Have you noticed the current oriental trend? Kimono sleeves, ornamental dragons, mandarin collars, Asia florals and wrap fronts are everywhere right now.
I personally love it – the rich, exotic patterns and jewel colours are a stand-out winner.
I wore a full-length Cheongsam dress to a prom at Uni in the mid-90s. I have no recollection what happened to it… such is my hazy memory of those hedonistic days. I thought the body-hugging, intricately-patterned silky fabric, mandarin collar and long side split was the epitome of cool – as favoured by Zoë Ball, Ginger Spice and Kate Moss at the time – but I am sure I looked anything but cool by the end of the night!!
Although I no longer have the dress, I do have this gold-coloured, vintage Cheongsam jacket which I love wearing with a simple white Tee and jeans, or in this case dungarees.
We first saw reference to the trend on bomber jackets, with their the oriental flower and dragon detailing. But it has now fully moved on to kimonos, capes, trousers, dresses & jumpsuits.
So where and what to buy? Zara and Mango are right now leading the way with this trend – as you’ll see below – closely followed by New Look and River Island.
Of all the oriental looks around, a kimono robe is currently the most popular and easy-to-wear. You may think it should be reserved for fancy nightwear, but it is in fact a versatile item.
Keep the look simple and use a kimono to add glamour to a jeans & Tee outfit. Or for a more sophisticated look, wear one over a black cami & trousers with heels. You could even use a kimono as a fantastic beach cover up. So it’s definitely a worthy investment… once the trend is dead, you can keep wearing it at home over your PJs!
Shorter versions, more like capes, are also worth considering and may be easier to wear if you are not fully sold on the kimono look…
And if you like my Cheongsam jacket, then Mango have several stunning versions… It’s also worth scouring the vintage shops or checking Ebay and Etsy.
If you fancy introducing some oriental patterns into your wardrobe, but don’t want to go for a kimono or jacket, then you could opt for any number or alternatives… you are truly spoilt for choice right now!
Even the current trend for flat-form sandals have an air of the traditional Japanese geisha…
Clockwise from top left: Office £32; H&M £19.99; Dolcis £20; Teva £31.50; La Redoute £39
Have I tempted you to add an oriental piece to your wardrobe? Or have you already?
The trend is set to stay… so consider purchasing darker and heavier fabrics that can be taken into the cooler months.
I always love to know what you think, so please do leave me a comment!