How to Wear a Caftan

Whether packing for vacation, wearing around the house, or hosting a dinner party, it doesn't get more versatile than the forever-chic caftan. Read on to discover more tips and ideas for how to wear the effortlessly elevated caftan.

How to Wear a Caftan - Striped Blue Caftan
Gloria Caftan in Blue Stripe

The iconic silhouette is a classic for a reason.

What Is a Caftan?

A caftan is a loose-fitting, flowing garment often cut from a single sheath of fabric. A caftan is typically made using a lightweight material and can be worn by both women and men. It's most often worn as an ankle-length garment, but you can also wear them short or midi-length. 

How to Wear a Caftan - Vintage Striped Caftan

The History of the Caftan

Originating in ancient Mesopotamia, they've been worn in various cultures throughout history. 

Beginning as early as the 50s, designers such as Christian Dior and Balenciaga began incorporating caftans in their collections.

Then of course, YSL, Halston and Pucci going into the 60s and 70s. Iconic!

I am still thinking about doing a pistachio green silk caftan, inspired by this Lanvin number at right.

As quoted by InStyle, “These led to the caftan becoming the go-to look for the “jet set” when on vacation or entertaining at home.”

Caftan vs. Kaftan

If you're curious about this, the terms are interchangeable. We couldn't find that one traces back to any particular culture and find they are used interchangeably.

A muumuu, however, is a different type of garment that is traditionally Hawaiian and often worn off the shoulder.

How to Wear a Caftan - Green Lanvin Vintage Caftan

How It All Began

The first piece I designed was our Gloria Caftan, with the vision I had for a sunset-inspired pink and purple stripe. 

As a new mom, I had been craving more comfortable dresses, both to wear around the house and to throw on and get out the door –– but still feel like myself. 

Immediately I thought of the caftan. Forever a fan of the 60s and 70s I knew I wanted to remake this timeless silhouette in new colors and prints for today. 

How to Wear a Caftan - Sarah Spiegel

For Every-Body

One of the most obvious benefits to a caftan is that it is size-inclusive. This means that not only can it fit a range of body types, but it will evolve and grow with a woman throughout her life as she changes and goes through big life events, like pregnancy!

There is also the sustainability factor to consider. As a clothing company, it is important to do our part to create as little waste as possible, and offering one-size garments is a great way of doing so.

I've also found that caftans work for every age range. My mother-in-law looks amazing in her caftan! 

How to Wear a Caftan - For All Ages
Three generations in caftans. Yes, we make a baby version!

How to Wear a Caftan

The power in a caftan lies in not only how comfortable it is, but also its versatility

A caftan can seamlessly take you from the beach to an elegant dinner out, while it also works brilliantly as a house dress. It all comes down to how you choose to style the garment.

You can even wear a caftan over pants. This is best done with a midi-length caftan and creates a look that can feel very fresh and current.

How to Wear a Caftan - For Vacation
Ideal vacation attire.

Wear it as a coverup. Simply throw on sandals or flip flops and your favorite straw bag.

Then, take it out to dinner. Especially great for travel! You can wear your caftan to an elevated dinner out by adding more formal sandals or wedges, jewelry, and a clutch.

For the hostess. It's perfect for hosting all kinds of events from impromptu dinner parties on the patio to your child's birthday party. It's comfortable so it's easy to cook in and even easier to throw on without a thought.

A perfect house-dress. We're eternal homebodies, and we think a caftan is an ideal house dress. Wear it to lounge around the house on lazy weekends, or even wear if to WFH.

The throw-it-on-and-go dress. For weekend coffee runs, farmers' market runs, and everything in between. 

For the mamas. Wear it pregnant, wear it postpartum (and nursing!) and then continue wearing it for all of the reasons above.

To Belt or Not To Belt

Some caftans come with a removable belt (like Gloria) while others may come with a drawstring. You can always add your own belt as well.

By creating a more defined waist, this totally changes up the look and feel of the garment. I personally like to wear my caftan unbelted most of the time, especially at home. While I love adding a belt for going out.

How to Wear a Caftan - Belted

Are you a caftan lover? If so, we'd love to hear from you! As we're in the process of working on new designs, we'd love to hear your requests and feedback on the kind of caftan you want to wear.

Drop us a line anytime at x