Kimonos are a blessing to the fashion world. Their ability to add the finishing touch to an otherwise plain outfit is like the icing on the cake! They bring color, drama, texture, movement, an utterly feminine statement and the ultimate top layer of forgiveness to whatever may be going on underneath... like food babies!
Summer kimonos are a popular wardrobe staple, but I have long since loved the idea of a long coat-style kimono for the winter months. Something to replace a jacket or overcoat that doesn't have to be removed when indoors and brings an outfit together in its entirety. My style prayers were answered by Singing Slowly! An Etsy store creating the most amazing custom-made kimonos and lounge robes, hand-made in Seattle in the most striking fabric combinations you can imagine.
Prior to setting down roots in Seattle in 2013, Singing Slowly was already a going concern since 2011 in London England. Manasi, the founder, has a love for exotic textiles and prints and sources fabric from all over the world to create these unique and stunning garments.
All the robes are custom made, and if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know what a stickler I am for a proper fit and the importance I place on that. Singing Slowly is producing beautiful kimonos and robes for women of all shapes and sizes, never working on the presumption that "one size fits all". Each piece is made using your measurements and personal preferences.
The robe I'm wearing is the Italian Baroque Revival style in velvet lined with red satin. It's warm enough to wear as a coat for most of our mild winter in Arizona, but certainly will be a dependable go-to during the nippy spring and fall evenings.
In the making of my robe, I told Manasi that my intention was to wear the kimono as an outer garment like a long duster. I was so impressed by the suggestions she made based on that information, one of the reasons I knew that Singing Slowly was the real deal! First, less overlap fabric at the front to avoid unnecessary bulk whilst wearing it open, but just enough crossover allowance should I want to wear it as a lounge robe! We chose against belt loops, so they are not redundant when worn coat style, but I still have the beautiful tie sash finished in long red tassels that is the belt. I also had the sleeve opening a little less wide at the cuff to avoid the inevitable dangling in my dinner scenario!
What I love most about this kimono, it's versatile... another one of my top priority style obsessions! It can be worn day or night as an outerwear kimono, or as a cozy luxurious lounge robe. The rich vibrant colors of the intricate Ottoman Tulip inspired design on the black velvet background. The bright red satin lining, and the hidden in-seam pockets. The compliments I get whenever I wear it!
I wore the kimono over an all-black ensemble of jeans and camisole for a night out with friends. On that occasion I added the red shoes to highlight the red lining. The lustrous blue hues in the tulips go well with blue jeans, which made a perfect outfit for a lunch date with a girlfriend. And, for a dressed-down dressed-up look, jeans and sneakers is a fun option too.
There are hundreds of robes to choose from at Singing Slowly, check out the Château de Chantilly robe, a beautiful art-deco bird design also in velvet. If you've got spring or summer on your mind, the High Tropics - a French Rococo Vintage style kimono robe in azure blue satin is stunning and would make a beautiful swimsuit cover up for beach or poolside.
Click on any of the links in this post to take you to Singing Slowly. Don't be surprised if this is your last stop for kimono shopping! For indoor or outdoor wear, from beach to happy hour, warm or cold weather, there are oodles of designs and unique fabrics to choose from. The difficulty will be in choosing only one!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50