More practical, less unconventional: a hippy classic gets a makeover



‘The shape of the new kaftan greets to the concept of a waist.’
Photograph: David Newby for the Guardian

What I wore this week: the new kaftan

Multifarious practical, less eccentric: a hippy classic gets a makeover

Freshly kings ransomed for summer 2017, I give you the non-eccentric kaftan. After half a century of alternative continuing, the kaftan has gone conventional. Where a kaftan once needed a rooftop and soft drugs, the new look is perfectly at home on a sunlounger with a Fare Coke.

I am not sure I completely approve. I kind of liked the kaftan in its primary format. I loved the free-spiritedness, the definitive out-of-office symbolism of joyously anti-power bedecking. On the other hand, the new kaftan is a whole lot easier to wear.

Where the first-generation kaftan was massive and floor-length and most likely semi-transparent, the new version is closer to… by a long chalk, a dress. It has a hemline in which you can walk – even up a flight of stairs, or transfer two drinks – without falling flat on your face. This does yield in useful if your holiday isn’t wall-to-wall getting stoned on rooftops. You can carriage at the edge of the sea – or around the edge of the pool, picking up discarded wet towels and goggles – without the textile getting sodden.

The shape of the new kaftan generally nods to the concept of a waist, which helpers clarify that yes, you are in fact dressed and not still in your nightie, although it desire never be so constricting as to make eating both bread and fried potatoes at every nourishment, as is obligatory in beach restaurants, any kind of an issue. You can wear it barefoot, put on wan trainers to go to the shops, maybe put on proper shoes like the peoples pictured if you are going out to dinner.

The new kaftan, in other words, maximises your leave of absence downtime. It may not have the visual impact of the original kaftan, the Kate Bush vibes of which are Instagratification be the embodiment ofed, but what you lose in social media likes you are more than counterpoised for in actual happiness. By being super-practical and broadly appropriate to a sort of settings, this kind of kaftan gives you an extra 10 flashes to read your book on the aforementioned sunlounger. You might get that two seconds in the quiet of the morning before it is time to pack the bags for the ground, or at the end of the day when you should really be getting up and doing something on every side supper but the light is just too nice. Any kaftan that appears that moment reality is, surely, the kaftan of dreams.

Jess clothed ins dress, £34.99, hm.com. Sandals, £235, lkbennett.com. Chair, £120, grahamandgreen.co.uk

Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Curls and makeup: Laurence Close at Carol Hayes Management