My Vintage Style-A Colorful 1970s Caftan

It’s really easy to fall into a rut of just sitting in PJ’s all day long or throwing on a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt because we’ve all been staying home a lot more lately. But there is another option. How about a comfy caftan?  In 1966 Vogue editor, Diane Vreeland, introduced caftans to her readers, claiming they were “fashionable for the beautiful people.” Hence, the 20th century caftan craze was born.

At that time there was a fascination with exotic locals and the dress of ethnic cultures. The caftan (or kaftan) was embraced by socialites and Hollywood celebrities. Kaftans showed up everywhere, from the beaches of St. Tropez to the poolsides of Beverly Hills.  Elizabeth Taylor was a big fan of them and even wore one for her marriage to Richard Burton.

Like all fashion trends, it trickled down to the masses. Women of the 60s and 70s adopted them for “at home” wear or hostess dresses for entertaining. The younger “hippie” generation loved their bohemian vibe.

Liz Taylor caftans

vintage cafrans

70s boho maxi dress

From Vogue Arabia.

Kaftan is a Persian word, while the garment style is believed to have originated in Ancient Mesopotamia. The Ottoman sultans from the 14th to the 18th centuries wore lavishly decorated kaftans; they were also given as rewards to important dignitaries and generals. It can be made from almost any fabric; most are made of silk, wool, or cotton and are often bound with a sash. Kaftans are worn by both men and women in variations across the Iranian plateau, through North Africa, and into West Africa. Primarily worn in hot climates, the kaftan’s loose silhouette helps proper ventilation, therefore lowering the body temperature (though Russians have a similar garment also called a kaftan made of fur).

Lounge Craft original maxi dress

I spotted this cotton print caftan on Ebay and knew I had to have it. The colorful vertical floral stripe pattern jumped out at me. The maker is Lounge Craft, a company that specialized in “at home” wear back in the day.

Growing bored with leggings and tunic tops for hanging around the house, this looked like a great alternative.  After adding accessories to the outfit for this post, I have to admit,  I started feeling a bit Edina Monsoon-ish, a wacky character from one of my all time favorite shows “Absolutely Fabulous”.  Not necessarily a bad thing, unless it makes you pick up her habit of drinking all day!

70s Maxi dress by Lounge Craft

Couple of years ago I snagged these fab new/old stock 1970s embroidered wedge heel slippers and I still hadn’t worn them. They were waiting for the right outfit and this dress fit the bill

70s embroidered wedge slippers

It is so comfortable, it’s like wearing a nightgown, but  would be just as appropriate for street wear. I think it would be a chic choice for a summer poolside barbeque or  to throw over a swimsuit for a trip to the beach.

1970s Lounge Craft boho maxi dress

The caftan trend died off in the early 80s. But it has been resurrected the last several years. In my opinion, it’s one of those timeless looks that really never goes out of style.  You can style it many different ways and it has an easy, forgiving fit. From the most casual event to a black tie affair, there is a kaftan for every occasion!

How about you, are you a caftan fan?


Till next time…..






Link ups-

Jess/Elegantly Dressed and Stylish for Turning Heads Tuesday

Shelbee on the Edge/Your Own Twist Linkup

By | 2020-06-18T08:43:36-04:00 June 15th, 2020|Fashion, My Vintage Style|8 Comments

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  1. Theresa
    Theresa June 19, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Thanks, Shelbee. Looking forward to seeing your caftan post!

  2. Theresa
    Theresa June 19, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Such a nice memory! Thank you for visiting.

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    Shelbee on the Edge June 19, 2020 at 9:39 am

    I love caftans! You look so beautiful in this one. What a great print and I love the head scarf with it. I just spotted a caftan that I bought a few years ago buried in my closet and was thinking I need to wear it soon. Now I am really inspired to do so! Thanks for much for linking up with us, my friend.


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    mireille June 18, 2020 at 11:15 am

    That is such a beautiful find! I love seeing the patterns for them: my mom used to sew my clothes so anytime I see patterns or people sewing it reminds me of growing up.

  5. Theresa
    Theresa June 16, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Hee hee. Totally remember Mrs. Roper! I’ve seen some great vintage patterns for kaftans and I’m thinking of getting some and sewing a couple. I’d like to find some authentic vintage fabric to make them in, too. Add that to the never ending to do list 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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    Kimberly F Malkiewicz June 16, 2020 at 10:06 am

    This is such a chic piece, I can see why you had to have it. Kaftans recently came back on my radar, as some sewers were doing a summer series on it. Needless to say, I have a pattern that I will be sewing up soon. I remember the Liz Taylor days, as well as, Mrs. Roper (ha!).

  7. Theresa
    Theresa June 15, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Never had one either till I spotted this one. And I’m glad I have one now because it is fun and soooo comfy. Highly recommend. Would love to see how you accessorize yours if you find one.

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    Ann June 15, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Much to my shame, I do not own a kaftan, but seeing your exotic beauty, I think it’s time I looked around for one. I think they are perfect for any occasion. As good old Liz proved by wearing one for her wedding! And surely, lounging around in style wearing a colourful kaftan is so much better for one’s mood than wearing pj’s or sweatpants and a t-shirt! The vintage photos and ads you included are a delight as always. xxx

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