As the season heats up, we’re all reaching for the hottest garment around … the kaftan! Yes, despite the magical, mystical legends associated with Ancient Persia and Mesopotamia where the kaftan is said to have originated, the kaftan has always had an incredibly practical purpose – to keep the wearer cool in hot climates.
Although it was originally a male garment, this practical garment has long since become a hit with both genders as women too appreciate the comfort of a kaftan.
Dress for the weather
A kaftan is ideal when temperatures rise and those made from cotton, linen or fine silk offer ideal solutions for staying cool in warm weather. As well as fabric, the cut and style of the kaftan can play a part in keeping bodies cool and comfortable, with wide necked kaftans offering flowing folds of fabric to accentuate the effects of any breeze. Another great advantage of rocking the kaftan in the summer is that there are minimal seams to dig in, constrict or chafe against hot skin – perfect for staying cool in or after the sun.
Dress for the occasion
Whilst a kaftan is the ultimately versatile garment of the season, the way to vary its look according to the occasion is often through the careful use of accessories:
• Add glamour with jewellery, such as accent pendants and bangles. For formal occasions, remember that less is more and stick to single, statement pieces for the neck, ears or arms – think Elizabeth Taylor in her stunning signature kaftan looks. For more relaxed occasions such as festivals, go to town with lots of separate strands of beads, chains and bangles, to add to that sense of free-flowing fun and femininity, a kaftan style favoured by Paris Hilton.
• Step out to suit the occasion by using your footwear as the key piece for varying your kaftan’s look. Slip-on heels and jewelled sandals add sophistication for formal occasions, whilst open toed flats are great for occasions when you want a more understated look.
• Scarves can be a kaftan’s best friend, for styling to suit all occasions. Using a scarf as a sash belt seriously dresses up your kaftan look and gives definition to your figure, whilst a scarf worn loosely around the neck or hair line helps to style a more informal look.
Finally, remember that your choice of kaftan design can add to your style options. Kaftans with embroidered necklines have their own evening glamour appeal, whilst those short, sheer kaftans ideally suited for the beach can move sweetly from beach to bar … just slide on an underslip (to reduce the transparency of the fabric) and swap your sunglasses and sandals for heels and jewels and you’re well on the way to really making the most of the days and nights of kaftan season!
Content provided by: Anchor House Kaftans