Sizing Kimono

Unlike Western clothes, the kimono comes in only one general shape. Often, it is misclassified as "one size fits all". This is definitely not the the case! Although it is possible to wear a kimono that is too short, you will need to find the right length in order to wear one properly. There are some very complicated charts out there to tell you exactly what size you need, but I will only show you the measurements that really matter when you're looking at prêt-à-porter or vintage kimono.

Women

  • Height - the kimono height needs to be the same as your height (the extra fabric is used to make a fold in the center called ohashori)
  • Wingspan - the kimono should have a wingspan equal to your wrist-to-wrist measurement when arms are held out at a 45 degree angle
  • Width - the kimono should be 1 1/2 times the width of your hip (measure at the widest point around your bottom, but if you have a larger chest, you may need to use your bust measurement instead.)


Men
  • Height - the kimono height needs to be equal to the measurement from the nape of your neck to the middle of the ankle bone
  • Wingspan - the kimono should have a wingspan equal to your wrist-to-wrist measurement when arms are held out at a 45 degree angle
  • Width - the kimono should be 1 1/2 times the width of your hip (measure at the widest point around your bottom, but if you have a larger chest, you may need to use your chest measurement instead.)

Now, let's say you are looking at a women's kimono that is 162cm long and you are 165cm in height. Can you wear the kimono? Women's kimono have up to about 10cm wiggle-room in height (longer or shorter) for which you may still be able to wear the kimono, so yes. If you are tall, you may often be unable to find ideal wingspans. This is something I deal with constantly, and you simply learn to make do with the best you can find, but I wouldn't go less than 10cm too short. Width has very little room for error on the short side, since a kimono that is too short in width will come open at either the bust or legs (depending on which is wider).

For men, height really has little wiggle room since the length is not adjusted. 1-3 cm is about all that is available. Wingspan and width follow the same guidelines as the women's kimono.

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find properly fitting items, especially if you are tall or wide in stature, but remember this little bit of advice - if it's not custom-made for you, it likely will not be a 100% perfect fit. But if you can come close enough, it will be fine. Also note that many people wear kimono in non-traditional ways, and smaller vintage kimono are often perfect for this.