A formal kimono's Kaku is high, and a casual kimono is low.
Also Kaku indicate you situations to wear that kimono.
(In Japan, such situation is called "TPO". It means "Time, Place & Occasion".)
Here we talk about Kaku & TPO of each kind of kimono.
An important thing is trying to always match up rank of kimono & obi.
For example, Fukuro-Obi can be worn with many kind of kimono.
But when you wear Tomesode, choose brocade Fukuro-Obi.
And when you wear Tsumugi, choose Share Fukuro-Obi (casual Fukuro-Obi).
Of course, match up rank of accessories too.
At kimono, dyed kimono is more formal than woven kimono.
At obi, woven obi is more formal than dyed obi.
And gold & silver make kimono & obi more formal.
- gold embroidered dyed kimono + brocade woven obi = very formal.
- woven kimono + dyed obi = very casual.
About men's kimono, Haori & Hakama are connected with formality.
Usually, in order of formal :
- Kimono / Nagagi + Haori + Hakama
- Kimono / Nagagi + Hakama
- Kimono / Nagagi + Haori
- Kimono / Nagagi (Kinagashi style)
It's not strict rules, but manners.
Please think it flexibly except formal ceremonial occasions like marriage ceremonies or funerals.
(Our KAKU & TPO TABLE is a little flexible than traditional with informal situation.)
If some people hear that a woman wear Houmongi & Hanhaba-Obi together, they'll say "No way!!!".
However, we guess if the Houmongi have simple design and have no family crest, you can wear it with gorgeous Hanhaba-Obi.
We're thinking kimono's rule should depend on individual basically.
Kimono is a kind of fashion, and fashion is freedom.
What you have to do is only keep not to make others unpleasantly in mind.
When you choose kimono, please think about people who you'll meet that day.
It's same as when you wear Western clothes.
And more, recently, kimono is considered to be formal clothes because it's not familiar to us.
Even if it is casual kimono, a lot of people feel it is more formal than Western clothes.
In the basic kimono's rules, unmarried women have to wear Furisode or Houmongi at friend's wedding parties.
But today, some young women think Furisode is too gorgeous and wear nobly designed (looks like Tsukesage) Komon and attend it.
If it has noble design, Komon looks more formal than a dress, though it's against the rules.