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Before & After: the Vintage Kimono

DIY Sep 12, 2014

My recent trip to Kyoto yielded many great and gorgeous finds – the perfect mochi balls, washi paper by the kilo and naturally a few (dozen) kimonos. However, as some of you may have experienced in the past, sometimes items of clothing you pick up on your holidays seem perfect at the time but once home aren’t translatable into your everyday wardrobe. That lace butterfly top that looked the shiz on you in Bali suddenly seems out of place when you get home to Adelaide (or Connecticut, or Luton). That’s not to say I didn’t love my kimonos when I got home, but they started to seem more like artwork than something I would actually wear. In the spirit of wearability once I got home I altered this kimono that I bought for $10 at the Kyoto Flea Market (more on that soon!) slightly so that it could integrate into my wardrobe and be worn with other things that I own. And yes, some of you might feel it’s sacrilege (my mum thought so) to cut up a vintage kimono like this, however I can’t help but feel that it would much prefer to be out and about at New York Fashion Week (stomping the streets of Soho!) with me than languishing at the bottom of my cupboard. Thoughts?

Wearing: Kimono from Kyoto, One teaspoon denim shorts (like these, these and these), Club Monaco Silk cami (like this and this), Dylan Kain Bag, Oroton mid heel pumps, Daniel Wellington watch.

Making the changes to this vintage kimono was super easy and took under ten minutes. I did two things, I changed them hemline so it went from floor dragging to thigh skimming – which made it perfect for integrating with more modern pieces like denim shorts and pumps. I also altered the arms of the kimono, taking out the excess fabric which is part of a normal kimono design as this tended to bulk and bunch up when I was wearing it. The update made for a much more streamlined silhouette making it wayyy more wearable. I’m also super excited because there’s a huge piece of fabric left over from this that will make the perfect….. something. Stay tuned!

Love the kimono look? Make your own here!

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