If you are wondering what could be that one item in the wardrobe that would work for all body shapes, occasions and weather conditions – then look no further, and invest in a beautiful kaftan to sail through this season in style. A variant of the robe or tunic, kaftans are not just fancy beach cover-ups for your swimwear but also a symbol of royal style in many cultures. Usually weaved in wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton – kaftans can actually be worn by both genders as a loose-fitting garment or layered as a jacket over a delicate inner outfit.
A kaftan or caftan (/ˈkæftæn/; Persian: خفتان khaftān) is a variant of the robe or tunic, and has been worn in a number of cultures around the world for thousands of years and is of Asiatic origin. In Russian usage, kaftan instead refers to a style of men’s long suit with tight sleeves. Used by many Middle Eastern ethnic groups, the kaftan is ancient Mesopotamian (modern day Iraq) in origin. It may be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton, and may be worn with a sash.
“When they go to a party, they put three or four ankle length golden kaftans on top of one another, which, with their other adjustments and gilding, may weigh more than fifty to sixty pounds. These kaftans in velvet, satin or other silks are embroidered in gold or silver thread on the shoulders and on the front, and they have up to the waistband big buttons in gold or silver thread on both sides; they are closed in front by two buttons only.”
While kaftans have become a new craze this season, one can slay the day in this easy breezy silhouette by styling it perfectly. Keeping in mind the flowy fabric and versatility of the outfit, you can just wear it to any occasion, be it a beach party or a casual day of meeting with friends, mention designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi. The designers add, “The whole concept of wearing a kaftan is to be at comfort, yet matching the aesthetics of the event that you are going to attend. For a casual outing, you can look trendy by wearing a mid-length kaftan dress with sneakers and a sling bag. While for an evening cocktail party look, we would suggest tying up your hair in a messy bun and flaunting it with beautiful long earrings along with a pair of heels that add bling to your outfit.”
For forward thinking fashion brands, Kaftans have been included as part of summer season lines for noted labels such as Roberto Cavalli, House Of Inoa Fashion and TheSwankStore which in turn has seen the kaftan dress gain popularity as a womenswear staple for those visiting tropical holiday destinations. Often made from silk & finished with crystals & beading embellishments on the neckline & back of the garments, the many and varied kaftan styles are often referred to as modern, luxury resortwear, with the term ‘kaftans’ making up a generic name, encompassing the style genre. Normally made with bright, colourful & unique print designs referencing traditional middle eastern & Indian cultures fused with on trend colour palettes & styles, these modern colourful outfits have begun to transcend use as resort only fashion items but as occasion wear items or as day to day wear.
Fashion loves the ‘70s right now, from dressing up for a long day at work to attending a cocktail party, kaftans are the new go-to outfit. Bringing in, an unrestricted yet elegant look, kaftans have become popular among all age groups, highlights designer Varun Bahl. He suggests, “Pick up a long, short or mid-length kaftan according to the kind of event and complete the look by pairing it with a trouser pant, shorts or leggings. With the right accessories, you can do justice by transforming the kaftans and make it look like a whole new different outfit. Flaunt your curves by adding a belt, matching earrings and carry an oversized purse/clutch for a perfect cocktail party look. If you want to get dressed for a casual day at work, wear a pair of flats to save the day and be comfortable all day.”