n summer, we try to wear as few layers as possible to stop ourselves from overheating. However, that doesn’t leave too much room for expressing your style beyond what t-shirt you pair with what shorts. That’s why lightweight kimonos are great. You can layer them over a dress as easily as a tank top and they won’t have you sweating buckets. They also work for a variety of occasions. Wear one to the beach instead of your usual cover-up or layer one over our LBD on date night. If you love FKA twigs‘ look but can’t figure out how to wear a bondage-inspired outfit, a shawl is another one of twigs’ signature pieces and it’s much easier to pull off.
Throw one of these 13 kimonos on for a pulled-together summer look:
1. Embroidered Gauze Kimono (Forever 21)
This versatile black and white kimono can be dressed up or dressed down. Pair with jorts for a casual look and with skinny black pants and heels for fancier occasions.
2. Birds Of Paradise Sheer Kimono (Nasty Gal)
The metallic gold leaf pattern dresses up this sheer black kimono. Play up the luxe color palette with gold accessories.
3. Belted Kimono Jacket (Topshop)
If you like pieces with a bit of structure, this jacket has a belt that you can cinch when you want a break from the flowing, bohemian look.
4. Band Of Gypsies Balloon Sleeve Cardigan (Urban Outfitters)
You don’t need to choose the longest style with the most fabric. This cropped cardigan’s lightweight fabric and large sleeves still have that effortless look, but this kimono definitely doesn’t look like a blanket.
5. Printed Reversible Kimono (Mango)
This kimono has been marked down to 50% off its original price and it is reversible. The short-sleeved style has a blue brocade print on one side and a subtle stripe on the other.
6. FP One Border Print Kimono (Free People)
Are you already thinking about fall clothes? You’re not alone. You can wear this flowy kimono now with your tank tops and shorts but it will look just as good with jeans and heavier tops when the weather cools down.
7. Kimono Shawl With Fringe (H&M)
It will be hard not to play with the fringe on this pretty pink kimono. Just note that there is a woven design already in the fringe so you don’t need to add any more.
8. Ruffle Chiffon Kimono Shawl (Torrid)
Add some interest to a simple dress with this sheer ruffled kimono. The ruffles add a flirty touch but they aren’t so massive that you’ll feel like you’re wearing a jacket tutu.
9. Exclusive Gorgeous Floral Print Kimono (ASOS)
Instead of a floral maxi dress, try a floral kimono. Throw this patterned kimono over any neutral outfit and it’ll brighten it right up.
10. Red Patchwork Lightweight Kimono (River Island)
This longline kimono has a patchwork print but the streamlined shape won’t make it look like you’re being swallowed by houndstooth and animal print.
11. Madeline Floral Kimono (Boohoo)
This cheerful kimono pops against an all-white look but it would also look great paired with your swimsuit and bright sunglasses.
12. Brielle Embroidered Kimono (Anthropologie)
If you are the kind of girl who prefers plainer pieces to look-at-me patterned clothes, this kimono is a great basic. I doubt you’re going to complain about the crochet trim detail.
13. Printed Kimono (Zara)
Kimonos are a festival favorite but choose the right one and they can work for formal occasions. This printed one is a good option for drinks with the girls. The matching shorts are optional but recommended.
How To Rock A Kimono 5 Ways
I think the Kimono is probably the best fashion accessory there is. I have wide hips and a big butt, so when I want to wear a short dress or a tight skirt or whatever, I can easily pair it with a kimono (even during the summer!) to cover up a little bit in the office or in a fancy restaurant. The Kimono can be worn on the beach, at the workplace, and with literally every single outfit ever. I’m always so frightened the kimono will suddenly stop being popular and it will disappear, so I buy them quite often as if I’m prepping for the apocalypse — because, you know, the kimono is more important than water or medicine.
1. Kimono + Jeans (Crochet-Trimmed Kimono / Forever 21)
One of the ways I swear my kimono is when I’m trying to look put together. Rocking a well-fitting kimono with a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt creates a nice clean look. Go for the monochromatic look to make it even cooler. I think this look can up downplayed with any jeans+tee combo, but it can also be more dressy when paired with a pair of heels.
2. Kimono + Bodysuit (Scarf-Print Kimono Jacket / Urban Outfitters)
A long-flowing kimono is perfect for those of us who love short little dresses, rompers, and bodysuits. They add an element of interest to otherwise basic outfits and they allow for a little coverage.
3. Kimono + Jean Shorts (Patterned Kimono / H&M)
Invest in a long kimono, and rock it with shorts, a bikini, or a dress. The coolest thing about the long kimono is that it works with a long dress, too. The way it flows behind any outfit gives you a sort of chic look without trying too hard at all. You can rock this look with a kimono placed just off the shoulder or at the elbows, too.
4. The All-Black Kimono Look (Etsy, SheVamps)
The kimono isn’t just for Coachella. The kimono is witchy, beautiful, and elegant. Pair a black kimono (one enhanced with beading or a slight patter or a bit of color like the one above) with an all-black ensemble and you have a fashionable, magical look for a night out.
5. Kimono + Long Skirt
The kimono works with layers! My favorite look is the kimono with asymmetrical layers that sort of fall all over the place, giving you a floating, ethereal look. The woman above is really going for the opposing color look, which works really. Just go for it.
(Photo: Mark Horton/WireImage/Getty Images)