Thursday, 27 September 2012

How to Wear... The Kimono

Oriental florals are not just having a fashion moment - they're having a fashion year, at least. Chinoiserie cuts and prints were all over the AW12 runways, and thanks to Mrs Beckham, you'll be able to wear them proudly into SS13 too. I've actually had my favourite piece since last AW, so the kimono is a definite investment buy (my "investment" was under £15 - can you imagine what the cost per wear must be?!).

Left loose and worn as a classic cover-up, a floral bed-jacket style kimono looks stunning clashed with a contrasting oriental-style floral dress, or adding impact to a classic neutral-toned ensemble, two looks I explored in last week's How To Wear... Florals post.

But it also has far broader possibilities, which don't necessarily require you to wear anything else underneath to "cover up" - it makes a stunning, unique top in its own right.

It can be toughened up for a Geisha-meets-warrior-diva look, by pairing with leather skinnies and lace-up ankle boots, and cinching in with a matching leather obi belt (a look I first featured in How to Wear... Leather).

Kimonos: Both Primark (Past Seasons)
Look 1 - Trousers: Primark (Past Season); Boots: Peacocks (Past Season); Belt: ASOS (Past Season)
Look 2 - Skirt: Jane Norman (Past Season); Shoes: Primark (Past Season); Body Chain: Freedom at Topshop
Look 3 - Skirt: Jane Norman (Past Season); Belt: H&M (Past Season); Earrings: Primark (Past Season)

Alternatively, I like to wear it as a (discreetly safety-pinned!) wrap top tucked into a high-waisted skirt for a romantic feel. Teamed with a pencil skirt, it has a Marilyn Monroe vibe, which can be glammed up to the max and given a contemporary twist with a delicate-stranded body chain. With a chiffon maxi and more delicate obi belt, a typically oriental look is infused with a boho twist.

Next on my agenda is to try pairing with high-waisted palazzo pants for a glam autumnal pyjama-style look - watch this space!

The shape of this AW12 Accessorize kimono, £35, above, would lend itself well to wrap-top looks.

Longer lines can be more flattering on apple and pear shapes. This fringed cardigan from Matalan's AW12 collection is elegant enough to wear over a formal evening dress for a glamorous twist, but the sheer fabric would inject sex appeal if worn as a top (up to you how daring you want to get with what you wear underneath - try a bandeau top for a just-the-right-side-of-demure look). I think it would look sensational tucked into a velvet pencil skirt to pick out the detailing - check out yesterday's How to Wear... Velvet post for more inspiration.

Tomorrow: How to Wear the Body Chain

See more posts featuring kimonos here

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  1. Hello Sam! Beautiful post! I admire your aesthetic point of view, honestly ;) Many congrats!

    Have a wonderful day, F.

    1. Many thanks Flávio, your comments are always much appreciated :)

  2. i adore kimono's! i cannot believe that fringed one is from matalan?! its amazing!

    1. Yeah they've got some amazing-looking stuff due in this season, only annoying bit is waiting for it to finally drop!