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A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!

5.25.2014

Kimonos Yes or No-Nos??

I've been toying with the idea of buying a couple of Kimonos for a while now, particularly after the lovely spell of sunshine the other week. Sometimes a jacket is too heavy but with certain tops, I would still like a loose covering to hide the lumps and bumps. A  Kimono would do nicely.

So what is a Kimono? The dictionary definition is:

- a long, loose traditional Japanese robe with wide sleeves, tied with a sash

Well, I really hadn't in mind a long one and definitely not with a sash. Dressing gown springs to mind!

After a little more research, I realised that I actually wanted a Haori which is a shorter, light weight coat with wide sleeves used to keep the Kimono from being exposed to the elements. Why I feel you need to know this is beyond me because as far as the High Street is concerned, it's a Kimono.

So how does one wear a Kimono. Over to Pinterest for inspiration...


With denim shorts and a loose top




Ok at my age, I'm really not going to go down this route for my weekly shop at the supermarket but I do like the idea of using a Kimono to throw over a pair of cut offs on my hols for walking too and from the beach, lunchtime etc etc

With jeans





Much more what I had in mind although the last one is a tad long. I'd be the one that gets it trapped in the revolving doors at John Lewis.

So, my brief for this research is as follows:

1. It has to be shortish
2. Not too much volume
3. The sleeves should be elbow length or thereabouts
4. A soft subtle pattern for me (mousey haired) but in the interests of universal appeal, I have included darker, busier prints. Will also consider a plain fabric
5. Definitely no tassels for H&S reasons

And here are my finds...

Let's start at New Look, they've embraced this trend whole heartedly and have quite a few on the website.

White Crepe Floral Print Kimono £19.99


Such a pretty print and it most certainly fulfils my rules. Personally I would wear with a pair of distressed jeans and a white linen loose fit vest top.

And another gorgeous, dreamy print, verging on dressing gown territory so needs to be styled a little edgy.

Parisian Pink Floral Print Kimono £19.99



The next one is a little busy for me although I'd probably wear it on holiday.

Green Neon Tropical Print Crepe Kimono £19.99



Moving on to Dorothy Perkins, this one intrigues me, it's more of a fitted style. I'd like to try it on as it may well just miss the mark of being a Kimono. But I really do love the print. I'd wear distressed, light blue jeans and a nude slouchy t-shirt.

Crowded Floral Kimono £16.99

Now, this is a clever little jacket. The black trim will work the verticals and create a slimming effect. I think it would look fab with 7/8th black jeans and a black linen top to create a column of colour, (read more here). Add a pop of colour (eg. cobalt blue) by way of a bag or shoes and it's a great evening look. Great as a bikini cover up too although I would choose either/or option on holiday. I'm not an advocate of beach to bar dressing!

Black and White Kimono Jacket £30

I keep swaying backwards and forwards with this next one. I'm not a lover of cheap lace but styled in the right way, I reckon this is worth a go. It's one of those colours that if you wear it carefully, most people can get away with it.

Blush Floral Lace Kimono £20


Not wishing to be left out, Next have come up with a stunner and possibly my joint favourite (albeit the sleeves are slightly longer than I would prefer). It's quite a busy print but fairly muted so just about fits my brief. This is exactly how I would style it. Bravo Next!

Kimono £26



Here it is close up

Another slimming one is the black dragonfly again from Next. You could do so much with this. Choose a colour, any colour and it will work (well maybe not sludge brown).

Black Dragonfly Kimono Cover-Up £26



And finally, we have my second joint favourite. It's from Mint Velvet, slightly more expensive than the others but boy is it worth it. It ticks every box for me, the pattern is too gorgeous for words.

Mae Print Kimono £89




Trouble is, I now want the 7/8 white jeans, top and boots as well which makes for a rather expensive Kimono. I shall go and count my pennies and failing that there's always the son's piggy bank.


Here's to a lazy Bank Holiday Monday, anyone bought the Wallis cuff yet??


Donna x


37 comments on "Kimonos Yes or No-Nos??"
  1. I like the idea of them & think they might be useful during breast feeding as well to be honest so I'm keeping half an eye out too!

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  2. I'm the same as you Donna, been wanting one for a while, meant to get one before Marbs and never got round to it. I would like a dark background - I will keep you posted x

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    1. Yes do. I've tried a few on but none are really what I'm looking for x

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  3. I love them with boyfriend jeans, vest top and heels for summery nights out! Going to dig out topshop one from a few years ago so thank you!
    A x

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  4. I have a love/hate thing with them. I always imagine I will look like Shirley Valentine in her house coat. Of all your' choices I, actually, rather like the Next one. H xx

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  5. Love the idea of wafting glamorously poolside in one of these! So 'I need a longer one, dark background with a bright print.....would be good then to throw on over an evening outfit! Off to put in some research....thank for the inspiration! xx

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  6. Don't know! Can't decide! From the point of view of concealing a skin condition, they are obviously perfect (and clearly I should do a blog post on them ... may I steal please?!!!!) but for me, they are always just a tad too dressing-gown-ish. Of course having said all that, I'm sure you could persuade me to wear the Mint Velvet one. (I'm sitting here typing and in my head I'm saying 'ssshhhhh, you know you'll have bought one by August'!!!!!!) xx

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    1. Of course. Steal away. I think they need to be styled with distressed jeans to take away the dressing gown look!!!!! x

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  7. I love the look, but I do think you have to get the right one, really like the mint velvet one. They are a great all round holiday piece, beach or p.m. I don't have one yet, but with a holiday looming, could be the perfect all rounder item in my suitcase! xx

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    1. The MV is my favourite, favourite I've decided x

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  8. I love my dress. It is what i expected, very nice. This is coming from a person who normally doesn’t wear dresses. I would definitely order from this company again.

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  9. A yes from me Donna - and I've totally had a mid life crisis and bought one with fringing as well. Not doing things by halves :-) x

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  10. Some of these look seriously nice and yes the Mint Velvet one would be mine if money were no option. I also loved the Wallis cuff and heading into town on Thursday to buy one, or two, maybe three even.

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    1. Still haven't got my cuffs yet. I need to go in this week to buy them. Hope you got yours x

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  11. I saw a lovely lace one in a local boutique and I was debating whether to buy or not:) I think they are a great piece to have for summer evenings out!
    ~Anne xx

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    1. That sounds lovely Anne. You'll kick yourself if you don't buy it x

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  12. Been sort of on the fence with the kimono thing but I do like the pic with the black jeans and cream kimono (notice how I always steer towards plain rather than print) could even wear that to the supermarket! xx

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    1. I feel more comfortable in plain but last year my holiday wardrobe was so boring so I'm trying, really trying to push myself! x

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  13. Well you know me - it's a yes from me seeing as I have two "Haoris" in my wardrobe. Can't wait to see what you will end up up with!

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  14. I am loving the idea of a kimono this year on holiday as I am beginning to feel I have to hide the top of my arms. You have picked out some gorgeous ones, I like the Dorothy Perkins black and white one and the mint velvet. I feel a holiday purchase coming on...xxx

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    1. Oh gawd! Tops of the arms, don't go there. I agree though, Kimono's are great for hiding 'things' x

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  15. I have one, black with a gold and red print. I have worn it twice, both times with skinny jeans and a black top under. As mine is quite ornate I will wear it more in the night time as a statement piece.

    I tried several on, and the length and volume are critical in making it work, And they can go wrong!!

    I don't like the lace one here and swing towards the Mint Velvet.

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    1. They sound divine. I wouldn't have gone for the lace one but thought the girl in the top picture just looked so cool, I had to find one x

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  16. I really want one too Donna & styled the right way they can look so fab! So versatile too & I reckon I'd live one! xx

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    1. I'd live in one too......if they were fleece lined! Can't contemplate wearing anything but a cardi this week, it's so cold x

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  17. So hard to wear with style - I think it's a case of trial and error (same with maxi dresses)!!

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    1. Yes I agree, too much volume and you look frumpy although a lot on the High Street have gone for slim downed versions x

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  18. Until I read your post I I didn't realise I needed a kimono! But now I really really like the idea of one :) I looked in New Look this morning, didn't see any of the ones from your post, just a couple of flimsy-ish ones that I felt were a bit too young for me (sob). Undeterred I've ordered both Next ones - can't wait!

    Kate x

    myimportantnothings.org

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    1. I think New Look have a lot of stock online but not in store which is a little frustrating. Let me know how you get on with the Next ones x

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  19. I have a Mango silk kimono that I got years ago, keep coming back to it every now and then... I like kimonos, but only if they're silk (so nice on your skin, and cool in summer), and the fabric is thick enough. Can't really see the point of the see-through chiffon kimonos...

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    1. Sounds gorgeous. I'm thinking seriously about the MV one as like you I could keep pulling it out season after season. The only thing putting me off is it's a very cool colour and I'm warm skinned...I wish they did it in a bronze too x

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