If anyone has seen my summer beach wardrobe, then they know I love to rock the caftan. The perfect staple from beach to street in an instant, (and easy to pack), caftans should be an effortless part of your summer wardrobe. However, I’ve noticed many women ask how to buy the right ones. Which work well and which don’t? And, as a slim, 38-year-old woman, why do I feel the need to cover? Step into my closet…
In a recent interview, I was asked how I describe my personal style. I answered, “a bohemian Audrey Hepburn.” I certainly have my share of fitted sheath dresses perfect for work or a Milanese aperitivo, but even Holly Golightly is quick to grab that super dreamy drape of fabric that ever so perfectly wafts around her lithe figure on a sultry summer evening. While a caftan might not work for a New York power lunch, it works rooftop at Soho House, and, most importantly, works in all of your summer hot spots.
Now I’ll share all my faves and why. Each shot in gorgeous locales by the fabulous Peter Wesley Brown.
I’ve long been a fan of Missoni Mare, the famed Italian fashion house’s beachwear line. I would typically skip using the seaside cover-up in the day and transform it to dress at night with flat sandals. I have this gorgeous webbed silver one that I practically lived in two summers ago. The sash added a bit of definition and I wore it with and without a slip underneath, depending where I was. We also featured it with the Dea Rosa SS12 evening bag in lizard and satin.
Last year, I met designer, Miguelina Gambaccini at a party in New York and we were fast friends. Her white, Rachel Caftan led me all the way through my Grecian odyssey last summer (and was the centerpiece for the Dea Rosa Spring/Summer Collection). Daytime over a bikini, the Rachel worked as well as when paired with a slip underneath at night. Sometimes I’d add a skinny python belt to cinch it up a bit. Flat sandals or wedges complimented it perfectly. Now, I’m so obsessed with Miguelina’s entire line, that my suitcase is usually filled with her caftans and airy dresses; peppered with my Missoni staples I’m ready to tackle any resort location.
My other caftan go-to is Vicente Ganesha’s line in Ibiza. Made in India, the prints stand apart and the light cotton works absolutely everywhere. They typically run about 150 Euro or so, so if you’re not heading to Ibiza this summer, but know someone that is, tell them to snatch-up a few for you. Last summer, I actually flew to Ibiza from Athens for just under 40 hours of caftan shopping and some beach time with friends. Trust me, they are well worth it.
So how do you know what’s right for you?
*Choose fabric that breathes since you’re going to be wearing a lot of it; skip the polyester or blends. Silk works, but at night only as you don’t want suntan lotions to stain.
*Buy a size down. Most women don’t buy clothes that fit them. Trust me on this: you’re smaller than you think.
*Pick one that has a slit up the front to show your bronzed gams – just a hint of skin is enough.
*Invest in a great skinny belt and leave it in your suitcase – it skinnies you up in no time!
*Channel Jade Jagger…pile on the bracelets, big rings, chunky necklaces. I love vintage jewelry from House of Lavande.
*Pack two pairs of flat sandals. One super simple in a solid metallic and then something with a bit of bling. I’m loving the Flat Slingback Thong Sandal from K Jacques and the Lanvin Toe-Ring Wedge Sandal.
Email me for more tips on how to embrace your inner caftan!