Haori is the outer garment worn by the Japanese over the kosode (a type of robe), both for men and women. The haori is cut like a kimono, but shorter and varies in length from mid-thigh to mid-calf.
The haori has one layer of silk, like a kimono, and is lined with another layer of silk or cotton. Unlike the kimono, the haori does not overlap at the front and is not secured by an obi, a type of sash. It is fastened at the centre front with braided silk cords.
Geisha, professional hostesses and entertainers, were the first women to wear haori over their kimonos. In the 17th century, geisha in the Fukagawa district of Edo, as Tokyo was then known, began wearing haori to demonstrate their mastery and skill in the arts "like men".
Initially a radical fashion statement, within a century it was common for women to wear either the haori under their kimono or the hakama (a cut-out trouser or split skirt) over their kimono, but not both. At that time, geishas were the only Japanese who did not wear the haori.
In the nineteenth century, the haori became the main garment for displaying the mon, or family crests, at occasions such as weddings and funerals.
The mon are small, usually white logos that are simple decorative designs of natural symbols that families have adopted.