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.

Old Becomes New (or Not)

Have you ever bought something only to hang it in your closet where it seems to disappear? Not that it really goes any where, but you just never reach for it. Or, if you are a clothes horse like me, things have a tendency to actually disappear in between other clothes, in a pile on a shelf or the floor. This is one of the problems with having too many clothes. However, this is not a post about how to declutter, though that may be a good idea for a future date. 

I wanted to start this monthly column to force myself to reach for those items that I've had for a while, but haven't really given much thought as to how to style them. I know many people are very organized. Their closets are pristine and when they go shopping they know exactly what they want to get and how they are going to style that piece with something else. I really wish I was more that way, but frankly, I am not. I love to shop and I love to have lots of choices. Believe me when I say, I am much better than I used to be. In fact I have been trying to cut back even more, so that I am able to put money towards other things we will need, like a new car.

I have a little four door Saturn, a company that does not exist any more, but one that manufactured reliable, simple cars. Mine is a 2002 and it still starts right up, even on the coldest days. I'm going to miss that little beast, but it rattles and shakes and makes lots of noise, so we know the day is coming that it will have to be replaced. 

I would also like to use this column to help me weed out my closet. I thought of styling a piece two or three different ways over the course of a couple months. If at the end of that time, I haven't felt the piece lived up to my original expectations I will get rid of it. 

This week, I looked at my many jackets, blazers and other such pieces and decided to build an outfit using this suit wear jacket. Longer than a regular blazer this light weight piece is rather dull. The reason I bought it at a thrift store is that I thought it would be a versatile piece. I have worn it once or twice to work, but other than that don't often reach for it. 

Old becomes new column - suit jacket

For this look, I decided to pair the jacket with white, off white and blush. The jacket is a brand called Braetan. This brand currently is known for their coats and outerwear. The one I'm wearing is more of a suit coat without a lining. It is very light weight, so a good choice for a transitional spring outfit. The jacket is plaid, though at a distance it is hard to see and depending on the lighting, it looks taupe, brown, gray or olive. 

Old becomes new - suit jacket

I am wearing my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. I love this pair of white jeans as they are a thicker material and not see through. Here is a pair at JC Penney.

Old become new - suit jacket

This top, I bought a few years back at Kohl's. I love the cute Bambi print. Lauren Conrad did a whole line of Disney themed pieces, which were very cute and whimsical. While she doesn't have the Disney line at Kohl's anymore, here is another cute top. 

Old becomes new - suit jacket

For my accessories, I chose this cute little pink clutch, a recent clearance find at Kohl's and my fun beaded necklace with blush and gray. I added my blush SO flats, but didn't take a picture, since you have seen them so many times before. Ha, ha .

Old becomes new - suit jacket

My first impressions of this piece are not favorable. I feel that the jacket is too boxy. I am going to style this piece again next month in this Old Becomes New column and we'll see if it gets to remain in my closet, or gets the boot. 

What do you think so far? is this a piece you would wear? How would you style a jacket like this? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you. 

Here are a few Braetan brand coats from Kohl's that would be perfect for spring. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.