If comfort along with easy glamour is your pick, get inspired by the hippie trends of the 60s and 70s and rock a kaftan this summer. The breezy, free flowing outfit that has been around for thousands of years now, scores for being supremely versatile. If you style it right, you can wear it by the pool side, for a romantic night out, at a sophisticated gathering or even to work.
A whiff of history
With its origins in ancient Mesopotamia, kaftan emerged as a big fashion trend in the 1960s and the 1970s with the American hippie movement. India too had plenty of inspiration to offer: When The Beatles visited India in the late 60s and spent time with kaftan-sporting yogi Maharishi Mahesh, they were quick to share fashion cues with fans. Kaftans never lost their charm since then, and now they feature in collections of fashion legends such as Karl Lagerfeld and Roberto Cavalli.
Short and stylish
The shorter versions of kaftan are perfect to be worn at a pool party. You can add some jazz to your look with a flower halo band or you can pin up a neckpiece as a halo band.
Want to wear a short kaftan to work? Team it up with a slim fit pant or a pair of tights, and keep your look simple.
Kaftans by Nikasha
Available at: 212 A, Shahpur Jat
Price: Rs 8,000 each
The party diva
A long, elegant kaftan worn at a formal party will surely be an eye-stopper. Choose a kaftan in a luxurious fabric such as silk, chiffon or work layers of sheer fabrics such as georgette or chiffon. You can go for bold prints, embroidery on the neckline and front, and long, flowing sleeves. Add some glam with a statement neckpiece or earrings and jewelled heels. Go for strong lips and eyes and tie your hair in a neat chignon, and you
will be ready to rock the night in style.
Printed chiffon kaftan by Kapil & Mmonika Arora
Price: Rs 15,000
Available at: B-14, 1st Floor, Lajpat Nagar II
For a chic day look
Trendy kaftan dresses in white, pastels and neons are a cool option for an evening out with friends. Wear minimal accessories and a pair of flat sandals. Style your hair in front twists, or tie it back in a simple pony tail. Wear light gypsy jewellery, and flaunt a no-makeup look with a little mascara and a touch of gloss on your lips.
Kaftan robe by Sulakshana Monga
Price: Rs 10,000
Available at: Soltee, B 61, sector 4, Noida
Indulge in your wild side
Animal prints are back with a bang this season. Be ahead of the style curve in classic leopard, zebra, and snake print kaftans with eclectic bead work. Add some school girl glam to your hair by tying it in two fish tail braids, and wear a matte red lip colour.
Animal print kaftan from Mynah by Renyu Tandon
Price: Rs 19,000, Available at: Gallery on MG Road
Rock it like the nomads
Unleash the flower child in you in breezy flower print kaftans. To up the boho chic in your look, tie your hair in a twisted side braid, add a leather belt, and wear brimmed hat and leather sandals.
Printed kaftan by Rajdeep Ranawat
B 41/12, Royal Plaza market, sector 31, Noida
Style it right with these buys
Quirky statement rings instantly add a boho chic vibe to your outfit. Price: R2,500 (rose ring), R14,900. Address: Kiwi by Musskan, A-1, Carriappa Marg, Sainik Farms;
Apala Store, 6, Haus Khas Village
You can also wear multiple brightly coloured beaded bracelets for a whimsical look. Available at: Local kiosks in Janpath market and Dilli Haat. Feather earrings are the perfect boho accessory and are very versatile. Use them as hair accessory or a brooch.
Available at: Local kiosks in Sarojini Nagar market.
Nothing says boho chic better than jangling bangles. Get some like these from the local kiosks in Sarojini Nagar market and awaken your inner hippie!
If you are more of a glam diva, you can still rock your kaftan by accessorising it with these chunky, embellished bangles from kiosks in Dilli Haat
Strings of colourful stone bracelets will add a pop of colour to your flowy kaftan. You can pick up several such bracelets from kiosks in Janpath market
For a whimsical hippie vibe, you can accessorise your kaftan with a vibrant braided necklace.
Price: Rs 610
Available at: buynbrag.comQuirk up your kaftan with a Japanese obi belt. For a night time do, opt for one in metallic hues for a dash of glam!
Price: Rs 650
Available at: faballey.com
An eclectic pendant worn on a long silver chain can also add drama to your kaftan.
Price: Rs 9,700
Available at: Apala, SG-66, DLF Galleria, Phase–IV Gurgaon
Get inspired by retro fashion icons
Elizabeth Taylor on the sets of Zee And Co, a 1972 film. The legendary Hollywood diva always added dollops of oomph to her kaftan look with the right styling.
Dutch actor Talitha Getty, the boho style icon of the late 1960s photographed in Marrakesh in a kaftan. Copy her flower halo band and brimmed hat style to rock true hippie chic.
Getting a kaftan stitched:
Kaftan is one of the simplest garments to stitch. Just multiply the length of the kaftan you require into two and you’ll know the exact length of the fabric that you need for a kaftan. The centre width is folded to create the shoulder and a neckline can be cut out from that area.
The Best Materials:
A cotton kaftan is your best best in summer. You can also go for soft and flowy fabrics such as chiffon and georgette. For a more elegant look, go for a silk, satin or sheer lace kaftan that you can wear to a formal event.
What To Wear Inside a Kaftan: If you are wearing a sheer kaftan, wear skin coloured tube dress under it. You can also team up your kaftans with tights, leggings and slim fit pants.