A Must-Try! Introducing the Allure of Antique Kimono

A Must-Try! Introducing the Allure of Antique Kimono
2023年7月24日 MELETY
In Kimono/Fashion, Art/Culture

Do you know about “Antique Kimono”? Let me introduce you to the charm of these vintage kimono, which have a slightly different taste compared to regular ones!

What is Antique Kimono?

Generally, Antique Kimono refers to kimono made during the Taisho period to the early Showa period, before World War II. This era was when kimono culture flourished in Japan, and it incorporated foreign cultures such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau, resulting in unique patterns and color combinations.

Art Nouveau is a decorative design characterized by curves representing natural motifs like plants and insects. On the other hand, Art Deco features geometric patterns with straight lines drawn using rulers or circular arcs drawn with compasses.

Due to the lost techniques and sometimes high cost, reproducing Antique Kimono has become difficult nowadays.


Many type of Antique Kimono

These kimono showcase classic patterns as well as those influenced by foreign trends and culture of that time, such as Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Western floral patterns. Some of these modern patterns may surprise you, making you wonder if such designs really existed back then.

Here are some examples:

アンティーク着物 古典黒

Traditional classic patterns.


Art Nouveau-inspired batik pattern.


Delightful small birds and rose pattern that charms the hearts of young girls.


How to wear Antique Kimono?

When wearing Antique Kimono, there are some points to note:

“Many of them have smaller lengths and sleeve lengths.”

As the average height of women at that time was about 10cm shorter than modern women, many of these kimono have smaller lengths.
Some people who wear Antique Kimono, even if they are 160cm tall, opt for kimono with a length of 140cm.

In such cases, they find ways to wear them skillfully, such as not creating an “ohashori” (extra fold at the waist) or adjusting the position of the “koshihimo” (waistcord). Generally, if your height is around -10cm, you can find ways to wear it comfortably.

Trying on kimono and confirming the size is essential.

How was it?

After World War II, people did not return to wearing traditional Japanese clothing (wafuku) and shifted towards more practical Western wear. The Taisho period, which lasted only 13 years, was a short period of time when Japanese traditional clothing reached its peak. Antique Kimono made during that period is becoming increasingly scarce with each passing year.

It is almost a miracle that some kimono made 100 years ago are still in wearable condition today. These kimono have outlived us by many times. I highly recommend you try one on and experience the sensation.

Imagine going around modern architecture, sipping tea in a retro cafe or an old Japanese house cafe, and spending a wonderful holiday in a different atmosphere.