The Caftan: The Epitome of Luxury and Leisure

With the emergence of quarantine style, it seems everyone has accumulated some form of the “work- from-home” wardrobe. Characterized by pieces that can easily translate from the couch to the zoom meeting, we entered a new fashion era in which comfort reigned supreme. Truly “getting dressed” was never really necessary when leaving the house wasn’t on the agenda. But, now it is.

With the world finally opening, and leaving the house on the to-do list, the challenge remains: how do we showcase our personal style without sacrificing the comfort we have grown so accustomed to?

Enter the caftan.   

Often made of patterned cotton or silk, the robe-like garment is thought to have been originally worn by sultans of the Ottoman empire under chainmail. Ranging from simple shifts of cotton to adorned and bejeweled silk numbers given as gifts, the caftan has been around for centuries. Fast-forward a couple hundred years, and the caftan goes West, steadily growing in popularity. Donned by the likes of Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, caftans became a major facet of the 1960’s fashion lexicon. Designers such as Dior and Balenciaga adopted the garment, sending it down the runway and cementing it as a staple in every world traveler’s wardrobe. The flowy fabric and bold patterns made the caftan an easy way to be stylish without hassle. Diana Vreeland, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief during the 1960’s, described the caftan as, “the most becoming fashion ever created,” with its popularity remaining steady to this day.

It is this reason precisely, why the caftan is the perfect vehicle to ease us back into the world with style. With zoom meetings and working from home becoming things of the past, we are starting to have more and more opportunities to really get dressed. Dressed up or down, caftans easily elevate any look for any occasion. Pair with comfy cut offs and a white tee for a colorful statement as you go to brunch. Throw over a bright sundress for a beachy resort look, maybe even mixing a pattern or two for a patio dinner. The colorful caftan allows for comfort while still maintaining style that even a pandemic can’t diminish. The caftan was and continues to be the epitome of luxury and leisure worn in perfect harmony.

~M.P.