“It’s a kimono, not a robe” – me responding to my colleagues in the elevator. A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that looks like a standard robe, so I can understand the confusion. Initially, when I bought my first kimono I relied on it for added warmth during the spring to summer transition which can be a bit tricky to dress for at night. Now that summer is in full swing I’ve been wearing my kimonos as beach cover ups most often.
To all my beautiful friends who allege they can’t “style a piece”, the kimono is simple. The word kimono literally translates to “something to wear” in Japanese, fitting. I advise thinking of a kimono like a cardigan or a robe coat. It will add coverage without causing you to overheat. The lighter the fabric the better, I prefer either silk or a sheer. Plus, I like the dramatic effect when a gust of wind catches the end of the kimono and it floats.
The black and white stripe kimono is from Necessary Clothing in Soho, NY. I find that patterned or stripe kimonos are perfect to pair with simple black staple pieces. I’m not sure how many kimonos one really needs but I highly advise picking up a solid print kimono as well. You will find it to be so resourceful, you won’t regret it.
Like a cardigan, the kimono can be office appropriate as well. Currently, and I suppose for every summer that I remain in the corporate setting, I struggle to dress appropriately given the temperature outside is 90 degrees and my office is 65 degrees. Corporate America really should have more relaxed dress standards in the summer in my opinion but here’s my trick in the meantime: I wear more “summer time pieces” that are light and cool whether it be strapless, backless, whatever…..but I keep it professional by having a kimono in my bag for when I’m physically in the office, much like I would a regular blazer or suit jacket.