Archive for the ‘cute kimono’ Category

You Ought To Be In Pictures!

Sunday, February 27th, 2022

Want to be a Model or just look like one?

Has anyone ever told you that you should be in pictures?  Have you had a secret desire to be a model? Do you like posting images on Social Media?  Then read ahead and see what we have available for you.

Kimonos are a beautiful and unique aspect of Japanese culture. If you’re ever in Japan, it’s worth your time to wear one. And if you’re not in Japan, don’t worry – there are still ways to enjoy kimonos. Chopa – Your Kimono Source since 1994 has over 100 kimono, yukata, and short-length Happi Coats to choose from.

After you acquire one, where will you wear yours?  What will you do while wearing a beautiful robe? Some wear kimono lounging around the home or using it as a coverup after a bath or shower.  Others wear yukata as loungewear while catching up on their reading or emails. Some customers wear one while tending to light household choirs, while others binge-watch their favorite movies or TV series. Heading to a party or special event? Don’t leave home without your kimono.

Submit your photo and you might win prizes!!

For those that want to be in pictures, we have an option for you. Chopa is looking for customers that want to show the world how they wear their kimono or yukata. We invite you to send us your images wearing your robe.  If we select your image to use, you will be entered into our contests where you are eligible to win prizes and or cash awards.  Chopa will hold drawings where selected winners can win Kimono, Yukata, Happi Coats, Gift Certificates, and even cash prizes.

Chopa will use the images online either on their website or social media like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. It’s a fun way to show our family of kimono lovers how they look, different styles, enjoying some fun times with friends and family and just being you. After all, what is better than being yourself? Chopa also sends occasional emails to customers advertising new styles, sales or random news we feel is worthwhile to share. Your image may be included in these emails.

Share your images with other customers!

If we select your image, we will contact you via email to verify your submission and approval to publish the photos.  Whether you wish your name to be listed in the images is completely up to you. We respect people’s privacy and won’t publish names without written approval. If you want to be tagged with your social media handle, we can do that.  You can also publish on your social media page and tag Chopa.

This idea has been submitted to us several times over the years. We love when our customers tell us what they want and feel this is a good time to launch this program.  Seeing real customers wearing their kimono and yukata in real-life environments is as good as it gets. Send your photos in today to info@chopa.com.

kimono photo contest

Be a Model, or just look like one!

Top Selling Kimono for January 2022

Friday, February 18th, 2022

Chopa is one of the leading online shops offering fine Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes. We like to provide our customers a list each month of what is popular right now.  There are many options available when choosing a kimono shop. Since we have been operating since 1994, we are confident that we offer some of the best choices out there.

Our goal has always been to enlighten and educate customers about the beauty and symbolism of Japanese Kimonos.  Whether you admire the cultural significance, the bright, vivid colors, the symbolic patterns, or the luxury and comfort these robes provide, we take the guesswork out of online kimono shopping.  Our fast shipping is just one component that sets us apart from the crowd.  Chopa is your Kimono Source and as such, we ship most orders within one business day. Many orders ship the same day if your order is placed early in the day. Most orders are delivered within 2-3 business days, weather permitting.

Chopa ships your order safely and securely from a warehouse in the Northwest Panhandle of Florida.  We do the importing for you and carry over 100 styles, colors, and patterns that are in stock and ready to ship. Orders of $75 or more ship Free anywhere in the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska. You avoid duties, taxes, and import fees when shopping with us.

Every week, we hear from customers expressing how happy they are to have found us.  Many come from referrals and word of mouth. They share stories with us about their previous experiences. To put it bluntly, they are not pretty stories.  People ordered directly from a dealer in Japan and were told shipping is quick, usually 3-5 days.  Reality is a wait of up to 30 days in many cases. Customers are told they could return it. An issue lies with translation issues. The purchaser doesn’t speak or write Japanese and the vendor doesn’t communicate in English. To this, we say good luck and recommend taking an aspirin for their headaches.

Other resulting issues are duties and taxes.  Their package arrives and they have presented a bill for $10, $15, or even $25 more for duties, taxes, customs clearance, and import fees.  Shoppers were never told about this. But if they don’t pay the costs, the carrier keeps the package and the customer is out. Sometimes these packages are submitted to customs. They are sold for liquidated damages and other times sent back to the shipper, who doesn’t issue a refund.

Frequently we hear about requests for returns being denied by the dealer.  Customers are told, the wrong size doesn’t qualify or 3 days is too long. Worse yet, they simply ignore emails and telephone calls. If a customer is granted a return approval, they are shocked when they go to the post office. Here, they discover that shipping a 2-pound package can cost $60 by Priority Mail. This cost is born by the customer, not the Japanese dealer.  We feel dealers operate this way because they discovered most customers will keep the robe instead of investing additional money into their losing investment already. It is sad but true.

In summary, you can see how we make this an easy choice to shop with us. One of our mottos is “We take the guesswork out of Kimono shopping” and once a customer shops with us, they realize how true it is.  We welcome you to go to our online Kimono Shop and see for yourself. Whether it’s men’s or women’s kimono or yukata or perhaps an outfit for your little Samurai or Princess, we have a large selection to choose from.

It seems like 2022 just began and we have now already blown through January and are over halfway through February.

Without further delays, here is our list of Top Selling Kimono and Yukata for January 2022:

  1. Tree of Life Yukata
  2. Dragon and Bamboo Yukata
  3. Navy Kagome Yukata
  4. Dragon and Hawk Yukata
  5. Yukata – Dragon & Mt Fuji Navy 

Chopa.com currently has two orders in production with smaller shipments arriving in mid-March and April. Our largest Spring order is expected to arrive from Japan in late April. The logistics staff continues to monitor shipping and supply chain issues.  We have been and will continue to use Air Freight for our future shipments. This is necessary until the Ports along both sides of the country catch up and fix their lengthy delays. While air is more costly than a cargo ship, we would rather absorb the cost and obtain our product quicker and more efficiently. Thank you for visiting our site and reading our Blogs.  Now Get Your Kimono On!!

                     Dragon and Hawk Yukata

May the Joy of the Season Fill Your Home!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Season’s Greetings to All! May this Christmas bring you Joy,

Happiness and Peace. Gratitude.

Christmas greetings

Merry Christmas!

Top Selling Kimono and Yukata – September 2021

Sunday, 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

Sunday, 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?

Monday, 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

Saturday, 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?

Tuesday, 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

Why Are Our Kimono and Yukata Affordable?

Tuesday, 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?

Sunday, 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.