women’s Jinbei on AliExpress

Pros

  • Simple striped design
  • 100% cotton
  • Aerated seams

Cons

  • No pockets

Recommended Men's Jinbei

#1 Foxtume Seigaha Jinbei

High quality cotton, all purpose Jinbei appropriate for outside use, bath wear or sleep wear.

Pros

  • High quality materials and construction
  • Classic traditional Japanese pattern
  • Fully aerated seams
  • drawstring
  • elastic waste

Cons

  • Patterning may be too “Loud” for some

Use Discount Code “japanoscope” for  15% discount from Foxtume

#2 Newchic Seigaha Jinbei

A light Jinbei appropriate for outside use, bath wear or sleep wear.

Pros

  • Simple, reasonably priced jinbei
  • Classic traditional Japanese pattern
  • drawstring
  • elastic waste

Cons

  • No aerated seems

#3 Foxtume Dragon Jinbei

High quality, striking Dragon themed blue cotton Jinbei.

Pr0

  • Striking design
  • Quality materials
  • Aerated seams
  • drawstring

Cons

  • Dragon theme too overtly masculine for some
  • Use Discount Code “japanoscope” for  15% discount from Foxtume

#4 Ikisugata Jinbei With Washi Paper

Cotton & Japanese paper made Jinbei from Ikisugata on Amazon

Pros

  • High-end, muted-tone Jinbei with 55% cotton and 45% Japanese Washi paper material!
  • Aerated seams
  • Pocket
  • Made In Japan
  • Cons
  • Relatively expensive

#5 Linen Jinbei

  • Linen material
  • Comes with bonus Kinchaku-bukuro bag 
  • Made in Japan
  • In cool muted tones

#6 Hemp Blend Jinbei

Watanosato Hemp Blend jinbei on Amazon

  • Made In Japan
  • Cotton 85% hemp15%
  • Aerated seams
  • Multiple pockets
  • Traditional navy

#7 Dark Minimal Jinbei

Trad-style Jinbei on AliExpress
  • Cost effective
  • 100% cotton
  • Aerated seems

#8 Calligraphy Jinbei

Calligraphy Jinbei on Aliexpress
  • Calligraphy meaning : 本気でやれば、何でもできる “Do your all and anything is possible”
  • Aerated seems
  • Reasonable Price
  • Pocket

#9 Black Ikisugata Jinbei

Ikisugata Jinbei Rich Black on Amazon

  • High end item
  • Cotton:55%, Japanese paper:45%
  • Made in Japan
  • Rich shijira black

#11 Dark Watanosato Jinbei

Dark Cotton Watanosato Jinbei on Amazaon

 

  • Cotton
  • Double stitched
  • pockets on front, pant side and back
  • Made in japan
  • Rich color

#10Traditional Striped Jinbei

Jinbei M-LL image 0
Traditional Striped Jinbei on Etsy
  • Cotton
  • 2 piece
  • pocket
  • handmade

Recommended children's Jinbei

Hot Biscuits Boats & Bears boys Jinbei on Amazon

Hot Biscuits butterflies and bunnies Jinbei on Amazon

Kid’s colored spots jinbei on Etsy
Japanese Kimono Jinbei Children/Imperial Kamon CREST/Japanese image 0
Imperial crest pattern Jinbei on Etsy

Overall, for women the Seigaha Ocean Wave Pattern Women’s Jinbei on Foxtume and for men the Foxtume Seigaha came out as our clear favorite.

If you’re looking for something a bit warmer, take a look at our Hanten page.

 We’ve also got a page on male kimonos here.

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Look for more Jinbei options on Amazon

Look for more Jinbei options on Etsy

Contributor

Hi, I’m Peter.  I lived in Japan for four years as a University student completing a Masters Degree in Musicology.  I have succesfully completed the  highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1).  have toured the country six times playing music and singing songs in Japanese and English.