Kimono jackets can be the perfect topper for a woman of any age! I’ve seen them at both retail and online stores and they are available in so many varieties.

What Is a Kimono?

The kimono is a wrap that has sleeves. It could also be described as a loose cardigan. Traditionally the kimono was a Japanese item. It was a long, loose robe with wide sleeves, tied with a sash. In the past couple of years, this term has also been used for the looser coverings seen when the warmer weather comes around.

What Variations and Styles Are Available?

The assortment in stores is amazing. There are many different materials used to make these kimono garments. Many details and embellishments are used to decorate them. It’s true that a majority of kimonos have fringe on the edging. However, there are many without this adornment. If you love the print but dislike the trim, you can always remove the trim without much hassle.

 
 

There are certainly some solid pastel coloured kimonos, but the majority of them are bright coloured or vibrant prints. They remind me of beautiful scarves with armholes.

There are kimono options ranging from sleeveless to long sleeves. For many women in the older age groups, the ones that have at least a half sleeve tend to be the most popular. Not that I believe older women shouldn’t bare their arms, women should wear anything they want!

Since this is considered a summery covering, there are many that are quite sheer. This is perfect to show off clothing you are wearing underneath! However, if you are looking for a kimono jacket that has more density for warmth, there are plenty made of wool or heavier materials.

You can also get these garments in different lengths. There are those that are waist length, and others that are longer midi or maxi styles. Some are even comparable to dusters.

How Do Kimonos Feel?

Since these are loose fitting garments, they are more flowy than a cardigan or jacket that you might be used to wearing. Since there is usually no tie or belt to fasten it, the kimono will hang loose on the sides of your body. It will not be binding or tight. Because of this very relaxed feel, it creates more of a bohemian look. The fringe can also reinforce that impression.

Why Do I Love This Look?

Personally, I am drawn to a topper especially over my t-shirts. Also, I often feel cold when going into a restaurant or store that has the air conditioning blasting. So, I always need some kind of cover up and the kimono is a wonderful choice.

Perhaps you haven’t explored this option yet. Here’s some pros and cons to consider if you don’t already have any kimonos as part of your wardrobe.

Pros of the Kimonos

Since this is a relaxed covering, it can be particularly beneficial for women who are more modest or have a generous figure.

A kimono is usually a lightweight garment, thus can be useful for travelling. They pack easily, many are wrinkle free and they can be dressed up or worn for casual wear. I think versatility is a great factor in a clothing item. This covering could also be used for a bathing suit cover up during the day. Then you could throw it on as a lightweight jacket for the evening!

Since many are quite colourful, they can act as a perfect accessory to the basics in your closet. Take that Little Black Dress, for example. How lovely would it look with a sheer, lacy pink kimono layered over it?

Cons of the Kimonos

As we know, sometimes the characteristic that makes something good can also be viewed from the opposite lens. Yes, it’s great that the kimonos are relaxed and loose fitting, but this can also be a disadvantage for a couple of reasons.

Silhouettes are something to consider when getting dressed. If your top half is voluminous, then it’s usually a better look with a more form fitting bottom half. Thus your kimono may look best with your fitted pants or straight dresses and skirts.

The other disadvantage regarding loose clothing is the incidence of ripping or snagging the item on a knob or handle. I described this in my article on the maxi skirts and dresses. You might have to be careful when wearing this piece of clothing. I speak from experience!

DIY Your Own Kimono

If you don’t already own one of these garments, you can configure a kimono out of a large rectangular scarf. Open the scarf and place it on the bed. Take the corners that are right above each other and tie them in a small knot. Do this with the other side. Those openings that you created with the knots will be the “sleeves” and now you can wear it! This is exactly what my mother did in the photo where she is wearing the purple skirt and print top. The “wrap” is a scarf that we tied as I described. You can see this outfit on my blog.

Do you own a kimono? Do you prefer to wear soft colours, jewel tones or vibrant prints? Please share your fashion style the comments.

Jodie FilogomoJodie Filogomo is a retired cosmetic dentist turned style consultant. After over 20 years as a successful dental practitioner, she enhanced her styling talents by taking fashion, interior decorating and design classes. Jodie loves to share with others her passion for putting together outfits for women of all ages. Visit her blog Jodie’s Touch of Style and connect with her on social media.

Let's Have a Conversation!