Fashion Inspiration: Kaftan

Monday, June 4, 2012

In the traditional sense, the kaftan (or caftan) is known to be a long cover-up, worn by both men and women, a variant of a robe or tunic, more commonly thought of as a Persian clothing piece. Kaftans are however, worn in West Africa, Russia, South East Asia, and have recently caused quite a stir in western fashion.

Traditional African kaftan

 As seen on African Fashions

In western fashion, the kaftan is a rather loose term for a cover-up garment, frequently worn in hot weather.

1960's kaftan

 A pregnant Gwen Stefani embraces the kaftan, 2009
Shapelessly devoted: a pregnant Gwen Stefani honoring the caftan's forgiving cut.
As seen on

Nicole Richie's hot red kaftan, 2009

As seen on adorevintage

Male model Simon Nicholas wears an unusual kaftan (mantan!)
at Sydney's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia earlier this month

More on Camilla Franks' "Gypset" parade featuring the 'mantan' on adelaide now

Modern take on the traditional kaftan

70s kaftan mini dress 
 Available to buy through crystalcatvintage

Vintage simplicity 7994 kaftan sewing pattern
Vintage Simplicity sewing pattern for kaftan tunic dress and pants - unused
 Available to buy through VintageCrafting

Patchwork Mexican inspired kaftan
Patchwork Dress Mexican Inspired Kaftan Slate Blue Applique OSMF
Available to buy through Elevations

DEIA organic kaftan dress with embroidery details
DEIA Organic Kaftan Dress - Embroidery details

 Available to buy through BoaStyle

I picked up a kaftan myself on my last op shop tour, it cost me $3.50...

 I must be honest, I was (and still am) a little unsure of it, but do see the potential as a beach cover-up, perhaps with a little length adjustment.

Do you, or would you, wear a kaftan? 


1 comment:

Stacey said...

Sarah of Misfits Vintage ( is the kaftan queen! I don't know if I would wear one myself. I think I would have to find the right one.

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