Outer wears for KIMONO can be broadly classified into two types: KIMONO jacket and KIMONO coat.
KIMONO jacket is called “HAORI” in Japanese. The word “HAORI” is coming from Japanese verb “HAORU” (fling on).
You wear it just like a jacket or cardigan when it is a bit cold wearing only KIMONO and OBI.
Now, when you should start wearing HAORIs?
You may think whenever you start needing it, but in KIMONO world, it is said:
“Wear a HAORI when maple leaves begins to turn red and put it off when cherry blossoms are in full bloom”.
The land of Japan is long from north to south so the date that autumnal tints starts and cherry blossoms comes to full bloom varies depending on each region.
The former goes down to the south taking about a month, and the latter goes up to north also taking one month.
As you can see, the timing to start wearing a HAORI is decided by natural scenery, which I think is very elegant and particular to Japan, a country with 4 seasons in a year.
In HAORIs, there are two types: formal and casual.
The formal HAORI is black with KAMON called “KURO-NO-MONTSUKI HAORI” (see here for KAMON)
When I was a girl (almost 50 years ago), my mother used to wear it on top of an IROMUJI for my school ceremonies, however, since its color is black, it is worn mainly at sad occasions such as funerals or memorial services nowadays.
The casual HAORIs, with a variety of colors and designs, are worn on top of casual KIMONOs such as KOMON or TSUMUGI.
Of them, “EBA-HAORI”, an artistically painted HAORI, is quite interesting.
If you choose an EBA-HAORI with poppy design and coordinate it with a TSUMUGI, people will regard you as a connoisseur of KIMONO!
In HAORIs, there are short and long types in length.
The longer it is, the more classic and retro impression it gives. Recently, the long HAORI is popular.
And also, a HAORI has a string fastener in its front called “HAORI-HIMO” which has many variations, such as tasseled type, woven type (called “KUMI-HIMO“) or with natural stones.
You can keep wearing HAORI even indoor place, however it is not true to a KIMONO coat of which I will introduce in the next article of KIMONO column!