The Modern Beach Kimono: How to Wear It and Why We Love It
Summer is here and as always, summer trends come along with the change in season! One of the hottest trends this summer? Beach kimonos! Beach kimonos are a trendy, breezy, flowy style to rock at the beach with your favorite bikini and swimwear, or as resort wear. Some style icons are even rocking their kimonos as edgy streetwear or boho festival wear — kimonos are that versatile! No matter your style or budget, kimonos are an amazing way to bring some flowy, flattering, sexy style into your daily wardrobe. Read on to learn more about what a kimono is, why we love kimonos, and how to wear beach kimonos and kimono kaftans — as demonstrated by some of your favorite celebrity style icons! We will cover not only how to wear a kimono on the beach as a coverup, but also how a beach kimono can be worn for festival wear and everyday wear, no matter what your personal style may be.
What is a kimono?
A kimono is a lightweight robe or wrap with a T-shape silhouette and long, wide sleeves. Traditionally, kimonos are ankle-length; however, beach kimonos and kimono cover ups tend to be a shorter length, from waist to mid-thigh or even hitting at the knee. Kimonos were originally a traditional Japanese outfit. The word kimono in Japanese literally means “thing to wear,” with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing.” In Japan, kimonos are traditionally worn for formal occasions or important festivals as a sign of politeness and good manners.
The kimono has been in the spotlight both in recent years from both a fashion and a historical perspective. Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art put on shows highlighting the traditional Japanese kimono and its vibrant history. Traditional Japanese kimonos have been worn in Japan since the year 5 AD, and Western style began adapting the garment to a more versatile and casual piece over 150 years ago. Now, the term kimono refers to pretty much any open or sashed, loose, T-shaped jacket or wrap.
Why we love kimonos
Kimonos and kaftans are versatile items that can be worn year-round for any occasion! We love how flattering kimonos are, while still being able to show off the bikini or outfit underneath, especially with a sheer beach kimono or one left open. Kimonos can also provide a flattering streamlined silhouette to an outfit when combined with tighter clothing, such as a bikini, a fitted bodycon mini-dress, or a tight tank top with skinny jeans.
Women of all sizes and ages can wear beach kimonos both seaside and in their everyday lives! We love how mainstream kimonos have become because they are accessible for every style and price. Gorgeous kimonos and kaftans at a reasonable budget allow all women to channel their inner beach goddess, whether on a romantic tropical vacation, taking the kids to the pool, or stepping out for a night on the town!
Apart from being amazing beach accessories, coverups, and resort wear, beach kimonos can also help you add a boho accent to your outfit with a romantic, festival-inspired vibe. As you will see in the next section, kimonos can be a flowy, free-spirited addition to nearly any outfit, and can help you bring some boho glam to any look.
How to wear a kimono
As mentioned above, beach kimonos and kimono kaftans are almost too versatile, so it can be hard to figure out how exactly to work them into your wardrobe, whether for a beach vacation, a casual daytime look, or an evening out on the town. So, when figuring out how to wear a kimono, we decided to look to the style experts themselves: celebrity style icons! Here are how some of your favorite celebrities style their beach kimono looks.
Gillian Zinser from 90210 rocks a kimono-inspired coverup over a bikini top and cutoff shorts here. This is the most casual and carefree way we know to rock a kimono: adding a layer or pattern, flowiness, and style to a California beach and boardwalk outfit. The length of the kimono accentuates the shortness of Gillian’s shorts, creating an interesting silhouette. The boho pattern of the kimono also adds an element of edginess to Gillian’s otherwise classic look.
For this example, we have to highlight not one, not two, but three amazing beach kimono looks from Jessica Alba. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that Jessica Alba is the queen of beach kimonos. The actress, mom, and businesswoman rocks amazing kimonos on the beach and off! Here you can see her gorgeous, effortless boho-chic looks. She combines pretty, flowy kimonos with laid-back-but-chic accessories for the perfect beach looks. In the second photo, she wears a longer kaftan kimono cover up that works both as a beach cover up and a dress for a laid-back, yet classy, beach evening out.
Finally, in the third picture, Jessica proves that kimonos can stand on their own without accessories, as she wears a simple black bikini, black and white patterned beach kimono, and sunglasses. Jessica Alba is proof that beach kimonos are versatile looks that make any bikini or beach outfit look incredible.
Finally, Kate Hudson struts her stuff in a flowy kimono beach coverup in Greece, yet again showing how the beach kimono can serve as an effortless-yet-stylish beach and resort wear item.
Now that we’ve shown you how to wear a beach kimono on the beach, let’s take a look at how today’s hottest celebrities are using kimonos to elevate their festival style.
Here, Alessandra Ambrosio wears a longer, kaftan-style kimono over a swimsuit and cut-off jean shorts at Coachella. Kimonos are a Coachella staple, providing not only a comfortable, flowy style piece but also a wrap for the colder California desert nights. Alessandra adds an additional boho and hippie vibe to her look with a flower crown and gladiator-style sandals, making this a classic Coachella look with comfort, style, fun, and function.
Also at Coachella, Nina Dobrev adds a kimono-style duster to a versatile look that not only works for the music festival, but also could be a gorgeous outfit for a date night or a day in New York City. This shows how versatile kimonos, both beach kimonos and the more wintery styles, can really be! Like Alessandra, Nina pairs her outfit with boho accessories such as layered necklaces and a floppy hat, adding additional edge and style to her look. Nina’s look can also be transitioned to fall by adding a pair of tights, showing that kimonos are not just for the warmer seasons or the beach!
It’s impossible to mention Coachella without the Coachella style queen herself, Vanessa Hudgens. Vanessa has rocked amazing outfits at every year of Coachella that she has attended, and the outfit above is no exception! This is a bold choice to have the kimono be the pop of color and pattern for the entire look. The beach kimono also serves as a touch of softness in an outfit that is otherwise edgy, with all black, studs, and a choker. This is a great example of how a kimono can truly act as a statement piece. On the other hand, wearing a solid color kimono or a sheer beach kimono can actually serve to balance an otherwise loud or colorful outfit.
As we move away from the sandy runways of the beach and the desert, it’s time to take a look at how to wear a kimono for an everyday look, whether you are spending a day walking around the city or enjoying a girl’s night out. The celebrity looks below use kimonos as a pop of color, but monochromatic outfits with a strong solid neutral colored kimono can also be an elegant, stylish choice for your everyday wear.
Can you think of a more everyday activity than buying groceries? Gigi Hadid shows how a long, kaftan- or duster-style kimono can add a pop of color and style to an otherwise monochromatic outfit. She looks classic and chic in her skin-tight, all-black ensemble; adding the kimono gives her a unique look, which is part of why she is such an incredible style icon.
With a more professional, polished style, Florence Welsh wears a kimono-inspired blazer with a tie-front blouse and fitted jeans, plus a stylish and subtle block heel. The blazer’s sleeves and pattern call to mind the traditional Japanese kimonos, while the slightly more fitted silhouette makes this a modern and elegant look for a day at the office or a night on the town. Much like Gigi and Vanessa’s outfits above, Florence’s outfit uses the kimono as the only pop of color in the outfit. Alternatively, using more neutral-colored beach kimonos like our black kimono kaftan can be a great way to tie together a colorful outfit or streamline a look full of patterns.
Last but not least, how could we decline to mention Beyonce? One thing we have not yet mentioned about how to wear kimonos is that kimonos make amazing maternity wear. They are stylish but not fitted or constricting, and can add a pop of glam to nearly any look, as evidenced in this maternity outfit that Beyonce wore while pregnant with her twins. The gold kimono acts as an amazing pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic, chic, all-black outfit. It also provides a streamlined silhouette and an element of comfort.
A note on kimonos as maternity wear: One of the reasons that kimonos make for amazing maternity wear is that you don’t have to buy them from the maternity section, and you don’t have to stop wearing them once you are back in regular styles and sizes of clothes after your pregnancy! As mentioned above, beach kimonos and kaftan kimonos provide a streamlined silhouette and a flexible, stylish option to make any maternity outfit into a fashion statement.
Now that you have seen how some of the most fashionable celebrities rock beach kimonos and kimono kaftans, are you ready to try this versatile piece out in your own closet? Kimonos are trendy, breezy summer kimonos for the beach and resort wear at an affordable price. They come in several classic solids, such as a black kimono kaftan, as well as with a splash of color or pattern, depending on the style of kimono, kaftan, or kaftan kimono you choose!
These caftan designs strive to reference the traditional kaftan and kimono look, while adding a contemporary aesthetic, making them accessible and appealing to every woman. Many caftan designs are influenced by the traditional Japanese kimono, as well as the shapes, colors, and cultures of Morocco, Greece, Mexico, India, and the Caribbean. With caftans you can strive to add a contemporary flair to more traditional dress, and specifically select colors and styles to flatter all skin tones, ages, and sizes of women!
Kimonos can be easily matched with your favorite bikini and swimwear as a kimono coverup, or thrown over a stylish outfit as a wrap. Try out sheer kimonos that can show off your bikini, lingerie, or outfit underneath a little bit more for that extra bit of appeal. Kaftan kimonos offer a more dramatic ankle-length look, with pearl buttons and side slits, perfect for a head-turning beach outfit or a flowy night out ensemble.
Overall, kimonos are an amazing way to streamline an outfit, add a boho edge to your look, or simply look stylish in a coverup at the beach or pool this summer. We hope this article helped you figure out how to wear a kimono and gave you some inspiration for your summer look! If you are looking for a stylish, simple, classic beach kimono or beach kimono kaftan, take a look at cool kimonos and sheer beach kimonos. There are a variety of styles and colors of kimonos and kaftans online to fit your personal style, budget, and summer plans.