Thursday, June 23, 2016

Come One Come Kimono

This summer the trend flying out of The Lovely Boutique Where I Work are kimonos. We call them that, but really these bits of frippery are shawls-with-sleeves, summer ponchos or wrappers (the "w" is important). They are not negligees or peignors or anything boudoir and not strictly Asian-inspired. The T shape is their unifying link. Think soft instead of structured. Most look like giant scarves until you try to fold one. They are hip-length or long but certainly not boleros.

A kimono is not going to keep you warm. It will barely stave off the arctic chill of air conditioning. Throw one on over practically anything and you've created an ensemble. If three pieces make an outfit, this would be three easy pieces.

Kimono in the city

The kimonosizing began about two years ago on the music festival scene. Coachella has nothing to do with the iconic leather goods emporium and everything to do with Coachella Valley in California. Yearly concerts there feature music (rock, indie, hip-hop and electronica) along with art installations. Dressing for the event has taken on a Woodstock vibe— deliberately Bohemian blessedly not encrusted with mud. There is more freedom and bare bits than we saw in the 60s. Back then you either wore clothes or you didn't.

The "Coachella uniform" is t-shirt, cut-offs, kimono, fedora and lace-up sandals. All of that has trickled down to the masses. So how does a WOACA* wear one?

> You can do white t-shirt and denim, but make yours skinny jeans and not shorts

> Go with minimal jewelry so you are not channeling Ming the Magnificent

Styled a little too Advanced

> Wear one over a jersey jumpsuit or a t-shirt dress

> Try with a close-fitting top and soft palazzo pants

> Make one your bathing suit cover-up. Who isn't always wanting one of those?

> You should look like you just threw this on. Don't make it all stiff and perfect. Thus it's not for dress-up occasions.

> You needn't break the bank either. Fast fashion versions are as decent as those at upper crust boutiques. This could be the first time you ever step into a Forever 21.  

* Woman of a Certain Age

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