Kimono-style toppers in sheer fabrics and striking prints are a classic look that is especially on-trend this summer and likley to continue into cooler months. They add pizzazz to various combinations of solid-color separates. And they camouflage a multitude of “middle management” issues.
They are in every store, at a wide range of price points. The multi-color prints serve as a linking accessory in the same way a scarf might – making any combination of colors, even unexpected ones, look like a unified, creative outfit. When the print is on a sheer fabric, even very bold, bright colors read a bit softer and more subtle.
Here are a few examples from ready-to-wear, and some patterns for those who prefer to sew their own.
First from Chicos.com:
And from DressBarn.com:
If you’d rather sew your own, I’ve recently tested two patterns in this styling – Vogue 1610 (a traditional Asian kimono shape by Sandra Betzina) and Butterick 6516 (a more shaped style reminiscent of a very long shirt).
The Vogue pattern is show here in a blush floral. My rule of thumb is to add an item to my wardrobe only if I can wear it in at least 3 different combinations. Here are my first three – then I wore it to a casual dinner party last night with gray jeans and blush tank top — make it four!
I used a serger-based mock French seam construction. You can read all the details in my write-up of the project on Pattern Review. NOTE: If you click on the little heart icon under my photo on the review page, I think you’ll get notification when I post additional projects.
This longer one isn’t as versatile, but I loved the print so much I was willing to make an exception to my 3-ways rule. This turquise background is well within the Teal family that is so universally flattering. To keep from having seams show through the sheer fabric, I sewed them with a serger rolled hem. Those how-to details are also on Pattern Review.
In celebration of this sheer kimono trend, we’ve added nearly a dozen gorgeous chiffon and georgette prints – something to suit anyone’s coloring – to our fabric inventory. Here’s a sampler of some of them … you can see the actual fabrics HERE:
Which one (or two, or three) will you add to your own wardrobe? I’m still being tempted by the periwinkle paisley, the blue floral border print and the pink blossoms on navy … Oh, for more time to sew!