kaftanEither way you spell it, both are at the forefront of fashion this summer!  Pick up any magazine, walk into any store, read a dozen blogs…kaftans are everywhere…from the Middle East to the USA.  But where did this fashionable attire begin?  

The kaftan began as an ankle length robe with long sleeves that was originally worn by men in the Middle East.  The kaftans were both practical and detailed, provided reasonable coverage as well as cool material for the hot desert climate.  It was worn as traditional attire throughout Middle East for centuries.  In addition, each kaftan was made with different colors and material to represent the variety of classes, as the culture was strictly hierarchical.  Of course as fashion trends change, so does the look of the kaftan fashion. Today the kaftan is worn by both men and women, just in slightly different ways. kaftans

Middle Eastern clothing typically requires women to cover up more due to the Islamic religion.  But covering up doesn’t make women in Middle East unfashionable.  Women here search out fashion.  They have the most up to date hand bags, matching shoes, and clothing.  You may see black Abayas where I live, but it’s more than that.  They take time picking out their fabric, the trim, the colors…the jewels.  And then under the abaya…they are typically dressed in even higher fashion.  Have you seen the names of the designer stores around here?  The Kaftan, while having changed over the years,  has become a highly popular choice of attire.   Modern kaftans come in variety of lengths and fits with vibrant color and fabric combination, and can be worn under or over the abaya, or even the Jalabiya…keeping conservative yet fashionable.

shortkaftanToday’s high-end kaftan is loose and flowly, yet incredibly figure flattering. Its light fabric is the perfect choice for the summer ease of dressing. You can dress it up, or keep it casual…meaning, make it last for the day and take it up a step into the night.  Today’s designers have provided a variety of lengths and cuts for you to find what is both most comfortable and flattering on you!  Keep it as conservative or as flirty as you’d like.

The next time you get a chance, try one on…you’ll be hooked.  I sent one to my step-mother in California…she was immediately hooked, and I’m now on the hunt for more wonderful versions to send to her.  I even found this fabulous tutorial on making your own for you or your little one by celebrity Tori Spelling!  Try on a piece of the Middle East and you’ll see why it’s one of the most popular things to wear.