Dressing and Grooming

Dressing and Grooming
10 records
Sumptuary laws dictated how people dressed in the Edo period. Women and men of all classes wore several layers of kimono called kosode (a robe with a short sleeve opening). Depending on the wearer’s social rank, the kosode ranged from simple to elaborate in fabric and style. For ceremonies and when on duty, samurai wore an over-jacket with stiffened shoulders (kataginu) and skirt-like trousers (hakama) over their kosode. While working, men and women wore a type of trousers. In warmer weather, men could wear a loincloth (usually made of white cotton) that was believed to repel demons.

Frequent bathing was common for people of all classes. The topknot was a popular hairstyle for men: The top of the head was shaved, and the hair at the back and sides was gathered together into a queue and then doubled over, forming a thin band shape. The shimadamage, a style of pulling the hair up into a thick loop that projected from the top of the head, was a popular hairstyle for women. Women also blackened their teeth for cosmetic effect.

- Armanda Dingledy-Rodie; Chris Drosse; Hollis Goodall, Managing Curator (2007)