There are several different words for “clothing” in the dictionary. Kimono is a type of traditional Japanese clothing, while fuku refers to Western clothes. Hifuku is more general and covers all clothing. Koromo is a less commonly used word than the others.

At least I think this is right based on what I read in the dictionary. Are these definitions right, and are there other words that also mean “clothes”?


1 Answer 1

  • : The most neutral, generic, daily word for clothes.
  • 衣服: Formal version of 服. 「衣服のお手入れ」「世界の衣服の歴史」
  • 洋服: (Western) clothes we normally wear. It's almost synonymous to 服 in ordinary people's daily life. 「洋服売り場」
  • 和服: Japanese clothes (including kimono, hakama, samue, ...)
  • 衣装: Costume (for stage performances, role playing, etc), dress (the kind of outfits that celebrities wear in public) 「ステージ衣装」「コスプレ用の衣装」
  • 着物: Originally referred to clothes in general, but this usually refers to that Japanese formal kimono today.
  • お召し物: Honorific word for 服.
  • 被服: Basically an even more formal or academic version of 衣服, but strictly speaking 被服 also includes shoes, hats, gloves and such.
  • : Archaic word for 服 (especially simple ones) or coats. Used mainly in samurai films or hardcore fantasy.
  • (ドレス: Almost exclusively refers to formal party dress for ladies.)

Note that 被服 and 衣 are definitely not words you would use in everyday life.

The above words are "wearable" (i.e., you can say ~を着る).

  • 衣料品/衣類: Daily clothing/underwear as merchandise or physical objects. 「スーパーの衣料品売り場」「衣類部門の売り上げ」
  • 服装: Overall outfit one is wearing. 「派手な服装をしている」「服装が乱れている」「事件当時の彼の服装」
  • 服飾: Fashion/dressmaking as a field of business/expertise 「服飾専門学校」「服飾店」
  • アパレル: Loanword version of 服飾. 「アパレルショップ」「アパレル関係の店で働く」
  • OPのHifuku (被服) が抜けてます… Aug 20, 2020 at 2:47
  • @broccolifacemask-cloth ありがとうございます、追記しました
    – naruto
    Aug 20, 2020 at 16:52

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