As you might know, the national costume of Japan consists not only of a kimono but of many layers of clothing. And the underwear pieces play a very important role. Besides protecting the kimono from body oils and sweat, they give the female body a needed shape, because the traditional Japanese silhouette is flat (no curves showed). So all the underrobes and sashes are used to create this flat silhouette. But what undergarments are worn under the kimono? How are they draped? And how to make the whole thing look tidy despite several layers of rather thin and delicate fabrics?
First of all, wear a Japanese-style undergarment called “hadajuban” and a pair of socks called “tabi”.
Over the hadajuban, drape another Japanese undergarment called “nagajuban”. It looks like a robe with wide sleeves. Insert a special collar core into the neckband of nagajuban.
There should be no clearance between your neck and the collar at this point.
Hold the left and right ends of the collar in one hand. And hold the center line of the back of nagajuban in the other hand.
Pull the back of nagajuban down once. You can release your hands from nagajuban, but make sure to leave a space about the size of your fist between your neck and the collar.
Hold both sides of the collar around your bust tops. And now place the right side of the robe over your torso, and then the left. The collar should cross above the collarbone.
Some empty space called “miyatsuguchi” now remains under the arms. Slip your hand under this and adjust both sides of the collar to be symmetrical.
Place the soft sash just under your bust. Cross the sash on your back and tighten it.
Then, tie the sash in front. The ends of the sash should be tucked in and in a certain way. If you don’t do this, the surface of the sash and the front of kimono itself will look slovenly.
In order to keep its shape while wearing, smooth out the wrinkles on the back of nagajuban. All the wrinkles should be on the sides so that they are invisible when the kimono is on.
And now, all the underwear items are on and you’re ready to wear the kimono and obi belt on top.