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.

En Femme Style

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!

Sincerely, Marie

En Femme Style

 

 

 

 

 

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JillianW
JillianW
1 year ago

Hi Marie,

While I do not have a caftan, they look wonderful! I love the feel of a flowy dress swirling around my legs as I walk so I think a caftan would be right up my alley.

Thank you for introducing me to a different style of clothing to try.

Jillian

Michelle McQueen
Active Member
1 year ago

I don’t have a Kaftan either but they look so very comfortable I may have to get one.

Deborah Sullivan
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Thank you Marie. I am now a fan and have it on my to do list

Marlene Roberts
Member
1 year ago

Hi! I love Caftans and have worn them for years. Even persuaded male visitors to wear them in the summer. Marlene.

Lacy Satin
1 year ago

May I start out by saying your picture is gorgeous. I do not own a caftan nor have I ever heard of it. I would love to have one and will look for them on line. I do love wearing flowing full skirted dresses but sadly I have nowhere to go out and were them. Most of the time I just lounge around the pool wearing a nightgown. I love the freedom I feel when out in a warm summer breeze with the wind gently blowing thru the thin delicate fabric. Being outdoors wearing only lingerie holds back my desires… Read more »

Stephanie Kennedy
Active Member
1 year ago

Hi Marie Thank you for introducing be to the caftan.Yours looks lovely on you Seems so light and airy. I love it So many questions Where did caftan originate.What sizes does it come in? Is it see through? Is embroidery hand stitched?Does it have a feminine shape to it or is made for men and woman I will look it up and add to my wish list
Thank you Stephanie

Samantha Peders
Active Member
1 year ago

I have many caftans but I have never quite seen them as Day dresses. Mostly I wear them as an alternative to a nightgown. I do this especially if we are sharing a hotel or visiting people or having people over to the house who are not totally aware of my crossdressing. I have had more than one male friend who wore caftans even though they did not cross dress. I rented a cabin from a friend in New Mexico, and he had not put drapes or curtains up in the room I was sleeping in. There were curtain rods… Read more »

Samantha Peders
Active Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Marie Chandler

The ones I have came from the women’s section. They are mostly some kind of jacquard or satin

Ruby O’Shea
1 year ago

Wonderful piece of writing, Marie!

Ruby O’Shea
1 year ago
Reply to  Ruby O’Shea

Thank you Marie

Megan Edwards
Member
1 year ago

I have a few of these and absolutely love them. I have both plain and one’s with beading on them.

Jayne
1 year ago

“comfortable, chic and fun” – that’s the ticket! I don’t have a caftan, but I do have a pair of long, “wide-leg” pants (culottes, basically) that look like a skirt if I’m standing or sitting with my knees together. They’re very airy and flowy, so totally comfortable; the fabric is viscose, rather than anything coarse, which gives them a sort of chic vibe; and they have a belt with Japanese ideograms, which is definitely very fun! Plus the wife says she likes them! Just want to say that I really love the caftan you’re wearing in the picture, though. It’s… Read more »

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