wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing
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Japanese Haori Kimono Jackets
The haori above is black silk, with embroidered flowers and leaves.
A haori is a long jacket with deep, swinging, kimono style sleeves. About two thirds of the depth of the sleeve is not attached to the body of the garment. Haori are made to be worn over kimonos but look great worn with western world clothing; dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a dress.
Here I show womens’ haori but I also have many mens’ ones. Mens haori are less decorative than women’s, though the linings often have fabulous textile art, and mens’ kimono and haori sleeves are attached either all the way down the body or to about an inch or two above the bottom of the sleeve, whereas womens’ sleeves hang free from the body for a large part of their depth, so that a deep obi can be put round the kimono. As men wear much narrower obis, the sleeves can be attached much further down.
The haori below has wonderful peacocks, woven in metallic, urushi (lacquer coated) thread.
The next haori shown here is a nice example of a light coloured one. Like most vintage haori, it is entirely hand tailored.
The haori shown below has magnificent, hand printed poppies. It is one of my favourites
Where a kimono is a fabulous item to wear in the house, here in the West, I find haori are very versatile and useful garments and I have several of my own that I wear quite frequently. My greatest weakness is for ones with Japanese people on them or with gosho ningyo (imperial dolls), which are very white (to look like porcelain), chubby little figures.
The haori shown below has gorgeous little trees. Another of my favourites
Below is a picture of the front of a haori. Unlike kimonos, they are not worn with an obi sash. They are worn open or can be fastened by attaching a pair of ties, called himo, to the inside edge at the centre, where there are two little loops.
Below, you can see the himo attached to the haori with the roses, shown above. Below that are instructions for tying a woman’s himo.
Men wear haori too, though theirs tend to be less decorative on the outside. The lining of a man’s haori often has fabulous textile art on it, considered ‘hidden beauty’. There is a section in this blog all about that, if you wish to read more on the subject. How to tie a man’s haori himo can be seen here. Men’s himos are hooked onto their haoris and are not untied to open the jacket; to unfasten the it, you just unhook the himo. Men’s himos are tied differently from womens and are bigger. Men;s are usually tied so that the man’s haori lies slightly open and the himo shows.