Junihitoe Appreciation post:
The jūnihitoe (十二単衣) is an extremely elegant and highly complex kimono that was only worn by court-ladies in Heian Era Japan. Literally translated, it means “twelve-layer robe”.
The colours and the arrangements of the layers are very important. The colours have poetic names, such as “crimson plum of the spring”. The only place where the layers are discernible is around the sleeves and the neck. The arrangements of the layers and their colours were a good indication to any outsider what taste and what rank the lady had.
(Shamelessly copied from Wikipedia =P)
Also, it’s super heavy and stiflingly hot! I have to wonder what those wacky nobles actually wore in the summer. :P If you visit the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History (in Himeji) you can try juunihitoe on for yourself. I’m sure some other museums/tourist locations let you wear it, too.