Kaftan calling

Deccan Chronicle.  | Nivi Shrivastava

Lifestyle, Fashion and Beauty

No more than just a beach cover up, this flowing outfit can now be used to make a royal and breezy statement.

Zarine Khan

If you are wondering what could be that  one item in the wardrobe that would work for all body shapes, occasions and weather conditions – then look no further, and invest in a beautiful kaftan to sail through this season in style. A variant of the robe or tunic, kaftans are not just fancy beach cover-ups for your swimwear but also a symbol of royal style in many cultures. Usually weaved in wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton – kaftans can actually be worn by both genders as a loose-fitting garment or layered as a jacket over a delicate inner outfit.

While kaftans have become a new craze this season, one can slay the day in this easy breezy silhouette by styling it perfectly. Keeping in mind the flowy fabric and versatility of the outfit, you can just wear it to any occasion, be it a beach party or a casual day of meeting with friends, mention designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi. The designers add, “The whole concept of wearing a kaftan is to be at comfort, yet matching the aesthetics of the event that you are going to attend. For a casual outing, you can look trendy by wearing a mid-length kaftan dress with sneakers and a sling bag. While for an evening cocktail party look, we would suggest to tie up your hair in a messy bun and flaunt it with beautiful long earrings along with a pair of heels that add bling to your outfit.”

Fashion loves the ‘70s right now, from dressing up for a long day at work to attending a cocktail party, kaftans are the new go-to outfit. Bringing in, an unrestricted yet elegant look, kaftans have become popular among all age groups, highlights designer Varun Bahl. He suggests, “Pick up a long, short or mid-length kaftan according to the kind of event and complete the look by pairing it with a trouser pant, shorts or leggings. With the right accessories, you can do justice by transforming the kaftans and make it look like a whole new different outfit. Flaunt your curves by adding a belt, matching earrings and carry an oversized purse/clutch for a perfect cocktail party look. If you want to get dressed for a casual day at work, wear a pair of flats to save the day and be comfortable all day.”

Kaftans look great on almost all women, no matter their shape or size, and help hide any parts of the body you would not like to be accentuated. For example, women with a bigger bust can get an incredibly flattering appearance with a kaftan with long sleeves and a low V-neck. Designer Pooja Shroff explains how to nail the look, and says, “If you are into boho chic, pop on a pair of flat sandals (Ancient Greek style is excellent but any leather piece will do), add a soft shoulder handbag, and a pair of large sunglasses. Wear it when you go to the beach or at casual summer parties on the weekends. To jazz it up, make it more appropriate for formal occasions, opt for more fitted designs and choose a piece made of silk or another luxurious fabric. Jewelled sandals with heels will help make a chic statement and add to the luxury factor.”

While choosing the fabric for your kaftan, remember that a kaftan made of silk, cotton or another natural fabric is definitely a great pick for a casual outing.

Choose rayon, georgette, satin or silk for a more formal event, such as an evening party. Charu Singh, founder of fashion store, sums up and adds, “Kaftan is the preferred garment for this time of the year. It is an option which is dressy enough yet easy to discard while getting into the pool. It can be styled with beads, matching bold bangle and bags for a summer outing with friends. It’s amazing to see how Indian designers are now innovating in this segment and their designs are really flying off the shelves.”