Style – caftans & cocktails

caftanelizabethmoroccanIt’s a trend that began in the 60’s and has transcended time.

Legend has it that Diana Vreeland once pegged the caftan as “fashionable for the beautiful people.”  Bazaar magazine wrote that the voluminous shape and heavily printed nature might render in unappealing but it’s often plunging neckline and side slit detail lend just the right wink.

Jlo perfection

JLo perfection

It’s timeless summer chic, that’s what a caftan is supposed to represent.  This is not your regular beach cover-up.

Jacqueline Bisset poses for Harper's Bazaar wearing a caftan

Jacqueline Bisset posed for Harper’s Bazaar wearing a caftan.

It’s not exactly a dress,  it’s not a shirt, it’s not a nightgown (although it can look like a fancy one)…it’s just a long piece of fabric more resembling a tunic or robe that I always thought looked so elegant – on the right person.  Someone like Elizabeth Taylor or Sophia Loren looked so regal wearing one…lounging on a yacht

Beyonce

Beyonce

in the Italian Riviera with a cocktail in hand.

Eva Longoria looking gorgeous wearing a white beaded Akiko caftan tunic.

Eva Longoria looking gorgeous wearing a white beaded Akiko caftan tunic.

Last week I went shopping  with my neighbor.  We were supposed to be shopping for a rescue dog but instead we got sidetracked and ended up needing to be rescued from carousing up and down the aisles of some stores we hadn’t been in for quite some time.  I saw a beautiful caftan in of all places….Zara.  I told her she should buy it, the color was fantastic, the price reasonable and it suited her but she just couldn’t wrap her head around actually wearing one.

Because when was the last time you spotted someone in Vancouver wearing a caftan?  Kudos to Zara for trying…they stock the latest trends and once they’re sold you never see the same thing again. The rack had been untouched but I couldn’t stop thinking about the style and how much I wanted to wear one poolside in Palm Springs while sipping champagne. Because done right, a loose-fitting cotton tunic can look enviously chic.

What to Wear On a Trip to Abu Dhabi - Missoni Long Kaftan Schutz Erlina Gladiator Sandal. Amp up the wow factor with layers of gilded accents, ...

What to Wear On a Trip to Abu Dhabi? Missoni Long Kaftan + Schutz Erlina Gladiator Sandal. Amp up the wow factor with layers of gilded accents, …

caftan6No one loves a caftan more than celebrity stylist/designer/editor  Rachel Zoe. This silhouette is one of her all time favorite things to wear as soon as the temperature goes above 60 degrees.

Rachel Zoe & family

Rachel Zoe & family

“To me, caftans are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing, meaning you can wear it from the beach to a barbeque to a cocktail party to a black tie event. Caftans are timeless and I never leave home without a few when I’m traveling because you never know where you’re going to end up and need a caftan!”

E.T. wears one with a polished sapphire necklace

E.T. wears one with a polished sapphire necklace

How do you accessorize?

Jewelry should not compete with any other embellishment on your outfit (unless you were Elizabeth Taylor); especially if you’ve got  tassels or beading going on, keep it simple.  And if you’re at the beach, your swimsuit should be accessory enough.  No belt required and whatever you do, don’t wear it over leggings.

Shoes?  If it’s long or floor-length you can wear an open-toe heel and shorter styles can go with flats or sandals.  I suggest going barefoot for either.caftan5


History
:
The caftan (or Kaftan) originated in ancient Mesopotamia, an area that encompasses parts of modern day Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey.   For many centuries, caftans were the traditional mode of dress in Turkey, where men and women (kings and beggars alike) considered it an appropriate clothing choice.

This is mine from Cairo

This is mine from Cairo,

Fabrics: range from lightweight textiles for the summer months to richer velvets and brocades. Traditionally made with silk or cotton, caftans are frequently adorned with colorful patterns, and many individuals wear them with a coordinating belt or sash.

So tell me, would you go for it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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