CONTRIBUTED BY KIMBERLY MITCHELL
I’m sure you’ve seem them around. A lightweight, casual kimono worn anytime in the summer, but more frequently seen at bon odori festivals or at ryokan or onsen. The word yukata comes from “yu” meaning bath and “katabira” meaning under clothes and used to be worn by nobles after bathing. Now, anyone wears them although there are still a few traditions. An important one is always wrap the left side OVER the right side. The reverse is only for the dead at a funeral. Another thing to keep in mind is that the younger the person, the brighter the fabric and pattern can be. A demonstration:
She’s 3, so a hot pink Hello Kitty yukata is perfect! The sash she is wearing makes it more casual for everyday wear. If you were attending a festival, you might wear a wide flat obi around your waist, often with a bow in the back. Although barefoot in the picture, you may want to complete the outfit with a pair of geta– wooden flip-flop sandals.
Since this is usually summer attire and it’s heading into fall, you may find a good deal if you shop the clearance racks now! We picked this one up at Jusco yesterday for $20. I was a little worried about choosing the right size for her next summer, but there’s good news! The way it is made, there is a crease at the top of the skirt and one on each shoulder that can easily be let out as the kids grow. My guess is that this will last her a few summers.
Have you seen any other great deals on yukata lately? Share the wealth!