Posted on February 21 2020
I’m not sure how much time is required for a fashion to pass from a fad to a style with staying power, but rest assured, the kimono has passed the threshold. These light and flowy coverups won’t be passé any time soon. There’s no doubt that kimonos are here to stay.
Three Wrens has 5 different kimonos in 4 different styles on sale right now (read all about them in next week's blog), available at various price points, solid and patterned, flat and embroidered, smooth-edges and fringe, casual and dressy. Whatever your budget or style, we can accommodate it!
But once you get that kimono in your closet, what will you do with it?
The thing about a kimono is that it takes away any excuse we have to put together a boring or average outfit. Kimonos are meant to go over boring and average outfits and elevate them to a completely different style level. In the amount of time it takes to slip on this coverup and choose some knockout earrings, you’ve gone from yawner to yowza.
So with the help of some Instagram models, let's learn how to style a kimono!
Wear your Kimono over Jeans or Capris
This is as easy as it gets. Note that these outfits require barely more effort to put together than just the jeans and top! Instagram has countless great examples of a basic denim-tee outfit topped with a bright and colorful kimono. I grabbed just a few.
Felicity Hayward at felicityhayward looks amazing in her jeans, black tank, and sheer kimono. The critical lesson to learn when using a basic backdrop for a kimono is that your basic backdrop needs to be pretty much perfect. Her ripped jeans, showstopper earrings, sunglasses, and rings (not to mention that phone case!) ensure that even her basic backdrop is unforgettable.
Ms. Kristine, on her Instagram TrendyCurvy, has a slew of great kimono styles on display. Below are 2 of my favorites. You'll notice that her jeans and her shoes are on point (Kristine has an unmatched shoe game).
Thamarr at Musings of a Curvy Lady gave us just a taste of her outfit here, but that’s enough! You can see that her lights jeans and knotted top are a pretty basic background for her bright green patterned kimono.
Peggy at On the Q Train has a fierce sense of style. Note that her base outfit is quite simple - jeans and a black or white top. Layer on a bright and colorful kimono, statement earrings, a look-at-me purse, and shoes to die for, and you’re ready for a magazine shoot. Except that Peggy just walks around looking like this every day.
Amy at WillowCurves - If you read my blog post about animal prints, here, you know how I feel about Amy down in Melbourne. She is fearless in the way she interprets trends. Note that in first photo below she follows the usual kimono template - white pants and a white top are the neutral back ground for her gorgeous sheer embroidered kimono. The other OOTD? Yeah, that breaks all the rules! Her pants and shoes (and hair) pick up the colors of her kimono and are anything but neutral! Just goes to show you that first you learn the rules, then you break the rules.
Anita Matey at foreign_curves sports a gorgeous sheer embroidered kimono. Let's talk quality. This photo, and the first outfit that WillowCurves wears above, show that a higher quality kimono really makes a noticeable statement. The real embroidery, as opposed to a floral print, lends a feel of luxury to the garment that is otherwise missing. [NB: Three Wrens' offers kimonos at every price point, but the Textured Floral and Embroidered Kimonos by Karen Kane are truly spectacular.] Anita's earrings and expertly applied smokey eyes make sure she and her kimono stand out.
While this is a blog post that focuses on clothes, I just want to add that Anita's attitude about life is so vulnerable and real, I just love to read her IG. The clothes are a gateway to her inspiring voice; I hope you spend some time with her.
Kimono over a Dress or Jumpsuit
Alissa Wilson, the Editor-in-Chief of Stylish Curves, refers to kimonos as her “secret weapon for an instant statement making look.” She shows a penchant for topping a little black bodycon dress with a kimono to create instant, almost effortless glamor. Bodycon is everywhere these days and while some women feel powerful and feminine in bodycon dresses, the style can be intimidating. A kimono is the perfect way to soften the bold statement so you can wear that dress and feel comfortable and confident.
Crystal at Sometimes Glam used a dark blue kimono to complement her white sheath dress. Doesn't she look lovely? I'm picturing her taking in a Broadway show or driving down the California coast in a convertible.
Allison Teng from CurvyGirlChic shows us what a kimono can do for a dress that isn't very formfitting. Even the loose and flowy silhouette of a kimono doesn't overwhelm her frame with a close-cut, but not body-hugging, dress or skirt. A maxi skirt would not work with these kimonos, but you don't have to wear something super tight either.
Jo from icurvy always seems to have a little twist on a trend that brings her own character to the table. For kimonos, she replaced a dress with a jumpsuit. I have to admit that the first time I saw this jumpsuit / kimono combination I practically squealed with joy. Then I ran upstairs to get a jumpsuit on and throw a kimono over it - I loved it!
Remember Alissa Wilson from Stylish Curves? Well, she also rocked a jumpsuit and kimono, and check out the yellow heels that complete this look. Perfection!
Shorts and a Tee or Tank
Westernized kimonos, which are usually (but certainly not always) made of light and airy materials, are a great way to add some interest to your summer staples. Anyone can throw on a pair of denim shorts and a tee shirt, but CurvyGirlChic's Allison Teng shows how a long kimono can elevate that look in no time. PS - note that her shoes and earrings also contribute to the transformation.
If you prefer to show off your gams, then this look would be perfect for you! The shorter kimono with fringe accompanied by a tasseled purse gives the eye plenty to take in. Imagine this outfit without the bright and patterned topper. *Yawn.* Now stop imagining, I don't want you to doze off.
Now that we have some inspiration for silhouette, let's talk color. Rochelle Johnson of IAmBeautiCurve shows a great example of a colorful and patterned kimono over a black outfit.
You can also go the other way, plain kimono over wilder base layer.
We've seen less examples of monochromatic looks, but they can be fantastic as well. Nikki Frenney at IAmNikkiFree has a lovely kimono outfit that I included because it’s one of the few that doesn’t involved a white or a black top. I love the monochromatic blue color palette here. I also the belt focal point and gorgeous ring.
This beige combination is also fantastic. It also shows the power of another great kimono-outfit accessory - tall boots.