Ways to Wear a Kimono

Kimonos have been a fashion staple for the boho chic set for a while now, but it wasn’t until this summer that kimonos have become an “it” item for the season. With floral, lace, and fringe varieties draped on clothing store mannequins, kimonos are so easy to fall in love with. Effortless and romantic, kimonos are a wardrobe must-have for 2014.

It wasn’t until I bought my second kimono while in L.A. (I bought my first one back in 2011) that I finally came to terms with how difficult kimonos can be to style. Shorts that are too long or too short can throw a whole outfit off. A v-neck vs. a crew neck  shirt can make a world of difference. See for yourself the various ways to wear a kimono and be inspired to rock this carefree, hippie style.

Neutral kimono with black pants and white top
Credit: Zina Charkoplia via Fashionvibe

Fashion blogger Zina Charkoplia demonstrates one of the easiest ways to wear a kimono. She chooses a neutral palette and goes with wearing black jeans and loose-fitting white top, which is casually tucked into her pants. Paired with heels that perfectly match her plain tan chiffon kimono, her effortless look is polished. Take note of her minimal accessories too!

Printed Short Kimono with black pants and untucked white shirt
Credit: Emerald from Sunday Crossbow

Notice how Emerald is wearing dark jeans and a white shirt, which is very similar to Zina’s outfit. See how different the overall outfit looks even though the basics are very similar? Emerald left her stark white shirt untucked and paired her Asian-inspired printed komono with mustard heels.

DIY Blue and White kimono over white top and white jeans, paired with tan fringe boots
Credit: Leanne Barlow at Elle Apparel

Taking a look at Leanne’s outfit here, it’s so easy to see how a white top and white jeans together really make her DIY kimono stand out! Could you imagine if she had worn black pants or blue jeans instead like the ladies above? It would be a completely different outfit! It’s so mindboggling how tiny swaps make the biggest difference in kimono fashion. Leanne’s booties make her outfit fall-ready!

Brandy Melville Alexis Floral Kimono Top
Source: Brandy Melville – $45

A short-sleeved floral kimono top here is paired with a plain, easygoing black dress. It’s a great way to dress up a simple black dress! The length of this kimono really give it an airy, breezy look, don’t you think?

Printed Kimono with Black Crop Top, Black pants, and top knot
Source: Tumblr

Kimonos are the perfect accessory to crop tops! They totally balance out the amount of skin shown on the midriff with the amount of skin shown on the arms. It doesn’t look too prudish, neither does it look too revealing. The black crop top and black pants elongate this girl’s body and the printed kimono jacket ties the whole outfit together. Also, I love her top-knot!

Printed Kimono top with White V-neck and Pink Shorts
Credit: Alexandra Pereira at Lovely Pepa

Alexandra used colors that are already on her printed kimono to go with her outfit. Her white v-neck makes the outfit look casual and the cute pink shorts hit at exactly the same length as the kimono. Normally, the kimono is longer than the shorts or shorter than pants but here the short kimono totally works and even acts a lot like a blazer!

Black Fringed Kimono with high-waisted shorts and crop top
Credit: Daniela Ramirez at Nany’s Clozet

This outfit by Daniela perfectly captures this season’s fashion: high-waisted denim shorts with a crop top and a fringed kimono. Flawless execution. Her long-sleeved fringed kimono balances out how much skin is being shown in her high-waisted shorts and crop top. The hat, sunglasses, and bag are great accessories for this outfit!

Embroidered Fringed Black Kimono with Black Top and Black Shorts
Source: Tumblr

I love the drastic difference between the length of the shorts and the length of the embroidered fringed black kimono. Embroidered kimonos are a rare gem amongst all the floral chiffon print or other fringed kimonos out there. If I ever come across one at the store, I’ll surely be tempted to buy it.

Easygoing Kimono Style
Credit: Ivana Revic

This is another easygoing outfit. What I love about this outfit is that it makes me reminisce about old vacations. The effortless v-neck, rolled up pants, comfortable neutral suede shoes, and fringed printed kimono make the perfect outfit for exploring!

A couple things to keep in mind:

  • Every kimono is different. While these outfits will serve us well for inspiration, it’ll be extremely difficult to recreate the exact same look, so don’t be disappointed if you can’t repeat the same outfits. You’ll have to try out a few outfits with what you’ve already got in your closet and see what works.
  • The “perfect outfit” may surprise you. I remember how I’d always want to wear my old patterned kimono with a white shirt and black shorts (the kimono is red and cream). The shorts never looked too great and I’d always have to wear a v-neck shirt. So, I paired my v-neck shirt with black pants and got a much better look.

Will you be wearing a kimono this summer? 

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