Yukata and Jinbei: dressing for the summer 浴衣と甚平
Young Japanese girls at a festival wearing yukata
Credit: Hansel and Regrettal
Yukata and jinbei for kids!
The comfort of tradition
Yukata and jinbei are comfortable, traditional clothes adapted to the heat of the Japanese summer. They're must-haves, and also a great gift idea to bring back from Japan!
Yukata, light kimono
The yukata is a cotton kimono worn in summer. The long, well-fitting garment gives the silhouette a filiform profile synonymous with elegance. Lighter than the traditional kimono, it is also much more practical. A yukata is made of cotton, not silk. It can be easily washed and is much cooler for the summer. This garment is also easier to put on because the heavy and complex obi (belt) of a kimono gives way to a light obi, tied by a simple knot.
It's on festive occasions like matsuri, that people wear it the most. The models for girls are available in bright colors and cute floral patterns.
The yukata is found in all department stores and now, most ready-to-wear brands, such as Uniqlo, launch their own collections. They want to attract foreign customers who would like to have a nice memory without having to pay the huge sum of a real kimono, which is too difficult to put on anyway. Expect to pay between 4,000 and 7,000 yen for a nice yukata.
Read : Rent a yukata in Kyoto
The two-piece Jinbei
The jinbei is much less known. It is men's clothing, composed of two pieces of cotton, which is also worn in summer. This garment consists of a pair of short pants and a jacket. The jacket closes at the side with two knots, one inside and the other outside. The short sleeves are separated from the rest of the jacket by a very loose seam that provides ventilation. The jinbei is usually muted colors, often blue with stripes. Female versions also exist.
It's a type of clothing dedicated to relaxation: it's worn at home, around the neighborhood or at a matsuri. Also worn by children, it's extremely comfortable and easy to wear. They can also be used as pajamas if you decide to bring a set home in your suitcase. Visitors can find them in Japanese department stores or shopping arcades, costing between 2,000 and 10,000 yen depending on quality.
Read also : The Yukata Festival in Himeji