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Real or Fake? A Cheat Sheet
by Christina (comtesse_de_lis)
at August 22nd, 2010 (09:42 am)

If you're new to buying kimono and don't know much about them, here's a quick cheat sheet to help you tell authentic kimono from the roughly eight million fakes out there.

Any of the following marks a kimono as a fake (sometimes politely called "tourist kimono", as tourists are the only people who will buy them):

-Made of cheap, shiny polyester or Chinese brocade

-No seam down the middle of the back

-Comes with a matching belt made of the same material and design

-The site or seller has more than one of the exact same thing, or the same pattern in a different color (*The exception to this can be cotton summer kimono and high-quality synthetic kimono, as both are mass produced. Fortunately, neither type resemble the cheap bathrobe-looking garments usually found online.)

-The collar is a different color than the rest of the kimono (*The exception being underkimono, called juban)

-It's knee length or shorter. Vintage adult kimono, while being shorter on most Westerners, still shouldn't hit any higher than mid-calf unless you're extremely tall.

-It comes in small, medium and large, or a number size (8, 10, etc.). Beyond the occasional "tall" size, kimono are not marked in Western-styled sizes.

-It has pockets, belt loops, or a quilted collar.

Feel free to add any more telltale signs of a fake you can think of, and happy shopping!


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Jaclyn (faisdodo)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)

"Unless it's a yukata or a komon"

Or furisode, or uchikake, or some houmongi...!

Posted by: Christina (comtesse_de_lis)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)

I think Yohjikudo is referring to "kimono" patterned like the one below, which I agree is a good sign of a fake. (A central back pattern with no other patterning anywhere on it... I've only ever seen one legitimate kimono that looked like this.)

Posted by: Jaclyn (faisdodo)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)

Oh yeah, like that... definitely a good sign. :)

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