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Naruto Reads by KumogakureKarui

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December 10, 2010
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Now I introduce SOME of most typical pieces of ninja clothing.

Forehead protector

Also known as hitai-ate. As you all know, it is a piece of cloth to which is installed a metal piece with the sign of the ninja's village. Most, MOST of the ninjas use forehead protector, but not all (like Jiraiya or Shizune). However, adding forehead protector to the design of your character makes the costume a lot more Naruto-like than not using it.

Forehead protector is one of most versatile accessories that are seen among Naruto ninjas: there is some different colors with them and even more ways to wear it. I list some:


* Blue. Most seen color, especially in Part I. Used by all level ninjas from genins to jounins. Blue forehead protectors used in Iwagakure tend to be purplish.
* Black. Another common color, mainly used by chuunins and jounins, very common in Part II. Not very common among genins, unless they have been ninjas for some time.
* Broken red. Not the most common. All the notable Konoha ninjas using red protector thus far are specialized in taijutsu: they are Guy, Lee, Shippuuden Sakura and Shippuuden Chouji. Also, many Iwagakure ninjas use red head bands.
* White. Rare color, but seen among Kumogakure and Takumi ninjas.
* Purple. Some ninjas in Otogakure and Hoshigakure use that color.

STYLES, or some of them!

* On your forehead. Most common, hence its name. Examples: Naruto, Kiba, Kakashi, Baki… etc, etc, etc…
* Around your neck. Also quite common. Examples: Hinata, Kid Temari, Hidan
* As a headband. Examples: Sakura, Pakkun
* As a bandana (the cloth of forehead protector is actually quite wide). Examples: Izumo, Genma (backwards)
* Around your upper arm. Only seen on Kid Shikamaru.
* As a belt. Examples: Guy, Lee, Kid Ino
* Attached to another piece of clothing, most usually to a headpiece. Quite common, too. Examples: Kankurou (his hood), Shippuuden Shikamaru (the sleeve of his shirt), Kid Chouji (his cap), Yamato (his mask), Choujuurou (the chest of his shirt), Yagura (the stomach of his shirt)
* And you can invent even more of them!

"Normal clothes"

Almost all Naruto costumes have some piece that is made of normal fabric, like shirts, shorts and stuff. There is no strict rules for them, but I list you some traits that are often seen in the costumes:

* Usually, Naruto clothes have no patterns (except fine yukatas and kimonos), but they are sewn of one-colored cloth (probably to ease Kishimoto's job in drawing). Instead, you can make the clothes to be sewn from many different-colored fabrics: for example, Naruto's Shippuuden jacket contains both orange and black areas. There still is some exceptions: people in Kirigakure like striped shirts and camouflage pattern, and Otogakure people have usually snake skin patterned scarves.

* Simple symbols, clan symbols and kanjis are IN. Even if fabric patterns are OUT, Naruto characters like to use symbols in their clothes. Simple symbols are always okay, like dark green "stop mark" circles in Shikamaru's gray Pre-Shippuuden jacket, but avoid making them continuing pattern. People hailing from clans or organizations they're proud of like to use their clan symbols even in their free-time clothes; the Uchiha Clan is the best example about that. Japanese kanji symbols are hot, too, and they are seen in the clothes of several characters, including Tsunade and Zaku.

* Details from traditional Japanese garb are fun and rather often used in Naruto clothes. What about adding geta sandals or making the collar kimono-like? Also high collar favored by Uchihas and hospital medic-nins origin from Japan: they were used by soldiers to make slitting the wearer's throat more difficult. (Of course those soldiers used thicker fabric.)

* Try to use a little unusual clothes. Very few character from Naruto main cast use totally normal clothes, but the clothes always have something odd trait, separating them from usual clothes. For example, Shikamaru's combination short-cut jacket + fishnet shirt is not something that most boys in our world use. Neither Neji's shirts are something you see in your school daily. At least no character get stuck with t-shirt/top and trousers/shorts combination, it's too plain! Thumb rule: You can keep leisure time clothes normal, but try to make ninja clothes to have something that makes people to turn their heads in your schools - but because of their unusualness, not (necessarily) because of their coolness!

Ninja vest

Also known as flak jacket, tactical vest etc. Anyway, I'm talking about those vests that contain pockets, shoulder protectors and/or neck protectors and that are greatly favored by Uniform Type ninjas. Each village has their own types of them, and I'll lecture about them in section "Special Aspects from Village to Another". Ninja vests are (at least in Konoha) traditionally given to a ninja that has become chuunin, so the vests are commonly seen on chuunins, special jounins and jounins. Personally I think that the vests are highly useful: you can carry stuff in them, they give some armor, and it makes your allies to recognize you quicker. Of course they are very uniform-like, but still very handy.


Fishnets are seen on many ninjas in various forms. It is seen often as undershirt, tubes on legs or arms, and such. Fishnet is good when you are sweating: it is not too hot, but it warms a little when your skin is damp of sweat. Also, as it reveals skin, it eases the evaporation of the sweat and makes your skin to dry faster. For some reason, fishnets are rarely seen on young characters but more often on more mature ones, maybe because of their revealing and a little sexual look.

In the series, fishnets are also used as decoration instead of practical means. For example, members of the Hyuuga Clan are often shown to wear black shirt that have some fishnet in the lower part of the head hole, and in Shippuuden, Ino uses some fishnet tubes on her elbows and knees. (...what happens her knees when she trips? Ouch, stylish fishnet decoration on the skin…)


Bandages are used equally with fishnets as secondary covering of the body. Though it seems that tying bandages takes lots of time, they have their good sides. They can be used like normal bandages, by tying them around your ankles and wrists to prevent them from twisting and as light elbow and knee protectors. Stretching, cheap, and not too heavy or hot on skin. It's hardly even seen that the bandages fall down in Naruto, so we can assume that ninjas can tie them quite firmly. But still I don't support using them as the only cover of the tactical areas, like the bust with females! Few ninjas are willing to make Stripping no Jutsu without warning… :P

Hip pouches and shuriken holsters

Many ninjas carry their small weapons and equipment, like kunais and shurikens, in their hip pouches and kunai holsters.

A hip pouch is often worn tied in the belt and located in the right rear, though some people may carry more pouches. Medical ninjas carry so-called medical pouches that contain first aid equipment. Those medical pouches are usually notable larger than the normal hip pouches, though they are worn in similar way (Sakura and Ino also carry a small dagger called tantou above their pouches when they are on their missions). I believe that left-handed people may put their pouch to their left rear to reach it better.

Kunai holsters are rectangular pouches that are usually tied vertically onto one's right thigh to allow them to snatch some weapons more easily. I believe that left-handed people may put onto their left thigh to reach it better.

Ninja sandals and other shoes

So called shinobi sandals, the most common ninja foot wear, are also known as ninja shoes, shinobi sandals, shinobi shoes, toeless shoes etc. Vast majority of Naruto characters wear them: ninja sandals are the sneakers of the Ninja World. Even civilian kids and adults are seen to use them.

Shinobi sandals have quite many variations. Some of them:

* Common version. Little over ankle-length, flat part under the feet, some padding in the heels of the feet. Worn by most characters, including Kid Naruto, Kid Sakura, and companies. Google it, also cosplay tutorials are good material for this.
* Common version, model Sunagakure. Sunagakure's ninja sandals differ from the common (=Konoha) ones by some details: they are almost always black, they have no paddings, and there is an extra strap between the big toe and other toes. Again, google for example Sand Siblings.
* Extended covers over legs. In Shippuuden, they are rather often seen. They vary at least from Naruto's little extra coverings to Sakura's boot-like shoes.
* Sandal version. Some shoes, like Tsunade's, Temari's and Tenten's ones, coverings are very sandal-like.
* Heels. Some ninja shoes have a small heel in them, but they are low and wide enough to allow the user to walk and even run and jump normally (I've experiences that: I cosplayed Inuzuka Hana in her vet costume with heeled shoes, and I was capable to walk well even if I'm not used to heeled shoes! …but because of rising heels, my toes hurt… D: ). For example, Tsunade has heels in her shoes, and also Sakura and Tenten have minor heels in their shoes. Though, generally I feel that if Tsunade could change her clothes before going to action, she might do it. Even if she is a medic ninja, I don't think she wants to take a danger of twisting her ankles!

Ninja sandals are usually colored either black or navy blue, though in Kishimoto's manga colorings Kid Sakura is seen to wear turquoise ones (in anime, she wears blue ones). But I think it's fine to use other colors, too.

Other shoes that are seen in Narutoversum include:

* Traditional Japanese sandals (geta sandals: Haku, Jiraiya... flip-flop-like sandals: Tazuna, and I'm sure here is other people, too)
* Bare feet (many civilians, especially robbers)

And VERY RARE (but seen) ones in the series:

* Kick-ass-boots (worn by Ibiki… but ONLY by Ibiki)
* Business man shoes (worn by Gatou… but ONLY by Gatou)
* Rubber boots (worn by Tazuna's work men… maybe they'd be rather useful for Amegakure people, too.)
* Canvas sneakers with cut toes (Zouri, one of Gatou's bodyguards… but ONLY by him)

Note that those rare exceptions appear in early manga, in the state that Kishimoto possibly haven't firmed all laws of the fashion world of Naruto.


Every village in the Narutoversum have their own quirks and even their own trends. I'll list them a little. Please note that the details I mention are not used by all characters in the village in question, but many of them. This section is most useful for the ones that are planning Uniform Type costume that was mentioned in the previous part of this guide. And remember, is your friend!

Konoha (Leaf Village)

Konoha lies in a fresh forest land with gentle climate and without any massive natural phenomena. That's why Konoha people's clothing is often ruled by the comfortableness and looks: they don't have to be against weather more than needed. As being first village that Kishimoto introduces in the series, Konoha has less notable traits in its fashion than the other villages – it is the 'basic' ninja village, the base for the other ninja villages. However, there are still some of them.

Most notable of them is Konoha's ninja uniform, which you can see on Kakashi, Iruka, Asuma and guys. It consist of a forehead protector, that handy green vest (that many chuunin-and-up ninjas use), dark blue trousers, a dark blue shirt with red spirals, bandages on ankles and black ninja sandals. Google it. Many chuunins and jounins use just the vest and their own clothes, like Kurenai (in flashbacks), Shikamaru, Guy and Lee.

Otherwise, Konoha ninjas like nets, bandages, clan symbols, and of course the forehead protector and shinobi sandals. Civilians like to use semi-traditional-semi-modern clothes, like yukata-like jackets, t-shirts and aprons.

Sunagakure (Sand Village)

Sunagakure lies on a hot desert. People in it must protect themselves from both kunai and the hot sun.

The common Sunagakure's ninja uniform, one seen on Baki, consists of Sunagakure's beige ninja vest of which model is versatile. In the usual model, there are the front pockets near the hips, and the shoulder guards are longer, but there are many variations of it with pockets, shoulder guards, neck guards or without any of them. The trousers and shirts are dark brown. Many Sunagakure ninjas (at least males) use turbans to protect their heads from the hot sun. Again, google it or watch episodes. Here is not seen very many variations of the common uniform, but many genins (like Matsuri and Ittetsu) are seen to use some kind of brownish vest with their costumes.

Sunagakure's ninja sandals differ slightly from Konoha's ones. In Sunagakure sandals, there is a strap between the thumb toe and the other toes. Also, there is no heel patch in the sandals. Study the pictures. Civilians in Sunagakure like to use brown, gray or dark long robes with a poncho-like white upper part. Turban is liked among them, too. Overall, Sunagakure people like earthy and grayish colors, reflecting their living place (but they don't use them solely).

Kirigakure (Mist Village)

Kirigakure is not so seen in the series as often as Konoha or Sunagakure, but something can be told about their fashion, too. There is seen vertically striped upright collar shirts on them (Ao, Haku, Choujuurou). Also gray camouflage pattern is liked (seen in Zabuza's arm warmers and Choujuurou's pants).

Kirigakure's ninja uniform differs from from Sunagakure's and Konoha's one by the colors and shape of it. There is external shoulder protectors on them with symbol of Kirigakure on them. Google, again, or look at Kisame's flashbacks (in manga). Kirigakure's ninja vests are slate grey and may come with or without the neck padding. The shirt and trousers are black. Kirigakure civilians are seen to dress very similar way to Konoha civilians to semi-traditional clothes. However, there is not yet seen very modern clothes within them. Kirigakure people like grey, brown, blue and turquoise colors, reflecting their element and sea.

Some Kirigakure's ninjas, like Kisame and his ex-commander, look like fishes. There isn't shown any explanation for that yet.

Iwagakure (Rock Village)

Iwagakure is another ninja village that is not shown so much – in fact least of the five big villages. Iwagakure's ninja uniform's vest is greyish-brown, containing just one big pocket on the stomach. Google it. The shirt (that usually has just the left, loose sleeve, while the right one is missing) and the trousers are more grayish brown in anime, but in a splash image of Chapter 489, the shirts are shown to be red. Also, their straps of their forehead protectors tend to lighter and more indigo-like blue than ones in Konoha.

Kumogakure (Cloud Village)

Kumogakure's is neither shown much, but there are still many very distinct features among them. At first, Kumogakure is the only ninja village thus far that is shown to have notably dark-skinned people (tanned people like Iruka are not counted, neither freaks like Kakuzu). Those dark people have often (but not always) light or even white hair and black or dark eyes. White people in Kumogakure are usually blond or brown-haired. Dark eyes are a lot more common than light ones.

Also, Kumogakure's ninja uniform differs most of all types of the vests. The white vest is triangle-shaped and is kept on it's place by just one strap, going over the left shoulder. The shirt and trousers are dark gray. Once again, google it.

Otogakure (Sound Village)

Otogakure ninjas are briefly shown in Part I. They are shown to like grey cow-pattern scarves and grey ninja vests. The latter ones resemble somewhat Konoha's ones by their model. Otogakure ninjas are also seen to like loose up-right collars, slightly similar to the ones used in Akatsuki cloaks. They seem to prefer grey color and purplish shades of it.

Ninjas working directly under Orochimaru have their own uniforms. For example, guardians like Karin have their own one consisting of light purple shirt and black trousers, or in Karin's case, shorts. Also, Sound Four had their own garb.

Amegakure (Rain Village)

A thing that Amegakure ninjas have to protect themselves against is the constant rain, of course. It's not nice to catch flu in the mission! Thus, they like to use long robes or cloaks covering them wholly and thus keeping them quite dry. Also some of them (Hanzou, the Rain team in the chuunin exams) also wear something looking like breathing masks with big filters, though they seem to be used for diving underwater.

An interesting fact: since Nagato and Konan origin from Amegakure and set up Akatsuki here, the garb of Akatsuki is evolved from Amegakure one.

Other villages

Since I don't know well, for example, filler villages, I don't talk about them in this. Do some research by yourself.

Self-invented villages

Some people like to set their ninja characters into their own villages. That's okay, but note the following issues when developing their fashion and uniforms:

0. Practicality.

1. The climate. People living middle of snow can't wear similar clothes to people living middle of desert. Be sure they can stand their own climate!

2. Practicality.

3. The history and the originality.
Think of the history and location of the village. How old the village is? How far is it from other villages? What kind of culture it possesses? For example, all big five ninja villages (Konoha, Suna, Kiri…) have very different uniforms, since they are separated from long, long time ago. But Konoha and Otogakure have very similar tactical vest (except the color) because Otogakure is very new village set up by Orochimaru that is from Konoha. So, avoid re-colorings, unless the village is REALLY new and haven't developed its own uniform. Prefer very own uniform design: in war, it's just a good thing if you can tell apart a companion and an enemy.
The thumb rule: the less separated the village is from another one, the more the villages resemble each others, and vice versa.

4. Practicality.

5. Economics. Unless the village is really small and rich, all ninja uniforms can't contain badass magical sword, bling-bling belt and/or expensive haute couture armor. I presume that the ninja uniforms are usually mass product, and if the village is too poor to have mass product, either no uniforms are used or ninjas themselves collect pieces of clothing for their uniforms (like, village leader says that the uniform consists of green shirt and trousers and certain type of vest, and each ninja tries to get them somewhere). The explanation in Sunagakure's varying ninja vests (at least in Part I) may be the latter one.

6. Practicality.



Fan art and general art have something uncommon between them. In general art, we have free hands, but in fan art, we have a base that we must follow to make the art to be part of the fandom of original series. Without the solid base, the fan art is not fan art, but just something that takes just minor scratches from the series and doesn't find the heart of the series. We can make great fan art by inspecting the original series and checking out the outlines of the issues – knowing the rules of the series.

But following faithfully what Kishimoto has drawn doesn't mean that it SUPPRESSES our creativity. In fact, when we are given some central lines to follow, we can more easily concentrate on the main issue and pick the gold pieces from all the trash. By knowing the heart of the design of the series already, we can offer the fandom our own creativity and expand it with ideas that Kishimoto probably haven't even thought about. But to synchronize with the original series, the artist of the fan character have to know the laws of the original series. (S)he can even break them, if (s)he still knows that the costume is still okay.

Make research. Watch anime. Look at other, faved fan creations. Look at real life fashion and people. Feed your brain with useful material, don't let them starving! And remember the Golden Rule of an artist: Never break rules before you know them.

Thank you for reading this tutorial from the start to the end! If you still have something to comment about the tutorial, feel free to say. And have fun with future Naruto OC creations!
Another and the last part of my Naruto OC design tutorial, mainly concentrating on existing ninja wear. Commenting is free here, too.

The general character tutorial: [link]
The first part: [link]
The cover: [link]

E: Added some notes about fabric clothes.

EE: Here is awesome collection of brilliant OC designs! Thanks, *Kumkrum :D [link]
Add a Comment:
Zelika-Okami Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you very much for both of these tutorials! It really helped me along the way and even got me inspired of mii very own outfit! Thanks a bunch! It's very basic and still, it helps me alot Clap 
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great to hear that! c:
MinatoLikesSmoothies Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. I kind of knew the basics, but it was interesting to read what you had to say about the topic :3 Thanks for taking the time to write all that! 
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!
Angelofthedarkness12 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Um hi I was using this to design my Oc and I was wondering what you thought of it so far.

NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Replied! Sorry it took that much time.
2442rosepetal Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Um, you said in "normal" clothes that oto nin usually wear 'cow' patterned clothes. I think its more snake skin than cow. Just saying. But overall this really helped me thank you!
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'll fix that!
Brisingr-Arget Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I liked this tutorial. Thanks! I'll keep in mind when designing my OC's.

BTW, I was wondering if you could critique one of my OC profiles. Only if you're willing.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I can do that! Though I don't promise to reply fast... and also, I quit reading scanlations in summer 2011, so I prefer not to critique it if there is spoilers :'D Event-wise, I quit at the very start of the Great Shinobi War.
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