It's no secret that I have a love for the dramatic when it comes to clothes. The bigger the sleeves, the better. Feathers, fringe, patterns, textures, sparkles, sequins, fur, leather, lace, and hardware. I'm for it all. Which is why when I found this
smashed between a bunch of plebeian Forever 21 jackets at the thrift, I was all
The Kimono has all elements I like in a statement piece of clothing: color, shine, luxe fabrics, and as mentioned above, HUGE SLEEVES (see previous post for evidence of my love of large sleeves). I also love to stock kimonos in my shop, as they're a straight up pleasure to photograph. They can, however, be a hard sell, partially due to the aforementioned drama, but also because we Westerners are just plain unfamiliar with them. In an attempt to spread my love for kimono, encourage more people to wear them, and flex my styling muscles (which haven't been used in a while. I'm currently sitting on my couch in sweatpants and a Cubs shirt), I've put together a few different looks to help you incorporate a kimono with pieces you likely already own. First up...
|vintage Levi's 501s from Rawson via Shudio, necklaces from Clyde's Rebirth, also via Shudio, thrifted Steve Madden boots, vintage tooled leather purse soon to be in my shop, Goorin Bros hat|
Boho babes, you've got to wash that baggy macrame sweater sometime, and when you do, reach for a kimono. It dresses up a classic pair of 501s a bit, especially when worn with a brass jewelry stack that compliments the metallic tones in the kimono's print. And as the outer is an earthy, feel-good green, throw on all your brown leather goods and call your outfit made. Take that, Free People. This outfit is the real vintage deal.
While the above is perfect for fetching coffee and hitting on the cutie at the bookstore, the kimono can be used for dressier occasions as well (like when you finally get the courage to ask out said cutie from the bookstore). Enter...
The Carrie Kimono
|1960s dress and 1940s shoes, from my shop|
Why is this look called The Carrie Kimono? Because it looks rather bedroomy to me, and there are wonderfully weird shoes involved. In my opinion, no one has done those looks better than Miss Carrie Bradshaw. I know I'm dating myself with that reference, but she's proven herself a fashion reference not to be forgotten.
For this look I flipped the kimono inside out to expose it's amazingly vibrant lining. Because the jacket lapels flip either way, it doesn't look inside out, and adds a needed dose of color to this little black dress from the 1960s. No jewelry leaves room for a wild pair of heels, which you should absolutely be wearing because look how much leg you're showing, girl! You can't wear flats with that kind of leggage. I forbid it. Also, screw pants. I always said this guy was smarter than he looked.
While that last look would be great for "da club" or the sexy, dark kind of restaurants only young 30-somethings take dates to, sometimes occasions happen during which you need to be covered, classy, and grandparent approved. These would be weddings, showers of all kinds except rain, work parties, and uncoupling ceremonies (everything Gweneth Paltrow does catches like wildfire so I'm assuming we'll all be going to these in a few months). For these occasions, I give you...
The Classy Kimono
The Classy Kimono
|1950s dress from my shop, 1950s shoes coming soon, 60s clutch from my personal collection|
Since haori jackets aren't belted closed like other kimono (they fasten with little ties on the inside, but don't have to be), those looking for a more fitted silhouette could simply take a dress with a matching belt, and wrap it around the outside of the kimono instead of around the dress itself. This makes the kimono a little more feminine, while it's flowy fabric make a conservative 1950s dress a little less stuffy. This outfit is also comprised of only metallics. Since kimonos are typically made of matte or low luster silk, you can pile on all the shiny things without looking like a retiree going to casino night at the senior center. Also, doesn't it make a much more attractive jacket for evening wear than say, a North Face puffer? Ugh. I'm on a tirade about that right now. People (guys are guilty of this too. Puffers and suits don't go!) wearing their utilitarian outerwear over their fancy outfits. IT. HAS. TO. STOP.
Whew! Well, there you have it. Three ways to wear the hell out of a kimono. If that didn't convince you to find one of your own, tune in next week for my post titled, *"You'd be Happy and Gorgeous Right Now if Only You Had Taken My Advice About the Kimono WHY DOESN'T ANYONE LISTEN TO ME?!"