The Noragi Jacket: A brief history
The Noragi Jacket, expertly modelled by our merchandiser Charlie.
Introducing our latest arrival: the Noragi Jacket. “Another jacket,” we hear you say, “just in time for the heatwave?”. Yes – but hear us out. Though we’ve labelled this a jacket, it’s something of misnomer. The Noragi is made from lightweight cotton hopsack which has an open basket weave and is, as a result, incredibly breathable. Think of it more as a summer cardigan than a jacket proper: an easy piece that can be thrown on in times when a t-shirt just won’t do.
Inspired by Japanese workwear, the Noragi is an oversized style with dropped shoulders and an open front. It’s often described as a sort of kimono, but in fact has a history and heritage all of its own.
What is a Noragi?
We’ve seen the Noragi described as a jacket, shirt, cardigan, comfort blanket and best friend, depending on who you ask. Strictly speaking it’s a garment of Japanese design with an open banded front and sleeves which can either be full or half length, traditionally worn by farmers and workers. Like all the best workwear styles, it’s become a streetwear favourite, in recent years thanks to its simple, relaxed shape.
So is a Noragi the same as a kimono?
To the untrained eye, there are certainly similarities between the two, but fundamentally they're quite different. Strictly speaking, a kimono is a formal garment worn mostly by women with a full length, T-shaped body and wide, wrist length sleeves – making it utterly useless to those working machinery or even making coffees. In contrast, the Noragi falls to the hip and tapers at the sleeve, a much more practical silhouette suited to everyday wear.
Is a Noragi a shirt then?
Not in the typical sense. Some refer to it as a shirt, but wear one without anything layered underneath and you’ll start veering into Hasselhoff territory. It’s more of a throw-on piece, best worn with a plain white t-shirt and navy chino trousers, or over a simple grandad shirt. Leave the front open, or create a simple knot with the self-fabric ties.