Clothing before the Heian period
The capital of Japan was Nara during seven to eight centuries. We split this period into half and call the first half the “Asuka period” and the second half the “Nara period.”Japanese used to wear clothing that combine the top and the bottoms, but we have begun separating them just before the Asuka period started. Both men and women wore the short top and men wore something like trousers and women wore a long skirt. Soon the interaction with China became active and various things came from China into Japan. These “things” included Chinese clothing and also some ideas related to clothing.
For example, Chinese people wore wear mobile and useful clothes at the time and nobles wore heavy and immobile clothes. Japanese didn’t have the idea of varying clothes with their social position, but it is said that the import of Chinese clothes and customs gradually created the idea that people with higher status wears more immobile clothes. Chinese products were considered valuable, so all the nobles wore Chinese clothes. The style of dress of turning up their collar also appeared at the same time period.
On the other hand, regular people still wore the same type of clothes as before.