how to wear a kaftan

Kaftans have always been a timeless fashion piece. Even in today’s dynamic fashion industry, where vibrant fashion pieces die overnight, kaftans are a surprising constant. Although often only associated with beachwear, if well-styled, a kaftan can be much more than that.

There are many ways to style and wear kaftans to be elegant and turn heads regardless of the occasion. Want to know how to lock this masterpiece? Buckle up!

What is a Kaftan?

How Do You Wear a Kaftan?

Originally, kaftans were ankle-length traditional garments with long, wide, flowing sleeves and a belted waist, worn by Ottoman Sultans of Turkey, and only those placed high in society as a sign of extraordinary privilege.

Over the years, kaftans’ value dropped to a point where they become the piece worn by the poor. But that notwithstanding, kaftans have graced the fashion trends for many centuries. By the 1950s, Christian Dior and Balenciaga introduced Kaftans as Women’s fashion, earning Kaftans a permanent place in high fashion.

Today, women kaftans are not only trendy but also unbelievably functional. They are usually made from breathable, loose, and flowy fabric that is vibrant and colorful, making it the go-to piece for a fun and bright fashion statement – the reason they are best known as beachwear.

Kaftans have no age limit, and they are versatile for every occasion. Depending on how well it is styled, you can wear your kaftan to barbeques, weddings, happy hours, meet and greet, beach luaus, and even to the office.

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Would you like to look your best all the time? Here are tips on how to wear your Kaftan for every occasion.

How to wear a kaftan on the beach

This is the most popular way to wear a kaftan – and rightly so. The light, loose, and breezy fabric of a kaftan is perfect for accessorizing your bikini and will still protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. It is also loose and light enough to help you keep cool from the heat.

A lovely kaftan also comes in handy for people who are self-conscious about their bodies in swimwear as it allows you to enjoy the beach and the sun while still covered up. For beach fashion, choose a kaftan made from cotton as it’s a renowned breathable and skin-friendly fabric, so it will keep you comfortable.

Usually, the beach is one of the kaftan’s natural habitats, so you need little styling. Throwing on a pair of glasses and sandals is more than enough to give it a perfect stylish beach look. Add a belt and a sun hat, and you are ready for a seaside date.

How to wear a kaftan on casual occasions 

There is a reason kaftans are a must-have wardrobe piece – a kaftan not only looks great on any woman but also serves as a magic ward that can quickly help solve many wardrobe malfunctions.

For example, a loose kaftan with long wide sleeves and a low v-line helps stress and create a flattering neckline for bigger-busted women. It also comes in handy for women with fuller waistlines as it covers the middle area and draws attention away from areas of weakness.

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There are many ways you can use a kaftan to put together a unique, elegant style for a casual occasion. Here are two primary examples.

The Boho-chick Look: This is an easy and tasteful look for casual summer parties and weekend hangouts. Wear your Kaftan as a dress and pop on a pair of sandals, a pair of designer sunglasses, and a sleek shoulder handbag, and you have a perfect summer look.

As sarong Or Skirt Wrap: This style gives you the ultimate chic feel. Instead of wearing it as a dress, wrap it around your waist as a skirt, giving your kaftan a more fitting look, making it glamorous and stylish. Ensure to select the right fabric for this look and match it with suitable shoes to give it a more finished look. The cool thing is that this look works for both the beach and ordinary casual weekend occasions.

How to wear a kaftan on formal occasions 

Many women who shop online are always stuck with the single question, ‘can I wear this to the office?’ This question mainly applies to any attire that deviates from the typical ‘office outfit.’ This is why kaftans are not popular with many who spend 9-to-5 in a typical corporate office.

Although breezy and a bit too relaxed, you can definitely wear a kaftan to the office or any other formal setting. You only need to accessorize it appropriately. To help you out, here are accessorizing ideas you can borrow:

  • Pair a bright-colored sheer kaftan with a pair of pants of the same color (the same color ensures that your outfit has a uniform look). Pair this with the right pair of shoes to match the occasion.
  • Wear a kaftan as a dress and accessorize it with a leather belt and a suitable pair of shoes. With the right handbag and accessories, this style gives you the perfect summer office look.

What should you look for when buying a Kaftan?

While there are many kaftans in the market, it doesn’t mean you should pick the first one you come across—you should take your time and find the right one.

Are you wondering what you should pay attention to when making the purchase? Here are some things to consider:

The Fabric:

The fabric plays a significant role in where you plan to wear the kaftan. For example, cotton and silk fabrics are great for beachwear, while georgette, satin, or silk are sumptuous for more formal events.

The length:

Kaftans come in many sizes. The short and medium versions are best for formal occasions, e.g., office wear. On the other hand, long flowing kaftans can be worn to weddings and cocktail parties.

The Accessories:

The entire outfit comes together depending on the kind of accessories you pair it up with. This includes the bag, the shoes, and the jewelry worn with the kaftan. Due to their ill-fitting size, kaftans go well with small-sized bags (e.g., clutches for evening parties). Also, switching from sandals to a pair of nude heels can spin a casual look into a formal evening look.

In addition, elegant pieces of jewelry can make a simple-looking kaftan look more sophisticated and stylish. However, keep in mind that some kaftans come with shiny embellishments, and adding more jewelry can make them too busy and clumsy.


Kaftans are versatile and timeless fashion pieces that can make a lot of difference to your wardrobe, and that they are helpful for all occasions is an added advantage. The right piece can easily be converted from beachwear to office wear to a weekend getaway casual wear.

This and the fact that kaftans have no age limit make them the all-time go-to piece of fashion. They do not disappoint. Trust me.

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