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TPO Western

TPO stands for "Time, Place, Occasion". Kimono publications commonly include a TPO chart or table to assist wearers with determining what type of kimono would be appropriate for certain events.

However, since most of us are not in Japan, we've tried to create a TPO table for Western events.

Ensemble Planning Considerations

Then planning to wear kimono to an event not in Japan, there are several things to consider.

  • will other people be wearing kimono
  • will those people be Japanese
  • will there be Japanese people in attendance
  • will there be Japanese people who know about kimono culture in attendance
  • what would you wear if you weren't thinking of wearing kimono (to assess Western-level formality)
  • who the event is for
  • if wearing kimono would upstage the host/hostess
  • what kitsuke items you have in your collection


In general, since we are not in Japan, wearing a specific kimono has more leeway, likely related to a combination of factors, such as fewer people knowing about kimono culture and guidelines, but also that people have fewer items in their collections (and no real opportunity to rent an appropriate outfit).

NOTE: Formality trumps seasonality.

Events people wear kimono to when not in Japan include:

  • Japanese festivals
  • concerts
  • weddings
  • conventions
  • museums
  • tea
  • blah blah blah

TPO Chart

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions


Authors & Contributors

Author/s: Erica Pai (Iyolin (IG Username))

Contributors: Naomi Graham Hormozi (Immortal Geisha (IG Username))