The caftan (which can also be spelled “kaftan”) has a rich history that is believed to date back to Ancient Mesopotamia, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the style was interpreted into western fashions.
In the decades since, designers have recreated the caftan with modern appeal while keeping its defining features: an unstructured silhouette and billowing, bat sleeves. That loose silhouette makes the caftan even less restrictive than a pair of elastic-waist pants, and because they are typically made from fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen, these roomy dresses are super lightweight and perfect for casual wear.
Anyone else starting to get sick of wearing sweatpants? While I’m all about comfort when working from home, I do miss the days of dressing up to go into the office. There’s something about throwing on a cute dress that really sets the tone for the day, and honestly, I could use some morning motivation during these uncertain times. The thing is, I’m not ready to completely give up the comfort of sweats for style, which is why I was delighted to find so many of my favorite online retailers offering caftans.
But they’re incredibly versatile, too. You can wear one with house slippers while bouncing between Zoom calls and caring for the kids, or throw on a pair of sandals and go run errands in town. Plus, when stay-home orders are lifted, you can even dress up the style for a wedding or party. That’s the beauty of caftans: They are super chic and beyond comfortable. So, when looking for a more sophisticated alternative to sweatpants, the caftan was first choice for me. I immediately browsed the web for new styles and added a couple colorful picks to my summer wardrobe. Scroll through and shop some of my favorite finds below.
1 9Seed Tunisia Cover Up ($213; shopbop.com)
2 H&M Shimmering Metallic Kaftan ($99; hm.com)
3 Michael Stars Kate Caftan ($68; revolve.com)
4 N Natori Peony Sunset Floral Print Satin Caftan ($78; dillards.com)
5 Mirth Sydney Caftan in Emerald ($335; mirthcaftans.com)
6 Melissa Odabash Lela Embroidered Cotton Gauze Caftan ($233; saks.com)
7 YESNO Striped Sheer Maxi Dress ($44; amazon.com)
8 Ocean + Main V-Neck Classic Caftan ($296; neimanmarcus.com)
9 Shira Caftan in Blue Motif ($120; anthropologie.com)
10 9Seed Angel Beach Midi Dress ($284; shopbop.com)
11 DESMOND DEMPSEY x H&M Linen-Blend Kaftan ($50; hm.com)
12 Joan Rivers Regular Animal Print Caftan ($62; qvc.com)
13 Pitusa Tie Dye Kaftan ($133; revolve.com)
14 Young Fabulous Broke Cyrilla Dress ($188; shopbop.com)
15 Rachel Pally Peony Long Caftan Dress ($238; rachelpally.com)