You're not as little as you think & the
kimonos are not as big as they look: Remember kids,
you're an American... Most likely fast food fed instead
of rice fed. The Japanese are much smaller than we
Westerners. The Kimonos look like they're pretty darned
big, but looks can be deceiving.
The width from the shoulder to the shoulder
The length of the sleeve
The entire length of the kimono
The width from the neck to the sleeve end
How they're sold...
A lot of the time you will find that merchants are
listing sizes in Centimeters. Now if we had gone metric
like we probably shoulda (back in the 70's when I was
still in elementary school!) then this wouldn't confuse
you! But because it probably will, here's a
website where you can do some quickie conversions if
you're not fond of doing math with your clothes
Now... How does this apply to
getting one around yourself?
I bet you're thinking... Wow... A lot of these kimono
are 23 inches along the Mihaba measurement. That means
that they're 46 inches around! Well that'll be HUGE!!
Heck no. It doesn't work quite that way. If you'll
notice in the image above the front 'flaps' are not the
same size as the back, they're much narrower.The best
tip I can offer a westerner is to measure themselves
from hip to hip around their back and see what number
you come out with. That's the Mihaba you should be
looking for or larger.
Yes they are. Do you wonder how the girls in Japan
fit into them without dragging them around on the
ground? Lots of pulling up and tying as you'll see on
the bride's page. Don't
worry about how long it is. If you're going to wear it
properly you'll be pulling it up too!
The sleeve is supposed to reach your wrist.
For men folk and women folk. However, it is getting
harder even for the Japanese to find Kimono that have
long enough sleeves. Don't worry too much about where
the sleeve comes.
How do I choose what kimono to buy? It seems like
there's a million of them... Well you can start out on
the kimono page for a
quickie lesson on what is what in level of formality.
Men pretty much have it easy for the kimono portion. You
can read more about them on the groom's
Ugh, that seems like too much work...
Then try out a haori!
You can look a little Japanese without all the tying.
Just wear it like a jacket over whatever else you're
going to wear. You won't be disappointed by your
choices. There's a bunch of different styles and colors
and materials available. The 'mihaba' measurement idea
above still applies to haori. Visit the haori
page for more detail.