Wherever your summer destination, the caftan will be the most uncomplicated of choices. Find one that works for you.
The dog days of summer are near. Longer stretches of scorching-hot rays and humidity that make dressing, quite frankly, unbearable are on the way, so you better get your closet ready. As there is only a handful of garments that work in these conditions, the caftan (or “kaftan”) is the unbeatable number one option.
Dating back centuries to the Ottoman sultans and Moroccan dignitaries who donned these decorative garbs made of luxurious silks and ornate beading, the caftan was introduced to Western society and adapted in the 1950s and ’60s by leading couturiers such as Cristóbal Balenciaga and Christian Dior as a new form of evening gown. Later, it evolved into more casual drapery, most notably an ensemble to wear to the beach.
The billowy, loose silhouette is what makes the caftan so alluring, allowing for ventilation and coverage, while making its wearer look effortlessly stylish. Caftan design options are endless—from lengths long to short, fabrics silk to cotton voile, and patterns bright to muted—and aesthetics range wide. Take a look at how each fashionable woman below styles her caftan in the heat and shop one—or a few—of your own.