I’ve fallen head over heels for the caftan (often spelled kaftan). I’m not strictly speaking of the classic, Mesopotamian garment, but of a wide range of long, flowy summer dresses. Caftans bring to mind images of exotic summer nights in the 60s. Sophisticated parties with glamorous ladies gliding across rooms with cocktails in hand. Women lounging poolside, chatting and laughing as Bossa Nova jazz wafts through the air and moonlight glistens on the water. Think Liz Taylor, Palm Springs, 1964. Swoon!
I have to thank my wife for introducing them to me. She has a lovely collection that comes out of hiding in the early weeks of summer. Caftans have been experiencing a resurgence in recent years. Christina Hendricks of Mad Men is known for throwing “Caftan and Casserole” parties and even convinced Jimmy Fallon to wear one on the Tonight Show.
A couple of years ago, I was actually invited to a co-ed caftan themed birthday party. A big surprise since these parties typically tend to be female-only. This particular friend has an immense collection of lovely dresses and her invitation stated explicitly that she expected to see EVERYONE in a caftan. If you came without, she would have one for you. Needless to say, I was thrilled! I would get to wear a dress to a party with my wife and it was a direct request from the birthday girl herself. Upon arrival, I was disappointed, but not surprised to see that most men showed up without one and failed to put one on. Still, I enjoyed myself and didn’t feel overly self-conscious. It was a lovely evening.
This brings me to my first caftan purchase. I found this gem of a dress at Zara. The fabric is a substantial blend of cotton and linen with a dense, black embroidered flower pattern. It’s open and airy and walking in it is a delight. I also love sitting and letting it cascade across my entire body. I wore it for the first time in public on a weekend vacation, en femme. I received more compliments from women while wearing this dress than with anything else I’ve worn in public.
The wonderful thing about caftans is that they can look elegant and stylish on anyone, no matter your shape or size. It’s no surprise that mature women are throwing caftan parties rather than bikini parties or stiletto heel parties or body-con dress parties. Instead of celebrating together wearing clothes designed to excite men, they opt for beautiful, glamorous, free-flowing dresses that please themselves and their female friends. They wear them because they are comfortable, chic and fun. I find that idea liberating and powerful and it makes the garment even more appealing to me.
So my fashionable girlfriends, whatever the occasion, whether it’s lounging at the beach, poolside cocktails or an elegant dinner party, I urge you to find and enjoy a caftan of your very own.
Thank you for taking time to read about my love for caftans and feel free to send in a response to my article or to one or more questions I’ve posed to you below:
- Do you have a specific feminine article of clothing you love wearing better than any other feminine articles of clothing you have in your closets or drawers?
- Do you own one or more caftans in your selection of feminine clothing and how do you feel while wearing that particular article of clothing?
- One thing caftans can provide is cover for any issues you have about your body image. What are some other articles of femme clothing which may provide cover for body images you might want to cover up?
Thank you for your time and for your responses as well!