There’s one staple item we think you simply can’t go on a beach vacation without: A kaftan. Did you know: Kaftans have existed for thousands of years since the Ottomans, who wore the garb as an outerwear over trousers. Today, kaftans are a cherished garment for their oversized silhouette. Lightweight, breathable, and loose-fitting, a kaftan screams beach vacation vibes.
Below, our edits for the best 12 pieces that will make you look lit while lounging on a beach chair. They can be worn on weekends and dress down Fridays at work too — just cinch them in with a belt and wear with strappy heels.
Etro floral-print chiffon kaftan, US$887 (S$1,213.50) from MatchesFashion
Italian family-owned fashion label Etro has earned a reputation for bold and vibrant colours, especially its paisley pattern. This floaty and colourful kaftan is a great example of the brand’s bohemian emphasis. Use the waist-tie to cinch your waist and finish with a pair of black strappy heels.
Short hem, side slits, V-neck and an airy silhouette — this white Cos piece has everything we want in a kaftan. We love that the check print makes this piece less basic. Dress it for the weekends with a pair of espadrilles and a sun hat.
Camilla embellished printed silk crepe de chine kaftan, US$504.75 (S$690.55) from Net-a-Porter
Summer is the season to embrace everything colourful, which is why this silk number from Camilla ticks all the right boxes. Besides how comfortable this smooth and soft piece is, it’s also printed with the koi motif, which is said to symbolise luck in Japanese culture. Whether you believe it or not, it never hurts to get an extra dash of luck in your life.
Whether you’re dancing by a bonfire at a party or grooving in the club, this kaftan will hit all the right notes with its sheer fabric and fringed detail. Pair with smokey eyes and a sensible pair of heels to last all night.
A kaftan’s oversized cut might be overwhelming for some, especially if you’re of a smaller stature. This Tory Burch design though, mitigates this problem with vertical stripes that help elongate the body, which means small frame ladies get to enjoy the casual style of the kaftan and still look snatch.
Imagine this: Your hair is up in a messy-but-cool bun, your face glistening with highlighter while you lounge by a pool party with a white bikini on. Now imagine it with this flowy black Topshop kaftan slung carelessly over your body. We’re loving that image.
Su Paris Bahia striped cotton-gauze kaftan, US$436.64 (S$597.37) from Net-a-Porter
Kaftans tend to come in loud colours and prints, which might not be suitable for those who prefer something a little more muted and minimal. So this brown and earthy Su Paris iteration is perfect if you lean that way. In fact, it can even be worn to the office to help reduce that dreaded holiday withdrawal.
Want to channel Etro’s vibes but in a more budget-friendly way? This River Island piece would be a good substitute. Carefree and cheery, the pastel hues and abstract prints would drape well against an ethereal white dress.
The zigzag weave pattern is emblematic of the Missoni house and we love how different colour gradients are incorporated to this white kaftan. Equally attractive are the laces at the front and its batwing sleeves. Use it as a quick coverup when you’re heading for lunch at your beach resort.