The kurotomesode, or black tomesode, is the most formal kimono for married women. There is also the irotomesode, which is similar to the black tomesode in pattern and fabric, except that the fabric is not black but coloured. The irotomesode is after the kurotomesode in formality and can, unlike the kurotomesode, be worn by unmarried women.
It has beautiful decorations on the lower skirt, restricted to be under the obi, and almost always has five kamon - family crests. There are one on each sleeve, one on each shoulder and one in the neck. Irotomesode may have three, excluding the ones on the shoulders. The irotomesode can, as mentioned, be worn by unmarried women, and one with five family crest can rank as high as the kurotomesode. At the imperial palace though, it is strictly forbidden to wear kurotomesode, and irotomesode is worn here instead. The kurotomesode is worn by the mothers or grandmothers of the bride couple at a wedding. The black color goes very well with the white shiromuku kimono that the bride wears.
When a woman marries, she changes her kimono from a furisode, that is a long sleeved kimono, to a kimono with short sleeves. This is because the housework that a married women has to do, and here it is not very practical with those long, swinging sleeves. The first character 留 "tome" means "stay" and this is believed to mean that the woman now stays with her husband's family.
The tomesode is worn with white accessories like the nagajuban, eri, obi-jime and obi-age. The obi and handbag is often matching the pattern on the skirt in golden or silvery colors.