There is no stopping us from looking our creative best, despite the lockdown clouds looming over our heads. Recently BFFs Malaika Arora and Kareena Kapoor Khan used Instagram to talk about the hottest fashion trend – Kaftans. Why should we be behind in wearing Kaftans stylishly at home?
Kaftans have enjoyed popularity for long. They especially are a summer favourite. Savleen Lamba, Fashion Designer & Stylist, calls Kaftans as a long-time coveted fashion and cultural representative. “Impressively comfortable with just the right amount of glamour, they literally require zero beach-body-ready nonsense, because there is no waistband to do up, and it covers most of the body. This look will make you feel glamorous but not self-conscious. This makes kaftans the perfectly stylish yet ease on comfort pick for summers.”
The lockdown makes comfort definitely the number one priority ‘even in the game of power dressing’. Neha Gandhi Binjrajka, Celebrity Fashion Stylist & Personal Shopper, says Kaftans are a perfect wear in hot and humid climates. “Kaftans have always been around with different takes on it by fashion designers; at some point you’ve also decided that you would never wear it, but extreme times call for extreme measures. The hot weather and the fact that we are all locked down at home, makes the Kaftan an absolute obvious choice as a daily attire. It isn’t difficult to handle during all your chores or even to just lounge. It looks great in selfies and provides constantly supply of air and breeze to the body.”
Neha rightly shines light on the fact that global fashionistas were firm believers in ‘Less is More’ and this is aptly seen now. “The Kaftan is the perfect example and Malaika Arora and Kareena Kapoor Khan, being two of the fashion leaders in the country, knew exactly what the go-to outfit for the lockdown would be and owned it! Kareena and Malaika are known to be comfortable and unabashed about themselves in whatever they wear and they did the same with the kaftan,” Neha adds.
Savleen reveals, “The soothing vibe of cotton with subtle yet impactful mix of block prints makes these kaftans even more stylish and appealing. Our Bollywood beauties have rightly shown us the sexiness in a kaftan is even more than a tight-fitting dress. Effortless yet full points on the fashion chart, the kaftan look is here to stay for a long time.”
Changing with times
Kaftan has a glamorous vibe to it and became part of couture fashion in the 1950s. Savleen says brands like Givenchy gave it a push with their trapeze and tunic dresses which later became the sack dress. “Women have had a long standing love affair with Kaftans. Over years, this love has just gotten stronger and better, from the long kaftans to stylishly cut out short kaftan dresses or even shorter kaftan style tops that can be worn with denims. And it just keeps getting better!”
Neha throws light on the attires’ Asiatic origins. “It was worn by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century through the 17th century. Designers all over the world have taken out many adaptations of it. In the 1950’s Christian Dior and Balenciaga also took out their versions of the kaftan. Designers like Naeem Khan and Elie Saab have also brought the kaftan to the red carpet and today designer or local, it is a staple in almost every household.”
Wearing it right
One must know how to wear it stylishly, especially during lockdown. It can even be a part of your 'work from home' wardrobe if worn stylishly. Neha states, “I would honestly say – let the kaftan be. The idea of the kaftan is to be airy, light and extremely comfortable, so please just wear it as it. But if you do really want to dress up, I would say you can either belt it up or cut the neck wider for an off shoulder look or even cut a feel length kaftan short to wear it as a dress.”
Savleen thinks a Kaftan has a dual vibe: look-at-me and don’t-look-at-me vibe. “The kaftan is laid-back, but it flirts with danger in its anything-goes vibe. During lockdown and even otherwise, this is just the right kind of vibe we all need. Kaftans generally can be worn full length or even short. All depends on the kind of look your aiming to achieve. Be it Boho chic, or even a sleek classic party piece, Kaftans have a wide appeal and can be played around. During lockdown, I recommend more of cotton relaxing Kaftans with subtle yet impactful prints, fabrics like cotton that keep you cool and help you beat the heat! On formal occasions slip into a sexy well fitted kaftan made of silk or satin to add drama to your OTTD.”
Speaking about accessorising, Savleen says, “To jazz your Kaftan up for formal occasions, ditch the cotton and opt for a piece made of silk or another luxurious fabric. Jewelled sandals with heels will add to the luxury feel of your outfit and make it look effortlessly chic and stylish.” Neha suggests accessorising one’s Kaftan with a nice long pair of earrings and stacked bracelets. “You could even wear gladiators for the full feel or even sit in your balcony with a pinacolada and a big hat and imagine you’re on the beach.”
Making it at home
Tempted to wear one? This can be easily made at home if you have a flowy fabric and a sewing kit. “The easiest was to make a kaftan would be to take any light and flowy fabric you have lying around, about 40 inches in length and 38 inches in width approximately. Adjust it according to your height, waist and hip size. Fold the fabric in half and cut out a wide neck on the folded bit and stitch up the sides leaving place for your arms to stick out and your home made kaftan is ready,” Neha says.