I recently wrote about modernizing the arty kimono jacket, and wearing it with denim bottoms is one way of achieving that look. Here are two ensembles to illustrate the concept. A neutral ensemble that is casual and earthy, and a bright ensemble that is more crisp and dressy. 

Arty Kimono with Denim Ensemble

Here are the components:

  • Kimono Jacket: This is the key component. If you don’t already have one, you’ll find affordable versions at Zara and the like, flea markets, or vintage stores. They come in all sorts of colours and lengths. The shorter lengths are easier to wear with flats or if you are petite. Kimono jackets made of soft drapey fabrics collapse back onto the body and are less overwhelming. Sleeve lengths can be shortened to provide more structure. Wear the jacket loose and open. 
  • Denim Bottoms: Wear faded, dark wash, white or any colour. Boyfriend styles, shorts, clamdiggers, bootcuts, skinnies, straight legs or a denim pencil skirt. White jeans and dark denim dress the look up, while faded denim dresses down the look. 
  • Layering Top: A neutral layering tee or tank top in white, navy, black or grey is an easy solution. Choose your favourite neckline and wear the top untucked. A silky shell top dresses up the outfit. Or choose a colour that picks up the pattern in the jacket.
  • Footwear: Set the mood of the outfit with footwear. Rugged boots or casual sandals are a good match for faded denim. With dressier denim, try pumps or wedge sandals. Or wear super dressy shoes with faded denim. I love light footwear, so that’s why I’ve chosen metals and shades of white, but you can go to town and choose a dark neutral or a colour. 
  • Accessories: A weathered leather bag gets my vote for the casual rendition, be it a crossbody, tote, hobo or satchel. An angular clutch gets my vote for a crisper touch because of the fun juxtaposition of the straight lines against the drape of the flowing kimono. Finish off the outfit with jewellery as desired. 

Seeing an outfit formula come to life is a lot more compelling than reading about it. This is exactly what happened on our forum last week when some of our members shopped their closets and came up with fabulous kimono jacket outfits.  Cocolion put together a stunning bohemian look with faded jeans, booties and fringe. Suz mastered her polished boyfriend jeans and belted version with elegant sass. And Ceit, who is actually wearing the Zara kimono jacket I used above, nails her fun “rough around the edges” tough look with boots, shorts and graphic specs. Thanks for the inspiration!