Fun Flirty and Cool - Creative Ideas on how to Style your Kimono

Fun Flirty and Cool - Creative Ideas on how to Style your Kimono
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Have you ever tried to work a long silk Kimono into a casual daytime outfit only to be left staring at a pile of discarded outfits feeling dejected and bemoaning your apparent lack of styling finesse? If so, you’ll know how easy it is to feel outdone by this colourful silk robe. The extravagant fabrics, bold colours and fantastical prints invite us to play, only to leave us feeling outsmarted at the final hurdle.So, how to wear a kimono robe? What tricks can we find which, sartorially speaking, bridge the gap between our usual style and something more ‘un-usual’ without making us feel like a their tier Instagram influencer?In our selfless quest to divulge the secrets of Kimono style, we've uncovered four easy styling solutions. 

Follow the suggestions below and start enjoying sartorial success.


Reduce the length of the Robe! A Japanese Kimono is designed to be worn belted and tucked up at the waist. There is no way the 160cm length is going to work if you intend to wear the robe during the day. Take it to an alteration shop and have them adjust the length of the bottom hem so that the robe falls just above your ankle. You can ask to have the fabric remnants sewn into a matching belt or use it to add pockets to the front.


Contrast is king! The easiest way to downplay the extravagant silk and bold colour of your robe is to pair it with a contrasting item. The easiest variation on this theme would be the pairing of a kimono with jeans. There's something eternally appealing about luxurious silk paired with faded denim. This is what Harling Ross calls ‘the peanut butter and jelly approach: wherein an unlikely combination ultimately enhances the overall flavour’. Peruse the images below to find an answer for the popular question of 'how to wear a Kimono with jeans'.

Woman in jeans and a black t-shirt wearing 2 different kimono

woman wearing jeans and t-shirt with a purple kimono and a pink kimono on

woman wearing a light pink kimono and a bright pink kimono with jeans and a t-shirt

Modern Archive Silk Kimono Robes (similar styles here). Vintage Levis Jeans. Robert Clergerie Shoes

Jeans to style your Kimono with 

Levi skinny 711 jeans

Levi's Skinny 711 Jeans

$20.88 - $59.50

Levis straight leg 505 jeans

Levi's Women's Straight 505 Jeans

$29.70 - $49.50


Let the Kimono do the talking! As we’ve already established the Kimono is the main ticket item here. Try to compete with it and you’ll most likely end up looking like a hot mess. Keep things simple and let the Kimono have all of the attention.Potential combinations discovered during the course of our *extensive* research included: an all-black outfit with a shimmering metallic coloured Kimono, creamy white high-rise trousers and top with a sheer black Kimono robe, a black turtleneck knit dress, black ankle boots and a shimmering blue robe. Think of this like a game of memory where the winner takes all - all being improved cognitive function as well as eclectically pleasing outfits. The mind boggles.

1 woman wearing a black haori jacket and white pants and another wearing a pure white kimono with a black dress ad heels

Rock the monochromatic look 

woman wearing a belted black haori jacket with white pants

Modern Archive Black Silk Haori Jacket (similar styles here)

woman wearing a white t-shirt, black heels and a purple mid calf length kimono jacket

Modern Archive Floral Michiyuki Kimono Jacket (similar style here). Robert Clergerie Shoes

1 woman wearing all black outfit with a long black kimono and 1 woman wearing white pants, black t-shirt and a long, semi sheer black kimono

Modern Archive Black Silk Kimono (similar styles here). Strenesse Sheer Mesh Top. Robert Clergerie Shoes. Brunello Cucinelli - High Waist Trousers


Wear it with your birthday suit! What can you wear practically naked that allows you to be seen in public and makes you feel like a million bucks? Yup, a men’s Kimono jacket. Throw one on, belt it at the waist, tousle your hair and you’ve got a look. There’s something great about the way the sleeves drape with a cinched waist and the length is perfect paired with heels or an ankle boot. If you’re really feeling yourself I suggest pairing with lingerie.Below are some suggestions from Berlin-based ethical lingerie brand Anekdot.

woman wearing a reversible mens haori jacket as a dress with a hand-painted lining

Modern Archive Men's Kimono Jacket (similar styles here). Neil Barrett shoes

woman wearing high heels and a hand-painted brown and black mens haori as a dress

Shop Lingerie to wear with your Kimono

Maison Lejaby Women's Miss Lejaby Underwire Bra

Maison Lejaby Women's Miss Lejaby Bra


Calvin Klein Underwear Women's Petal Lace Bra

Calvin Klein Underwear Women's Petal Lace Bra


Natori Women's Flora Contour Underwire

Natori Women's Flora Contour Underwire 



What about you? Are you exploring the realms of Kimono style? Do you have any tricks up your (elaborate) sleeves for wearing them? I’m all ears, send us a message on Instagram!

Modern Archive xx

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Modern Archive is an online space for textile lovers. We're especially obsessed with everything to do with Japanese Kimonos, Ai-zome and Shibori. We write about things that we like in our kimono magazine and occasionally host pop-up events. Find us on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Send us an email to hellomodernarchive@gmail (or blow us a kiss)

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