When it comes to summer attire, we’re all about finding that ideal combination of comfy, lightweight and stylish, and what sartorial staple epitomizes that carefree aesthetic better than the caftan? Caftans have a robe-like silhouette, with loose, flowing sleeves, all of which are a dream when it comes to summer dressing. The caftan (also sometimes spelled “kaftan”), which originated in North Africa and the Middle East thousands of years ago, gained popularity in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s at the the height of the flower-child, bohemian hippie era. It’s easy to see why the silhouette has remained a summer wardrobe mainstay ever since.
Caftans are the perfect mix of glamour and ease, allowing movement and comfort without sacrificing fashion and elegance. They’re also incredibly versatile, as today’s caftans also come in a variety of silhouettes, patterns and fabrics, whether you’re looking for a glamorous silky caftan maxi to pair with sparkly slides and a clutch for an evening out, or a linen version to throw on over your swimsuit with sandals as a stylish cover-up. You can pair a simple cotton caftan with a fisherman sandal or platform loafer and you’re workday-ready. Below, see the most stylish caftans to shop for every summer occasion.
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Lake Pajamas Pocket Caftan in Balsam Stripe
This crisp cotton caftan is polished yet effortless, with nautical green-blue stripes.
Pucci Blue Printed Kaftan
You can’t go wrong with a chic Pucci caftan; this one has a kaleidoscope print that really embraces the retro vibes.
Shoshanna Marigold Eyelet Gazelle Caftan
Bring the sunshine with you in this marigold eyelet caftan, which has an adjustable tie at the waist for a more tailored fit.
Missoni Mare Metallic Striped Crochet-Knit Kaftan
Missoni’s sheer metallic crochet caftan adds a touch of effortless polish to your beach ensemble.
Ortigia Silk Celeste Kaftan
For a major dose of glamour, try this silky printed caftan.
Michael Stars Mila Cover Up
A simple white caftan is such a classic and laidback option for a swim cover-up, and we love the slits and cinched waist on this style.
Mirth Palm Springs Caftan Sweet Pea
A breezy floral caftan is a fresh and feminine daytime option; pair this one with nude sandals and a straw bag for the perfect summer look.
Lisa Marie Fernandez Hooded Linen Blend Gauze Caftan
This long linen caftan has a practical hood (summer rain showers are a thing!) and nautical-esque rope ties at the neckline—it’s screaming for a boat trip.
Camilla Scarf Tie Kaftan
Amp up the drama in this colorful caftan, which truly has it all—big sleeves, cold shoulder cutouts, bows and an embellished deep v-neckline. It’s giving us 1970s Palm Springs vibes.
Eres Rivage Kaftan
Keep it simple in this classic striped caftan, which you can style as a cover-up or as a chic dress.
Lafayette 148 Harbor Stripe Linen-Cotton Silk Pom Kaftan
This oversized coverup caftan features colorblocked stripes, big sleeves and whimsical tassels.
Printfresh x Pencil & Paper Co. Zinnia Out & About Caftan
Add a pop of color to your summer ensemble with this cheerful yellow and green printed caftan.
Mikoh June Caftan
This breezy cotton caftan is such a cute and unique choice for a beach cover-up, especially with the unexpected collar.
Taller Marmo Mrs. Ross Fringed Crepe Kaftan
Who says caftans can’t be formalwear? This bright blue fringed caftan is simply luxurious.
Farm Rio White Macaw Embroidered Maxi Dress
The intricate embroidery and jaunty tassels add refined but carefree edge to this cream-colored frock.
J.Jill Pure Jill Paisley Caftan
A lightweight paisley caftan is sure to be a staple in your summer wardrobe.
M.M.LaFleur Freedlund Caftan
Upgrade your usual LWD situation with this flowy white caftan, which has a flattering drawstring waist, boat neckline and, best of all, pockets.
Fil De Vie Murielle Embroidered Linen Kaftan
This flirty cream-colored caftan has billowy sleeves, a ruffled hem and tonal embroidery.
Frances Valentine Geoprint Maxi Dress Red Orange
The geometric berry-toned print adds dimension to the minimalist silhouette of this caftan.
Zimmermann + Net Sustain Hooded Fringed Floral-Print Cotton-Terry Hoodie
Elevate your beachwear look with this floral terry-cotton caftan, which just might be the most stylish way to dry off after a dip in the ocean.