Crazy for Kimonos: How to Style Them this Summer

kimonosA few months ago, I worked with a client virtually who told me she loved wearing kimonos.  They were kind of her thing.  It wasn’t until I worked with this client that kimonos were even on my radar.  I saw people wearing but didn’t think much of it.  Now I’m sort of all over the idea of adding them to my wardrobe.  In a world of ‘too many cardigans’, a kimono can be the perfect alternative.

How to wear kimonos this summer

Kimonos can add lightweight coverage while also adding colorful interest to a look.  This can be particularly helpful when it is hot and you don’t want to wear a lot of layers.  If you are looking to add one to your wardrobe, take a look at some of the outfits I put together along with some additional kimonos to shop for at the end of this post.

Outfit #1


I love the idea of wearing a kimono with denim bermudas with a simple t-shirt.  It’s just easy.  I styled this kimono from Chico’s with denim shorts from TRACTR and a white v-neck from the Gap.  I used the colors in the kimono to finish the outfit with this coral crossbody bag from Coach, cobalt earrings from Bauble Bar and nude lace up sandals from Steve Madden.

Next, a slightly dressier look that would be perfect for dinner out, summer evenings, and smart casual daytime events.  I styled this kimono from Amazon over a navy tank and white skinny ankle pants from J. Crew.  I finished the outfit with a colorful pendant from Panacea, navy block heel sandals from Sole Society and navy crossbody bag from Marc Jacobs.Another way to wear kimonos is to style it over a dress.  It’s a stylish way to add some coverage and much easier to wear than a wrap.  I styled this kimono from She Inside over a navy sheath dress from Reiss and finished the outfit with a pair of blush block heel sandals from Via Spiga, layered necklace and rechargeable scallop clutch from Banana Republic.

Shop for kimonos

Ready to add some kimonos to your wardrobe?  Check out these additional styles.

  • Patricia

    I have three kimonos; one scarf style like the ones shown, one that’s a Chinese short robe and one actual short kimono meant to be worn as the topmost layer, much stiffer with traditional long sleeves. All are helpful in different ways. The scarf style can wad up in my suitcase, works to cover my less that perfect arms and finishes a look. This is more like the looks you’ve shown. The Chinese robe works as a jacket replacement and is great at a dressier look or more boho casual look with jeans and a Tee. The traditional kimono only works for dressier looks as it’s embroidered in gold.
    All are fun and give me a look that’s all my own … or was until you wrote this post and shared all my tricks!

  • Renee

    I bought a kimono recently and have been struggling with how to wear it in a way that doesn’t look too “Golden Girls”. I tried outfit 1 today and while I liked it, i find kimonos problematic. Had to take it off to unload the dishwasher and while we were out I was worried about it soaking up the water that had been splashed on the counter in the restroom. (I have this same problem with drapey “waterfall” cardigans.)

  • I’m obsessed with kimonos. They are perfect for summer, especially if you work in air conditioning! Aloha!