My obsession with the kimono began a few years back, when I saw one of the "Real Beverley Hills Housewives" wearing a brightly colored sheer floaty cardigan on the show and I knew I had to find something similar. It took a year to find one I really loved, and this is it.
After referring to it as a "floaty cardigan" for the longest time, I eventually learnt that it's most often referred to as a kimono. This is the west's dupe for the traditional Japanese kimono. The Japanese term for kimono literally translated means "thing to wear", and that's exactly what this is - THE thing to wear!
For the warmer months, this garment offers so much versatility. It can add a splash of color and/or bring an outfit alive with a bold pattern. It can act as a safety blanket if we're feeling a little vulnerable, like the first time stepping out in shorts after the winter months, or if we feel a flimsy top may draw too much attention, the kimono steps in to distract and protect! Besides this, it feels feminine and carefree, dressy yet bohemian.
These photos were in fact taken on my first day out in shorts this year. Since we were going to Tommy Bahamas for happy hour, I wanted to dress the shorts up with heels, but I found myself feeling very conspicuous, and a little too bare. That's when I reached for the kimono and as soon as I put it on, the coverage it gave me put me completely at ease especially given it's length.
Besides outfits that involve shorts, I also wear the kimono with jeans. Here's a link to a blog post in which I wore a black floral kimono paired with blue jeans, (yes, I loved this pink one so much I had to get the same one in another color!) That same kimono also goes well over an all black satin jumpsuit that has a dainty spaghetti strap top. And, for vacations what better cover-up for the beach or pool than a kimono, given how easy it is to pull on and slip off?
Both the kimonos I have are by Tolani and were purchased from Anthropologie last year, but are no longer available there. The links below are the Tolani kimono in more recent color ways being carried by Neiman Marcus. I added similar shorts and a couple of super cute wedge sandal options all of which would look fabulous as a complete outfit.
So maybe "I'm turning Japanese" (song lyrics) or maybe I just realized how valuable the "thing to wear" (kimono) really is. Irrespective of age, the kimono is the "thing to wear" and, it's the perfect addition to a host of spring/summer outfits!
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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