We’re not talking muu-muus here. Caftans (and tunics) are to your spring and summer wardrobe what sheath dresses are for the working girl: a definite must have. You can throw one on and with minimal effort, you’re basically done. Whether you choose a pretty pattern or a solid color, an already-embellished version or add your own statement necklace or cuff, you can rock these to run errands, lounge by the pool or beach (they make great swimsuit cover-ups and are easy to pack), or to a backyard soiree. (Side note: my grandmother LOVES them, and gives longer styles as presents. They make fabulous hostess gowns and just scream “Have cocktails in the casbah with me, dahling. Or a daiquiri on the patio. Your choice.”)
Love your legs? Then by all means, bare them: caftans easily mimic mini dresses. If you’d like more coverage, wear them over shorts, jeans, linen slacks, palazzo pants or leggings. They’re just that versatile and can go from casual to polished with a change of accessories and shoes. Wedge sandals, canvas espadrilles, or capri sandals (metallic, brightly colored or bedazzled leather flip flops) are all you need to complete the look. Be sure to layer sheer fabrics with a cami underneath, and if the flowy style threatens to swallow you up, belt it!
What’s also lovely is this easy style is flattering on all body types! I am loving the bright, v-neck versions at Old Navy right now, which have slits at the sleeves and hem and are priced just under $20 before tax! Having tried the orange print on, I advise that you go a size up for comfort and note the polished cotton doesn’t offer any “stretch.” Want to spend a little more? Tory Burch’s offerings are synonymous with wearable, effortless chic. And you can always search Ebay or your favorite consignment outpost for groovy vintage options. If you’re really adventurous and want to break out your sewing machine, you can scoop a vintage pattern via Etsy and create your own!
Side note: this beaded Victoria’s Secret caftan is now in my closet and is as airy as a summer breeze (it will be worn with white skinnies and shorts). The black on white Venus Swimwear version mimics the classic Tory Burch pattern and is my new beach cover-up; it was a steal at $19!