Hello friend! With some cooler weather upon us, I have been playing with layers. One of the newest layering pieces I found is a winter kimono or ruana. What makes them “winter” is that they are made out of thicker fabrics than their summery counterparts. I have been wearing my winter ruana, the Anthropologie Mixed Stripes Kimono, non-stop. Let me show you how I am styling it.
Ruana vs. Kimono vs. Poncho vs. Cape
First and foremost, let’s get some definitions out of the way. Because if you are a stickler for definitions like I am, you are confused and frustrated with these words being used interchangeably. That’s because they are not in fact interchangeable. Each one of those items is a different type of clothing. So let’s get the definitions down before we go any further.
Poncho: I’ll start with a poncho as I think it is the one we are most familiar with. A poncho is an outerwear garment that is essentially a large piece of fabric (either square or rectangular) with a hole in it. To wear it, one simply slips it over the head. It has no sleeves or other openings.
Cape: A cape is similar to a poncho but it has an opening down the front which is usually sealed with a button closure. A cape also has slits for the arms to come through but no formed sleeves.
Kimono: A kimono is a long, open front cardigan with true sleeves. The sleeves are usually lose, as is the overall fit.
Ruana: A ruana is a cross between a poncho and a kimono. It has an opening down the front like a kimono. However, it does not have full sleeves like a kimono does. It may just have a stich or button to give the appearance of sleeves.Share this tweet if you think others want to learn the differences between these itemsClick To Tweet
Mixed Stripes Kimono or Ruana?
If you’ve understood the definitions of a kimono and ruana, you will note that the mixed stripes kimono is actually a ruana! Gasp! It’s been named wrong! I will refrain from calling the fashion police on this grave error because whatever the name of this item, I simply adore it. I love the thick and nubby texture. It is so cozy and comforting on chilly days. But I especially love the bold stripes. It makes for a striking outfit every time!
Mixed Stripes Kimono for Play
The first time I wore the ruana was for my weekend getaway trip to San Francisco. With the weather there being cooler than in Los Angeles, I wanted a chic outer layer. The mixed stripes kimono was just the right item. I paired it with a black sweater and jeans. The result was exactly what I was looking for: chic, comfortable, and warm.
To add another layer of warmth I wore my favorite quilted over the knee boots (get this year’s version on sale here) and of course cozy socks underneath.
I then finished the look with my favorite necklace of the moment, the Brielle Statement Necklace. To top it all off I threw on a pair of sunnies. I thought the High Key in black fade added just the right amount of cool to the outfit.
Mixed Stripes Kimono for Day
To change up the look for day, I decided to wear the mixed stripes kimono with a skirt. I chose a pencil skirt because I feel they look best with longer cardigans. You can read more about what I pair with long cardigans in my duster cardigans post and cardigan sweater outfits post. For this particular look, I decided to be a little risque and pair the ruana with a leather pencil skirt.
To keep it appropriate for day, I chose a light turtleneck for my top. However because I was ready to have some fun with patterns, I chose a striped turtleneck. I was excited to see how the two stripes paired together. I love a double stripe look, (remember this post?) Therefore I was looking forward to the result. Luckily, it did not disappoint. The stripes worked perfectly together. Check out my pattern mixing 101 post to learn more about that!
For accessories I opted for a sharp looking high heeled bootie. With the length of the skirt and the ruana, I wanted to create some height for myself. As for the necklace, I chose the Brielle pendant. Because I wore these outfits on different days, I hadn’t noticed I had worn different versions of the same necklace. What can I say, I like filigree!
In conclusion, whether we are calling it a kimono or a ruana, the mixed stripes kimono is going to be a major player in my wardrobe this season. I love how versatile it is. How would you wear it?