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Arizona Style Kimono and White Jeans

April 11, 2018

I’m still enjoying the brilliant azaleas of a Georgia spring, but I thought it might be time to share an outfit more fitting to my current home state. So today I’m giving you a glimpse of Arizona style! Not that other people don’t wear kimonos and white jeans year round. Maybe they do. But when I moved to this desert state 13 years ago I immediately noticed that women dress differently in the far southwest. More white, brighter colors, more sandals…year round. Today I’m wearing a bright red kimono with turquoise accents and white jeans.

Today’s photos were taken by my dear friend and professional photographer Hannah Whaley.

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I picked up this long flowing kimono almost a year ago in an artsy little town that sits just between my home and the Mexico Border. Bisbee once was a thriving copper mining town but now is home to mostly artists of various types and folks who simply long for a simpler life off the beaten trail. (Click on that link if for no other reason than to enjoy the colorful – and somewhat dizzying – video about this unique hidden gem.)

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I bought my kimono there in one of the little boutiques on the main drag. It cost maybe $60 at most. But it is as unique as the village where I bought it so I couldn’t find another to link to. Instead, I’ve provided other options like this kimono from Sole Society and this one from Free People and this one from Anthropologie that look just as stunning to me.

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I actually own several kimonos and wear them frequently. Yes, they’re not necessarily my choice for every occasion. For instance, I wouldn’t speak from the platform with this one. It’s just a little too much. Distracting. But I have other shorter ones that stay a little closer to the body that I’ve worn with ease when speaking and teaching. But I love wearing this one out to dinner or brunch.

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A kimono elevates a simple t-shirt and white jeans to a new level. It makes a statement…and an entrance! You have to wear it. As opposed to letting it wear you. Know what I mean? Put the thing on and go forth! LOL! I’m cracking myself up a little. You, too? But as funny as it sounds, it’s true. It’s a mighty powerful piece of clothing…even the more demure, simpler ones. They require a little attitude. Some confidence.

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I bought three different tops in various shades of turquoise before I landed on this one, which was marked down at Dillard’s at the end of the summer. But I love the way this Bobeau soft woven t-shirt brings out the blue turquoise tint in the markings on the kimono. I’ve found that the trick to picking a top to wear with a kimono is choosing one that either hugs your body slightly or one that skims it and has a nice drape. For instance, with this wrap I wouldn’t wear a button-up blouse or anything with additional ruffles or print. Nothing fussy. Keep it simple and let the kimono steal the show.

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I really felt like I scored when I found this oversize statement necklace of red chip beads last summer. That necklace is long gone from the store website, but I provided links to several that provide a similar southwestern appeal in the shopping widget below. Mainly I wanted a necklace that was big enough and colorful enough to hold its own against the kimono. A simple, dainty necklace just really wouldn’t do.

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I’ll be the first to admit that my white straight jeans are a little big. I just haven’t gotten around to replacing them since I’ve lost a little weight. But, while I could wear blue jeans with this ensemble and have, I really think the colors pop best against the white denim. I’ve included links to a few white jeans that I can recommend in the shopping widget below.

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Big kimono, big shoes. It’s all about balance. Because this kimono is long and full I think it demands a shoe with some presence to it. That could mean block heels like I’m wearing in this peek toe “fashion boot” from Target’s Universal Threads or it could mean a wide strapped flat Greek sandal. But I just think you want to wear shoes that can stand up under such a powerful piece of clothing. (Ha! Did you catch that? “Stand up?”)

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Do you have a kimono in your closet? Or a few? Do you enjoy wearing them? Or what are the reasons you haven’t so far? For me, wearing a kimono is a little like wearing a scarf. It takes some getting use to. At first, you feel like all people see is this big kimono you’re wearing. It feels a little overwhelming and foreign. But with a little wear, you develop some comfort and confidence, making it easier and more fun every time you slip it on. I’d love to hear about your take on kimonos.

I’ve supplied you with lots of links to kimonos currently in the stores. Let me know if you see something you like.

I’m linking up with Cheryl at Northwest Mountain Living & Style. Check out so many other great fashions there.

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Blessed for My Day

I love to wear a piece of colorful and powerful clothing every so often. I see no harm there. But I am reminded as I wrap up this post that I must be careful to walk humbly with my God. He delights in a gentle spirit, a humble heart. But the Bible tells me God is opposed to the proud. For me, humility and gentleness have to be cultivated. I’ve found that the best way for me to nurture humility instead of pride is to allow God to examine me daily for any attitudes or ways that are not pleasing to Him and then to confess those and repent. Also, cultivating gratitude for God’s many grace gifts helps me to remember that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. How do you cultivate humility?

Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. ~ Micah 6:8

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14 thoughts on “Arizona Style Kimono and White Jeans

  1. I do love these pieces as the perfect summer cover up…because let’s face it. I need a layer when we go to the restaurants or stores in the summer because the AC is so cold!!
    This is such a stunning outfit Kay!!

    1. You’re right Jodie. Kimonos are a really nice cover-up in chilly rooms. In fact, the first time I bought one was when I was attending a women’s speakers’ conference and I had noticed on a pre-conference Facebook group I’d joined that several women were saying they were going to wear kimonos. That got me curious, and I bought one. I really enjoyed wearing it to that conference. I felt pretty…and warm in the cold conference rooms!

      Thanks for dropping in!

    1. Hi Renee. Yes, I really had to just be a little gutsy the first time I wore a kimono. It felt strange and showy. But now it feels comfortable and natural. I hope you find one you like. I’ve seen them just everywhere. Even Walmart and Target.


  2. Thank you for all your helpful tips! Reading about the type of tee to wear, the type of necklace, type of shoes really helps me get a feel for how to showcase certain items. Pride is a major sin in my life. The Lord will take me down publicly if I don’t work things out with him privately.

    1. Ah, yes, Patty! He’ll do that to all of us! And I’ve been taken down a notch or two before! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. For me, fashion is live and learn, but I really do enjoy it when I can get some personal and tried-and-true advice, too.

      Thanks for dropping in…and commenting!

  3. I am from GA. Madison is a beautiful town. Enjoy your time with your friend! I don’t have a kimono. I’m 5’1″ . Just felt they would overwhelm me. May have to try one. You never know?

    1. I do think the one I’m wearing definitely looks best on someone tall. I’m 5’8″ and wearing heels, too. But there are shorter, jacket length kimonos that might work nicely.

      We had a GREAT time in Madison. I had never been. What a lovely town! I didn’t get to stay long because I knew I’d have to fight Atlanta traffic on my way back to my parents’. They live in Powder Springs. That’s where I grew up, too.

      Thanks for dropping in a sharing a few words!

  4. So glad you are feeling better! I’m new to your blog and I love it. I’m 67 years young and need help styling my outfits. I LOVE the kimono and hope to find one that I can wear to my 50th class reunion in October. It will be stylish and hide my imperfections at the same time. Can’t wait for more of your blogs! God bless you!

    1. Hi Pam! Yes, an elegant kimono would be perfect for your reunion! And I should have mentioned that it does indeed hide our imperfections. It’s actually very slimming. I hope you find just the right one! I’d love to see a pic if you do. 🙂


  5. Hi,
    I love kimonos, and I love your sense of humor too! They are great for adding style in warm weather especially. I have a blog post, “Here Are 45 Sure-Fire Ways to Rock a Kimono,” that you might like. I’ll be looking for more of your great style in Style Wise on Pinterest!
    Thanks for the inspo,

  6. Fabulous look! Gorgeous color combo. I own several kimonos but I don’t wear them too frequently. It’s a piece I love on others but not on me. I think it’s the confidence issue you discussed. I always feel like I’m wearing my bathrobe outside the house. I also feel they make me look bigger than I am. But, they are a nice overlay in the hotter months.