In the 60s, former Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland called the kaftan (recently adopted from African culture to being resortwear) ‘the most becoming fashion ever invented.’ Ah yes, Diana. You weren’t wrong. I am now firmly a member of the kaftan-wearing society, and I think most Australian women get the chance to wear this super-comfy style at least a few times every year.
A friend sent me a text yesterday, asking for some kaftan inspiration to add a little glamour to an Aussie Summer, and I figured that since I was going to be curating a little collection of my faves for her, I could share it here and you might just find something you love!
I love that there’s never the need for spanxy-situations wearing kaftans, and they really do hide all manner of sins. Something to keep in mind when kaftan-shopping however, is length. I’m 165cm, and wear heels only to weddings and funerals, and really need kaftans to hit on or above my knee, or right on my ankle to avoid that ‘I’m just wearing a bedsheet’ look; and my shorter BFF Peta
always looks out for styles that have a petite option. That said, the flowy fabric of a kaftan can easily be tied up a little to customise it to your height.
iAllure kaftan* (2013 collection)
Now, I’ve taken iAllure kaftans on every Summer holiday since I got engaged in Port Douglas, and there’s one good reason: easy peasy lemon squeezy. There’s something so right about iAllure kaftans, they’re crush-free, the regular length is perfect for my height (plus they do offer petite versions), and the sleeves don’t get in your way when you’re eating (and I’m always eating on holidays). Oh, and they all look way more expensive than they are!
iAllure Vibrance kaftan in sea green (and if you like the colours in this, you’ll fall deeply in love with the Painters Palette style in turquoise – check it out, it’s on sale too!)
This glamorous Anannasa kaftan (I blogged about it here) with its smattering of sequins and beads is perfect for weekend entertaining, or wearing out to dinner on stinkin’ hot evenings – it’s a more opaque georgette and a respectable length, so there’s no danger of having to remember to pack the right undies!
The print of this Anannasa Cat kaftan paired with the mega-bling going on around the neckline is super-whimsical, I love it! In fact, I’m wearing it as I type this – it makes me smile so much!
I’ve known local designer Claire of Bella Lido for a few years now, and love her super-simple and flattering styles, the lightweight and oh-so-breathable rayon voile she uses, and her fresh prints *insert Will Smith Bel Air joke here, haha*!
Kaftans and sundresses and Summer homewares, oh my!
Most school holidays, Claire opens a lovely pop-up shop with a few other designers in Mooloolaba for a few weeks, but this Summer she’s gone it alone, and the result is a Summer-lover’s dream! Bella Lido is stocked in lovely boutiques in QLD, NSW and WA, and the online store
is full of beautiful styles.
Claire’s fun prints are so great for dressing up or down, I’ll be sharing a few ways I wear mine on the blog very soon!
Confession: I don’t own any Isle of Mine kaftans… yet. I have quite a few of their loose flowy shirts from Sequins and Sand
, but I’m chomping at the bit to get a kaftan version. Why? Simply put, the soft breathable rayon fabric is exactly what I want to wear from now until eternity. The white kaftan above fulfills everything I’m searching for in a Christmas-Day-by-the-pool outfit – white, light and breezy.
Full-length (model has it tucked up in the above image), swoon-worthy perfection. Le sigh.
Now, it wouldn’t be an Australian round-up of kaftans without including a Camillla – because we’ve all got a lazy $600 to spend on a kaftan. (No. No we don’t. If I had $600 just laying around, it’s unlikely I’d spend it on a beach dress to wear to cocktails, when I could spend it on a beach holiday AND cocktails.)
That said… Camilla prints are everything. And I firmly believe every woman should own something fantastically expensive and frou-frou at least once in her life. Perhaps a Camilla (or three) would be mine?
I hope this helps my friend out, and perhaps you’ll find a new Summer staple here too!
Are you open to kaftans? Do you think they should stay poolside, or do you wear yours out and about?
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I’m joining in today with Kimba of Kimba Likes for Wardrobe Wednesday. Can’t promise that I’ll do it regularly, but I try!