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Kaftans: Oversized Silhouettes

Updated: Jan 12

Demystifying myths around Kaftans & pro-tips about how to select one for your wardrobe

(Image: Short Ikat Kaftan top from The Loom Studio)


What are Oversized garments?

An Oversized aesthetics isn't simply about buying a few sizes up. Oversized fashion is a clothing style that is larger than normal clothing. It differs from Plus sized fashion because it is not proportionately cut out for the Plus size junta but are “One size for All” kind of styling. This means it still looks flattering on all body types.


“Oversized Aesthetics is not Plus-size Fashion. Not at all !”

Oversized clothes depict the aspect of body liberation, defocusing on body image & focusing more on the fusion of comfort and styling. More so, dressing in comfortable oversized silhouettes have a psychological advantage as you know you are styling as per your comfort zone & ease. One such elegant oversized attire is Kaftan.


The Kaftan Story

Traditionally, Kaftans have been ankle-length free-flowing garments with long sleeves. It was a primary attire of men in the Middle East and used to be made from cotton or silk with a sash or belt around the waist. Back then it found a place in the wardrobes of rich and posh society and was regarded as a prized and valuable piece to own.


The trend changed over the years and Kaftans were liberated from the luxurious male wardrobes and made their way to the more common masses. Over years, it traversed almost every corner and society of the world. By the 1900s, Kaftans had become a fashion that reflected a sort of attitude and message about events and the social norm for the period.

Various trendsetting designers have interpreted the Kaftan dress in their unique way and added a dimension of a new look to this attire over time. Be it Coco Chanel’s fashion inspirations during the 1920s & 1930s or Dior’s “New Look” range, the oversized silhouette was widely put to use and it certainly represented the society and the trends going on at that period. For instance, the period of the world wars saw a shortage of durable materials like leather in mainstream fashion (due to its use in military uniforms) due to which many alternative trims and accessories like fur, nylon, woolen linings, etc, were experimented successfully with Kaftans.


“Over decades Kaftans have evolved and become a strong medium of expression of the prevalent social norms & changing mindset of the period.”

(Image: Czarina Alexandra coronation dress, 1894. Source: Duwe.se blog)


The continuous evolution of Kaftan dress marked a new milestone in every decade. Whereas the Kaftans of the 1950s saw trends in the rise of feminism and sensuality changing their interpretation in fashion strata, the 1960s trends of Civil Rights and the continued rise of women saw the rise of Kaftans for women in more subtle variations that revolutionized the style of working women demanding more power, freedom, and equality in the then social set up.






Gallery (From Top Left to Bottom Right): Evolution of Kaftans

Balenciaga's Trapeze Dress

Marella Agnellin, 1966

Bianca Jagger

Anita Pallenberg

Talitha Getty, 1969

YSL @ Marrakech

Source: Duwe.se/blogs



The decade of the 1980s marked a further rise of women in high-status roles in the workplaces and other strata of society and the oversized Kaftans styling also evolved with the power mindset which was a reflection of women wanting to be more seriously recognized with a gender-neutral dressing. This was the same period that saw the rise of fashionable oversized Kimono sleeves.


Come the 2000s Kaftans are still very widely popular statement dressing in today’s modern societies. What’s even more intriguing is that the current era of immensely empowered women still finds this oversized silhouette a great medium to represent their persona and character.


Kaftans, never really out of fashion though, have come back to the biggest and finest fashion ramps in a very big way.




So why are Kaftans back in fashion?

Because they are a great amalgamation of Comfort with Style!


Today’s fast-paced lifestyle and changing weather conditions have made this easy-to-drape yet stylish attire take the centerstage in every comfortable & style-loving woman’s wardrobe. You will get one in prints or ravishing tie and dyed patterns or other crafty versions like hand embroidery, patchwork, etc.


What’s more, is that Kaftans offer a variety of options in terms of materials, designs, accessories & ways to drape which make sure you can choose for any occasion be it holidays, lounge outings, workplace, casual evening party, or a night out with friends.


“Kaftan is a great fusion of comfort & style. It is like a blank canvas which gives you the freedom to express your unique style sense with a dash of luxury & convenience.”

Many fashionistas and celebs have stamped the authority of Kaftans in the fashion world by opting for this as the go-to dress for their maternity wear during their pregnancies.


So, are they just good enough for being a maternity dress? Read on to know.

(Images: Sourced)


Kaftans: Cool or Not so cool?

Kaftans have been one of the go-to silhouettes for many celebrities and fashionistas the world over for gala events, shows, and special get together. It is a common sight to see one donning a Kaftan in its most luxurious and elegant avatar and flaunting this free-flowing piece in many variations. Even today celebrities are often spotted wearing this trendy attire at the red-carpet events.


Nowadays, Kaftans are looked up to as something that can be worn as formal work wear or a casual occasion, or for some special events. Kaftans are great for the sheer reason that they can be personalized according to your style statement. No matter you wear them as a dress or wear it for a beach vacation or pair them up with cool casual slim-fit denim or wear it with a pair of leggings, it is certain to give your look a definite oomph.


How to choose one for your style?

The answer is based on for which occasion are you planning to wear a Kaftan.


There are different factors one needs to consider while choosing the right Kaftan. A Kaftan is a free-flowing breezy attire. While a natural fabric in silk or cotton Kaftan keeps you comfortable and helps beat the heat on a bright sunny outing, you would be better off in a georgette or a satin variety for your evening occasion that demands a shinier look.


The length of the Kaftan dress or top is another point to consider while choosing the right option. Kaftans are available in long, medium, or short variants. Although the length of the Kaftan is inconsequential to the glamour it brings to your look however the choice of length depends upon the level of activity you are going to have and how comfortable are you in managing your movements with the length of the attire. For instance, at an evening or a fine dining occasion, your movements are not much and so you can go for those elegant flowy extra long Kaftan dresses and look like a diva. Or, if you are at work or college and spend the day chasing various activities you would be better off with a shorter version of Kaftan. Just pair it up with a slim-fit lower and you are ready to go!



“Kaftans are free-flowing breezy attire and are very flexible which lets you style it the way you want to. The choice of a Kaftan really depends on your personal styling preferences and the specific occasion where you want to wear a Kaftan”

You also need to think about the overall look and accessories you are planning to wear on the Kaftan. For example, a plain-colored minimal design Kaftan would demand for a more embellished accessory. On the other hand, if your Kaftan is a highly embellished or crafted one then go for a minimalistic accessory to let the Kaftan stand out. In the same way, you can choose a plain vs printed Kaftan based on the occasion, e.g., a printed kaftan is a great choice for a beach outing whereas a plain one goes well in your office. This choice however is more driven by your preference and style.


Stay tuned for our upcoming blog articles for more styling tips related to Kaftans and their related accessories


Which body types are most suited to wear a Kaftan?

The answer is ALL.


It is a common misconception that Kaftans or any oversized silhouettes are not for everyone. The broadly prevalent myth is that one may not look stylish or may look bulky when one wears them. In fact, if you really follow the fashion gurus and style experts, many have actually recommended going for a shapeless oversized attire and pairing it smartly with other accessories in order to beat the shape and size factor. They go on to suggest that in reality some of the body-hugging designs are the ones that make one look bulkier.


“Kaftans do not make one look bulkier. It is a free-flowing silhouette. The key is to pair it up smartly and accessorize accordingly.”

The right outfit idea is to go for something that compliments the shape of your body and at the same time is comfortable and trendy. Kaftan is just the right garment for you as it is free-flowing and personalized as per your body shape & size.


Additionally, with smart cuts & trims, a Kaftan can be made uniquely flamboyant. Those waistbelts & drawstrings help accentuate the body curves to make you look slimmer and the deeper neckline designs make your neck appear longer. A shirt-style oversized Kaftan is another smart pick that gives you an uplifted chic look.


Kaftan with a Desi Twist

The Loom Studio endeavors to provide this ageless attire with a desi twist by adding a flair of Indian craftsmanship and design. Be it our Ajrakh Kaftans, a dapper Shibori tie and dye Kaftan, or a hand-embroidered variation Kaftan, we strive to bring a fusion of intricate Indian workmanship into this global favorite. We constantly look for ways to represent the clinical dexterity of Indian artisans on Kaftans and give it a desi twist that is just the right mix for your wardrobe.


We at loom studio provide you a seamless experience to select from our choicest collection of women kaftan online with excellent range of premium cotton kaftans for women online.


If you are looking for inspirations for Women Kaftan Dress online or Kaftan tops online, then do check out our premium Kaftan collections below.


Shop with The Loom Studio:


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About The Loom Studio

The Loom Studio is your ultimate one-stop shopping destination for Women Fashion Clothing and Lifestyle products. The Loom Studio in India brings to you a wide variety of handcrafted range of ethnic clothing fashion for women from India created by our magical craftsmen located across the country. We work very closely with the artisan community and provide a platform to bring the fruits of the magical Indian craftmanship directly to your closet.

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All our designs are a creative blend of traditional yet contemporary and mindful fashion and offer you multitude of ways in which you can style them in your routine schedule or on your special day.

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