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.
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).
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!
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
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.
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…..
Jess/Elegantly Dressed and Stylish for Turning Heads Tuesday
Shelbee on the Edge/Your Own Twist Linkup