For the most part, I would say that I’m a huge proponent of versatility in fashion; in most cases, if you buy something and it can really only be worn in one setting or as part of one outfit, your money is being wasted. Tell me, what’s the point of dropping $100 on a jacket or a pair of shoes you can only wear once in a blue moon?
If you often find yourself in such a situation, then allow me to acquaint you with your new best friend: the kimono. While kimono in the context of Western fashion has taken on a different form than that of the traditional Japanese garment, the concept remains the same nonetheless. A kimono is essentially a piece of fabric designed to be worn over the shoulders, with large, draping sleeves and a hem that typically falls anywhere below the waist. Even after a thousand years, Japanese people still don their beautiful kimonos for events such as weddings, funerals, and other special occasions, a cultural tradition closely associated with the Asian country. There are many unique styles in Japan, but here in the West, they typically appear as more casual cardigan-like apparel.
I love the kimono because of its awesome versatility; you can wear it over a plain t-shirt and jeans to the store, you can wear it with a classy turtleneck and pants to the art gallery opening that certainly none of us are getting invited to, or just wear it wrapped around your naked body at home as you binge-watch Game of Thrones, which is more representative of how I spend my nights. It’d be more depressing if I didn’t look as good as hell while doing it. Behold, the power of the kimono!
While I would advise you put your money towards a high-quality silk kimono, these can be unsurprisingly expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can find a variety on Amazon with price tags as low as $30. If money’s no object at the moment (must feel good), then take your hunt over to Kim + Ono, which offers a large selection of kimonos in plenty of gorgeous designs and colors. Additionally, you can opt for charmeuse fabric instead of silk, which lessens the price by nearly half. Kim + Ono might be marketed towards women, but make no mistake; men are perfectly capable of wearing them as well. I myself own a handful, and provided you get an appropriate size, they’re quite flattering when paired with the right outfit on a man.
There’s a constant battle raging between the forces of comfort and the forces of style, but the kimono is the marriage that brings these two great houses together (I really need to cool it with Game of Thrones, huh?). Especially with the weather getting warmer, a kimono is a fantastic way to balance staying cool with looking good. Be it lounging around or out on the town, the kimono is your answer.