Posts Tagged ‘men’s yukata’

Buying a Japanese Men’s Yukata?

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your loungewear wardrobe, then look no further than the Japanese yukata.

Do you find yourself looking for the best of both worlds? Comfort and style? That’s exactly how the yukata feels. Fashionable, yet functional. The Japanese yukata is more than just a robe. A yukata is a lighter-weight robe that can be worn during celebrations or festivals to show off its beauty while also serving as loungewear at home.

These Japanese robes have been around since ancient times for hundreds if not thousands of years. In modern times, the yukata has become a dominant factor in the world of loungewear. Made of high-quality soft cotton fabrics, it is breathable, not too heavy, and easy to wear and care for.

The gorgeous patterns and designs of authentic Japanese robes are created by distinguished artists in Japan. The designs incorporate original works with historic and traditional patterns. From tigers, Mt. Fuji, hawks, flowers, fish, mountains, trees, scenery, and similar nature-inspired objects, the result is a work of art that you can wear.

One of our more popular men’s yukata robes is the Dragon and Hawk design.   This men’s robe displays the dragon and hawk taking flight among Japanese Tsuri pines. Accented in gold and white and set against a black background. The robe has butterfly sleeves and a matching belt is included.

The Dragon is a powerful creature that can be found in different corners of the world. They are wise creatures that can be found all over our planet. Dragons are seen as guardians with destructive potential, but their protective nature symbolizes strength and bravery for those willing to take them on or need it most. This may explain why this animal has been associated so strongly over time by many cultures around our globe.

The way we see it now? Dragons represent intelligence and thus knowledge, creativity skills like artistry and design; moreover, they’re modest too: meaning shyness and modesty will come up when dealing directly with outside forces.

Because these dragons have been known fighters in battles past, long before any man was born, their spirit remains today among us humans because each one knows what bravery means.  They are bold fighters, and dragons represent a fighting spirit and nobility.

The Hawk is a bird of high spirits, great courage, and bravery. An old proverb says that “a wise hawk hides its talents.” Thus, the hawk is a clever creature that represents someone who’s successful but doesn’t believe in showing off all they have done. Instead, they maintain an airy estimation of what they can do best.

The Hawk pairs well with Dragons because they’re able to utilize these qualities for them not to get noticed by others. This aligns with what it means when paired together; the dragon symbolizes boldness alongside strength while also representing intelligence; this makes one a very talented but modest person!

Our authentic Dragon and Hawk yukata are skillfully crafted in Japan of high-quality 100% cotton with a shrink-resistant finish. This yukata is easy to care for and is comfortable to wear. We recommend cold water washing to extend the life of your robe and the beautiful design. It is available in four men’s sizes; Small/Medium, Large, Large/Tall, and XL/Wide.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source has been a leading online retailer since 1994. We are located in the USA and ship quickly from the northwest panhandle of Florida. Most orders ship within one business day. As a USA-based retailer, we have taken the hassles out of online Kimono shopping.

You can shop our Online Kimono Shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We offer a large selection of Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes for men, women, and kids. As a direct importer, we respond quickly and provide fast shipping.  Orders of $75 or more ship Free anywhere in the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii.

You will never pay customs, duties, or import taxes when shopping with us. We often hear the stories of customers who bought online from a dealer in Asia only to discover that shipping was not fast, but rather it took several weeks (if lucky) or months. Then they were faced with customs, duties, and import processing fees which added as much as 50% of the cost of the robe.

We also make returns simple and easy.  Don’t be fooled by the promise made by overseas dealers. A common complaint we hear is how they never respond or answer emails or worse yet, they refuse returns. Shipping a kimono back to Asia is expensive.

Shop our online store now!

dragon and hawk kimono yukata

              Dragon and Hawk Kimono Yukata

Finding The Most Popular Kimonos

Sunday, March 13th, 2022

TOP SELLING KIMONO and YUKATA FOR FEBRUARY, 2022.

Our customers are the pulse of our business.  When they visit our online Kimono Shop, they seek beautiful patterns, vivid colors, and unique styles. Customers also want a wide selection of sizes, reasonable pricing, and fast shipping from the USA.  There is a reason our customers have been shopping at our store since 1994. Because they find everything they want in one store, Chopa – Your Kimono Source.

Each month, we sit down and look back on what the Best Selling Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes were during the previous month. It is important as well as educational to see what was hot. One month it might be dragon prints, another period may include koi fish. Some patterns and styles are seasonal. For example, short-length kimono, or Happi Coats as they are called pick up steam and sell very well in Spring and Summer.  Many customers like the shorter-length robe to wear during the warmer months to stay cooler. Others wear them as coverups at the beach or pool.

A customer emailed us the other day asking where are our kimonos made.  We replied that all of our kimono and yukata robes are made in Japan.  We operate and are based in the USA however, so we can ship quickly from our main warehouse in Northwest Florida. Transit time normally takes 2-3 business days to anywhere in the USA. We hear of horror stories when people purchase a kimono from a vendor in Japan and how long it takes to arrive. We take the guesswork out of online Kimono shopping.  We are direct importers, cover all duties, taxes and also offer easy returns.

People realize after the fact, that when you order a kimono from a foreign country, you often receive a bill upon delivery for duties, taxes, customs fees, and any other auxiliary charges. Charges that were unexpected and not mentioned when they placed their order. This won’t happen if you shop with us in the USA.

Here are the TOP FIVE SELLING KIMONO AND YUKATA FOR FEBRUARY, 2022.

1: Yukata – Tree of Life.  The Tree of Life Yukata is frequently a top customer pick. This men’s yukata features a geometric print that dates back to 2000 B.C. The design is produced in a gray, black, and white-colored print. It is made of 100% cotton and is very distinctive when worn to a special event or ceremony.

2: Blue Koi Yukata. This Koi Yukata is selected by men and women. The blue and white print displays the elegant koi swimming in water. In Buddhism, koi represent courage. In Japan, these fish are considered to be symbolic of love and affection. Crafted in Japan of fine cotton with a shrink-resistant finish.

3: Yukata – Eternal Chain. Printed in a crisp blue and white pattern, the Eternal Chain forms a never-ending circle representing eternity. The chains are symbolic of life, hope, and, strength. The connectivity has no beginning or end and goes around in a circle forever.

4: Yukata – Navy Kagome. Kagome translates to the woven bamboo pattern. Printed in a dark navy blue and white palette, the artist designed beautiful bamboo silhouetted against subtle contrasting circles. The combination is reminiscent of old-world craftsmanship and simplicity.

5: Black Kimono Samurai Robe. This Japanese kimono provides the Zen you need after a long day at the office.  Sit back, relax and feel the calm in this lightweight, yet durable robe.  This kimono is perfect for attending ceremonies or simply relaxing at home. It is popular for meditating as well. Produced from 100% cotton broadcloth. This high-end fabric is densely woven and often used in fine dress shirts.

These five kimono and yukata were our customer favorites in February. You can view any or all of these by visiting our online store. We have new shipments arriving over the next two months and should have adequate supplies to carry us through the busier season.  A great big thank you goes out to all of our readers and customers for allowing us to share this information with you each month.  It’s a team effort. Our customers team with us and we announce the results.

Thanks for reading, now Get Your Kimono On!!

                         Eternal Chain Yukata

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

Kimonos and Covid – The Challenges

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

We received a steady stream of questions during the peak and early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak beginning in March, 2020.  Customers  asked if our kimonos were safe? Was there risk of obtaining the virus from our kimono and yukata? What precautions were we taking? Were we open? Since we import from Japan, how safe were our robes? The answer to these questions, was that yes, our kimono were and are safe. Yes, we took and take a lot of precautions. Yes, we were and are open.

Chopa Zen Home stocks a rather large inventory of kimono and yukata robes throughout the year. Even with the outbreak, we had plenty of kimono in stock that we received months before any outbreak of the virus was known.  Our inventory levels constantly turn as orders ship out and new deliveries arrive. Some styles sell quicker than others, while some have unusual patterns similar to many retail products in your local store. Style XYZ may sell just a few one week, then the next week rolls around and sales of that style explode.  We don’t always know why this happens, but it is part of the business and we try our best to adjust and move with the flow. Tracking previous sales patterns establishes a baseline for future sales, but there are always outliers that can take place and that is when things become unpredictable. A story may be shown on TV about kimonos, a movie may run several times over a weekend that showed the Japanese lifestyle and actors wearing yukata. A well known celebrity may appear wearing a kimono and we see a spike in sales, especially in that particular style.

Our producers in Japan were very cautious throughout the pandemic and remain so.  Masks are worn, hands are sanitized, gloves are used and many staff members work remotely or in well ventilated rooms with partitions set up between each work station. Orders are packed with care, boxed, sealed and shipped air freight which lessens the time in transit.  Once they arrive, our staff uses the same practices to assure their safety as well as our customers. Masks, gloves, partitions, some remote work and constant sanitizing are and were the norm for many months. With so many people in the USA staying home through furloughs, work-at-home assignments and business closures, we saw a large increase in business like many other online retailers did. People were afraid to go to stores to shop, discovered the many benefits of online shopping and wanted casual things to wear while at home. Since Kimono and Yukata robes are so popular as loungewear, shopping for kimonos was an easy choice, especially with our large selection of prints, colors and sizes. We are proud to say we introduced many new customers to the fine luxury of wearing a yukata while lounging, working at home or taking care of kids and the Homefront. Welcome to all of our new customers and thank you for all of your kind words you sent our way. It is always a joy to read how much customers love their robes. It is also gratifying to see how many repeat purchases are made as people realize they want a second or third kimono to expand their new style at home.

Chopa is happy to report that we had zero infections among staff and families throughout the pandemic. The precautions we took benefitted everyone involved and our staff meetings were open for everyone to share experiences outside of the office, to relay what precautions they took when venturing out for groceries, gasoline, errands and the like.  Sharing our stories went a long way in educating ourselves on what or what not to do to stay safe.

With shutdowns and ongoing government restrictions in Japan we came across and still face challenges to keep our selection as full as possible. Sometimes we have to scale back orders or adjust timeframes in production. Other times we make adjustments solely to help our partners and producers. It was often more difficult on them, since many of their customers shut down and business slowed. There were restrictions on workdays, openings, number of people allowed in one workspace location and more. Obtaining fabrics was and still is an  obstacle. Businesses that dye fabrics face mandated closures or went out of business. Some cotton fabrics are still scarce or unavailable. Silk robes have been the most difficult to obtain. We have been unable to offer new silk stock for nearly a year. This sources back to the silk mills where the fabric is made right through to the dyeing and printing of the material.  Chopa anticipates this will change in the coming months and we will be offering beautiful silk kimonos again by the Christmas season. Silk Happi Coats are always popular as gifts. Soft, silky, smooth to the touch, short and sexy, they make magical gifts for men and women.

If you shop our online store and see some empty slots of a particular size or pattern, don’t hesitate to send us a text or email and ask.  We are working hard each day doing what we can to keep adequate supplies for large and full selections of kimono robes, but sometimes things happen beyond our control. We can always provide you with an update and we maintain a courtesy email notification service. When a style or size you seek is out of stock, ask us to put you on this alert system. When that yukata or kimono arrives, we will notify you by email. There is no obligation to complete a purchase, we only email you once and your email will not be used for marketing. It is deleted once we send out the notice.  Once again, we thank all of our customers for your support. As always, let us know what you think.

photo by cottonbro

Photo courtesy of cottonbro.

What is a “Vintage” Kimono?

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

The word “vintage” has different meanings and connotations. One person might recall a fine wine they enjoyed and make note of the year it was produced. Another may think about the classic car their grandfather drove. Some remember an antique they found at a garage sale.

In the kimono industry, vintage describes used kimono and yukata robes. There are a growing number of dealers that trade in “vintage” clothing. In many cases, vintage is simply used for marketing purposes. In advertising, “vintage” sounds better than “used.”  The same is true of used car dealers referring to their vehicles as pre-owned.

“Pre-owned” clothing fits in people’s lives for many reasons. Some shop used clothing stores looking for a bargain, others seek a unique clothing piece to compliment an outfit. Of course, there are true fans of the “vintage” look that browse resale shops or conduct online searches in hopes of finding that trove of special threads.

Occasionally we receive an inquiry for vintage kimono, but more commonly, someone asking if we buy vintage kimonos. The quick answer is “no, we do not.”  Since we already offer nearly 100 different kimono and yukata styles for men, women and kid’s in our online store, www.chopa.com, we are content to focus only on new Japanese robes.

What is the true meaning of a vintage kimono?  Does it mean the kimono was made in a “good” year like a fine wine? Does three years old qualify or must it be 20 years old to be labeled vintage? Is it just another word for old? In our mission to learn more about vintage kimono, we discovered the market appears to be very arbitrary and difficult to follow along a hard set of rules.

A used kimono may be discovered at a garage sale, but often there isn’t a reliable story behind it.  Sellers can be vague and the most common information we were given was that it was a gift a family member received or someone visited Japan years ago and it was sitting in a closet since.

Just like in most industries there are wholesalers and retailers trading in used kimonos. Wholesale dealers often buy kimono in bulk bundles or even pallet-size loads.  Some may be auctioned or sold sight unseen, while others may offer a glimpse into what a buyer might expect to find as far as the average age, style, condition, etc. Sometimes these bundles are sold by the number of pieces and other times sold by the pound.

Dealers will then sort and rank the robes, selecting the best for resale. Robes in average condition may be flipped to another dealer and kimono in poor condition are usually sold for fabric use only.  These remnants can be used in art, fashion, design or repurposing pieces and sewn to make a quilt or even a kimono.

Vintage kimono and yukata will often be graded by the seller. Keep in mind, grading is highly subjective and most dealers feel they know more about grading than the next competitor. We have seen grading range from A to AA, Good to Very Good and Normal to Top Grade. If you shop for a robe by grade, research this yourself first. Ask yourself, who is the dealer?  How long have they been in business?  Where did they learn how to grade? Did they spend years in Japan or work in the industry prior?

Here are two grading descriptions we located on a website.

Condition C – Well-used Japanese kimono. Clear signs of wear and staining. Not suitable for formal occasions, but suitable for sitting around, cosplay, costume or decorative purpose.

Top Grade – Fabric is in great. Pattern and fabrics are both wonderful. Kimono used in our shop standard. Reference price – brand new – over $2500. (sic)

In the examples above, the explanation for Condition C is pretty self-explanatory, like wear it at home when nobody is looking. The Top-Grade description doesn’t really tell us much. While it might be in part to a language barrier, it is vague and doesn’t provide specifics.

Ads for used kimono will often indicate any soiling flaws, like “light staining” or “some spotting.”  The first question that may pop into your head is “stains from what?”, while others may not want to know the answer. Don’t hesitate to ask how and when a kimono was cleaned?  With infectious diseases and heightened concerns about Covid-19, caution should never be dismissed.

Another question one should ask is how were the robes stored?  Were these stored in a climate-controlled environment? Were they stored in an old warehouse with high temperatures and humidity? Are there musty or moldy odors? Consumers with lung issues or concerns should be extra careful.

Each individual can decide if a used or “vintage” kimono is right for them. There are thousands of beautiful and unique, used Japanese kimono and yukata available on the market. Some have a great history and story behind them, but like any form of art, a buyer should research, investigate and question any seller. Good luck and happy shopping.

kimonos for sale

Shop for New Kimono and Yukata at www.chopa.com. We offer a large selection and fast shipping from the USA.