Archive for the ‘Kimono’ Category

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