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What Is A Kimono? 5 Ways To Create An Exceptional Look

what is a kimono and how to wear a kimono

When traditional fashion fuses with contemporary style, beautiful things can happen. At Contrado, we love creating exciting clothing, which inspires our customers. One of our favourite pieces is the kimono. This adaptable and beautiful piece has been designed in-house. It combines influences from the classic kimono jacket, and mixes them with the versatility and simplicity of a lightweight cover-up.

What is a kimono?

what is a kimono
Traditional Japanese kimonos

It might be one of the world’s most iconic pieces of fashion. but what is a kimono? The classic kimono jacket is a traditional Japanese garment. When translated, the word kimono means; “something to wear.” These full-length robes are instantly recognisable, thanks to their unique cut, beautiful designs, and captivating colours. Up until the mid 19th century, the kimono was worn by everyone in Japan. This began to change as suits, dresses, and other common western styles made their way into the country.

Kimonos can range from being super colourful and elaborate, to relatively plain and subtle. There are different styles of kimono for various occasions and seasons. Although less common these days, traditional kimonos are still widely worn on special occasions, such as weddings.

Parts of a kimono

There are several parts of a kimono, which is a testament to how wonderfully constructed they are:

  • YukiSleeve length
  • SodetsukeArmhole seam
  • MiyatsukuchiOpening below
  • FuriSleeve below armhole
  • UshiromigoroRear main section
  • FukiHem guard
  • SodeguchiSleeve opening
  • TomoeriOvercollar
  • UraeriInner collar
  • SodeSleeve
  • TamotoSleeve pouch
  • EriCollar
  • DouraUpper lining
  • OkumiFront panel below the collar
  • MaemigoroFront main section
  • SusomawashiLower lining

The Contrado Kimono has taken elements from the traditional design, and given them a modern, and wearable twist. Cut in the classic “T” shape, with wide, 3/4 length sleeves. This garment should fit loosely around the body, with the collar able to be turned up or down. We incorporated the silk element, by making Silk Sensation on of the fabric options. The belt can be tied to replicate the obi design.

5 ways how to wear a kimono

how to wear a kimono dressing gown
Customise your own beautiful kimono with Contrado

We wanted to take inspiration from this beautiful, and traditional piece, and put a spin on it, so that you can incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe. Just like a cardigan or a standard jacket, the kimono can be dressed up, or dressed down. Thanks to its versatility, it can be worn in a variety of ways. It is easy to wear and can instantly glam up an otherwise simple outfit.

Most people think that kimonos are specifically for spring and summer. However, with a little creativity, and some layering, there is no reason why you can’t wear a kimono in the colder months.

1. Keep it casual

A kimono can add a stylish, boho vibe to your outfit. The oversized and floaty design can add a whole new element to your look, with hardly any effort. Keep the rest of your look super simple, to let your kimono do all of the talking. We love pairing it with a pair of cute shorts and a simple t-shirt, when the weather is warm enough, or boyfriend style jeans, when you want to cover up a bit more. A pair of flat sneakers will finish the look off to perfection.

how to style a kimono
Throw your kimono over a pair of shorts and slip on some sneakers for a cool, casual look

2. Dress it up

If you are headed to a special night out, be it dinner, a wedding, or a glam party, then a customised kimono is the perfect way to take your look from drab to fab! Slip on a bodycon, or slightly fitted dress. Neutral colours work best, if your kimono incorporates a lot of colour and design. Keep it untied, to emphasise the beautiful drape of the robe. Keep the rest of the look subtle; some gorgeous heels, a simple clutch bag and a statement necklace is all that is needed to make this look work.

kimono over a dress
Wear your kimono like a lightweight jacket over a simple, but stunning evening dress

3. Sweet dreams

Make your bedtime routine even better, by incorporating a kimono into your pyjamas. What is a kimono? It can be a piece of lingerie as well as a piece of clothing. Don’t wait for a special occasion to wear your kimono robe in the bedroom. Wear it open over a pair of cosy pyjama bottoms and a little t-shirt, for an adorable bedtime look. Or, to spice things up a bit, slip it on over a slinky nightie. Tie your robe loosely around your waist, to add an alluring touch, and don’t forget your sleep mask, to ensure a restful night’s sleep…

dressing gown
Feel sexy and flirty by styling your kimono as a sultry dressing gown. Opt for the velvet version for a cosier option

4. Rock chick

Some kimonos can look super feminine, but a way to edge them out a bit, is to create a rock chick inspired outfit. This look is great if you are headed out to a concert, a bar, or pretty much anywhere really! Let your kimono do all the work by teaming it with simple separates. We especially like skinny black jeans and a plain black t-shirt, tucked in to show off your silhouette. Slip on a pair of killer heels, and statement accessories, such as a printed clutch and a chic necklace. Bold lips complete the look, as well as a diva’s attitude.

evening look rock chick
Keep your outfit simple and fitted, and go for big hair and heels for a fabulous rock chick look

5. Make a splash

Kimonos really are versatile. As well as a lightweight jacket, cardigan, robe, and dressing gown, we think they work brilliantly as a swimsuit cover-up. If you want to add some cover by the pool; to add a little style to your swimsuit, to boost your confidence, or to give your skin a break from the sun, then try layering a kimono over the top. More contemporary than a sarong, and more stylish than a kaftan, a kimono will give your swimsuit extra fashion cred. For accessories, think oversized straw hat, a pair of open toe sandals, and some glamorous shades.

how to style a kimono over a swimsuit
Make your kimono a statement beach cover up, and wear it over your favourite swimsuit

Have a look at Kimono’s designed by #ContradoCreatives, or, if you have been inspired by these looks, then why not have a go at designing your own customised kimono? With our online design system, you can make your dream kimono come to life!

design your own kimono

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