Best Place To Buy A Kimono

December 2nd, 2021

Chopa receives letters, emails and texts daily covering a wide range of topics.  It might be a question on sizing or sometimes a customer asks about shipping times. The next correspondence might be a request to exchange a kimono or return a yukata. Our favorite messages are compliments for obvious reasons, but we also receive a complaint every once in a while.  Usually, it is related to a carrier delay or worse yet, we shipped the wrong item.  Yes, folks, we are human and no matter how hard we try, once in a while and we mean long while, we ship the wrong kimono or wrong size to someone. When we do, we remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

The fact is, good, reputable companies make good on their promises. They fix mistakes. They advertise honestly and treat customers the way we want to be treated. Those businesses thrive. They stay in business and grow within their community and customer base. They don’t take short cuts and strive to make all customers happy.

Unfortunately, there are companies that only carry about the bottom line. It is sad but true. One of things that sets Chopa apart is that we are employee-owned and operated. Every staff member you have interaction with owns a stake in the company. This is true whether in customer service, warehouse, marketing, administration or management. Employee-owned businesses statistically take better care of customers. Rather than take customers for granted, we value your business and think of you as family. We know without our customers, there wouldn’t be a business and without a business, we wouldn’t exist, live life, help provide for our families or help our communities.

We reflect on this because of yet, another email we received from a potential customer. This person questioned where we were located and if the kimono didn’t work out as expected, where would it need to be returned.  A fair question all the way around. But it was when the reasons for asking, were explained, we realized another corrupt business in China was praying on customers in the USA.

The customer wrote the following: “I was burned by a retailer who shipped from a USA address, but required items to be returned to China at more than the cost of the item itself.”

It’s true. Many low-cost kimono dealers are actually based in China and other regional clothing producing nations. They produce low-cost robes because they offer subpar and substandard working conditions, unlivable wages and worse yet, some use forced slavery. Sometimes these companies ship from fulfillment centers in the USA, but if you need to return something, it must be shipped to their homeland.

International shipping is not cheap. These unscrupulous dealers know this and realize most people change their minds. Customers keep the robe because in essence, they are throwing good money after bad. We also hear stories from customers who did ship the item back, but never received a refund. Instead, they are given random reasons why no refund was provided. Reasons like “it arrived past the deadline”, “too small is not a valid reason for returns”, “no authorization was provided”, “robe was worn” even though it wasn’t, “shipment was opened”, etc.  It is pretty difficult to try on a robe to see if it fits without opening the package.

There is an old adage that says, “You get what you pay for.” Is taking a gamble on receiving inferior products worth the entire loss of your purchase and then some? We know our customers prefer reasonable pricing on quality kimono and yukata with easy returns to a reputable dealer in the USA. We are proud to be one of the internets’ leading providers of Japanese Kimono and yukata for 27 years and counting. Our word is good and our service stands alone. Please think twice when shopping for a kimono. A dealer like us takes the guesswork out of online kimono shopping. This was one of our goals when the business developed.

Ordering a kimono from Chopa means you will receive quick processing of your order. Fast shipping. most orders ship within one business day and many ship the same day. We ship from the Panhandle of Florida so orders arrive in several business days. You have 10 days from the date of receiving your order to request a return authorization. We process refunds and exchanges within one day of receiving your package. Chopa offers a wide range of styles and sizes and you won’t receive a bill from US Customs or the carrier when your package is delivered. We have taken care of everything. The price you see online is the price you get.

Try ordering a robe from China or Japan and you might be surprised at the end result.  When they say 7 days delivery it often means 21 or more. You may also be billed service charges for currency exchanges by your card issuer or bank. Customs, duties and customs brokerage charges may apply and you will need to pay those or customs can confiscate the package and liquidate it for damages. Need to return it?  We have already explained just a few of the downfalls by ordering internationally. The bottom-line is don’t become a victim. There is a reason so many call Chopa, Your Kimono Source since 1994. Shop with confidence and no surprises. Now Get Your Kimono On!!

USA Based Kimono Retailer

Why Are Kimono So Popular?

November 28th, 2021

The Japanese culture has a long history of wearing kimono. The word “kimono” is actually a translation for “thing to wear”.  Kimono are beautiful pieces of clothing originally worn by men in Japan. Following World War II they became more popular among women. Kimono  originated as a form of armor to protect warriors from arrows, but are now seen as ceremonial garments for special occasions. There are many different styles of kimono characterized by their sleeve length, colors or other details such as hemlines. The most recognizable feature of the kimono is its wide sleeves. Kimono are typically made of cotton or silk with intricate patterns and distinctive colors.

Kimonos and Work Clothes

The kimono is sometimes referred to as the oldest work clothes. The kimono has been used as a work garment for centuries in countries around Asia. They allow workers to stay clean without getting dirty. It protects against dirt and sweat by keeping them on its surface, which can be easily shaken off or washed at the end of the day.  What’s more, since kimonos were typically worn with pants underneath, they provide an extra layer of warmth during cooler seasons.

The Most Well-Known Kimono

The most well-known type of kimono is called the “Yukata”. Yukatas are casual versions which were traditionally used after bathing and before dressing in more formal clothes for celebrations at night. They provide a cover-up during the day while still being light enough to be worn indoors or outside when it’s cool.  Today there is still great interest in this garment both within Japan and abroad.

Kimonos are popular because they look great and can be worn in a variety of settings. They are known for their elegance, traditional design, comfort, versatility and easiness to slip on. Wearers can put on a kimono without any help from another person. This is very convenient for the wearer. If you want to dress like a samurai or geisha without having to pay the expensive price tag of designer brands, then kimonos are perfect for you.

These Japanese robes are available in different colors and styles, so they can match any occasion. Some people wear them as an accessory to their outfit. Others wear them for more formal occasions like weddings, tea ceremonies, parties and festivals. They go easily with other items in your wardrobe. There are many different styles to choose from, each with their own meaning. A colorful kimono is often for celebrations or ceremonial purposes. More muted colors are typically worn during the day by women who work outside the home.  A popular color found on kimonos is red which signifies happiness and good luck. The way one dresses themselves reflects their personality so it is important for people to know how they are seen by others.

Choosing a Kimono

When selecting a kimono, the first step is to consider the fabric you want your kimono made out of. Make this decision before you pick a color or pattern. Then, choose whether you’d prefer a short kimono or one that goes down past your knees for a more formal look. You’ll also need to decide if you want long or short sleeves. A kimono is traditionally worn closed with a sash, obi or belt. But did you know that they can be worn in a variety of ways? Contemporary fashion has created the style of wearing kimono or yukata open and loose or flowing. This  makes them perfect for hot summer days when you want something light and cool to wear.

Kimonos can actually be worn as tops with pants or shorts. Another popular trend is to wear it over short shorts or leggings. They can also be used in place of a blouse layered under sweaters and jackets for Fall and Winter. It’s easy to dress up kimono tops with accessories like necklaces, statement earrings, scarves, belts and hats. Many retailers call their oversized sweaters or sheer gowns, kimonos. Those in the “know” realize it is simply marketing. Nothing makes a kimono statement better than an authentic Japanese Kimono.

The kimono has been around for centuries and is still a staple in Japan. They can be seen on the streets or worn as formal attire. The kimono is a garment that can be worn in many different ways. It’s no surprise that the history of this versatile piece of clothing is varied. Chopa – Your Kimono Source, offers many styles of kimonos to fit all occasions and budgets. We’re sure we’ll have something great for your needs. Browse our large selection today at www.chopa.com.

Kimono fashion combines a kimono as an outer item over pants.

Kimono Fashion

 

Our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

November 20th, 2021

The Holidays are coming, the Holidays are coming….don’t wait until the Holidays are here. Christmas is just 35 days away. Next week is Thanksgiving and that tends to be the day people really start thinking about gifts to buy, Holiday parties, gatherings and more. If you plan to ship gifts to someone, it is better to be early than late. Carriers see huge surges in package volume at this time of year. Combine that with labor shortages, more traffic on the roads and the inevitable winter weather and deliveries can become dicey.

If you are looking for something unique for a loved one, family member or friend, look no further. Here are our best suggestions.

KIMONO and YUKATA

Being an online dealer of Japanese robes for 27 years might make us a bit biased, but we know from personal experience the joy of seeing someone open a package and find a Japanese Kimono. The style, patterns and symbolism intrigue the recipient. After putting on the robe, there is look of grandeur, a sense of Japanese culture and the comfort of the 100% cotton fabric.

Kimono and Yukata are our favorite loungewear. Slip one on after a day at work or after a shower and discover what makes people smile. Besides lounging at home, kimono are suitable for special events, parties and ceremonies. Wear one for Halloween and enjoy at home the rest of the year.

HAPPI COATS

Happi Coats are short length kimono and very popular. Depending on your height, these short robes fall just above or below the knees. These robes are perfect for those who want to be relaxed but covered. If you’re not a fan of long robes and don’t like wearing something heavy and bulky, these are for you. Kimono are breathable, super comfortable and popular because they combine fashion trends with tradition.

TABI SOCKS

Tabi socks are also called split-toe socks because the big toe is separated from the rest of the toes. Tabi are great to wear with your Kimono or Yukata, especially when lounging at home. They are breathable and keep your toes comfortable, dry and warm. These kimono socks come in a variety of colors and prints and can also be worn with other outfits.

MALA BEADS

Do you know someone that meditates or wants to meditate? If so, a mala bead necklace is the gift choice for you. Dating back thousands of years in the Buddhist tradition, these beaded necklaces and bracelets can be used for counting mantras and prayers or worn as meaningful jewelry. Mala are available in many colors and related symbolic and spiritual healing meanings. Beads are made of precious and semi-precious stones, gems, minerals, seeds, woods and metals. A specific color and bead can be chosen based on the persons needs or wants. Chopa offers a free mala bag with every necklace or bracelet purchased to safely store and protect your beads.

There you have it. Our Holiday Gift Guide in condensed form. To see our entire collection of quality Japanese Kimono, Yukata, Happi Coats and mala meditation beads, visit our online store at www.chopa.com. While you are there, check out our sale on Nature Inspired Jewelry. These beautiful necklaces, pendants and earrings are 25% off for a limited time, just in time for Holiday Gift giving. Make someone happy and put a little extra cash in your pocket for yourself.

Everyone at Chopa wishes you and yours Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. While 2021 is almost over, let’s celebrate what we accomplished and look forward to a new year. Reach for the stars. Now Get Your Kimono On!

              Happi Coats Make you Happy!

What is a Shamballa Bracelet?

November 11th, 2021

What is a Shamballa Bracelet?

Shamballa bracelets are a type of bracelet symbolic to Buddhist tradition. It represents the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Also known as the Buddhist prayer bead, the bracelets were created by Tibetan monks to help them meditate. They are often made from beads and cord with two tassels representing the presence of something divine in this world. Shamballa bracelets became popular in the United States during the 1960s. They were originally created by Englishman, Thomas Wilson who wore one after he visited Tibet in 1920.

This unique jewelry is making waves in the fashion industry. Nowadays, bracelets are worn by men and women for its classic design, yet simple and bold look. What sets it apart from other traditional bracelets is that there’s no clasp. Instead, they’re held together with adjustable slip knots which gives it an added touch of style.

Origins of the Shamballa Bracelet

The name Shamballa is derived from the Buddhist term for “shamatha,” which translates to “peace.”  Shamballa is considered to be a mystical land that exists on earth when we achieve enlightenment. These bracelets were often given as gifts in different cultures, such as India and Tibet. Decorated with beads in many different styles and colors with their own rich history behind them. The bracelets come in different shapes including hearts, diamonds, lotus flowers, stars and circles among others.

Some believe that wearing the bracelets bring them good luck and fortune. People wear these bracelets for many reasons including fashion, spirituality or as a reminder of their heritage. Although there are other types of jewelry you can wear, nothing makes quite the same statement like a Shamballa bracelet does. They hold special significance to those who wear them. They are considered a reminder to be mindful of the things that make them happy. People might reflect on places they have been, situations they overcame, goals they achieved, progress on life or a celebration of accomplishments reached.

Meanings of the Shamballa

The charm behind the bracelet is that it has no beginning or end. It represents the eternal knot which symbolizes strength and harmony. It signifies that it never stops flowing – just like the eternal flow of energy in our universe.  Additionally, when two people wear a pair of these bracelets they are connected energetically. The wearer’s mind becomes more concentrated on their partner while they are apart. If one person wears both bracelets, they feel safer because they still have their love with them at all times.

There are many ways to wear Shamballa bracelets – on your wrist, as an anklet or as an arm band. Some wear it strung on a chain and use it for meditation purposes while away from home. You can also use it as a decoration by hanging it up in your home or office space. This is believed to add some much-needed energy and vibrancy to any environment.

Where to Buy?

Now that you are all set to enter the world of Shamballa bracelets, it is time to find one for yourself. Where can you get your own? Check out the selection at www.chopa.com.  Chopa is a provider of quality Shamballa bracelets, mala bead necklaces and wrist mala since 1994.  Shop in their online store.  They offer fast shipping and include a free pouch with each purchase to protect and store your beads when not in use. Use coupon code Shamballa10 to receive 10% off your order. This is valid for a limited time, so shop early…. ….https://www.chopa.com/buddhist-mala-beads.html

These meaningful bracelets make great gifts to give someone, or why not treat yourself.

turquoise Shamballa bracelet

Turquoise Shamballa Bracelet

Best Selling Kimono and Yukata, October, 2021

November 3rd, 2021

Fall has arrived and soon we will be facing the long, dark nights and in some places the frigid weather of winter.  The holidays are upon us.  Thanksgiving is around the corner and then the official countdown until Christmas begins. People are busy making plans for visiting family and guests, parties, festive gatherings, holiday decorating and shopping. Have you made your gift list yet? If not, at least make some time to think about what you want for each special person in your life.

Since many experts in the retail, wholesale and shipping industries have been predicting possible product and food shortages coming soon, it may be the time to get started on your own shopping list. We recently received our new and largest shipment of kimonos and yukatas of the season. Now is the time to take advantage of full inventories and the best selection of kimono and yukata.

While we may seem partial, we simply love giving a kimono for a gift. For those new to this Japanese phenomenon, kimonos and yukatas are traditional Japanese robes. They were originally worn by the samurai class, but today these garments can be seen at festivals and performances all year long. Our kimono robes are made of 100% cotton which makes them comfortable to wear and easy to care for.

If you need help picking one out, let’s take a look at the five best-selling kimono and yukata for October 2021.

  • Kimono – Embroidered Samurai
  • Yukata – Dragon and Bamboo
  • Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  • Yukata – Dragon and Mt. Fuji
  • Happi Coat – Great Wave

The Embroidered Samurai Kimono is a distinguished robe for men. Made of 100% cotton shantung. Shantung is made from cotton spun fibers which provide a weave design and a ribbed effect on the surface. Slubbed yarns are woven into the material. This produces a durable, nubby fabric which contains an airy feel with a textured and visual attraction.  A finely embroidered samurai calligraphy symbol is embroidered on the back and twin red Sakura symbols on placed on each front panel.

The Dragon and Bamboo Yukata is consistently a top ten selection. In Japan, the dragon and bamboo have been considered symbols of beauty and endurance throughout history. The dragon symbolizes water and bamboo represents endurance. Dragons are a symbol of strength and the bamboo plant brings luck and prosperity.  This robe is produced in Japan of 1005 lighter weight cotton and is machine washable.

The Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata for women is always popular. The lightweight fabric makes it the prefect choice for lounging around the home, enjoying a relaxing breakfast or enjoying your favorite book and a glass of wine. The robe features a beautiful shade of pink and is adorned with delicate pink cherry blossoms. This will surely delight the woman in your life.

The Dragon and Mt. Fuji Yukata, Blue. This yukata is designed with historic Mt Fuji against a dark blue background. The artist accented the palette with dragons and gold calligraphy symbols producing a truly inspiring design. Produced in Japan by artisans in 100% cotton and a matching belt is included with all of our robes. This yukata is also available in black and in short length kimono called Happi Coats.

Speaking of Happi Coats, the fifth best-selling robe in October was the Great Wave Happi Coat. This ever popular deign is also offered in the traditional full-length yukata in black or purple as well.  The Great Wave is one of the most iconic works of art created in Japan in 1830 during the late Ido period. The original design inspired countless renditions throughout the years and is still one of the most recognized works throughout the world.

If you are seeking unique gift ideas for the holidays, look no further than our large selection of beautiful kimono and yukata robes for men and women. We offer quick shipping from the Panhandle of Florida and orders of $75 or more receive Free Shipping anywhere in the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii.

If you have a little samurai or princess in your life, consider shopping our line of kid’s kimono, yukata or jinbei outfits. They are sure to be a hit with your little ones.  From all of us at Chopa, we wish you a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season.

                    Kid’s Kimono

Is your Kimono Produced by Slave Labor?

October 19th, 2021

Are you buying a Kimono produced by Slave Labor?

If you purchase a kimono or yukata from Chopa, you can be assured that no slave labor was used in producing these fine robes. We only offer robes produced in Japan without the use of forced or slave labor.

If you are buying a kimono elsewhere, chances favor that you are, if it was made in China. Forced slavery in China has been a hot topic for decades as the world looks closer at how some things are produced for such low costs. One of the reasons is low-cost labor. Ask any manufacturing manager or factory owner what one of their most important factors are in determining price, and labor is inevitably among the top answers.

China has a long foothold on producing low cost goods and labor is a predominate factor. Days are long, the standard workweek is six days and benefits for many are nonexistent. In some factories, employees also live there. Some consider it part of their pay; others call it forced imprisonment. Some factories have block walls around the perimeter with razor wire fences and watch towers that resemble prisons.

Jonathan Bass, CEO of PTM Images told Gordon Chang, Author of The Coming Collapse of China that “We all need to decide our moral responsibilities as Americans and what we stand for. We do not stand for slave labor. We in fact fought a war on our own soil to end it.” Mr. Bass’ insights are a startling reminder we shouldn’t take for granted and the message should never be forgotten.

We often see kimonos for sale on Amazon, Etsy and similar sites selling for $20.00 to $30.00.  They are often deceptively advertised as Japanese kimono, but we immediately know from the price, that these are not made in Japan. Japan is not a communist country and their leadership does not condone slavery. In China, the communist government denies any knowledge or acceptance of slavery but there are far too many documented cases and facts that disprove their claim.

Forced labor doesn’t begin inside the walls of a factory, but rather in the fields of cotton. China is the largest cotton producer in the world, with 84% of its cotton coming from the Xinjiang region. Chinese officials force hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims into cotton harvesting.

Cotton and yarn produced in Xinjiang is also exported to other garment-producing countries like Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. All three are also low-cost producing countries with subpar working conditions and little accountability for employee rights. According to Anti-Slavery International, one fifth of all cotton production in China is presumed to be linked to forced labor. Persecuted Muslim Uighurs in China are forced to supply the world’s fashion companies in the fields and in the factories.

In contrast, The United States has been a major supplier of raw cotton to Japan for more than a century assuring that the cotton kimono you buy from Japan is made without forced labor.

In 2016, the Global Slavery watchdog group estimated that on any given day in China, there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery. Forced child labor cases were detected in a garment factory in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, where underage workers were forced to work overtime and beaten if they refused. They also had their passports and mobile phones confiscated if they attempted to run away. Huge numbers from within this minority group, who are from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the north-west part of the country, have allegedly been locked up and hired out by Communist party officials to greedy factory bosses. A leaked Beijing document revealed the scale of its detention camps, with officials admitting that up to eight million people had gone through “training” at state “gulags”. Global Slavery said “This is the largest mass detention of an ethnic and religious identity since World War 2.”

A coalition of more than 180 human rights groups believe that “virtually the entire global apparel industry is tainted by forced Uighur and Turkic Muslim labor. You could inadvertently be putting on a product that was made off the backs of forced labor of Uighurs.”

In February 2016, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  This Act removed the “consumptive demand” exemption which allowed importation of goods produced with forced labor if they were not made “in such quantities in the United States as to meet the consumptive demands of the United States”. This effectively gutted the forced-labor prohibition. Unfortunately, his administration did not enforce the law against many large corporations, like Nike. Chang proposed the question to CPB, Customs and Border Protection, “How can Nike shoes made in a factory surrounded by walls, barbed-wire and watch towers, and where the workers, many from a racial minority, are not allowed to leave, not be made with forced labor?

The audits of Chinese suppliers are nearly always suspect. It is said that buyers of goods, when asking for prices of China-made products, are quoted two prices; one for goods with inspections and the other for goods without. The spread between the two prices approximates the cost of bribes for inspectors.

While U.S. law states that products made with forced labor can be seized, those made in horrible conditions in China and elsewhere are routinely cleared through Customs and end up on the shelves of American retailers.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli, who oversees the border agency, called “Made in China” a “warning label.” The cheap cotton goods you may be buying for family and friends during this season of giving, if coming from China, may have been made by slave labor in some of the most egregious human rights violations existing today in the modern world.”

The next time you seek to purchase a kimono, check the source carefully. Don’t be fooled by descriptions simply because the dealer says Japanese style, Japanese Robe or Japanese Kimono. Look for where it was made. If they don’t tell you clearly and plainly, ask. One of the biggest frauds we see on Amazon is that of companies claiming they are made in China but for export to Japan using Japanese standards. If you don’t shop carefully, they may have a bridge to sell you as well.

It may not seem like an issue but if you are against forced labor and slavery, don’t purchase a China-made Kimono. There is a reason we offer true, proven, quality made kimono and yukata from Japan. We don’t want to participate in the slave trade and won’t. Nor should you.

Yukata From Japan – No Forced Labor 

Let Go of the Small Stuff – Focus on the Good Around You.

October 12th, 2021

We just introduced our newest Mala Beads to our online store.  The Moss Agate Mala Necklace is now available for immediate shipping. This beautiful necklace is hand strung with smooth, polished 8mm natural beads. The necklace measures 36″ in circumference and holds 108 mala beads, a 10mm guru bead and is tied with an Endless Knot.  The Endless Knot is symbolic of wisdom and the ultimate unity of everything.  Two complimenting danglers each strung with three beads complete the necklace.

A mala bead necklace can be used in a variety of ways. Some use them for meditation practice, holding the necklace over your palm with the  beads between your thumb and forefinger. As you pass each bead through the fingers, you recite a mantra. By using this meditation technique, you avoid having to count the beads and this helps keep the mind clear and focused on reciting the mantra.

Others wear the beads around their wrists as a bracelet. Since they are strung on a nylon stretchable cord, it can be wrapped around your wrist several times producing a stylish and eye-catching piece of jewelry. Of course, since it is a necklace you can adorn yourself with a gorgeous necklace on your neck, which goes well with most everything.

Moss Agate is not truly from the agate family, but rather chalcedony. It contains a dendritic or branch-like structure inside the stone of chrome, manganese and sometimes iron. This structure produces an alluring combination of light and dark shades of green with delicate hints of blues, blacks, grays and whites. Moss agate is mined mostly in India, and is commonly used in decorative arts and jewelry.

This stone is highly regarded among health and wellness practitioners as a healing tool. This gorgeous stone is believed to bring harmony and clarity to your world, producing confidence and protecting against stress. It encourages grounding and reminds us to let go of the small stuff and focus on all that is good around us. This allows the energy of love to flow freely and to attract the love that you need.

Chopa offers fast shipping and includes a free mala bag to store and protect your beads. As a reminder it is never to early to shop for Christmas. Many insiders and retail experts predict possible shortages this year. We have been working hard to obtain adequate supplies of mala beads and our specialty, Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes. We receive many notes throughout the year from customers that discovered kimonos make wonderful meditation robes. The warmth of the cotton robe helps maintain heat, keeping the body at a steady temperature and providing clarity and focus on the meditation session.

This Moss Agate Mala Necklace is ready to ship. Whether you purchase one for yourself or a gift recipient, everyone will be pleased. Mala beads are what we call “meaningful jewelry” and “gifts with a purpose.” It is something that can be used on a regular basis if meditating and will remind the recipient of you every time it is worn.  This is the last and only shipment of these beads we will receive this year.

SHOP NOW!

        Moss Agate Mala Necklace

Top Selling Kimono and Yukata – September 2021

October 3rd, 2021

The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that has been worn for centuries. Kimonos have been around since 1868 BC. Japan’s Emperor Tenmu decreed that nobles should wear them over their Chinese-style robes during certain ceremonial activities in order to distinguish themselves from commoners who were not allowed to wear silk.

Kimonos are made of a flowing fabric that can be worn as an outer or under garment. In Japan and Korea, they are considered formal wear.  The culture of wearing kimonos is not limited to Asia; they’re also popular in Europe where they’re often used for ceremonial occasions like weddings.  Modern Westerners might think the kimono is outdated but many cultures still find it to be a desirable piece of clothing that showcases their individuality and creativity. We have seen a steady surge of sales for years as the kimono and yukata have been gaining popularity around the world. Kimono translates from Japanese as “the thing to wear”.

Some people have fears about how to wear them, but they are simple to slip on and very similar to a bathrobe. Always wear the kimono wrapped around you with the left folded over the right.  Wearing the right over the left is usually reserved for the deceased and funerals. Once you feel comfortable wearing one, you can step out with style or feel like a true samurai warrior. The fascinating styles of patterns and designs will allow you to look your best at any event. The reasons why kimono are so popular among men and women alike range from their rich history to how they can be worn by anyone who wants to look good and feel great.

The Japanese wear kimonos for a variety of occasions. They are often worn at formal events, such as weddings, tea ceremonies, graduations  and religious festivals. The kimono is also traditionally worn by women when they give birth. Kimonos are both feminine and masculine garments with flowing sleeves that cover the hips and long length robes help you keep warm in cold weather. A wide variety of designs can be found on these traditional clothing pieces, from modern prints to classic patterns and some with embroidery. The sister robe to the kimono is the yukata which is lighter weight fabric and often worn at festivals and summertime outings. While yukata are made of cotton, kimono can be made from silk and cotton fabrics with some types of kimonos costing up to $10,000.

Each month we like to publish our list of the Five Top Selling or Most Popular Kimono and Yukata in our store. Our customers make the decision and we share their interests.  So here we go….

The Top Five Selling Kimono Yukata for September 2021

  1. Yukata – Great Wave
  2. Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata
  3. Black Zen and Martial Arts Yukata
  4. Eternal Chain Yukata
  5. Dragon and Bamboo Yukata

The lighter weight yukata is always a popular choice during the Summer and Fall seasons especially in men’s robes and loungewear.

Check out our website at www.chopa.com to see the wide variety of styles, patterns, colors and sizes we offer. As a leading online provider of kimono and yukata since 1994, it’s easy to see why we are your Kimono Source. Great service, fast shipping and free shipping on orders of $75 or more anywhere in the USA.

Beautiful kimonos and yukata are a must have for the fall season. Check back next month to find out what top selling kimono is dominating the market in October! Thank you for reading and now go Get Your Kimono On!!

                      Cherry Blossom Yukata

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