Kimono or Yukata?
A yukata is a “summer kimono”. These are lighter, more casual garments than full kimonos. The word Yukata comes from the Japanese word for “bathing clothes”. In fact, many yukata look like fancy bathrobes! Yukata are more common in the hot summer months, or for summer events such as outdoor hanabi (fireworks) displays or outdoor fstivals. Yukata ensembles may be less ornate, and less complicated than full kimono dress. Typically, younger women wear lighter or brighter colors than older women.
A complete yukata outfit might consist of a cotton undergarment (the “juban”), the yukata itself, an obi sash, and perhaps a hand fan, and/or a carry bag. Footwear may be sandals, or if indoors, bare feet. A typical man’s reaction: GRRROWWL…
Japanese actress/model Minami Akina wearing summer yukata.
Above: AKB48 graduate Atsuko Maeda in yukata.
Below: Poster for “How to wear a Yukata” (click image for full size)
From Wikipedia: “The left side of the yukata is wrapped over the right side (commonly reversed with right over left when dressing a body for a funeral) and secured with an obi sash tied in a bow with the excess or with the koshi-himo and traditionally the bow is placed in the back. Traditionally bows in the front represented a prostitute. In private, such as after a bath, the yukata may be simply belted. Yukata are often worn with wooden sandals called geta, buttabi are not usually worn.”