The Elegant and Effortless Caftans You’ll Turn to Every Summer

These sophisticated dresses prove style and comfort go hand in hand.

The Elegant and Effortless Caftans You’ll Turn to Every Summer
Caftans are perfect summer attire. Samantha Grobman

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.

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a rel="nofollow noreferer" href="">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters

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.

Subscribe to Observer’s Lifestyle Newsletter

All products featured are independently selected by Observer editors. When you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission that supports our work.

  • Lake.

    Lake Pajamas Pocket Caftan in Balsam Stripe

    This crisp cotton caftan is polished yet effortless, with nautical green-blue stripes.

    $128, Shop Now
  • Pucci.

    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.

    $1,350, Shop Now
  • Shoshanna.

    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.

    $350, Shop Now
  • Missoni.

    Missoni Mare Metallic Striped Crochet-Knit Kaftan

    Missoni’s sheer metallic crochet caftan adds a touch of effortless polish to your beach ensemble.

    $860, Shop Now
  • Ortigia.

    Ortigia Silk Celeste Kaftan

    For a major dose of glamour, try this silky printed caftan.

    $720, Shop Now
  • Michael Stars.

    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.

    $168, Shop Now
  • Mirth.

    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.

    $200, Shop Now
  • Lisa Marie Fernandez.

    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.

    $595, Shop Now
  • Camilla.

    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.

    $749, Shop Now
  • Eres.

    Eres Rivage Kaftan

    Keep it simple in this classic striped caftan, which you can style as a cover-up or as a chic dress.

    $575, Shop Now
  • Lafayette 148.

    Lafayette 148 Harbor Stripe Linen-Cotton Silk Pom Kaftan

    This oversized coverup caftan features colorblocked stripes, big sleeves and whimsical tassels.

    $999, Shop Now
  • Printfresh.

    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.

    $132, Shop Now
  • Mikoh.

    Mikoh June Caftan

    This breezy cotton caftan is such a cute and unique choice for a beach cover-up, especially with the unexpected collar.

    $212, Shop Now
  • Taller Marmo.

    Taller Marmo Mrs. Ross Fringed Crepe Kaftan

    Who says caftans can’t be formalwear? This bright blue fringed caftan is simply luxurious.

    $1,220, Shop Now
  • Farm Rio.

    Farm Rio White Macaw Embroidered Maxi Dress

    The intricate embroidery and jaunty tassels add refined but carefree edge to this cream-colored frock.

    $375, Shop Now
  • J.Jill.

    J.Jill Pure Jill Paisley Caftan

    A lightweight paisley caftan is sure to be a staple in your summer wardrobe.

    $149, Shop Now
  • M.M.LaFleur.

    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.

    $365, Shop Now
  • Fil De Vie.

    Fil De Vie Murielle Embroidered Linen Kaftan

    This flirty cream-colored caftan has billowy sleeves, a ruffled hem and tonal embroidery.

    $450, Shop Now
  • Frances Valentine.

    Frances Valentine Geoprint Maxi Dress Red Orange

    The geometric berry-toned print adds dimension to the minimalist silhouette of this caftan.

    $398, Shop Now
  • Zimmermann.

    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.

    $475, Shop Now
The Elegant and Effortless Caftans You’ll Turn to Every Summer