9 Ways to Style a Kaftan

Today Regina of Australian online boutique Camilla is sharing a post about styling one of my favorite garments: the kaftan/caftan!  The kaftan originates in the Middle East, but its popularity has spread to other cultures and now similar garments are worn all over the world.  They were especially popular in the West in the 10s, 20s and 70s, and here are some tips for working them into your own wardrobe!

There is no other garment on this earth that is as versatile as a kaftan. From early morning errands to a day at the beach; date night, a formal event or a relaxing night at home, the kaftan is there for any occasion. With so many events where the kaftan can be worn, we thought we would come up with a list of different ways you can style a kaftan so your fashion sense can be as versatile as this garment!

Beverly Johnson in Harper's Bazaar, 1975 (source)
1. The effortless morning look
For a day of errands, turn into a street style queen by wearing a long kaftan with a bold print. You can keep the accessories to a minimum here and let the pattern talk. Pair the kaftan with a sandal and look effortless throughout the day.

Moyra Swan in 1969 Vogue UK, Photo by David Bailey (source)
2. Tie it with a belt
When you want to accentuate your waist while wearing a Kaftan, go for a thin belt or a ribbon and highlight the tiniest part of your body. Play around with the belt or ribbon  tie the belt at the back or make a bow at the front with your ribbon for a whimsy touch.

1960, photo by John French (source)
3. Short & casual
Pair a short caftan or tunic with cigarette pants and kitten heels for a modern-gal-on-the-go look.  Wear a turtleneck underneath to winterize it. 

Missoni in Vogue August 1977 (source)
4. Go for the romantic
There is something very romantic about knitwear when it is paired with flowy garments. Next time you want to channel your inner romantic, pair your long flowy kaftan with an Aran jumper or a soft cashmere sweater and cozy up on those chilly summer nights.

Fortuny stenciled silk gauze wrap, c. 1920 (source)
5. Layer it up 
Layer a sheer kaftan over a more fitted piece for an elegant look, especially if you're worried about opaque kaftans adding too much bulk. You can accessorize it for daywear or evening wear just by switching out accessories and shoes! 

Vogue 1978 (source
6. Beach day style
The kaftan is perfect for the beach. Pair a short kaftan with short shorts and flats, with a hold-all bag on your shoulder and bold sunglasses you will be armed for a long day at the beach.

Elizabeth Taylor (source)
7. Take it to the ball
Next time you have a formal event, take out your best pair of heels and that shimmering clutch bag; put on your statement necklace and turn your kaftan into a stunning evening gown.  Elizabeth Taylor did it, so it's gotta be a good style choice.

1970s McCall's 2377 (source)
8. Unbuttoned but not undone 
If it is a buttoned up kaftan you are rocking, then leave it unbuttoned and pair it up with shorts, a crop top and espadrilles for a classic beach or summer look. Bonus points for a tassled hood.

Regina Mode, August 1967 (source)
9. Be bold
If you are as bold as a fashion editor when it comes to style, then don't be afraid of glamorous metallics and embellishments.  The kaftan has never been a subtle garment, so feel free to let loose when choosing one!

Author Bio: A fashion afficianado, Regina empowers women through her writing and fashion tips. If shes not walking her dog, you can catch her surfing the web for whats new at Camilla. 

Have you ever worn a kaftan?  How would you style one for your own life?

This is a sponsored post.  For more information about my sponsorship practices, check out my policies page.


  1. I'm feeling tempted by a lot of these looks! I like the simplicity of the chambray striped beach kaftan a lot.

  2. First thing I thought of when I saw the post title, Fortuny! I love this post and I love the kaftans. I think perhaps when I am slimmer I'll have to knock off that gorgeous Fortuny. I've never worn a kaftan and it was exhilarating learning something new, thank you!