The yukata is a casual version of kimono. It is a robe usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, wrapped around the body and fastened with a sash (obi). Yukata literally means “bathing cloth”, and it was originally intended to be just that. Traditionally, the garment is worn after bathing in a communal bath, functioning as a quick way to cover the body and to absorb remaining moisture.
Recently, the yukata has also become a way of dressing for summer festivals. Increasingly fashionable designs have surfaced to a degree that it is sometimes difficult for the untrained eye to discern between a yukata and a kimono.