Basics vs Statement Pieces

how to wear a kimono over 40

Am I in a style rut?

I love my basics, and I never miss an opportunity to sing the praises of wardrobe staples to anyone who cares to listen. However, I sometimes feel that my wardrobe needs a few more statement pieces. You know, something fabulous and glamorous and sophisticated.

The thing is, I’m really a (very) casual girl at heart: anything too complicated or high maintenance just makes me annoyed. Therefore, whenever I buy something a bit more glamorous, I inevitably end up matching it with something super casual…

So, let’s call this ‘how to dress down a fab silk kimono, take two’… (I know, it’s not so different from ‘take one‘…)

I suppose I could pair this kimono with a lace top and a silk skirt or something… But that would feel a bit, I don’t know, too ‘dolled up‘. Too, polished. And that isn’t me.

I’m the girl with messy hair and hardly any make up. The girl who trips over her own feet and spills coffee over her nicest dress. The girl who swears when she’s angry and converses in sarcastic one-liners. That’s not polished. If we’re being polite, we might call it edgy.

So, in spite of my best efforts to find something less casual to wear with the kimono, this is the result. And while it’s OK, I’m not totally happy with the outfit. An old denim skirt and a graphic t-shirt (with a Latin phrase, does that count as sophisticated?). Still, everything else just felt…wrong.

Maybe I should stop trying to come up with something polished and sophisticated and aim for something edgy and cool, instead. So, that’s my challenge for the autumn: find something edgy and cool to wear with the kimono.

This may take a while…

silk kimono over 40

casual kimono

Outfit details:

silk kimono: Klaus Haapaniemi / t-shirt: Garcia Jeans (old) / skirt: KappAhl (old) /

bag: Kate spade (old) / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana (old) / shoes: Jenny

Any suggestions to get me out of this ‘casual style’ rut?


Linking up with:

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeCoco et La Vie en Rose,  Living on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the Edge Over 50 Feeling 40 A Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashThe Fashionista MommaTina’s Pink FridayFake FabulousLazy daisy JonesVanity and MeSheela WritesJodie’s Touch of StyleGlass of GlamMummabstylish


  1. debwlv
    September 2, 2018 / 6:18 pm

    I’m not proud to admit this but I am coveting that kimono, BIG TIME! However, as much as I would love to have it, I would be at a complete loss as to how to style it to get a lot of use out of it. I have learned about a concept called “column” dressing (I think!) which is wearing a solid, matching, neutral top and bottom, for instance, black or navy, and having your cardigan, jacket or in this case, kimono, be the “statement” piece. Similarly, I have a casual sleeveless black maxi dress in a jersey knit that I could see wearing with this. Anyway, that’s my two cents worth, for what it’s worth! And, seeings how I VERY much relate your your description of yourself in this post, you can get a sense of how much weight to give my advice! I think you always look fantastic….confident, modern, fun, approachable….I enjoy your blog and appreciate your insights and honesty. Keep up the good work.

    • Tiina L
      September 3, 2018 / 11:36 am

      Oh Deb, you're wonderful! If I ever start doubting myself, I'll read your comments, you're so sweet and encouraging.Yes, a matching top and bottom that let the kimono take centre stage, that would be my choice, too. A statement piece makes a bigger impact when it doesn't have to compete for attention.

  2. Patti Gibbons
    September 2, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    I like the kimono with your denim skirt as a dress-casual contrast. And it would look equally cool, I think, with slim jeans or trousers. You can't do wrong with such a great statement piece. xox-Patti

    • Tiina L
      September 3, 2018 / 11:39 am

      Thanks, Patti. Yes, the dressed-up vs casual contrast works, but I find it just a bit cliche… There's a part of me that wants to do something a bit more OTT with this. Full-on lux, glam and divaesque, yet minimalist. Yes, not an easy challenge…

  3. Jill James
    September 3, 2018 / 7:49 am

    I do really like your kimono but know that I would be just like you with its styling. I have seen many styled over a plain column and jeans and T Shirts and they look good. I know you will find the solution.

    • Tiina L
      September 3, 2018 / 11:41 am

      Thanks Jill. Yes, the jeans and t-shirt look… That was the first thing I tried. And it was nice. Now I'm after something a bit more glam, but still understated. In other words, I have no clue what I want…

  4. passion fruit, paws and peonies
    September 3, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    You need a tight fitting black dress underneath and heels – add some heels – that would be glam! Go on girl! xx Maria

    • Tiina L
      September 3, 2018 / 3:41 pm

      The dress might work. I actually have a dress like that (just can't fit into it right now…). As to heels… No, just no. I never wear heels, can't walk in them, and they make my feet hurt. Not worth the pain. I will find a way to make flats glam…

  5. Arlene from NJ
    September 3, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    Hi! I love that kimono! I've never seen one so pretty in the stores here. I would go with all black under it, but that's me – basics all the time! I think what you paired it with this time looks great. I am also into casual dressing these days. You always look polished and put together.

    • Tiina L
      September 3, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Thanks, Arlene. That is so sweet of you to say.The kimono is by a Finnish designer (based in London), it's silk, and the print is quite unique. I thought about all black under the kimono. The trouble is, black really isn't my colour (I find it depressing). Maybe black silk…

  6. No Fear of Fashion
    September 3, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    Sometimes it is not so easy to style a good piece. I have a lovely kimono (black and white with red dots) and I style it best with a 3/4 pair of cigarette trousers. In black. With black sneakers.But that is me.Oh and of course with jeans.Lovely piece you bought.Greetje

    • September 9, 2018 / 8:00 pm

      Oh, that sounds so stylish! I need to look for black trousers…

  7. señora Allnut
    September 4, 2018 / 10:23 am

    I like your comfy&cool style and your 'edgy' attitude. I would sign that "I'm the girl with messy hair and hardly any make up", I'm not really sophisticated and never wear heels.Anyway I think that this kimono is very versatile because you can wear it with your striped t-shirts (or your striped dress!), trousers in whatever the color, a sequined skirt or any fitted skirt, sneakers or heels. Black could be an obvious choice, but there are also some reddish colors, pastels, golden, teal or blue wich will look nice. I'm just throwing out a few ideas!besos

    • September 9, 2018 / 8:03 pm

      Thank you! Great ideas. Although I’d love to wear this kimono with black trousers, I’d like to find something in colour, too. The problem is that the colours in this print are not really ‘my colours’, i.e. they’re warm, brownish colours which I find a bit challenging.

  8. jodie filogomo
    September 4, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    I think this kimono really adds some pizzazz to any outfit. Just like you've proven here with the denim and t-shirt. Needless to say we all see ourselves differently at times, but I think you look great!!

    • September 9, 2018 / 8:04 pm

      Thanks, Jodie! At times I just get tired of wearing denim and t-shirts…

  9. Brianne
    September 5, 2018 / 10:44 am

    I love the denim skirt & those shoes!

  10. KimMalk
    September 5, 2018 / 2:43 pm

    As someone who doesn't love kimonos, I think you've done a wonderful job styling this beautiful one. I look forward to your edgier renditions soon!

    • September 9, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      Thanks, Kim. I think I may be a while, though, before I come up with new outfits around this kimono.

  11. September 8, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Your kimono is beautiful! I still don’t have one yet…I’m so late to the party! I prefer 3/4 length kimonos as they’re more versatile than long ones. Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • September 9, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      Thanks, Emma. Oh yes, a shorter kimono is definitely better. I have an absolutely exquisite vintage kimono, a long one, that I never wear because of the length. It’s a pity because it really is a very special piece..

  12. September 8, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    Well, I love that kimono.. a statement piece for sure! Love the peacock! I might just do some black column dressing in the Fall… black turtleneck and trousers ( unless I remember you dont like turtlenecks… then black thin sweater and trousers- kimono and a colored bootie ( maybe red ) ..
    I do love the tee and denim skirt.. great staples! You always look great with a red lip!
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

    • September 9, 2018 / 8:09 pm

      Thanks, Jessica! What a great memory you have! I can’t stand turtlenecks (they make me feel I’m being strangled).

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