Kimono-inspired jackets for women - une femme d'un certain âge

I’ll have what she’s having…going bold in a kimono-inspired jacket

Over the weekend, D. and I went out for an actual sit-down dinner for the first time in a few weeks. Among a sea of women in oversized blazers, light wash jeans, and strappy sandals I spotted one young woman in a gorgeous red kimono-inspired print jacket with gold piping.

Dressed up casual outfit with a red kimono-inspired jacket.

earrings | jacket | top | bracelet | pants (similar) | sandals | bag

From the look of it, it was probably vintage or a one-off piece. (Above, a similar kimono jacket styled for a “dressed-up-casual” look.) It reminded me of what an instant “outfit maker” a kimono-inspired jacket or haori can be, and that I still have two in my closet just waiting for the next party or evening out.

(Click on text in red for links to products shown.)

Kimono-inspired jackets to elevate a casual outfit

Lightweight kimonos and haoris can be a great jacket alternative for warm seasons. They tend to go on and off trend, but are never really out of style. You don’t have to be full-on Bohemian to wear a kimono-inspired look, but shorter, less voluminous styles might be easier for most of us to wear.

AllSaints kimono jacket rust

Here’s a bold floral print that could work for you Vibrant Autumns.

(While few of the prints shown here fall solidly into one palette, I’ve made seasonal recommendations based on the overall look of the garment.)

Anthropologie kimono duster jacket black and white with floral motif.

This duster style with a black and white print border could work for you Winters.

Chico's geometric print kimono-inspired jacket.

If floral prints aren’t your thing, here’s a longer jacket with a geometric print. Could work for Springs and Autumns.

AllSaints kimono jacket light blue

Summers, here are your colors

AllSaints kimono-inspired jacket olive

I’m calling this one for Autumn, though I have to admit I’m tempted myself…

Misook simple kimono jacket in navy.

If a quieter print appeals to you, here’s one you might like. I think would be best for Summers.

See also: summer outfit with a reversible kimono

More haori and kimono-inspired jackets…

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  1. SuD
    June 27, 2022 / 4:26 am

    I love kimonos but haven’t found one to suit my aesthetic as yet. This is a nice assortment of styles. I like the less voluminous with stylized floral (I don’t like most natural looking florals) or abstract geometric prints.

  2. Eva Popovich
    June 27, 2022 / 4:30 am

    I love these jackets. Living in Florida can be frustrating in summer, because there is NO layer cool enough, but fall will be here… eventually! Meanwhile, I’m loving this eye candy!

  3. Mcklem
    June 27, 2022 / 5:16 am

    Beautiful and unexpected.

  4. No Fear of Fashion
    June 27, 2022 / 5:16 am

    Oh godh, it is a good thing I am not living in the USA ot I would have ordered a lot of the ones you suggested. And that would have been ridiculous as I have a beautiful antique haori and many haori inspired tops (like an orange one). Thanks for reminding me, I will get them out to wear.

  5. Bette
    June 27, 2022 / 6:14 am

    Love! I’ve worn Citron Santa Monica silk kimonos for at least 25 years. Inevitably, someone will ask me where I got it and how they can find something similar — I’m happy to say, I now buy them on ebay for a song.

    • Kat
      June 27, 2022 / 8:00 am

      Thanks for the tip!

  6. Bette
    June 27, 2022 / 6:16 am

    PS. I can’t edit my comment! I wanted to add, when I say Citron Santa Monica kimonos, I mean short or long blouses, wraps, tunics. jackets — all silk, each different, all beautiful and unique.

  7. Patricia Szeszulski
    June 27, 2022 / 6:40 am

    I love Johnny Was, but many of the kimonos are too voluminous for my petite size. I was instantly captivated by the gorgeous red kimono you featured this morning and used a great portion of my clothing budget to preorder it. Thank you!

  8. Ainsivalavie
    June 27, 2022 / 7:27 am

    I own several such tops. As a Bohemian/Musketeer they suit my esthetic. I am very vertically challenged at 5’1” so paring down the ‘volume’ is key! I find a tank top (not too swingy or full) and narrower bottoms work best for me. Very wide legs just make me look like a colourful mushroom! Also longer over slim looks best. Kimonos can look very ‘costume’ so its important that everything else is not fighting for the limelight. Beware too much bling or chandelier earrings (if petite) KImono/Haiori do not suit everyone as wearing one WILL make you stand out and that might not be what you want. Never have worn one to any event without having people comment positively or ask where I bought it…EBay or Zulily or Thrift. They are the kind of thing given as a gift and rarely or never worn so are abundant on Poshmark or Thrift stores

  9. Frances Schleien
    June 27, 2022 / 8:18 am

    I think your description of the uniform worn by co-diners is hilarious and right on! There were probably a few pairs of white sneakers hidden under the tables that you missed. I have become totally bored with my “preppy” style and I’m looking for ways to add a bit of humour to my wardrobe. I recently added a cowboy shirt, purchased in Pointe Reyes, to the mix…..haven’t worn it yet. Thanks for your post.

  10. jess jannenga
    June 27, 2022 / 8:33 am

    Ohh. Love everything here! Goes with my coloring and I love the bag – such fabulous design. Those earrings are calling my name too!
    I have a few kimonos and one with similar coloring.
    Have a great week!
    jess xx

  11. Gae Nunes
    June 27, 2022 / 8:46 am

    Depending on the shape and print on a kimono, you can wear one casually. You don’t need to wait for a “special” occasion. Why not look fabulous instead of “corporate”? Be brave, get out of the uniform.

    • Susan Blakey
      June 27, 2022 / 9:21 am

      I totally agree!! 😉

  12. Deborah
    June 27, 2022 / 9:20 am

    I LOVE the 3rd outfit-completer piece of a kimono!! I have 3 and have been looking for a SHORT autumn-hued one (browns, tans but not leopard!) for quite awhile. These fit my aesthetic perfectly with a column of color underneath or a tank top and jeans–great for S. CA weather.

  13. Cath
    June 27, 2022 / 10:25 am

    What a beautiful tomato red kimono jacket! Just my style. I agree with a reader about a kimono or duster in a stellar print being an eye catcher. So important to get the balance right with accessories.
    Seeing your earlier edition re: reversible kimono, got me back onto wearing and enjoying my original one and adding more. I feel so put together and stylish…and confident. Recently, a short coral & blue mix and a more dramatic longer black one with coral and tomato red florals with beading , both from Chico’s, arrived in the post. Not in time to be added to my luggage for a trip , but have tried out combinations of pants and tops and accessories, and am ready to wear, the shorter one when entertaining, and the longer one out to dinner… summer’s here after all!
    Being a soft Autumn, an earlier purchase of a reversible black and white kimono was almost going to the consignment shop, but I played around with it, choosing an appropriate creamy white top, and it will be perfect for the black & white evening onboard PONANT, our next small ship cruise in March. Golden jewelry though, just not silver, as per Red Leopard consultation. Will be good as well towards cooler months. Sometimes, veering slightly off colour point is okay, if you really love something.

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