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Formal Kimono
There are five "levels" of formality in a Japanese kimono. Each has a particular element that indicates its level:
The most casual kimono feature small repeated patterning and, typically, shorter drop sleeves. There are no crests and non-silks are common. The next level is a silk kimono with no crests but with longer drop sleeves and a larger patterning - perhaps an asymmetrical design. The third level would have a single family crest (called a mon) at the back of the neck - the most obvious indicator of a semi-formal kimono because the sleeve length and patterning can vary widely. Iromuji kimono often have one crest. The fourth level features three family crests - the one at the neck and one on the back of each sleeve. The fifth and most formal level features an additional two crests, one on each side of the front collar. The tomesode kimono will have three or five crests. The furisode kimono are an exception to the "five crest" feature - furisode are also very, very formal but may have no crests at all...instead their formality is indicated by their long, long "butterfly sleeves", similar to those of a wedding kimono.
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