Kimono Costumes for Halloween

September 26th, 2021

If you’re looking for Halloween costumes that will turn heads, geisha costumes, kimonos and yukata are some very popular choices. These traditional Japanese robes come in a wide variety of colors and designs, and can be paired with any type of wig or headpiece to create an authentic look. Whether you want to dress as a mysterious Japanese princess or an exotic dancer from a faraway land, these options will make your costume unforgettable.

The trend for adults this year is to find that one-of-a kind, creative costume. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when your outfit comes together perfectly and everyone loves what you are wearing. While some people turn towards movies, TV shows or magazines for inspiration, others just have their own idea come across their minds, which makes them unique among all other Trick or Treaters with its memorable look.

Versatility is another factor, and you will score more attention at your next Halloween gathering if your costume includes fashionable elements that can be incorporated into the outfit for a night out after trick or treating.  A unique idea is to find clothing from different cultures like Japan. There are many designs specifically made to wear over their traditional clothing, while still being able to reflect some culture through design inspiration outside of one’s own heritage.  This gives guests something modern yet cultural about themselves when viewing them all together. Your outfit will look great for future parties too, given that these types of ensembles can easily transition from one occasion into another without looking dated or played-out like some other costumes might do after just one use.

How about a Geisha?

Geishas are artists who create an air of Japanese culture and ethnicity. The word “geisha” means artist in traditional terms. A Geisha is someone who dresses up in the historically-inspired costumes of a bygone era. Japanese geisha girls have been performing for centuries in a range of different art forms, including elegant dance performances to classical music. Kimono costumes and traditional kimono dresses can be found at most Halloween stores, but these costume-shop versions are not the kind that one would wear themselves as an outfit, they’re more like cheap replicas with elaborate hair ornaments which aren’t practical everyday clothes.

Geisha costumes are a great option for Halloween because they allow you to dress up as an elegant and stunning Japanese woman. The Japanese culture in general offers a more sexualized take on this old-world tradition that allows you to be your most seductive self.  Geishas are sexy, fun and flirty which means that these outfits offer endless hours of entertainment at parties while also providing fun fantasy play at home.

Want to be a Samurai Warrior?

Choose from any of our authentic Japanese kimono or yukata for men. With a wide selection of colors, patterns and styles, you are sure to find the robe that brings out the warrior in you.  Add a sword, a headband or Hachimaki and you are ready for style and fun at your Halloween party.  The best thing about purchasing a kimono or yukata for a costume is it becomes your daily loungewear at home afterwards. Why pour your hard-earned money into a cheap costume that you wear once and toss or donate to charity? Wear your kimono with pride at your festive event and enjoy adding this fine cotton robe to your wardrobe at the same time.

Chopa offers many sizes of men’s and women’s kimono and yukata. From small, medium and large, to wide, plus sizing to tall, we have it all.  Want a shorter kimono? Look no further than our selection of Happi Coats.  Happis are short length kimono and yukata. Stylish, fun, dressy and playful. This year, don’t spend your time and money at a costume shop. Visit our online store to find the perfect costume for your party and then enjoy wearing it for many years to come.

Photo courtesy of Rodnae Productions

                Halloween Kimono Costumes

 

 

 

 

Is Your Kimono Real or Is It Counterfeit?

September 20th, 2021

Chopa, your Kimono Source takes pride in offering authentic Japanese Kimono and Yukata.  The beautiful robes we sell are expertly cut and sewn in Japan by experienced, veteran artisans. The relationships with our manufacturers date back several decades because of our mutual trust and understanding of the fine art of the kimono. These beautiful robes have become today’s distinctive loungewear in the West. Whether relaxing at home, the spa or meditating in your sacred space, comfort and style is at your side.

Some might question how a Japanese Kimono can be anything else, but in today’s marketplace, companies often misrepresent what a kimono is and imposters and counterfeits are more abundant than ever. It was about fifteen years ago, when Kim Kardashian gained notoriety by starring in her own pornographic video.  She again made headlines two years ago when she launched a line of undergarments to compete with the renowned brand, Spanx™, and named hers Kimono. Kardashian was harshly criticized in the media about cultural misappropriation and lack of cultural sensitivity. After feeling the heat and even receiving a letter from the Mayor of Kyoto, the name was changed to Kimono Solutionwear™.

If you perform a search on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or any fashion retail sites, chances are pretty good that you can locate what we refer to, as a counterfeit Kimono or at a minimum a misrepresentation. Since sellers can call anything they want a kimono, it isn’t technically a counterfeit, but we we use the word because we feel it is deceptive. This isn’t to say that a Kimono made in another country isn’t a Kimono, but it is not truly a Japanese Kimono. In Japan, the word “Kimono” translates as the “thing to wear”, but it was never intended to mean that anything should be called Kimono. In today’s fashion world, the word Kimono is often used for a simple piece of fabric worn over clothes. Most have no belts or sash and have become synonymous with everyday fashion. Most appear to be open shirts, long or short, no buttons, and worn loose and open. They might pair and be worn over jeans, shorts, dresses and the like. But we feel calling these oversized, open worn shirts a kimono is wrong. We don’t portray ourselves as fashion branding experts in any sense, but even Google is confused when they show these “oversized garments” as kimono.

Consumers must be diligent when looking for authentic products from a specific geographic location. This especially holds true with Japanese Kimono and Yukata. We performed a few searches recently on Amazon and discovered “counterfeit” or misrepresented robes.  Sellers use descriptions of Japanese Kimono, Japanese yukata, Japanese Robe, but careful research further down the description section proved they were not from Japan at all. One way to tell if a seller is using deception is by the price. On Amazon, there are dozens of so-called Japanese Kimono offered below $25. As a dealer in Japanese kimono for nearly 30 years, we can firmly state that we have ever seen a new $25.00 kimono for sale that is made in Japan. More likely they are produced in China.

Another flag of caution is to look at the reviews on Amazon as they often tell a story. For instance, here is one review we found:

“The description and Q&A led me to believe this was made in Japan. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was a Made in China tag so I didn’t even try it on. It appears to be folded and packaged beautifully but the floral pattern is not as attractive as it looks in the pictures.”

Another reviewer stated that although she believed it was made in Japan, when she received it, the outer package said made in China, but the tags were in Japanese. When she contacted the vendor, they claimed it was made in China but was produced for Japanese export.

Another review said the following:

“The one I just received has a Made in China tag. Very disappointed.”

Other reviews stated that the kimono they received was polyester and not cotton as advertised on the site. Other responses on Amazon had issues with sizing. One posting that he is a size large in the U.S. The robe he received was believed to be a size medium at best.

One additional post claimed the following:

“Please use American size. This kimono is too small for an extra-large American man. Also, this is NOT a kimono, this is a hospital wrap, NOT a Kimono as requested.”

Granted, not every person is 100% satisfied with their purchase. This is why it is important for your own mental state to deal with a USA based provider of Kimono and Yukata. Returns are much easier and understandable. Chopa has a very limited number of returns and we believe that is due to accurate descriptions and honest verbiage. We know that everybody has a different body style, but we attempt to provide information that helps you find the right size without having to make a return.

Deception goes beyond some Amazon sellers. We surfed Etsy and found similar issues with sellers.

One seller claimed:

Our Japanese inspired kimonos are made from a blend of soft Indonesian silk and viscose from Java Indonesia, making it soft and as appealing as silk or satin, with a more affordable price!”

The key phrase to pick up on is “Japanese Inspired”. Inspiration doesn’t make it Japanese made. They are more upfront than other sellers since they disclosed that they make their robes out of Indonesian silk and viscose.  Viscose is usually cheaper or as they state, affordable, because viscose is a synthetic fabric made from chemicals.

We discovered another seller claiming Japanese Kimono, but in the fine print in the description, we observed “made in the volcanic Island of Bali.”  The last we checked; Bali isn’t Japan. The bottom line for us is that if it is truly Japanese, then clearly state that it is made in Japan.

We don’t portray that a kimono made elsewhere won’t provide you joy and satisfaction wearing it, but we believe in honesty and fair advertising. If you see offers similar to these examples, buyer beware. You might get lucky and find a great deal on a robe, but as we hear from many of our customers, they wished they had bought from us in the first place. Transactions are smooth and returns are simple. Shipping a robe back to Florida is much less expensive than China or Indonesia. Decide what you want and go find it. Don’t let sellers deceive you.

Blog about deceptive kimono sellers

Is your Kimono real?

Image courtesy of Anna Tarazevich

Top Selling Kimono Yukata – August 2021

September 11th, 2021

It’s difficult to believe that August has come and gone. Labor Day has passed, schools are back in session, most tourists have gone back home and traffic in Florida is getting back to normal. This is the time of year when locals in the Panhandle of Florida appreciate living here the most. The weather is still warm, beaches are empty and the water is still enjoyable.  This is when you will still find us wearing our short length kimono and yukata at the beach or the pool. For those new to the World of Japanese Kimonos, a Happi Coat is a short length kimono or yukata. They are lightweight, versatile and comfortable to wear. They make great cover ups at the beach or to wear after a day in the yard mowing and trimming shrubs and trees. Getting the work done, hopping into the shower and slipping on a Happi Coat to relax with a cold beverage is so satisfying.

While we move deeper into September we are working diligently preparing for Christmas and the shopping season. As with most retailers, the Holidays bring a lot of traffic to our website and with traffic comes lots of orders. Chopa works hard planning ahead to keep on top of the volume surge including inventory, packaging supplies, work schedules and working with carriers to see that packages are delivered on time.  With the employment shortages hitting UPS, FedEx and USPS, carriers are experiencing delays. With their own increase in package volumes, it is inevitable that delays could become longer especially with winter weather. All three carriers are implementing Holiday Season surcharges beginning in early October and into 2022. With shipping costs increasing around the globe, domestic carrier surcharges and price increases, packaging supply hikes, raw commodity demand and labor wage surges, life is becoming more expensive each day. We are doing our best to maintain and absorb all of these cost increases but understand that raising some prices will be necessary soon.

While no business operates without profit, Chopa has always been fair with our pricing. We like to think it is the tortoise and hare race. We operate under the slow and steady method. Offer quality kimono and yukata robes at fair pricing and provide great service with fast and low cost shipping. Orders of $75 or more receive Free Shipping anywhere in the USA, while smaller orders pay a simple $6.95 shipping fee in the USA. This system has worked well for us for nearly 30 years and we plan on doing the same moving forward.

We suggest customers shop early for Holiday gifts. Nobody knows for sure what will transpire this year, but we continue to hear warnings about merchandise shortages and lengthy shipping delays being possible. On our end, we have been planning ahead and will continue to do so directly into the Holiday season. Customer satisfaction is so important to us. We want you to receive your packages and gifts on time and with time to spare. Let us know what we can do for you.

With that said, let’s go to the most popular kimono and yukata in August.

Top Selling robes were:

  1. Tree of Life Yukata
  2. Great Wave Yukata
  3. Blue Koi Yukata
  4. Kagome Kimono
  5. Shokaku Yukata

We thank all of our customers for their support during the year. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. We are grateful for the business and hope to be of service to you soon. Now Get Your Kimono On!!!

Blue Koi Yukata for Men and Women.

Shopping for a Kimono?

September 7th, 2021

As an online retailer of Kimono and Yukata robes since 1994, we understand the challenges of online shopping.  While we strive to have a easy to use, easy to find, and easy to shop website, we know nothing in life is perfect and this is why we make changes whenever possible to provide our customers with a better shopping experience.

Our top priority has always been customer safety and Chopa has never taken this lightly. We spend a large sum of money each year on security software, encryption, offsite services and more to keep customer information safe and secure at all times. We never rent, sell or loan customer information either. If you receive an email from us, it is a courtesy email based on a purchase you made on our website. In these periodic emails, we may alert you to a sale, special discount, or new product introduction. We always include an “unsubscribe” button in these emails and if you click the button, rest assured you are immediately removed from the database and you won’t hear from us again.

One service we introduced a few years ago was our Email Notification Shopping Service. Chopa offers over 100 different patterns and styles of Kimono, Yukata robes and short length Happi Coats, and while we try to maintain a full inventory at all times, it isn’t always possible. For instance we may have 20 Dragon Kimonos in stock at the moment and based on sales, additional inventory may currently be in production. Then along comes an order for 16 of these kimonos, leaving us with 4. If we normally sell 5 a week, you can see out easy it is to run out unexpectedly. Large orders are fairly common as business customers purchase yukata or kimonos as gifts for their sales team or their customers and for employee recognition.

Chopa has also been a Kimono source for theatrical productions, movie studios, model photoshoots, costume companies, restaurants, television shows and weddings. Many brides and grooms have been outfitted in our yukata or kimono, and many bridesmaids and groomsmen have also found our attire to be a special part of that memorable event. We see a large increase in summertime orders for weddings. Early summer also brings a surge in kimono sales for graduation gifts. Besides traditional holidays, birthdays and anniversaries that are common throughout the year, Halloween brings in a quick flurry as customers choose a kimono or yukata for their party costumes. Kimonos simply make great gifts for so many occasions.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Days round out a common theme for choosing kimono robes for gifts. Short-length Happi Coats are very popular for Valentine’s Day as well as the warm summer season as people want a shorter length robe for lounging at home or at the pool or beach. Seeing someone in one of our Happi Coats at the beach always brings a smile to our face.

We have provided some reasons why we may be out of stock in a particular size or style at any one time. If this happens to you, simply drop us an email or text and ask when a certain size or style will be back in stock. We can instantly check our inventory database and let you know an approximate time frame when new stock will be available. We can place you on our email notification list. When the item arrives, we send out one email letting you know that the kimono you want is available. There is no cost for this service and no obligation to follow through with a purchase. This email alert is a courtesy notice only. We do not add you to our email database and only send you one notice. There is no sales pitch, no hassle and absolutely no sales pressure. Consider it a quick note from a friend saying “Hey there, the Pink Cherry Blossom yukata in size medium is now in stock and available.”  That’s it, plain and simple.

So the next time you are surfing our online Kimono Store at www.chopa.com and don’t see a size available in a pattern you like, or don’t see a specific kimono today that you saw a week earlier, go to the top of the web page you are on and hit the “Contact Us” button on the tool bar menu. Send us a text or complete the contact form and submit. We will check our database, reply with a time frame and ask if you want to be added to our free alert system. This takes the guesswork out and allows you time to enjoy life rather than checking back every few days. As always, we invite feedback, suggestions, compliments and even complaints. Thanks for reading and happy kimono shopping.

Customer shopping for kimonos online from www.chopa.com

        Kimono Shopping Made Easy. 

Photo courtesy of Damir Spanic

Sandalwood Mala Beads For Daily Meditation

August 26th, 2021

The Sandalwood tree is known for its fragrant aroma as well as the beautiful wood it produces. The oil contains a lovely fragrance commonly used in incense, soaps, colognes and even cosmetics. In India, it is also used for medical purposes.

Grown mainly in India, Australia and Indonesia, the trees can grow as high as 25 to 30 feet tall. The evergreen thrives in poor, dry soil conditions and needs little water. The lifespan can reach 15 years when the maximum yield of oil and wood may be harvested. The bark is smooth and grayish-brown in color. The Indian government tightly regulates Sandalwood. Because of the high demand for religious, industrial and commercial purposes, it generates a lot of income for the government.

When the wood is ground into a powder it is commonly used in incense. When the incense is burned, a soothing woodsy aroma fills the air. Whether in powder form or oil, the scent is popular in aromatherapy, air fresheners and even health products.

Another dominant use of the tree is producing furniture and wood carvings. Sandalwood is sometimes considered the most expensive wood available in certain parts of the world. The wood is prized for its tightly dense grain, beauty and ability to maintain its fragrance for many, many years.

Besides furniture and artistic carvings, the wood is used to make Mala beads. A Mala bead necklace can be used for spiritual enlightening, meditation practice, prayer, religious ceremonies or simply worn as jewelry. Centuries ago, Sandalwood was burned at funerals with the belief that the scent would carry the soul to the next path of the universe.

Buddhists have used Sandalwood for hundreds of years. A strand of polished wooden beads, can speak to your soul, help clear the mind and open the heart to an abundance of love and good feelings. Sandalwood is believed to enhance and increase the power of your wishes leading to good fortune, deeper meditation, protection and success.

Buddhists also believe practicing with Sandalwood Mala beads increases their awareness, stimulates love, sensuality and deeper inner relaxation. Among the Chakras, the scent is geared towards the Base Chakra and promotes self-identity and inner trust. The aroma may build your enthusiasm for life and positivity. If you seek peace, passion and serenity, Sandalwood is a great choice for your meditation practice.

Among the traditional Buddhist Mala beads and Shamballa bracelets available at www.chopa.com, the Sandalwood mala necklace is one of the most popular sold. These Mala beads can be used to count mantras during meditation practice. One holds a bead between their thumb and forefinger and cites the mantra once per bead. Passing the beads through your fingers, allows you to focus on the mantra rather than counting the beads.

These Japa Mala contain 108 finely polished and aromatic Sandalwood beads. These natural 8mm beads are hand strung on a stretchy cord, finished with a guru bead and tied in an endless knot symbolizing wisdom and compassion for life. Two dangling tassels compliment the necklace and enhance the look when worn as a necklace. A free mala bag is included with every purchase to store and protect your beads when not in use.

Chopa Zen Home was established in 1994 and focuses on Zen Inspired Living. Whether browsing their wide selection of Japanese Kimono and yukata or perusing their offerings of Buddhist Mala beads and Shamballa bracelets you are sure to find something meaningful to enhance your life. Kimono and Yukata robes are perfect for loungewear and to wear around the house, to relax, cover up after a refreshing shower or to wear during a meditation session. The symbolism found in these gorgeous Japanese robes will inspire you to become your best. Don’t forget to add a Sandalwood Mala bead necklace to your shopping cart. Priced at just $14.00, they are affordable and beautiful to wear. Use as an accessory or let it help you focus and grow your own spiritual and mediation practice. Namaste.

sandalwood mala beads for meditation

                     Sandalwood Mala Beads

 

Why Are Our Kimono and Yukata Affordable?

August 17th, 2021

At Chopa Zen Home, a.k.a. Your Kimono Source, we hold weekly meetings to discuss business, trends, customers, what is selling, problems, solutions and most importantly customer feedback. We have an open mailbox for anyone, whether a customer or not to reach out to ask a question, make a comment, provide us with feedback or even a referral if they are seeking something we don’t carry. We like to help people and will review and share our resources if we have an answer for you.

A longtime customer wrote us the other day to ask why our kimono and yukata were affordable. Well for one, we strive to keep our costs down.  We don’t occupy a fancy multistory office building, nor do we spend money on luxury art work for the offices, but we do provide great working wages and benefits for our staff.  Most of our staff are actually partners in the business.  It has been a time-honored tradition for us and has served its purpose well over the years. If an employee has a stake in the business, it benefits them directly to have happy customers. Besides the economic benefit, we are also genuinely nice people and want customers to be satisfied with their purchase.

In addition, we are a direct importer our beautiful Japanese yukata and kimono. Among our manufacturing partners, most of our robes and loungewear are either made to order or they hold an ample number of robes we normally buy in inventory for us. Eliminating a middleman or broker allows us to purchase our robes at a lower cost and we can then pass along the savings. We ship from our main warehouse in the Panhandle of Florida and most orders ship within one business day of order receipt. We also ship 6 days a week within carrier operating schedules.

Orders of $75 or more ship free within the USA. Orders less than $75.00 pay a small fee of $6.95. We have had customers ask why we don’t offer free shipping on all orders and the reason is that we have to maintain a threshold to cover our basic costs. Shipping has become more expensive than ever. Unlike Amazon, we don’t charge $119 a year to become a member for free shipping. After all, is anything truly free? Depending on the carrier, you have accessory charges like tracking fees, insurance costs, signature required charges on high value orders, residential delivery fees, fuel surcharges and more.  A few years ago, the major carriers like FedEx and UPS changed their shipping charges from size tiers to actually measuring each and every package and using a formula to determine the “dimensional” weight.  This way if a customer is shipping a large box full of feathers that weighs 4 pounds, they will pay as much as a customer shipping a small heavy box that weighs perhaps 20lbs. These are theoretical examples only and do not reflect the actual formula, but it is expressed to give you a better understanding of the new era of shipping.  After a period, these carrier decisions influenced USPS to do the same. Some have called it price fixing or a monopoly, but we avoid getting into those discussions.

On top of normal surcharges, fees and extra charges, carriers have also charged additional fees during the Holiday periods.  This year, USPS has tagged along and is attempting to initiate Holiday Period Peak Season surcharges. The increased costs on top of their already higher prices would range from 25 cents to as much as $5.00 per package. One would think that if you are handling such a large volume of packages, your costs would be reduced since your trucks can be fully stuffed on the same route, but USPS says otherwise. The irony of this tag-along practice, is that they want the period to begin October 18th and run through December 27th. Charging for the holiday packages in October is the equivalent of seeing Christmas goods for sale in stores in September. A bit early if you ask us.

As most people know, USPS has been losing money for years. Even with their multiple price increases they are still losing money. We don’t want to get into the politics of their business structure or why they charge so little for handling Amazon packages, no matter the size, because it isn’t our style, but charging for holiday deliveries in October?

Back to our original question on why we sell our kimono and yukata so affordable.  In summary, we are a direct importer; we buy in volume, when possible, to take advantage of the economies of scale in shipping and we operate out of modest warehouses and offices.

Most of what we do is done in house. We don’t farm out advertising, we don’t employ sales people and we don’t travel and attend trade shows to sell our kimono. We operate online and want to tend to our customers as best and as quickly as possible. Chopa had a goal to take the guesswork out of buying a kimono online and we believe we achieved that goal. We don’t call it a simple business, but a great functioning business with a customer service approach. We know what works and when we try something that doesn’t work, we change course, and always stick with our core principles. Customer Service is very important to us. Why not become a happy customer of ours? Kimono and yukata are the ultimate loungewear with style, comfort, distinction and Japanese symbolism. Join the other 33,000+ that have called Chopa their Kimono Source.

kimono shopping

Photo courtesy of Vinicius Wiesehofer.

What is a Kimono and Yukata?

August 8th, 2021

A short history about the Kimono and Yukata robe.

The Japanese Kimono is widely recognized throughout the world. The history, symbolism and true beauty of these fine robe’s dates back centuries. The word Kimono translates as the “thing to wear” or “thing that is worn.” Today the Kimono is considered the national dress or national costume in Japan and is still a major part of the culture.

Some wear Kimonos daily while others wear them for special occasions, ceremonies, festivals or family gatherings. The sister robe to the Kimono is the Yukata which is typically a lighter weight fabric and worn during warmer summer months.  In the West, the yukata is a favorite loungewear all year long.

One of the features that make this unique clothing so popular is the ease of putting it on as well as the genuine comfort. Spas and resorts are known to offer guests robes to wear and the kimono or yukata fits the same purpose while lounging at home. The kimono is a wraparound garment meaning that it wraps around your body, the left side folds over the right side and is held closed at the waist with a belt, sash or obi.

Kimono are produced in various fabrics with the most common being cotton, silk, rayon and polyester. Cotton is the most popular today, since it is chemically organic and contains no chemical compounds. Cotton is also easy to care for and usually machine washable. Cotton kimonos are normally made with a heavier fabric and yukatas with a lighter weight material.

The colors of kimono and yukata cover the rainbow. From blues, greens, reds, yellows, pinks, purples, oranges, whites and even black, shopping the vast never-ending styles are a feast for your eyes. The patterns range from intricate, ancient, historical, simple and modernistic. The true relevance is in the symbolism.

Symbolism in Japan dates back as far as history allows it. Many of the patterns represent a story, proverb, poetry or event. You will often find flowers, scenery, dragons, trees, waves, koi fish, water and more. Basically, anything found in nature is recreated in a kimono pattern. The natural beauty and meanings are just another example of why so many people love to wear kimono.

Kimono and yukata have evolved over the years. While formal kimono is still worn on special occasions, the traditional kimono is worn anytime. Sleeve lengths are usually a bit shorter and are now offered in many different sizes as the Western demand increases. Since many people in the West are larger than their far East counterparts, the strong demand necessitates a larger array of size offerings.

At Chopa Zen Home, “your Kimono Source”, sizes range from small to 2XL and even 2XL/wide which allows for a wider and roomier fit. Chopa was one of the first to offer large sizing on the web. In addition to plus size kimonos, they also offer short length kimono called Happi Coats. Established in 1994, Chopa continues to be a great source for Japanese kimono and Yukata. Operated and based in the USA, Chopa is a direct importer of quality robes and offers fast shipping in the USA. Orders of $75.00 or more receive free shipping, including Alaska and Hawaii. Orders under $75.00 pay just $6.95.

The benefit of shopping with a US provider, beyond quick shipping is ease of returns, no duties, taxes or import charges and easy access to electronic customer service. In business since 1994, Chopa is a name that can be trusted. This is easy to see as their family of 33,000 happy customers and counting grows each day. Many customers are repeat shoppers and referrals are common. Chopa ships from the Panhandle region of Florida. Most orders ship within one business day with many shipping the same day. They offer a wide selection of over 100 Kimono and Yukata for men, women and kids. Shop online for your next kimono or yukata and see why so many others consider Chopa Zen Home their Kimono Source.

kimono shopping

Photo courtesy of Victoriano Izquierdo.

Most Popular Kimonos for July, 2021

August 3rd, 2021

Greetings Kimono Fans.

Another month has passed and that means it is time for the Best Selling Kimono and Yukata for last month.  This was a busy month and shoppers took advantage of a surprise discount we offered to existing customers during the middle of the month.  Customers have the chance at check out to join our newsletter email list where we randomly send out updates, news or nice discounts on our entire line of Japanese Kimono and Yukata.  Coupons are always popular and our “kimono family” usually takes advantage of the bargains.

Covid cases are on the rise in Japan and we have been in regular, direct contact with our manufacturing partners. Some divisions are working from home while others have a shortened workweek.  Much of Tokyo was closed the past week due to the Olympic Games.  Closures and work from home mandates may be helping calm the spread of Covid.  Even with ongoing challenges, Chopa is diligently working with providers to assure we have ample stock of these comfortable robes. While the manufacturing process faces obstacles, we are also finding that many fabrics are scarce or running out. The dying process can take months for some fabric due to the large number of colors used or intricate designs, and with mandated closures, obtaining fabric has probably been the biggest hurdle we face.

We placed our largest Fall order a bit early this year to allow more time for production and transit time since many carriers are also facing delays and operating over capacity. International shipping can be tricky and if it wasn’t for our great long term relationships and experience we could face major shortages. It is always better to be safe than sorry and our staff works hard to maintain adequate inventories as best as we can.  As we wrote in an earlier blog several weeks ago, many retailers are expecting shortages and limited supplies of goods for the Christmas Holiday season.  This is something we definitely want to avoid.  Shortages as you may have seen in stores isn’t good for anyone.  The retailers lose sales without having merchandise and customers are left holding an empty bag or paying a substantially higher price because quantities are so low.

Nearly everyone we know has spoken about price increases on most things we buy each day. Whether it is lunch at the neighborhood deli, a burger at McDonalds, groceries, tires, vehicles, clothing, housing, etc, it seems everything is getting more expensive. Chopa is pleased that we have not raised our prices for some time and we are doing everything we can to hold costs and prices where they are, but in reality, there may be a time in the near future that we have to adjust pricing upwards.  We have experienced cost increases for our products, especially shipping, but so far we have bitten the bullet and maintained our prices.

We are not one to panic, and even though it is August, we do suggest customers review their holiday shopping needs, and plan accordingly. Whether shopping for a kimono or yukata from our online store or buying that perfect sweater for your family member, make your list and plan on shopping early this year. We believe you will be happy that you did.

So let’s take a look at the most popular kimono and yukata for July….

  1.  Great Wave
  2.  Tree of Life
  3.  Lily Garden
  4.  Dragon
  5.  Blue Koi

Ironically, the Lily Garden yukata rose to the number three best selling yukata. This robe was marked down as we are discontinuing the style. While it has been a performer over the years as far as sales go, the popularity has dwindled a bit as more customers have selected its sister yukata, the Peony and Princess yukata. The background patterns are nearly identical but feature Geishas across the print. It is fairly rare that we decide to discontinue a pattern, but we have been evaluating our selection lately because we have new patterns arriving early next year. On one hand, we need to make a little room and on the other hand, sometimes it is time to say good bye to an old friend. The sale was popular as we are down to just a few size small at this publishing date. In most other cases we discontinue a pattern because the manufacturer has discontinued or retired a fabric.

It is hard to believe but August is upon us and we want to wish everyone a great balance of Summer. In many states school starts back later this month and we know you want to get those last days at the beach or pool under your belt. We know many people still have vacations planned and will head out in a car or airplane soon.  Have fun and most of all stay safe. Thank you for reading our Blog, stop by again.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Financing a Kimono?

July 31st, 2021

Buying a Kimono on Credit?

Occasionally we receive an inquiry from a customer asking if we offer a credit line or payment plan to purchase a kimono or yukata. While we do not have an in-house credit department or offer credit, we do accept PayPal Credit.

PayPal is a payment processing service used by millions of retailers and businesses worldwide. It is an electronic alternative to paper checks and money orders.  Established in 1998, it was acquired by eBay in 2002 and in 2015 was subsequently divested to shareholders where it again, became an independent company. PayPal became part of the Forbes 500 group in 2019. Today, PayPal sports annual revenue of over $20 billion.

Chopa has used PayPal to process its credit card payments for many years. They are a trusted company and continuously work on updating their state of the art security and technical platforms to ensure customer safety. Chopa has always made customer security a top priority and after reviewing the workings of PayPal it became a partner of our company and we anticipate it will continue into the future.

One feature of PayPal, besides using your own secure account to pay for a purchase on our website, is their credit division.  PayPal Credit is featured on our site and available to anyone.  If you do not have a PayPal account, you can fill out a simple account application online and receive a credit decision in just seconds. In most cases, they provide a minimum opening line of credit of $250.00.

PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line that may be used at millions of stores that accept PayPal. While the interest rate charged can be high like many credit cards on the market today, they offer promotional rates that can save you money. PayPal is currently offering six months same as cash on purchases over $99.00.  This means  you pay zero interest if the credit is paid off in the first six months of the purchase.

Purchases of $98.99 or less enjoy zero interest if the balance is paid in full at the end of each month by the payment due date. PayPal emails you reminders of the due date and you can review your account online anytime.

Circumstances arise when sometimes you need a little bit of help or have an urgent need for credit. Perhaps you have spent your allocation for the month, but need to make a purchase now for a special event or occasion. PayPal Credit may be the right option for you, especially of you have the ability to pay it off by the first due date or within six months.

Several years ago, a customer needed to purchase a dozen kimonos for a family reunion. She didn’t have the balance available on her credit card but wanted to take advantage of a group discount we offered her for the large purchase. She knew she would be collecting the money individually at the reunion in two weeks and investigated using PayPal Credit as an option. Long story short, she financed the purchase, made it to the reunion, everyone loved the kimonos and she collected the money and paid off the loan with a week to spare eliminating any interest charges.

We also had a non-profit group that was producing a theatrical performance at a local theater and needed a eight yukata for the act. They had a lot of money tied up in the production and preperformance expenses and needed a bit of credit to get them through the performances, when they would receive ticket revenues. One of the individuals applied for the credit, received confirmation and a generous credit line within minutes. They purchased the robes and the performance was a huge success.  The cast wrote us a beautiful letter thanking us for the loan. We were humbled but reminded them that it wasn’t us, but rather PayPal Credit that provided the assistance. We just provide the direct link on the shopping cart page at check-out. The advantage of this credit line is that it is electronic, quick, no long waiting period, terms are disclosed upfront and very easy to understand. Just like Chopa takes the guesswork out of online kimono shopping, PayPal Credit takes the guesswork out of financing your purchase.

While we don’t advise or portray ourselves as financial advisors to anyone, we appreciate the alternative that PayPal offers customers. It’s a quick and simple way to pay for a purchase now and pay it later. We strongly advise and recommend you evaluate your own circumstances and review the terms of PayPal Credit before you accept a loan. Chopa does not necessarily recommend financing purchases, but understand that each individual or group has their own unique circumstances and financial needs. Review and evaluate your own financial abilities before accepting any credit offers from anyone.

Since 1994, Chopa has been a leading online provider of Japanese kimono, yukata, short length robes, loungewear, full length kimonos and plus sized yukata in a large selection of styles and colors. Join our family of over 32,000 happy customers and counting and more importantly treat yourself to a luxury kimono in soft 100% cotton. Happy Lounging.

Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.

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What do Kimonos Cost?

July 24th, 2021

We received a question from a customer asking why kimono and yukata are offered at different prices.  There are many reasons why a Japanese robe is priced the way it is. The most basic reason is that a retailer can pick and choose whatever price they want. As an example, let’s look at two stores. The ABC store sells a widget for $10.00 while the XYZ store offers the same product for $15.00.  It’s a choice each store owner makes and there are a variety of reasons for this.

The ABC Store may buy larger quantities from the manufacturer and receive a lower cost or discount for the volume purchase. They may have lower shipping costs and maybe lower overhead. It could simply be that the ABC store feels they are making a reasonable profit at $10.00. Every retailer has their own reasons why they charge what they do. The XYZ store may pay more for rent and pay more for labor and sales staff.

Chopa Zen Home has been a leading online retailer of Kimono and Yukata robes since 1994. Our number one goal when we started was and still is to offer quality robes at reasonable prices. We don’t attempt to be the low-price leader, nor do we want to be the most expensive. Being the most expensive retailer doesn’t necessarily mean you have the highest quality and best product. Being in business since 1994 has provided us with a deep level of understanding, experience and knowledge about the kimono market in the USA.

We purchase our kimono clothing from experienced, reputable, high-quality providers. We have longstanding agreements and constantly strive to accommodate each other, maintain a successful partnership and a great working relationship. This philosophy has long endured and is a reason why we are still a successful provider of beautiful kimono robes today. We have seen many firms come and go over the last three decades, but we stick with and maintain the principals we started with. One question we ask ourselves regularly is, would we purchase a specific kimono at the price we offer it?  The answer is yes, or we decide on a lower price or discontinue the item. There needs to be a reasonable profit or no retailer stays in business. Businesses have overhead including the cost of goods, advertising, utilities, rent, labor, taxes, insurance, duties, shipping and an array of other costs.

Pricing has a lot to do with the fabric. Obviously a nicer, richer and heavier fabric costs more to produce a robe than a lesser quality material. This is how our producers determine their costs, profit and asking prices. A retailer does the same. Sometimes we have two yukata that appear similar and are made with the same fabric but one costs $10.00 more than the other. The reason for this is usually tied to the cost of the fabric and mainly the printing and dyeing of the material. Solid colors are made by dying fabrics. Designs are made by printing on a dyed fabric. The more detailed the print, the costlier the end product is because there are more steps in printing, more time involved, more labor more dye or inks and this longer process adds up. A robe with one or two colors, not withstanding the underlying fabric will cost less to produce than one with 9 or 10 colors.

Sizing also plays a vital factor in determination of price.  A size small uses one amount of fabric while an large uses more. Manufacturers will usually blend the cost between the first few sizes because a larger size may leave less cutting or material waste while the smaller may have more.  Patterns can have an effect on the cost based on the cutting patterns. Some patterns must be cut a specific way for sewing, so the pattern isn’t lost or out of place. Wider sizes obviously cost more because more fabric is needed. Special collars, sleeves and other variables all play a part in pricing.

We recently shopped around to comparison shop and were surprised to see major price differences.  A specific kimono was available at one online store for $69.00 while the same robe was offered at another for $129.00.  Others listed the same robe at $89.00 and $99.00.  This proves there are anomalies in the market place but seeing this wide of a variance proves that some retailers are simply overpricing. No matter what the shipping costs, labor and overhead, if one retailer can justify selling the robe for $69.00 and making a fair profit to stay in business, how can the one asking $129.00 justify that price?

Chopa stands behind its history, longevity, customer service and fair pricing. We have many repeat customers and receive many compliments and thank you letters  throughout the year.  This is not only gratifying to us, but it proves to us that we are Your Kimono Source for styles, variety, sizing and price.  We offer easy returns if you are not satisfied with your purchase and are based and operated in the USA. We have made kimono shopping easy by taking the guesswork out of online shopping. When looking for a kimono, yukata or short length kimono or Happi Coat, Shop with Confidence, shop with Chopa Zen Home.

kimono fabrics

Photo courtesy of Beth MacDonald