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Hi! I saw an almost all black (women’s) kimono look one day and promptly fell head over heels for it. It looked like it was worn as a fashion choice. I know that black kimonos are usually reserved as mourning garb but is it okay if I decide to wear it outside of mourning? I was planning to make a solid black yukata.

Hello! Thanks for the question!This question falls under the “how formal do you want your kimono kitsuke to be” category, I think.

There are really two major schools/branches of kimono these days, like so many other Japanese crafts (like sushi!). There’s the Formal ©, Correct ™, Traditional © way of wearing kimono, that is proper and serious for things like tea ceremony, coming-of-age ceremony, 7-5-3 Festival, formal family portraits and kimono school.

And of course there’s the modern fashion branch of kimono (just like a California Roll) that’s just as valid, it’s just modern, creative and completely understood to be worn as a fashion choice. 


One really quick way you can signal that your all-black yukata (and black is a very valid yukata choice, see here: is for fashion is in the treatment of the accessories. Fluffy,  fashionable obi, a hat, hair accessories, purse, jewelry, all will show that of course you know all-black is uncommon and you’re OWNING IT. 

Compare to this all-black furisode that, by all laws of Traditional Kimono, should not exist: (


It’s absolutely stunning, goth and looks fresh as hell! 

As you can see, it’s absolutely acceptable as high fashion (or High Fashion, if you will), so have confidence and show that you know precisely what you’re doing and subverting it with grace and purpose. :)

Thanks again!

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