Yukata

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japanese-yukata

- Yukata Collection -

A yukata is a cooling garment to wear. Like other forms of clothing based on traditional Japanese garments, it is made with straight seams and wide sleeves.

Unlike formal kimonos, yukata are typically made of cotton rather than silk or synthetic fabrics and they are unlined.

Yukata Origins

The name yukata comes from the word "yu" (bath) and "katabira" (undergarment). In the Heian period (794-1185), court nobles wore "yukata" made of linen, which were loosely draped after bathing.

Later, the yukata was also worn by Japanese warriors, and in the Edo period (1600-1868) it was also worn by the public, when public bathing became a popular pastime in Japan.

Traditionally, Japanese yukata were mostly made of indigo-dyed cotton, but today there is a wide range of colours and patterns.

As with the more formal kimonos, the general rule is that the younger the person, the brighter the colour and bolder the pattern.

A child might wear a multi-coloured print and a young woman a floral print, while an older woman would stick to a traditional dark blue with geometric patterns.

Since the late 1990s, the Japanese yukata has had a bit of a revival and many young women now wear it in the summer in a very personal way that is not restricted by tradition.

This garment is very traditional. The correct way to wear a yukata is not necessarily obvious.

The left side of the yukata is wrapped over the right side (restraint is to be avoided as only dead people wear the right over the left side at a funeral), and an obi (belt) is used to prevent the yukata from attracting attention when worn in public.

In private, such as after a bath, the yukata is usually simply strapped on with a belt. A type of wooden sandal with straps called a geta is also commonly worn with the yukata.

Today, the Japanese yukata is often worn as casual wear in summer and at festivals. In addition, the yukata is also often worn in ryokan (traditional Japanese inn).

The yukata is popular because of its lightweight cotton material. Fabric designs vary from the traditional plain cross-hatch pattern to colourful patterns.

A cotton sash is usually worn with the yukata when wearing it in everyday life or at night. When attending festivals and public occasions, the yukata is worn with a wider belt that can simply be wrapped around the waist and tucked in at the end.

For a more formal appearance, the Japanese yukata is worn with an obi belt, along with geta shoes (wooden sandals) and a handbag to complete the outfit.