Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

Sun Hats That Never Go Out of Style

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

sun hatsSummer may be long gone, but you must still use caution and take steps to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  Even in the wintertime when you don’t feel the sun’s heat, ultraviolet rays can still take a toll on your skin.  Sun hats are making a comeback, and they’re better looking than ever.  Whether you prefer to wear a straw hat or safari style hat, you can sport this fashionable “outdoorsy” look any time of the year.  In fact, sun hats make the perfect gift for hikers, gardeners, nature lovers and children.


Geisha Costumes & Kimonos – Popular Favorites for Halloween

Monday, September 24th, 2012

geisha costumeWhen the Halloween candy displays start popping up at your local supermarket, you know that Halloween is just around the corner.  Remember when Halloween was just for kids?  Not anymore.  Adults are looking for costumes too, and theirs are not always so easy to find.

While it seems like more Halloween superstores open up each year, the trend for adults is to find that singular, unique idea that is both imaginative and easy to pull together.  Every year there seems to be one costume that is brand new on the scene.  Some costume-shoppers get their ideas from popular movies, TV shows or political campaigns, but the best costumes are those that are both recognizable and fun to wear.


Kimono Robes for Women – The Perfect Accessory for Summer

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

kimono robes for womenWhen most people picture kimono robes for women, they remember the elaborate silk creations they’ve seen on Japanese women, many of which would be displayed at museums and galleries.  While these collectors’ editions still enjoy quite a following, the average woman cannot picture herself wearing one.  The modern kimono robes of today are just as attractive as those traditional ones on display, but they are much less expensive and easier to care for. In fact, nearly all of the Japanese kimono robes for women have the same appearance and quality as those that were created so long ago.


Kimono Dresses – The Ultimate Way to Relax

Monday, January 16th, 2012

kimono dressesDoesn’t it seem like the Japanese know how to do everything better?  Whether it’s through meditation, Feng Shui design, healthy eating or Ikebana gardening, all aspects of life are well thought out and designed to enhance the quality of life.  They even know how to relax better, with sumptuous silk kimono dresses.  Ever since Westerners started to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, kimono dresses have played an influential role in American fashion.


Origin of the Japanese Happi Coat

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The Happi coat originated during the Edo period (1603 to 1867) in Japan. They were primarily worn by the wealthy and working class and originally designed for men. Women soon began wearing them as a protective jacket over the kimono to guard against the elements.

House servants wore Happi coats that were embroidered with the Mon, or family crest they served. Later, shop keepers took up the Happi coat and stamped the name of their business on the back. Fire fighters wore the coats as protective jackets, emblazoned with their crest for visual identification of the firehouse they worked with.

Laborers adopted the Happi coat and used them as protective working jackets. The wealthy wore distinct Happi coats at celebrations and funerals for their servants to be able to identify them quickly when needed.

The long history of the Happi coat still exists today in modern Japan. Many social groups and religious organizations wear the coats marked with their group’s logo for festivals and public gatherings or to identify their membership to a particular religious shrine.

The coats have changed over the centuries going from a solid brown or indigo blue to today’s vibrant colors and varied patterns that signify symbolic cultural references such as the sakura blossom, the crane or dragon.

In the past decade, the Happi has gained popularity as a bathrobe, lounging robe, or as a cover up at the beach or pool. “Happi” today often denotes a mid-length or knee length robe, comfortable and care-free, ideal for modern day living.

Chopa Zen Home & Gift offers a wide selection of men’s and women’s Happi coats in a variety of colors and traditional patterns. They are soft, comfortable and made from 100% cotton for easy care. Our Happi Coats are made in Japan and come with a matching belt.

During the month of January, we are offering free shipping on all Happi coats! (within the continental US only).

How Kimono Dresses Have Influenced Western Fashion

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

kimono dressesIf you have a picture in your mind about the Japanese lifestyle, reality may not live up to your expectations.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s rare to see many women wearing kimono dresses on the streets of Tokyo.  In fact, this international city may look a lot more “Western” than many American towns.  But this doesn’t meant that kimono dresses, or yukatas, have not influenced Japanese fashions.  The Kimono is more likely to be worn in a traditional ceremony or celebratory setting, with kimono dresses a more popular item with older Japanese women. 

Wearing a kimono in the traditional Japanese way would require one to purchase an elaborate “obi” or sash to wrap around the waist.  In today’s more casual culture, it’s more common to wear colorful silk kimonos as loungewear or as a robe at a resort area.  When shopping for kimono dresses, most women find that a lightweight cotton yukata is a better choice. 


Shades of Blue are the Fashion with these Japanese Kimonos for Sale

Monday, June 20th, 2011

japanese kimonos for saleAs the summer vacation season kicks into high gear, people are picking up something special at  Now, in addition to all of their Zen accessories and Japanese furnishings, Chopa has a vase selection of Japanese kimonos for sale.  The kimonos featured this year seem to focus on a single color family, mainly blue, including rich turquoise hues and deep sapphire blue.  A lighter weight version of the kimono, known as a yukata, is also available. 

For men and women who want a comfortable and lightweight robe to wear by the pool, a yukata is the ideal choice, but a silky kimono can be worn all year round.  Whether they are worn after a shower, lounging around the house or while enjoying a sunny morning on the deck, yukatas and kimonos make the ideal addition to any summer wardrobe. 


The Best Robe for summer? A Japanese Yukata

Monday, June 6th, 2011

japanese yukataIn case you are not familiar with the summer version of the kimono – also known as the Japanese Yukata – now is the perfect time to learn.  With the warm weather approaching, a yukata is the perfect robe for lounging around the pool, after a shower, or just relaxing at home.  These cotton robes are designed to look similar to a kimono, but without the formality of silk.  Because they are made from cotton, these delightful robes use patterns that are lighter and less saturated with color, making them the perfect accessory for summer.

Shaped like a capital “T” with wide arms in an angular pattern, the Japanese yukata is designed to be worn loosely, but it can also be cinched together with a matching fabric sash.  Like a traditional kimono, the hem of most yukatas falls about 56” long, skimming the ankle. But unlike the kimono, the Yukata is not worn in formal ceremonies.  It is more likely to be worn after a bath or as a stylish cover-up when sitting by the pool. 


How to Look Great in a Kimono Robe Dress this Summer

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

kimono robe dressSpring may have just begun, but in the fashion world it is already fall.  So don’t feel guilty if you’re sights are set on summer.  Now is the time to start putting together the primary pieces of your summer wardrobe, and for many women that will include a Kimono robe dress

If you’ve never worn a Kimono robe dress or its lighter-weight cousin, the Yukata, then you are in for a treat.  These comfortable and colorful robes are a hallmark of Japanese culture, and one of the most recognizable articles of clothing in all of Asia.  While they may not be quite as common in Western cultures, many women are starting to embrace their versatile good looks. 


What is the Latest Fashion for Spring? Shibori Silk Scarves

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

shibori silk scarvesA fashionable woman is always looking for that “signature” item that will define her style for the coming season.  Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind handbag, a beautiful handmade pendant or a stunning silk scarf, this single accessory can dictate the colors she chooses for a seasonal wardrobe while giving her a unique sense of style.  The addition of Shibori silk scarves can do wonders for a woman’s spring fashion ensembles. These beautiful hand-dyed works of “wearable art” can jazz up a monochromatic outfit or act as the finishing touch that ties various pieces together.

Unlike many other popular accessories for women, Shibori silk scarves are not mass-produced; each scarf is a one-of-a-kind creation that is hand-made by the artist, one at a time.  The Japanese word “shibori” refers to the art of dying cloth by binding, folding, stitching, and twisting the fibers.  Because each of these beautiful shibori silk scarves is unique, you will never find anyone wearing the exact same scarf.