Hanfu vs Kimono: Comparison

For traditional Asian clothing, there are two primary styles that come to mind: Hanfu and Kimono.

Both garments have their own unique history and cultural significance. But there have been ongoing debates on which is better between these two pieces of cultural clothing.

Both styles often feature a V-neckline and a tie or sash around the waist. Both garments can be worn by men and women alike.

What is the difference between Hanfu and Kimono?

The most significant difference between Hanfu and Kimono is that Hanfu is more loose-fitting, while Kimono is more form-fitting, and the fabric used to make Hanfu is softer and less stiff than the fabric used for making Kimonos.

In this article, I’ll be clearing the air on this topic by looking at the reason for the comparison between these two brands, their brief histories, and comparing them deeply to make the decision that’s good for you.

Why this comparison?

There are many reasons Hanfu is comparable to Kimono. First, they are both traditional forms of clothing in their respective countries.

Second, they share similar features in terms of design and construction, and they are both considered to be very elegant garments worn for special occasions.

Both Hanfu and Kimono are made from luxurious materials, such as silk, and are intricately designed. They are closely related because of their countries of origin (China and Japan).

This makes comparison inevitable to decide which is better based on looks, style, and cultural significance.

Now, to their brief histories.

History of Hanfu

Hanfu vs Kimono

Hanfu is the traditional clothing of the Han Chinese people. It has a long and rich history, dating back thousands of years.

The first recorded mention of Hanfu was in a historical text from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC). Over time, it evolved and changed to meet the needs of the people.

During the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), Hanfu became very popular and was worn by both men and women.

However, it fell out of favor during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), when China was ruled by foreigners. It experienced a resurgence during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) but again fell out of favor after Emperor Chongzhen died in 1644 AD.

Hanfu enjoyed a revival starting in 1911 AD when Sun Yat-sen, the Chinese president declared it China’s national dress.

Today, there is a growing interest in Hanfu among young people who want to learn more about their cultural heritage.

It can be roughly divided into two categories: Northern and Southern styles.

The Northern style is characterized by a high waistline, straight-cut robes, and wide sleeves.

The Southern style features a lower waistline, more flared robes, and narrower sleeves. Both styles have many common features, such as an opening at the front of the robe that fastens with a band or sash called a “knot”, cuffs on the sleeve ends, and skirts that are pleated into panels.

History of Kimono

Kimono is a traditional garment worn by men and women in Japan. The translation of “Kimono” is “things to wear”.

Kimonos are made of silk, cotton, or synthetic fabrics and come in a variety of colors and styles. They are typically worn at special occasions such as weddings, funerals, or tea ceremonies.

Hanfu vs Kimono

Men wore Haori, which were jackets with wide sleeves. In the Muromachi period (1336-1573 AD), the Kimono was worn by both men and women.

The design of the Kimono changed over time and became more elaborate. Today, there are many styles of Kimono depending on the occasion or season.”

The history of the Kimono dates back to the 12th century when it was first introduced as a formal court dress. Over time, it evolved into everyday clothing for men and women alike.

Today, there are many styles of Kimono which can be worn for different occasions. Some common styles include the furisode (long-sleeved), houmongi (full-length), and Yukata (lightweight).

There are several features that distinguish Kimonos from other types of clothing. For example, Kimonos have wide sleeves which hang loosely from the shoulder area down to the wrists.

They also have a V-shaped neckline which exposes part of the chest area called decolletage. Finally, they are usually fastened with a sash called an obi belt.

The most important feature of the Kimono is its length. A Kimono can be ankle-length, knee-length, or full-length.

It all depends on the style of the particular garment and who is wearing it.

For women, a full-length Kimono typically reaches the floor and for men, it covers most of their body from shoulder to ankle.

This length makes the garment very versatile because it can be worn for both formal and informal occasions.

Hanfu vs Kimono: Head-to-Head Comparison

Features Hanfu Kimono
Waistband Cotton or linen with no decorative band Silk with a decorative band
Neckline Higher neckline Lower neckline
Hem Straight Curved
Sleeve Wide and loose Tight and form-fitting
Collar Shape V-shaped U-shaped
Top position Open and relaxed Structured and tight-fitting
Design Made from silk, designed to fit comfortably Made from polyester, designed with more layers and are more constricting



There are many differences between the waistband of Hanfu and Kimono. For starters, the Kimono has a much wider waistband than the Hanfu.

The Kimono is also typically made from silk, while the Hanfu is typically made from cotton or linen. Also, the Kimono features a decorative band around its waist, while there is no such decoration on a typical Hanfu.

The waistbands on each type of clothing are worn in different ways. A Hanfu’s waistband is often tied around the wearer’s stomach in order to keep the clothing in place.

A Kimono’s waistband, however, hangs loosely from the wearer’s body and does not need to be tied shut.

The difference in the way they are worn affects how they look at someone. A Hanfu typically looks more flowing and less structured than a Kimono, which can give it an airier feeling.


Both garments typically have a high collar that wraps around the neck and ties in the front or back. However, there are some differences in how these necklines are styled.

The neckline of a Hanfu is high and straight, with a small opening at the top. This style is believed to have originated in ancient China, where it was used to protect the wearer’s throat from cold weather.

The neckline of a Kimono is much lower, and typically features a wide V-shaped opening that exposes the chest and shoulders.

This style originated in Japan, where it was used to keep cool in summer weather.


The hem of a Hanfu dress is usually straight, while the hem of a Kimono dress is curved.

This difference in hem style developed because of how each garment is worn. A Hanfu dress is typically worn with a belt around the waist, which would create tension at the bottom of the skirt and cause it to hang straight.

A Kimono dress hangs from shoulder straps and does not have a belt around the waist, so its fabric naturally falls into a curved shape.

Another difference between these two types of dresses lies in their construction methods.

Most Hanfu dresses are made from multiple panels that are sewn together, while most Kimono dresses are made from one large piece of fabric that is folded over and sewn shut at both sides.

This difference is seen in how each type of garment flares out at the bottom-most. Hanfu skirts flare out more than Kimono skirts because they have more seams running down their length.


Hanfu vs Kimono

The sleeve is one of the most important features of a Hanfu and Kimono. They differ. The Hanfu’s sleeves are usually wide, while the Kimono’s sleeves are tight and form-fitting.

The fabric for the Kimono’s sleeves is also heavier than that for the Hanfu. This is because the Kimono was originally meant to be worn as an outer garment, while the Hanfu was worn as an undergarment.

The shape of both types of sleeves can vary depending on their style and era. However, they both typically have some kind of cuff or border at the end.

The Hanfu has wide sleeves that flare out from the elbow. They are usually made from several layers of fabric, which gives them a lot of volume. The Kimono has narrower sleeves that taper towards the wrist.

They are usually made from one layer of fabric, which makes them less voluminous than the Hanfu’s sleeves.

This difference in sleeve style is because of their different historical origins: The Hanfu was originally worn by commoners, while the Kimono was originally worn by nobility.

Collar shape

The collar shape of a Hanfu is more V-shaped, while the collar shape of a Kimono is more U-shaped. The collars on Hanfu are usually wider than those on Kimonos.

While both garments have removable collars, those on a Hanfu be more elaborate than those on a Kimono.

The tips of the collars on Hanfus are often rounded, while those on Kimonos are more pointed. These differences can be attributed to their respective origins and purposes.

This is reflected in the different shapes of their collars. While both garments were eventually adopted by people across all social classes, their original functions still influence their current appearances somewhat.

Kimonos are typically seen as formalwear today, and so they have kept many features that reflect this status including their pointed collars.

Because Hanfus were originally everyday clothes for commoners, they have evolved to be more comfortable and practical overall – which explains why they have rounder collars.

Top position

Hanfu vs Kimono

The top position of Hanfu is more open and relaxed, while the top position of Kimono is more structured and tight-fitting.

The placement of the buttons on a Hanfu jacket is more spread out than on a Kimono jacket. This is because traditional Hanfu jackets have no lapels, while Kimono jackets do.

Second, the collar shapes are different; Hanfu collars are V-shaped or round, while Kimono collars are typically stiff with an angled front edge.


There are many differences in the designs of Hanfu and Kimono.

The fabrics used in their construction are different. Hanfu is made from natural materials such as silk, while Kimono is made from synthetic materials such as polyester. This results in different textures and weights.

The shapes of the garments are quite different. The sleeves of a Hanfu robe flare outwards from the shoulder, while Kimono sleeves are more fitted and typically have elaborate designs embroidered on them.

Finally, Hanfu is less formal than Kimono; it can be worn for both daytime and evening events.”

Hanfu is made to fit comfortably, while Kimonos are very constricting and require a lot of layers to be worn properly. Kimonos often have elaborate designs with matching accessories, while Hanfu is more simple in its construction.

Final verdict

Finally, I’ll give my final verdict on this topic. After examining all the unique features of each garment, I’ve decided that both Hanfu and Kimono have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

However, Hanfu is a better choice for everyday wear as it is more comfortable and practical.

Hanfu is the traditional clothing of China, which has been worn for thousands of years. It typically comprises a long gown with wide sleeves and an overcoat.

This style of clothing is very comfortable to wear and allows for great freedom of movement.

A Kimono typically comprises a robe with wide sleeves attached to a square piece of cloth called an obi that is tied around the waist.

While Kimonos are very elegant garments, they can be quite constricting and are not always suitable for everyday use.

Also, the Hanfu is more comfortable and breathable than the Kimono.

Finally, the construction methods used to create a Hanfu are better than those used to create a Kimono.

For example, whereas a typical Kimono will have only four panels (two front panels and two back panels), a typical Hanfu will have at least eight panels (four front panels and four back panels).

This allows for greater flexibility when it comes to fit and style.


If you read this article in this section, I’m sure you’ve chosen your fave between these two garments.

I chose the Hanfu as a better garment because of its comfortability for everyday wear.


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