The jūnihitoe (十二単衣, twelve-layer robe) was a type of court attire worn by women in the Heian era (794 to 1185 CE). Rather than a type of robe, it was a complete outfit which consisted of layers of coloured silk kimono worn over an under-robe of white silk and topped with a coat. The layers of colours were visible at the sleeves and neck and were very important: they reflected the seasons and were an indication of a lady's taste, style, and rank. This system of colors was called Kasane no Irome. The term "juunihitoe" is a modern convention referring to the most formal version of this style that actually had twelve layers. The formal name for the style is itsutsu-karaginu-mo referring to the three components of the outfit.
A full jūnihitoe outfit was extremely heavy and cumbersome, consisting of ten or more separate layers, including:
- a white silk undergarment
- an ankle or lower calf length red or white silk robe known as a kosode
- a long red or maroon pleated split skirt called a nagabakama
- a hitoe unlined silk robe
- a series of layered coloured unlined robes called uchigi
- a scarlet silk robe called an uchiginu
- an shorter brocaded silk robe called an uwagi
- on formal occasions the uwagi was worn under a kouchigi (literally, "small cloak"), a shorter brocade robe
- a waist-length Chinese-style jacket called a karaginu
- an apron-like train worn at the back and called a "mo"
- Sara M. Harvey, The Juni-hito of Heian Japan