Kimono and Opera Dresssing

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Style Story: Kimono Dressing

Kimonos, Zara, seem to be staying strong through the Holiday season but for me, they’re a year-round multi-functional item. I’ve been seeing them worn, wrapped more traditionally, like in the first photo but if you throw a slip dress, All Saints, under you’ll get the benefit of 2 looks and have arm coverage for a bonus. Either way, Kimonos bring the drama, the mystery, and need very few supporting items. Simplicity is key with regard to accessories, vintage, so I’m taking the lead from the gunmetal and silver beading on my garment.

It just so happens that my large vintage rhinestone drop earrings mimic the shape of my beaded handbag – they can be my statement pieces. My necklace from the 1950’s is just enough with a small placement of stones in the center. The ankle bracelet, Melinda Maria Jewelry, pops when I open up the Kimono to expose the slip dress. It adds some sparkle against the black dress and sandal, Sam Edelman. I’ve gathered and tied the Kimono at the back into a pleated bustle, rather than have it hang like a robe. The gathers offer a stylized shape for a more thought out and finished look.

*style-tip: having an awareness of the functionality of your garments will not only extend your wardrobe, but it’ll also make you a better consumer.

Style  Story: Opera Coat Dressing

A proper Opera coat is a voluminous 3/4 coat made from luxurious fabrics like silk brocade. They usually have a large, Peter Pan, collar that close with one large button and have dropped shoulders with full 3/4 sleeves. It was the perfect coat for those crinoline lined dresses from the 50s and they are still a great, go-to, when you want to elevate your look. Tonight, I’m wearing my gold vintage Opera coat, vintage, over a pair of shiny black leggings, Bloomingdales, a turtleneck, All Saints, with a pair of strappy sandals, Sam Edelman, and handbag, Barneys NY. I’ve attached a large brooch, vintage, over the button closure so there is no need for a necklace.

My chunky drop earrings, vintage, and bracelet, J Crew, that are all consistent with each other in weight and style. I’ve paired my rhinestone ankle bracelet, Melinda Maria Jewelry, worn with my gold mariners chain ankle bracelet, Gucci, for a more modern, feel. Although separately my pieces are rather simple, with the coat they’re impactful! Opera coats are all drama in the way they move, the way they expose everything underneath as well as their voluminous shape. Thankfully, they’ve made a comeback in a range of contemporary styles and fabrications but if you’re a purist, like me… go vintage.

*style-tip: when styling with a very distinct vintage piece, it’s easy to take a wrong turn and land in the costume department so show restraint and bring in enough contemporary items for a modern updated look

*please treat your wardrobe well, many people worked very hard to get it to you.


  • Felicia Arlin

    Felicia Arlin’s work as a stylist and costume designer has been featured in print, tv, film and on the red carpet. As a 20+ year veteran designer/merchandiser in the LA/NY garment industry her work has graced the racks of every major department store and specialty chain in the country. She is passionate about helping women look and feel confident no matter their age, shape or socioeconomic status. Her hope is to empower other women by sharing some of the things she’s learned along the way to better cultivate and express their own individual and ageless style.

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