What everyone ought to know about Kaftans

What everyone ought to know about Kaftans

Why do we love kaftans? What has been the fascination with the Kaftan amongst celebrities and icons since the early 1970′s? Why has the Kaftan become such a beloved staple in many women’s wardrobe? What is it actually about the Kaftan that makes it so popular?

These may be some of the questions you have been asking yourself, I know it has been a question that I have been playing over in my mind ever since I discovered the Kaftan and the groovy 70′s as a young teenager.


The Kaftan can be defined as a loose fitting garment that extends down to the mid calf or as far down as the ankles with either a mid or full length sleeve.  It’s origins can be traced back to many regions but predominately from the Middle East and dates back as early as 1600BC. The kaftan was an overdress or frontal buttoned coat that was often made of wool, cashmere, silk or cotton.

From the early 1970′s after the hippie evolution the kaftan was a highly sought after and popular garment choice, this was mainly due to the influence of designers such as Yves St Laurent and Christian Dior. The kaftan quickly became the popular and glamorous choice for not only evening attire but had made a huge impact on the disco scene. Kaftans were now produced in many different fabrics with sort after exotic materials edged in silver, gold and other metallic embroidered trims.

During the mid to late 70′s many celebrities and icons like Marella Agnelli, Bianca Jagger, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy really embraced this new fashion trend and really propelled it’s popularity to what it is today.

grace-kelly-print-kaftan      elizabeth-taylor

Captions: Left – The beautiful Grace Kelly in a swirl pastel kaftan and Right – Elisabeth Taylor feminine and sexy in a blue metallic print kaftan.

So why all this hype surrounding  the beloved kaftan since the 1970′s and why does almost every female own one, wear one, or fall quickly in love with this look?

For me, from my mid teens I become bewitched by not only the beautiful prints and flowing fabrics but the coverage and comfort of the garments. The women looked feminine, empowered, sexy, confident and most importantly comfortable!.

So off I went on the hunt into my mothers wardrobe for a kaftan and low an behold this beautiful pastel green with gold trimming indian print kaftan was staring back at me. Dare I try it on and be entranced by what I thought was at the time old people’s clothing? Damn straight I do!.

To my surprise this beautiful garment didn’t look daggy or too big for my adolescent body, no not at all and due to the design, shape and cut of the kaftan before my eyes I turned into this confident young women. Why?

What had changed from simple putting on of an oversized draped cloth? Yes I was covered from head to toe but I wasn’t lost in the garment and I still had my feminine silhouette, my blue eyes sparkled with the off set of the green and gold and all of a sudden my personality and cheeky demeanour was ready to shine through.

This experience taught me that you didn’t need to have your body exposed to be noticed and that your inner self could shine through no matter the coverage of a garment.

What is your experience with kaftans? Is their a special outfit that you just love and really shows off you and your personality?

We would love to hear your fashion story by sharing in the comments below.

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