Pensacola Style: Cool in Caftans


Story by Courtney Murray

Caftans may have made their debut in the 1960’s, but today’s caftan has come back better than ever and has brought pompoms and tassels along with it. Shorts and tank tops are always appropriate for the beach, but sometimes you want to take your style to the next level. A sweet sundress is perfect for brunch or shopping with friends, but if you really want to wow the crowd, try a caftan. A caftan is a flowing garment that when slipped on, instantly transforms the wearer into a goddess. Caftans can be made of linen, soft cotton or silk materials that flutter as you walk. The caftan (or kaftan) is a variant of a robe or tunic that has been worn by several cultures around the world. For thousands of years many middle-eastern groups, royalty, and fashion icons have worn the caftan. The garment originated in Mesopotamia around 600 B.C. but made their mark on American fashion history in the 1960’s. The vibrant prints and elegant fabrics lent themselves perfectly to the free love era. The modern caftan is the muumuu’s more chic sister. They are usually long but can sometimes be short and they now come in a variety of cuts. Caftans can be loose and gauzy, they can be cinched at the waist, they can have bell sleeves or batwings and can come in any color or print you can imagine. These stunning garments have withstood the test of time, being favored by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and style icon Rachel Zoe.

When the temperature rises and humidity is at an all time high here in Destin, who wants to deal with bulky layers. If you must wear anything other than a bathing suit, the caftan will become your new best friend. Every girl living along the stunning Emerald Coast should own at least one fabulous caftan, if not two or three! They are the perfect garment to throw on over a swimsuit for a casual après beach cocktail and can be dressy enough to wear to a formal event. When paired with a nude heel and statement jewelry a caftan can really be a showstopper. The large natured sleeves of a caftan make it the perfect outfit to pair with a clutch. You can choose to create a casual vibe with a straw option with a toggle closure or go full glam with a beaded or leather fold over style. You may be thinking, “I’m a jeans and T Shirt type of gal, I’m not fashion forward, I’m not bold enough to pull it off, or I don’t have the right body type.” You’re wrong! Caftans are a glamorous choice for women of all shapes and sizes. Ditch the Spanx because this magical piece of clothing hides all your flaws. They can also elongate someone who is petite and are even an excellent choice for dressing up a baby bump. All in all, the caftan is an easy breezy statement piece that every beach babe needs in her closet.


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