Learn the Basics

What is a Kimono and How to Wear It

kimono fabric

When traditional fashion fuses with contemporary style, beautiful things can happen.

At Contrado, we love creating exciting clothing, which inspires our customers to design. One of our favourite pieces of personalised clothing, is the Customised 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?

traditional kimonos

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:

  • Yuki – Sleeve length
  • Sodetsuke – Armhole seam
  • Miyatsukuchi – Opening below
  • Furi – Sleeve below armhole
  • Ushiromigoro – Rear main section
  • Fuki – Hem guard
  • Sodeguchi – Sleeve opening
  • Tomoeri – Overcollar
  • Uraeri – Inner collar
  • Sode – Sleeve
  • Tamoto – Sleeve pouch
  • Eri – Collar
  • Doura – Upper lining
  • Okumi – Front panel below the collar
  • Maemigoro – Front main section
  • Susomawashi – Lower 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.

How to wear a kimono

girl in kimono 1

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 Contrado Customised Kimono can be dressed up, or dressed down. Thanks to its versatility, this kimono can be worn in a variety of ways. It is easy to wear and can instantly glam up an otherwise simple outfit.

Available in luxurious and alluring Silk Sensation, or cosy and elegant Plush Velvet, you can choose the perfect fabric for your needs.  Lighter than standard jackets, more stylish than cardigans, and sexier than a dressing gown, this kimono will add extra depth, character and flair to your wardrobe.

5 ways to wear a kimono

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.

We printed this kimono with a stunning design by one of our artists, Mentalembellisher. You can browse her Contrado store here (and even buy this exact kimono).

1. Keep it casual

design your own kimono

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.

2. Dress it up

girl in kimono 3

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.

3. Sweet dreams

girl in kimono 4

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…

4. Rock chick

girl in kimono 5

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.

5. Make a splash

girl in kimono 6

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.

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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