Difference Between Yukata and Kimono

Both are a part of the traditional clothing of Japan , however, although many people have heard of them; few are aware of the differences between the two. Difference Between Yukata and Kimono

YUKATA  Difference Between Yukata and Kimono

The basic difference between them can be seen in the fabric. The yukata are usually made of cotton, while the kimono is made of silk fabric.

Another difference is that the yukata is worn during the summer season, as well as in warm and cool places. They are also used for thermal baths, although in the latter case they are usually even lighter than normal ones. The words yukata come from  Yu “bath” and Katabira , which means “under clothes.” On the other hand, kimono comes from kiru “to wear” and mono “thing”; which can literally be translated as “thing to carry.”


Unlike the yukata, the kimono has at least two wide sashes called obi; of which one is placed diagonally almost touching the neck and the other goes around the waist. The kimono is a more sumptuous garment, reserved for special occasions.

The kimonos are accompanied by getas or zori, which are low sandals made of cotton and leather, these sandals are worn with a special sock. When wearing a kimono, these accessories are mandatory, but if a yukata is used, they are not essential.

The kimono is worn by both men and women, however, the yukata is used more by women than by men. In terms of costs, the kimono is also usually more expensive than the yukata.

The designs of the kimonos are very unique, which is why it is almost impossible to see two people wearing similar kimonos, but among the yukatas, there are some that present a lot of similarity; especially when they are creations of the same designer.

Finally, the kimono is considered a glamorous dress, designed for special occasions; while the yukatas are seen as simple dresses ideal for hot times or for going out for a walk.

Key differences 

  • The yukata is usually made of cotton fabric, while the kimonos are made of silk.
  • Kimonos are for special occasions, but yukatas are simpler and are worn casually.
  • Yukatas usually have a small sash around the waist, but kimonos have at least two and are placed differently.
  • Both men and women wear kimono, but the yukata is usually worn mainly by women.
  • First one is more expensive than yukata.
  • Yukatas may be short, but kimonos are not.
  • The sleeves of the kimono are usually much wider than those of the second one.

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