Hakama are traditional Japanese pleated pants worn over kimono or under a tunic or surcoat.
Traditionally, only men wore hakama, though in the modern era people of either gender can wear them. Hakama aren’t exactly “pants,” because only one of the two varieties of hakama has divided legs (the other essentially resembles a pleated skirt). Still, “pants” provides the closest accurate analogue in terms of Western styles and sensibilities.
In medieval Japan, hakama were made of silk or cotton, usually solid-colored though sometimes with a pattern (often stripes). Striped hakama were usually worn with more formal kimono, though hakama could also be worn with a surcoat rather than a full-length robe.
Samurai wore special hakama for audiences with the Shogun. Although the pleated pants once formed a standard part of the samurai’s daily wardrobe, in modern times hakama are mostly worn on formal occasions.
Have you ever worn (or seen someone wearing) hakama? Would you wear them if the opportunity presented itself?