Types of Kimono - Furisode

Just like there are many kinds of dresses, there are many kinds of kimono. Also as dresses, kimono can go from "occasion-specific" (like wedding or stage), to full formal, mildly formal, and very casual. But, different from dresses, which notably vary in shape, all kimono share quite similar general characteristics. The main aspects that usually define a kind of kimono are: shape (in few cases), material and color/patterns. Starting from here, we'll see some different types of kimono and start to analyze the general "rules" in kimono complex aesthetics. 

Please notice, all kimono kinds shown will be contemporary. Ancient times kimono had very different shapes and kinds, and will be mentioned further ahead, in a separate topic.

We'll go from the most formal to the most informal types of female kimono, then see a few "special" types, and a little bit about male kimono and accessory garments..


Furisode means "swinging sleeves". This kind of kimono is easy to identify because of it's beautiful, long sleeves. It's the most formal kind of kimono for young, unmarried women, and is not worn by married women. 

 Furisode. Notice some details considered "youthfull" in kimono shape: 
round borders on the sleeves and obi worn very high on the torso.

Furisode is usually worn during coming-of-age ceremony (at age 20), and at weddings of close relatives. Since it's very formal, it's usually made of rich materials, like silk or crepe, and displays opulent patterns in wide, graceful areas over the garment.  

Furisode is usually accented with damask-like fabric, noble dying techniques and brocade - yes, not rarely, all at once! This makes this kind of kimono both stunning and very expensive. Many young women actually choose to rent a furisode for her coming-of-age ceremony instead of buying one.

Festive, complex, sometimes unique kinds of musubi (obi knots) are worn with furisode. Tateya and fukura suzume are two examples of furisode-exclusive musubi. Bunko, a popular and versatile kind of musubi, can also be worn with furisode, if made with proper kind of obi and style. The obi itself, matching the formality of the kimono, is very long and brocade. The type more often used is fukuro obi, but the ultra-formal maru obi can also be worn, specially if bridal-level formality is desired.

From left to right, tateya and fukura suzume musubi.

The obi-age, sash that is tied between the top of the obi and the kimono, can also worn in a specific manner with furisode. If the wearer prefers, however, it's ok to wear it in the common way, too.

 Difference between the "regular" way of wearing obi-age (left) and 
a furisode-exclusive style (right), with one side "tucked in" the collar. 

...And that's the basic about furisode! Next post: tomesode!
Any questions or comments, please comment! ^_^

2 comentários:

  1. Oh finally I get to know what's the differnce between the two tyes pf wearing the obi-age, so that's the FORMAL type - awesome! 8D
    But say, what about formal for mature women? because I read on a geisha page that only maiko wears their obiage untied since just like furisode it's considered to be for young ones, more mature women tie it (somehow, I'm not familiar with any of it, uh huh)

    And I guess i have a shameful request: would you mind at least weakly or monthly link all your kimono-themed posts in a DA journal..? Since then I could save it and "collect" it... The mean blogger not support to "like" or collect fav posts in any way. =(

    1. I made a post with pictures to (try to) answer your doubt... I'm not familiar with obi-age (or any accessories) details, either! ^^;

      Haha, sure, no problem. I'll link them in a journal every now and then. Blogger can surely be annoying, you're right.