Archive for the ‘Tall kimono for men’ Category

The Meaning Behind Japanese Kimono Symbolism

Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Japan is a country that has been around for centuries. Over the decades, they developed their own unique culture, and the country is known worldwide as “the land of the rising sun.” Japan is a fascinating place that holds one of the largest economies in Asia and produces some incredible technology, art, food, and more. The people are polite, humble yet firm with their beliefs. This is what makes it an interesting destination to visit or live in.

What do you think of when you hear the word “kimono”? For most people, the first thing that comes to mind is a traditional Japanese dress worn by women. However, did you know that kimonos have a rich history and meaning behind their patterns? In this post, we will take a closer look at some of the most popular kimono patterns and what they represent.

Kimono and yukata robes are an important part of Japanese culture. Kimonos come in a variety of colors and designs, each with its own unique story to tell. Some of the most popular patterns include flowers, birds, and animals. While the specific meanings vary depending on the design, several themes are commonly found in kimono patterns. The Japanese language is rich with patterns and symbols. The kimono, for example, wouldn’t be so fascinating without these magnificent historical designs that constitute the beauty of Japan’s art culture.

Here are just some of the popular symbols and their meanings:

The peony flower is considered the queen of flowers in Japan. Its tranquility and beauty have made it an ideal symbol for many cultures. This is especially true of those with rich histories like China or Persia. They use this plant to make perfume among other things. The peony is a flower that symbolizes femininity and prosperity in Japan. The legend says it’s lucky to have this plant as your friend because not only does the bloom represent love but also honor.

The Dragon is an ancient creature that has been associated with water, sky, and clouds for centuries. They are often considered deities in Japan, a symbol of strength and power as well as luck and good fortune. The people who worshiped dragons believed that these creatures could control the weather, and bring rain and floods. They could bring relief from drought by swimming in the water and protecting farmers’ crops.

The koi fish is a symbol of love, perseverance, and courage. The word “koi” translates to ‘carp’ in English and is used because of their migratory habits. Koi migrate up streams and rivers from low-lying areas to reach higher ground. Reaching their goal symbolizes courage. Koi have beautifully colored scales and can become even more colorful as they reach adulthood. This makes it an ideal decoration on Japanese fabrics because of how aesthetically pleasing these designs can be done by skilled artisans.

The plum tree is an evergreen that grows in dry areas. It becomes the first to bloom at the beginning of each new season. The pink or white petals of the plum blossom have five rounds with a delicate fragrance similar to jasmine. They symbolize health and renewal because they come back again after blooming once more proving their beauty through evolution, grace, and elegance.

Butterflies are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. They also represent transformation, with the caterpillar turning into an adult butterfly after several days or weeks. The meaning behind this popular insect is that it’s lucky because of its metamorphosis. The transformation from caterpillar to adult insect reminds us that we must always be ready to change our lives to achieve what we desire most: happiness.

The crane is a monogamous bird that symbolizes longevity and good fortune. Long associated with happy marriages, if two cranes are seen, then it suggests a long life together with a partner. Today, people believe these creatures bring luck with them when they fly into homes or businesses because their legs mean longevity.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source is proud to bring these colorful and symbolic patterns to our customers. As a direct importer of fine quality kimonos and yukatas since 1994, we share our love of these beautiful works of art with anyone who finds the beauty within. This is but a small sampling of kimono symbolism. Keep watch for our next post with additional symbols and explanations.  Shop our online store 24 hours a day to discover the kimono and symbolism that most intrigues you.

Koi Fish, courtesy of Quang Nguyen Vinh

Kimonos In Flight

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

It’s a long process.  Starting in the farm fields, cotton seeds are planted and soon sprout. The tender plants are well cared for, nourished, watered, and grown to mature plants. The cotton is harvested and processed and woven into a giant blank canvas. From the multi-stage dying process and careful printing of the fine virgin cotton fabrics, it is on to the buyer’s markets.  Our buyers are meticulously seeking out the best of the best. Fabrics must pass their vigorous inspections and only the best are purchased. The fabric bolts are delivered to the sewing rooms where production begins.

The talented seamstresses and tailors cut panels from the large bolts of materials. From there, the panels are sent to experienced artisans and sewing teams where careful attention is given to every stitch.  As the process continues, what once looked like stacks of fabric jigsaw puzzle pieces, a Japanese Kimono started to take shape in the traditional form we know.  Further inspections and finishing touches are checked not once or twice, but three or more times to make the final cut or approval. Once the quality assurance team gives their approval, the Kimonos and Yukatas are neatly pressed and folded, and individually packaged.

Once packaged, team members sort and stack the finished robes into boxes where they are labeled and processed for shipment. This process varies in detail depending on whether the shipment contains hundreds or thousands of Japanese robes. The method of how the goods are transported to the United States also plays into the equation. Chopa – Your Kimono Source has opted for air cargo for some time now especially because of the Covid Pandemic.

Shipping on container ships became very expensive and major delays are now the norm. We pride ourselves on offering a full selection as best as we can and air cargo eliminates many delays.  Air transport isn’t cheap, but sometimes a company absorbs additional costs to serve their customers and this is something we strive to do.

While air travel is relatively quick, goods must still go through customs, and taxes and duties must be paid. Once they arrive at a major hub in the USA, our carriers work on delivering the shipment to our warehouse as quickly as possible.  This normally encompasses a few shorter flights from a few states away and then finally “the last mile delivery” as it is known in the shipping world is made.  Freight trucks roll up to our doors and the unloading begins.

This process includes opening boxes, and scanning and entering data into our inventory database. The reports are forwarded to our web team where they go into the back end of our website and add the new sizes, colors, and other pertinent information.  Little by little over the next 3-5 days, the website is updated and dozens and dozens of sizes, styles, and colors are instantly back in stock.

We are often amazed at how quickly orders begin coming in that selected new items we just added. We have a complimentary electronic notification list if a customer wants to be notified of an out-of-stock item coming back in stock. But many customers regularly check our website and are ready to hit the BUY button when it is posted.

With social media, we announce when a new shipment is arriving. Most customers get alerted of this fact through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you don’t follow us on social media, we recommend you do.  Besides announcements of new shipments, we also alert subscribers to special sales, closeouts, price reductions, and overstock deals. We also share simple news items about something of interest to our Kimono Loving Family of customers.

We try to keep it fresh and never beat anyone up with multiple posts per hour like some stores do.  We want it to be relevant and interesting. As a 100% employee-owned business, we want to treat our customers the same we like to be treated. We understand what a turn-off it is to be bombarded by solicitations and advertisements. This is simply something we do not participate in.

With that said our work is cut out for us.  Planes left Japan over the weekend and trucks already delivered the first shipment of many this morning.  We expect more truckloads throughout the week.  Our warehouse was in full operational mode this past weekend prepping for the deliveries. Our priority is to always process customer orders as soon as possible, so this doesn’t hinder getting orders out.  It is an art and science but since we have been doing this for 28 years, we think we know a thing or two and make it as painless as possible. Now Go Get Your Kimono On…SHOP NOW!! 

 

                     Kimonos In Flight

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

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.

Financing a Kimono?

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

Buying a Kimono on Credit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.

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What do Kimonos Cost?

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

kimono fabrics

Photo courtesy of Beth MacDonald

Best Selling Kimono for June 2021

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Chopa Zen Home has been a leading online supplier of Japanese Kimono and Yukata since 1994.  We offer a large selection of patterns, styles and sizes for men, women and kids. From the beginning, we offered a variety of Asian style home decor, tatami mats, furnishings, accessories, meditation supplies and of course Kimono and Yukata.  We realized many years ago that these fashionable robes were our pride and joy. Not only do our staff wear them, but also our friends and family members.  Rarely a birthday or gift giving holiday passes without our group perusing our online catalog deciding which yukata or kimono to buy for the lucky recipients.

In October, 2018 our warehouse was a victim of hurricane Michael. This category 5 storm tore apart many lives, homes and businesses in the the Florida Panhandle and beyond.  While our offices suffered great damage, we were fortunate that none of our staff or their families were harmed and for that we are forever grateful.  It was at this point we had some decision making to do.  Some staff were reluctant to stay in the area and moved on to other cities. Among our partners, several had been considering retiring or moving on to do something else. After careful discussion, meetings with staff, the outlook for rebuilding in the area and a lot of soul searching, we made the decision to focus solely on what always made us the happiest; Japanese kimono and Yukata robes. To us, wearing a robe is like wearing art. The colors, styles and patterns are distinct, beautiful and symbolic. Coming home after a long day and slipping on a soft, comfortable yukata makes everything feel alright.

We still receive emails from former customers asking about items we used to carry.  They are sometimes disappointed to hear we no longer offer Asian home décor, but most understand.  To those who inquires we say, the show must go on and like a cherry blossom blooming for a short period of time, life is similar. Like the seasons, life brings change and people move on.

For the next chapter, we are now in our third year of offering Japanese kimono exclusively and we couldn’t be happier. We are excited with new ideas we have and future changes in store. Like a fine wine, some things take time, but we are patient and want to do it right.  Our customers are of the utmost importance to us and we are grateful for each and every one.  We have many repeat customers who like us, buy for gifting or simply add to their loungewear wardrobe. Coming home to a kimono or yukata waiting for you is like coming home to a piece of Japan.

June was another fantastic month at Chopa. Lots of different styles departed our warehouse. It is always exciting to see customer choices as orders come across our system. Due to higher summer volumes we shipped six days a week this month including Saturdays. We faced some delays of orders that shipped through USPS and couldn’t really get an answer from the local terminal as to the reason.  Packages delivered to them were sometimes held for several days before they scanned and forwarded onto the next station along the route to the recipient.  One employee that spoke with us “off the record” blamed the Amazon Prime Days for the delays. This along with other online retailers that wanted to compete with Amazon and held similar sales in the same time frame.  We also saw a surge during this time window so its possible that people just decided to get online and spend some money.  After all summer is upon us and many decide to shop online rather than go outside and brave these hot, humid days. Chopa monitors many of our shipments and carriers to determine if any issues arise.  When we observe some delays like the handful we saw, we emailed our customers to let them know.  It is frustrating as a delay in shipping isn’t something we base our service standards on and we know how much customers like receiving their packages quickly. We do too!

Thanks to all of your business in June.  July is already starting out busier than June and we anticipated this with new shipments of kimono and yukata arriving daily during the middle of the month. More short length kimono and wide, plus sized kimono are back in stock.

Here are the Best Selling Kimono for June, 2021.

  1. Blue Koi
  2. Eternal Chain
  3. Tree of Life
  4. White Moji
  5. Pink Cherry Blossom

kimono-mail

Image courtesy of: Joel Moysuh

The Story of Father’s Day.

Sunday, June 6th, 2021

fathers-day-surprise

Father’s Day is a day of recognition. We remember our father’s both passed and present. It’s common practice of celebration to share a meal together, let dad have the day off or do something he truly enjoys.  Outdoor events are popular, whether attending a sporting event, golfing, a day at the beach, a barbeque, hiking, riding bikes or whatever it is he loves to do. Some families let dad have a day at home, alone and  uninterrupted to enjoy quiet time, gathering thoughts, taking a nap, catching up on TV shows he likes with some binge watching or even having a day with just the “boys” and good friends. While it is traditional to present him with a gift, it isn’t necessary and many feel spending time with him is worth more than any gift. Gifts do not have to be expensive, but personal in meaning to show that you remembered him and want him to know he is loved and appreciated. But where did Father’s Day originate?

Father’s Day started in Spokane, Washington in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd at a local YMCA. It was supposed to compliment Mother’s Day which was already being recognized. Ms. Smart’s father, a Civil War veteran and single parent had raised six children and was living at the YMCA.  Ms. Dodd spoke to her pastor at church about creating a similar day to recognize fathers. It was difficult getting the word out and making this an annual event. Little did she know it would take nearly 60 years to be fully recognized.  President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane in 1916 to speak at the Father’s Day celebration, but resistance and apathy made it difficult for the idea to be fully accepted. In fact, after about a dozen years, Ms. Dodd who resided in Chicago returned to Spokane to resurrect the idea. She knew she needed national awareness and began contacting companies that could help, and perhaps benefit themselves like tobacco pipe manufacturers, tie making companies and clothing retailers.

Most people continued to resist the idea for several decades, believing it was just a day that retailers created to drive up sales, like they did for Mother’s Day. The retailers persisted, building a larger following and throughout the years garnered more and more support to make this a well remembered day. It was in 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday in June as the day to recognize fathers. Six years later, President Nixon made it a permanent holiday by signing it into law in 1972.

In the U.S., Father’s Day is now the fourth biggest day for greeting cards with approximately 72 million being sent. Of those, nearly  20% are given by wives to their husbands. Over 70% of men plan on celebrating Father’s day in some way. Last year, 46% of men spent money on clothing while 44% purchased gift cards. The most popular gift purchased is neckties. Over 40% want to buy their father, step father or husband a unique and special gift. Female shoppers spend 50% more on gifts for their fathers than their male counterparts. Father’s Day garners half of the amount of gift spending that is spent on Mother’s Day. Father’s Day is also the busiest day for collect calls.  Today, over 40 countries around the world have a special day to honor dads and flowers are not just for Mothers. The official flower for Father’s Day is the rose. Tradition states that a red rose is worn in your lapel on Father’s Day if your father is living, and a white rose is worn if he has passed away.

No matter how you plan on spending Father’s Day, enjoy it. Whether your father is present or passed, take a moment to recall, reflect and honor the person who is or was your father. Happy Father’s Day.

Which Kimono or Yukata Should I Buy?

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

online kimono shopping

We receive frequent inquiries from customers asking us to recommend a kimono or yukata.  Questions vary from sizing, fabrics or shipping times and we are always happy to help.  But, if we are asked to recommend a print, we like to expand on the subject and offer some insight into the symbolism of these robes. It isn’t that we can’t suggest a particular style or personal favorite, but we prefer to share our love of these robes and educate our customers on the meaning of the patterns. We believe selecting a Japanese robe is a personal choice and it should be recognized as such. Some would even say it is sacred.

In general, sizing is fairly straightforward. To determine the length of the robe you want to wear, place the end of a tape measure on your shoulder and let it fall down your side or in front of you. Kimono and yukata are available in standard lengths of 54″, 56″, 58″, 60″, 62″ and 64″. You can decide which length fits your needs and style. Some customers prefer a full length robe to the top of their feet, others want it to fall above their ankles and others prefer it to reach their shins or fall to the knees. If you seek a shorter length kimono or yukata, shop for a Happi Coat. Happi Coats are short length kimono and yukata. These short length robes are available in 35″ 42″ and 45″ lengths.  These are popular in the summer and used as coverups at the pool or beach, lounging around the house or to add some allure for your spouse or significant other.

Next, measure your waistline and hips.  Measure the circumference or girth at the widest part of your waist and hips. Reputable dealers will offer a selection of sizes in length and width. It is common for clothing to fit individuals differently, but this process will provide you with a better understanding of how the robe might fit you. Kimono and yukata are wraparound robes, meaning the left side is pulled over the right side and tied or held in place by a sash or belt.  Normally 8-12″ is adequate for the length of the fold over.  You want to allow some room to move, stretch or adjust comfortably so it isn’t too tight. Chopa was one of the first dealers on the web to offer wide or plus sized kimono and yukata. Americans are generally larger in size than their Japanese counterparts, so the larger sizing is a welcome feature.

Once you determine an appropriate size, the fun part begins, choosing a pattern or print. The joy of Japanese kimono and yukata lie within the beautiful prints and patterns available. Whether it’s a flower, bird, dragon, fish or artistic print, let your inner self make the decision.  Ask what inspires you? What motivates or drives you? If you are purchasing a robe as a gift, it works the same way. Analyze the recipient. What kind of person are they? What traits make them unique? What in their personality stands out in your mind?

The symbolism of the kimono and yukata is wide ranging.  For example, the dragon is considered a protector of mankind and represents strength, courage and wisdom. The koi fish represents fortune, good luck and abundance. A crane symbolizes long life and good health. Bamboo suggests prosperity, strength and flexibility. A kamon is a crest used to identify a family, its origins and often to be of a higher class, or nobility like Samurai or Shogun. The peony is considered the flower of good fortune, nobility and honor.

When shopping for a kimono or yukata, read the style description to understand the meaning of the pattern or design. Look within and decide what characteristics you have and find a matching pattern. Are you a dragon, a koi fish or do you resonate with a mum or iris flower?  If you are selecting a gift, what type of person are you giving this too? What symbolism matches their personal character? When presenting a kimono or yukata as a gift, explain the meaning of the pattern to the recipient and it will make the gift much more special. You might even enlighten the recipient when you discuss the symbolism.  Perhaps you see traits in the individual that he or she does not. It may shed a light on their persona that they didn’t realize they had.

Of course, for as beautiful as kimono are, you can always select a robe simply because you like the pattern. If you like a style, buy it and wear it with great joy. Many Japanese patterns date back over 1000 years ago and are inspired by nature. Symbolism is very important and revered in Japanese culture. Wearing a kimono or yukata can make you feel like a part of the Land of the Rising Sun. Happy Shopping!

 

Why We Don’t Require Registration To Shop With Us.

Sunday, May 16th, 2021

no registration required

To register or not to register. The choice is yours!

Customers sometimes ask if registration is required on our website and the answer is always, absolutely not. While we do offer the registration feature, we never require anyone to do so and will never pressure you into it.  Some customers like having an account where they can review their purchases, check on past orders, and more.  We understand this, but also recognize it should be a personal choice and your decision.

With online shopping so popular and convenient these days, it is evident that a growing number of companies require it.  If you are a buyer of supplies for your business, make frequent purchases at a specific site or shop for a household several times a week, we understand the benefits. But, people are becoming more concerned about online data than ever before and rightly so. There are convenience factors with an online account, but with cyber security theft and attacks in the news almost daily, many customers feel that the less personal information stored on the web, the better.  We tend to agree. We also avoid online stores that make you register just to see their products.

Why do some companies require it?  In simple terms, to track and use the information to market to you and sell more products.  Companies spend billions of dollars each year to tap into customer data. With online registration accounts, businesses can watch your shopping patterns, determine when you shop, what products interest you the most and even analyze and rank you based on your transactions. This is something we have chosen not to do.  A registered account is for the customer’s convenience only and we do not track information from account registrations. We do not monitor registered online accounts, track you, watch you or stalk you. That is a promise.

We, like our customers, want to be treated fairly, discreetly and largely unmonitored when we shop online, and a mandatory registration is something we frown on. We find it a turn off and know it can turn away a customer.  Most of us here at Chopa, admit to leaving an online site at some point, if we had to register.  It can be annoying, frustrating and a nuisance.  Between work and home, it isn’t uncommon to already have an ocean of logons and passwords we have to deal with, so why add another one? This is especially true if you are making a unique purchase or a one time buy. If you are buying a green, two-sided, polka dot widget with sparkles online, why would you want to register if you won’t need another one for five years?

Most people are aware of the incessant tracking done regularly today. It has become a byproduct of our online activities. If you are on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or just using your cellphone, you are being tracked, monitored and your data is being stored, analyzed, used and profited from. Chopa might be a small piece of the world’s puzzle we live in and play on, but we do our part to be as minimally invasive as possible.  One of our mottos has long been, “Shop with Confidence” and that holds true with online registrations. They are optional and the decision to register is yours and only yours.  If you have thoughts, comments or experiences on this subject, we invite you to share your ideas. We always welcome feedback. We also appreciate online privacy and this is something that is being taken away, site by site and day by day.  Our message to all, Stay Safe. It’s the Wild West out there.