I have worn them all, so this is the right place to come. I even know how to tie the obi, the belt worn with the kimono. There are two yukatas hanging in my closet right now. My daughter has a kimono and a yukata, and I have been known to give out yukatas as gifts. I will probably give you all the information you need plus.
A Kimono is the silk kimono we are all familiar with. It is pretty and expensive. It is only worn on special occasions like weddings or to the temple on New Year’s. Traditionally, the younger women wear the kimonos that are of lighter or brighter colors. The older women wear the black, dark blue, or dark purple kimonos. The men actually usually wear a kind of black suit with huge legs when the women wear the kimonos. The word “kimono” actually means “wearing thing,” so theoretically, the Japanese could technically call anything they wear “kimono.”
As for the yukata, it is a cotton kimono that is much less expensive. The traditional yukata has navy blue or black patterns on it. The patterns may be flowers. They may be dragons or fish. There are less traditional yukatas that have bright flowers on them for the young girls. Men and women both wear yukatas. They are called “summer kimonos” because they are cooler than the regular kimono. When the Japanese practice things like Japanese dance or rehearse for Kabuki, they wear these. they also wear them at home like a robe.
As for the gi, “gi” is short for “keikogi.” A keikogi is the outfit that looks like pajamas they wear when they do martial arts. When I was a student in Japan, this is the kind of gift they gave the American guys while they gave me a yukata and a honten.
A honten is a kind of Japanese jacket. It is made like a short kimono, but it doesn’t need the obi, the Japanese belt. I used to wear it with my blue jeans.
We, my young Japanese friends and I, also used to wear geta and zori. They are types of Japanese shoes. I had a pair of plain wooden geta I wore with my blue jeans, and so did many young Japanese. The geta are wooden shoes up on a platform. The top look like flip flops, but there is no rubber to them. Your food is flat against a piece of wood, and the part that goes between your toes is covered with velvet. If the geta are black lacquered, they are considered fancy, and they wear those with their kimonos. The zori are also a kind of sandals. They aren’t wooden, but often are covered with satin. They are fancy shoes that are worn with the kimono also. They oven slope into a heel in the back, and the top of them are also make in a form like flip flops. Japanese always have trouble with the rain, so they wear the geta if it rains, and if it rains too much, there are covers you can put over the toes of your geta. One of my Japanese friends did a drawing of a guy that had a tennis shoe on one foot and a geta on the other, and he called him a “Japerican.”
I have given you more than you asked for, but since you asked about Japanese clothes, I thought you might like the extra information too.