Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 6

This is my final installment in this series on kimonos and ruanas. If you have been following along you know there is a difference between these two pieces, but often the way a piece is put together, makes it more of a hybrid, or something I call a "kiana". A piece like this has both the longer front drape of a ruana, but also the more formed sleeves of a kimono. Today's piece is a kimono and this one is a heavier piece that will take me well into fall. I found this cute little number at a Bealls store in Florida last December, when our whole family spent a few days together in the St. Petersburg area. It was cold, so shopping was a fun alternative to the beach for my daughters and I. 

fashionblogkimonostyle-57.jpg

I decided to pull my outfit colors from the flower embroidered on the front left of the kimono, thus the red and olive green. Here is a picture of the outfit without the kimono.

fashionblogkimonostyle-73.jpg

This olive top is thrifted and Chico's brand. The crop pants are from the Meijer clearance racks and is a brand called Stitch Star. 

Once in a while things get rather interesting when my daughter is taking my pictures. I think she gets bored so she was making rather suggestive comments about the flower on my chest, which elicited this response from me. Of course she had to get it all on camera!

Anyway, you can see the floral embellishment includes the deeper red like my pants and a lighter pink. I just got a pair of distressed pink jeans from H&M and I think they will look nice with this kimono. There is also just a hint of green in the leaves, thus my olive green top. The marled black knit of the kimono is a nice alternative to an all black look. 

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

i went for brassy gold in my accessories and grabbed my small heart embellished black clutch and black strap block heeled sandals to complete the look. 

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono
kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

Aren't the snaps on these pants a fun addition. I am looking forward to styling these pants more different ways this fall. 

Here is a back view, showing you the hi-low hem line of the kimono. 

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono
kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

What do you think of this outfit? Do you think the red pants are too bold? Would you where bright colored pants? Do you own a kimono? How do you like to where yours? I'd love to hear you thoughts, so leave me some love in the comments section below. If you are not sure how to comment, just read the instructions below. 

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Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 5

I have two installments left in this series on kimonos and ruanas. I have found that adding a couple of these pieces to your closet will give you miles of extra wear on things that you might consider more plain or mundane. The kimono or ruana is a piece that can stand alone, meaning it doesn't need much help to make an outfit look fabulous. For most of these I have worn the kimono/ruana over an outfit built from simple pieces like a skirt and a tank, pants and a tank, etc. The over piece is what takes center stage, which it should. 

Today's look is a different sort of kimono/ruana. Once again, I am going to call this one a "kiana" because it takes the long drape of the ruana, but makes it more kimono like by sewing the sides together to create a sleeve of sorts. When I first got this open weave piece, it was only sewn at the sides by a few stitches. I liked the way it stayed in place, but soon the stitching came undone and I noticed it was harder to keep the piece from slipping off, so I sewed the sides back together. 

kimono or ruana - open weave navy "kiana"

I decided with this open weave look, I could focus more on the entire outfit standing out, thus the tropical print pants and graphic tee. I got these fun pants at H&M on the clearance rack. I don't wear this loud of a print too often, but I loved the fit and thought it was time, once again, to climb out of my comfort box. 

At first, I tried this on with a number of tank tops, including white and a light blue, but nothing seemed right. It was then I remembered, I had this thrifted tee and the greens matched perfectly. 

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "Kiana"

I chose the pink accessories to pull out the little bit of pink in the pants. Yes, my necklace is wrapped over my boob! Sometimes, I forget to make sure everything is positioned just perfectly. Ha, ha. Oh well, just keeping it real!

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

Just a few words about this shirt. If you follow my Instagram feed, then you have seen this before and I said a similar thing then that I am going to say now. It is often hard to see beauty in tragedy. How do we see beauty in school shootings, wild fires, volcanoes, mud slides and things like disease and addictions? The point is not that those things themselves contain the beauty, but that there can be beauty, even amid those difficulties. Communities coming together to help families of victims, amazing fire fighters who risk their lives saving others, and people who come out stronger than ever going through loss and heartache are all beautiful. 

There is a verse in the Bible, which says,

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28 (NASB)

I'm not going to preach to you, because this is a fashion post, but I truly believe this. Gratitude plays a huge part in seeing beauty and in bringing healing when we have gone through difficulties. Finding, even the smallest things to be thankful for, is the first step to realizing exactly what this tee represents. I'll step off my soap box now. Ha, ha.

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"
kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

Here is a back view of the "kiana".

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

Besides the open weave allowing your outfit to take center stage, rather than the kimono, it also allows air to get through. I have found many kimonos are make of polyester, poly blends, viscose or silk and actually can make you feel more hot and sticky. That's perfect when you are in an overly air conditioned building, but not if you are walking at the fair or an outdoor summer festival. An open weave outer piece is a great option for the waning days of summer. 

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

I hope you enjoyed this post. What do you think of this outfit? I'd love to hear your comments on how you style a kimono or a ruana in the comments sections below. 

I've included a few shopping links for you to look over. These are affiliate links which means if you click on a link I get a few pennies. If you purchase something through my site, I might get a little commission. I appreciate all the clicks you can give, but even more I appreciate hearing from you. 

Have a great day everyone!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Is It a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 4

Here I am, once again, taking a look at kimonos versus ruanas. Both of these over pieces are excellent additions to your wardrobe. They help spruce up a more plain outfit and add a lovely, interesting, layer to a work outfit or a date night look. The lighter layers not only add interest, but a little extra warmth for those overly air conditioned offices and restaurants. If you didn't see my previous three posts you can look at those by clicking on the link. Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3. Week 2 gives a good overview of the difference between the kimono and the ruana, if you were wondering.

This week's post centers around a hybrid piece that I am going to call a "kiana", as I feel it has both the cut and fit of a ruana, but the essence of the kimono. This is another online purchase from Christopher and Banks that I got for a good deal. 

Kimono or ruana - green and blue striped "Kiana"

For this outfit, I wore a pair of Sonoma olive trousers, a cream colored St. John's Bay tank, and my blue SO flats. 

Kimono or ruana - green and blue striped "kiana"

I am calling this a "kiana" because it is shaped like a ruana, but is sewn on the sides, creating the illusion of sleeves, thus the kimono. Once again, you can see that the outfit by itself is rather plain, but adding this sheer over piece makes the outfit really pop.

kimono versus ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
Kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "Kiana"

I received this fun textured clutch for Christmas from my younger daughter a few years ago. I love the color and the texture. Texture is another way to add interest to an outfit. Think about adding texture in the form of a jacket, a scarf or a bag like this one. Jewelry can also be a way to add more texture. Think pendant necklaces with fringe or even a beaded bracelet like this one I am wearing that I found in a clearance basket at Chicos

kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"

Here is another look at the entire outfit. 

kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "Kiana"

What do you think of this piece? Do you think calling it a "kiana" is a good name? What are some ways you style your kimonos or ruanas? What are some ways you add texture to your outfits? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. 

I've included a few shopping links below for you to peruse. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a wonderful day. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 3

If you are new to my blog or to this series, I am looking at the difference between a kimono and a ruana. You can see the definition of each as I explained it here in last week's post. This week's outfit revolves around a more traditional kimono. The first post in this series featured an outfit with a short kimono. You can see that post here. Front and center this week is a longer kimono, which to me, seems more traditional to what I think a kimono is supposed to look like as far as shape and length. 

Kimono or ruana - floral kimono in berry and black

This kimono is thrifted Massini brand. Since the kimono has a lot going on with its vivid floral print, I decided to go with a more monochrome outfit underneath. 

kimono or ruana - berry and black floral kimono

This gray, embellished tank is Croft and Barrow and was thrifted. The pants are Falls Creek and a recent clearance purchase from Meijer. Once again, I like the idea of print mixing stripes and floral. This time the stripes are vertical rather than horizontal and worn on the bottom rather than the top. 

kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono

No outfit is complete without a few accessories. I added a silver necklace and a couple of unique bracelets. Since the tank has the beaded embellishment I went for a simple, understated necklace. 

kimono or ruana - berry and black kimono

I have also fallen in love with the color yellow and I couldn't resist adding the bright sunflower feel of this thrifted Elle bag to the berry and gray mix. Do you think it works?

kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono

I decided on my gray oxfords instead of sandals, which makes this a work approved outfit. We can't wear open toed shoes at the bookstore. Although, I'll tell you even a shoe like this will not keep your foot from getting injured when you drop a 1st Semester Nursing package on it. Ha, ha. 

Here is a back view of the kimono. The hem line is higher in the front and lower in the back. 

kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono
kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono

What do you think of this outfit? Do you have a kimono hanging in your closet? If not, I'm sharing a few pretty ones that I found in my shopping section. I also shared how you might put them together with pants and a top. These are just suggestions. These are affiliate links. If you click on a link I get a few pennies. If you purchase something through my links, I might get a small commission. All opinions are my own. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. I'd love to hear from you. You can also see what I am wearing on a daily basis by checking out my Instagram account. I try to post on there at least three or four days a week. 

Have a great week everyone. 

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 2

Last week I styled a short kimono. You can see that post here.  This week I am styling a ruana. What exactly is the difference between these two outer layer pieces? A kimono is more of a jacket. It has sleeves that can be narrow or wide, long or short. It is usually open in the front, but can come with or without a belt or tie to keep it closed. A bathrobe is really a heavy weight kimono. A ruana is one large piece of cloth that falls down the back, over the shoulders and down the front. It has no sleeve closures, rather just drapes over the shoulders and is kept in place with your arms, although I have seen and heard of people using a pin or a pretty brooch to keep them in place. A ruana is usually worn open, although the fashion police won't put you away if you wear it with a belt for a more cinched in look. 

Is it a kimono or ruana - striped ruana

This tasseled ruana was a spring purchase from Christopher and Banks. To make the look more streamline, I went with a tank top and a dark gray pencil skirt. Here is the outfit before adding the ruana.

Is is a kimono or a ruana? - Striped ruana

You've seen this blush tank with bling before on my blog. I am an avid proponent of shopping and re-shopping my closet. The tank is Relativity brand and the pencil skirt is Liz Claiborne. Both of these pieces were thrifted. The black heels are Comfort Plus brand and the straw bag was thrifted as well. I opted for minimal jewelry with the beaded choker and a few beaded bracelets. 

Kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana

The next two pictures show you the width of the ruana, which is typically a wider silhouette than a kimono.

kimono or ruanan
kimono or ruana - striped ruana

Do you own a ruana? How do you like to wear it? Is it more of a summer weight or a fall weight? I am seeing fall styles beginning to fill the racks at most retailers. Kohl's was having some good sales on kimonos and ruanas and right now, you might find deals on the lighter weight ones that you could use for the rest of the summer and next season. 

kimonos or ruanas - striped ruana

I'd love to hear your feedback on this outfit. Would you wear something like this? I think this outfit is a great office look and the ruana would add a light layer for those overly air conditioned buildings. 

I've included a few shopping links for you to peruse. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog and be sure to check back on Thursday to see what I am featuring on my Old Becomes New column. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 1

There are numerous over layers that we can wear including sweaters, blazers and jackets, but what about kimonos, and ruanas? I'll admit, I had to look up ruana, because I wasn't sure exactly what that was. I am familiar with kimonos and have been seeing lots of bloggers showing off these stylish pieces over their summer tanks and shorts. I bought a few pieces from Christopher and Banks recently and realized that one was more like a kimono and one was more like a ruana. Needless to say, I now have acquired a number of these and thought it would be fun to do another series, before we have to start thinking about the reality that fall is coming. 

Kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono

This first pretty piece is a short kimono I recently found at Meijer on the clearance rack. For each of these posts I'm going to show you a picture of the outfit before I added the kimono. For this week I chose my Sonoma (Kohl's) Bermuda shorts, a Sonoma tank (Kohl's) and my light blue Keds (thrifted). 

kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono

For some reason, tank tops seem to be the perfect under piece for a kimono. I think what I like about it, is that the kimono really takes center stage and there is no bulk or extra fabric to deal with when wearing a tank top. I won't normally wear just a tank top, unless it is really hot and I am doing yard work. However, a tank top under a kimono, shawl, ruana or other light weight piece is perfect. 

Here are a few other pics of the kimono. I love the color, the pretty blue flowers and the lace edging. I kept my accessories simple with a teal fringe pendant necklace. 

kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono
kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono
kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

I'm carrying my navy Simply Vera Wang bag (thrifted), as I thought it went well with the colors in the kimono. 

kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

Of course, the footwear had to be ultra casual as well, thus my bright blue Keds (thrifted).

kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

Do you have any kimonos? How do you like to wear them? I have become more fond of them over the last couple of years and seeing how other bloggers style them really helps. They are a great piece to add pizzazz to any outfit whether dressy or casual like this one.

kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

I love to hear your feedback. Did you like this outfit? Do you like this kimono? I usually think of kimonos as being longer, but I think this short one works and I'll be looking at more ways to style this in the future. 

I've included a few shopping links for shorter kimonos, Bermuda denim shorts and Keds, just for fun. These are affiliate links which means I get a few cents if you click on a shopping link. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I get a small commission. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Is it a Piece or an Accessory? The Kimono.

This month I am combining my Piece Perfect and Awesome Accessory columns to feature something that can be worn both as a clothing piece, but also as an accessory. The kimono was originally a traditional Japanese garment. The word kimono means thing to wear. Most traditional kimonos were floor length. While some Japanese wore kimonos on a daily basis, most were worn on special occasions. Today the kimono has wide following in the fashion industry, particularly this summer. You will see these lovely, drapes in most stores. They vary in length, cut, style and pattern, but most feature light weight sheer material, square sleeves and a more square or rectangular body.

The kimono I have on today, I have worn before on the blog. You can see that post here. What inspired me to do this particular post, was that I was seeing numerous other bloggers wearing their pretty kimonos with shorts and jeans for a more casual, summery look. 

kimonos in the summer

I apologize again for my terrible photography. I am not sure why these turned out so foggy. It was a very warm, humid day, so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it. My daughter said, my lens may have fogged up. Never thought about that! Live and learn.

This pretty kimono I found at a thrift store, along with the clutch and tee shirt. When I decided on doing this post, I shopped my closet and found all the pieces. If you are a clothes horse like me, you will always find outfits in your closet as long as you use a little creativity and thought. 

The shape of my kimono is a little different in that, it has a high-low hem. Mine is also a little longer than many of the versions in the stores right now. However, I am sure you can find one that will suit your style needs.

styling a kimono in the summer

I was babysitting my grand puppy again so I had to let her get in a pic!

styling a kimono for summer
styling a kimono for summer
styling a kimono for summer
Styling a kimono for summer

I kept my accessories simply with a few silver bangles and my small black clutch. 

What makes a kimono a clothing piece versus an accessory? I think it all depends on how you wear it. My outfit is complete without the kimono. A pair of jeans, tee shirt and tennis shoes is a great casual summer outfit. I added the kimono as an accessory. It brings color and fun to the outfit and adds a light weight layer of warmth for air conditioning. 

I could change this look and make the kimono an actual part of the my outfit by putting on black leggings and a black tank or tee, then I could layer the kimono over top and add a belt. This would make the kimono almost look like a dress and would be the focal point of the outfit. Add black heels or wedges and a silver layering of necklaces and voila a great look for a date night with the hubby. I would have put that outfit in this post too, but my time has been very limited lately, so I didn't get a chance to get my act together. Ha, ha.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you own a kimono? How do you like to wear it? I'd love to hear from you. I always appreciate when people comment and I always respond to your comments. You can always check back a day or two later to see what I've written.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots.