HOW TO STYLE A KIMONO

The kimono is a fave summer accessory for some of our favorite influencers. You can find supermodel Kendall Jenner sporting hers through the airport over a tee and jeans.  Beyoncé wore a Gucci version to cover up her pregnant belly to an NBA All-Star Games. Rihanna wears her collection of kimonos as a one-and-done piece for a stunning night out look.

The kimono is a historically significant contribution to Japanese culture and fashion alike. It has become an often-referenced fashion piece in eastern cultures. The original kimonos where made in Kyoto and date back to the Heian Period starting in 794. However, the ritual of wearing the kimono everyday by men and women in Japanese culture began around the Kamakura Period in 1185. Kimonos took on couture craftsmanship during the Edo Period starting in 1603. At this time, a single cotton kimono called a yukata could be purchased for the price of a modern t-shirt or a lined silk kimono could be purchased for the same price of a home and easily became a family heirloom that was passed down like jewelry, wedding dresses, or property. The masterworks of designers Kakō Moriguchi and Itchiku Kubota are a part of museum collections worldwide and are regarded for their artistry in the same way fashion connoisseurs would revere Alaïa or Yves Saint Laurent. Though still an important part of Japanese culture, the kimono fell out of mass fashion around 1912 when the Japanese government started to incorporate more western ideas. Some say the official collapse came with the end of World War II. The kimono is still worn for special celebrations.

There are some culturally sensitive facts that you should know about kimonos. Kimonos should always be worn with the left panel over the right – the right side being closest to the body. Kimonos are folded right-over-left to dress the dead. Also, the length of the kimono matters. According a Terry Trucco, a New York Times writer living in Japan at the time, “The longest, most graceful sleeves, measuring seven and four-fifths inches from the ground when the arms are outstretched, are reserved for the formal kimono or furi-sode worn by young unmarried women… Brides wear kimonos with sleeves that touch the ground; middle-aged women, mid-length sleeves almost 20 inches from the ground; old women, ‘short’ sleeves, 27 1/2 inches from the ground.” 

Whether you would like to wear it traditionally or make the look your own is up to you. What Goes Around Comes Around only sources traditional kimonos from Japan with a special interest in those made between 1940s to 1960s. During this time, kimonos still had the special touches and craftmanship passed down from generation to generation. Some pieces of our kimono collection have been altered to include mink collars for an added luxurious feel. For distinctly summer dressing, a kimono haori – or thigh-length kimono – is recommended. Haori are not typically worn with an obi but instead are usually fastened with ties inside the jacket called 'himo'. Try fastening it with a belt bag for an easy on-trend look.

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