Kaftan: A guide for beginners

Kaftans have been a part of Middle Eastern and North African culture since the 14th century. Today, they’re still very much worn as a classic garment but also a stylish and elegant alternative to a more contemporary dress.

Let’s take a brief look at the kaftan and its history.

A brief history of the kaftan...

Originally a Persian word, kaftan refers to a full-length robe-style garment, often with sweeping and voluminous sleeves. From the 14th to the 18th century, the Ottoman sultans wore exquisitely and ornately decorated kaftans, which were also given as rewards and gifts to dignitaries and emperors, seen as luxurious and rich.

Loose, lightweight and made from a plethora of different luxe fabrics from silk to cotton, kaftans were gradually introduced on a small scale to Europe with exotic travellers bringing them over during visits and expeditions. It wasn’t until the mid 20th century that kaftan-style garments began to make an appearance in western high fashion. With a rich history, the kaftan is ingrained into both tradition and fashion when it comes to Moroccan culture.


What is a Moroccan kaftan?

A Moroccan kaftan is a beautifully crafted traditional garment with a robe-like silhouette. Full-length and with long sleeves, the gown was made in different fabrics depending on the area within Morocco that it was worn. Moroccan kaftans would classically be crafted in rich fabrics, such as velvet or silk and could be decorated with stunning gold embellishments.


What types of kaftans are there?

Now, there are a wealth of different types of kaftan available for a wide range of uses and occasions. From very casual robe-style kaftans with open fronts to extremely formal velvet kaftans which layer dress-style garments with coordinating robes, it’s possible to find the perfect style of kaftan for every occasion.


Beach kaftan

Not just for everyday wear or special occasions, kaftans can be worn as modest beachwear, allowing you the extra coverage you desire in a lightweight and modest style. The Diamantine beachwear kaftan range is packed with options to suit every style and modesty. From full-length and long sleeve to shorter sleeve or even sleeveless, find the perfect options to layer with beachwear for those who love to chase the sun.

luxury kaftans diamantine

Luxury kaftan

For more formal events, luxury kaftans are a perfect choice and are crafted in plusher and more luxe fabrics, which can still be lightweight. Luxury kaftans will most likely have full-length sleeves but you’ll also find more contemporary takes on the style with shorter or split sleeve details.

These types of kaftans would be styled in a dressier way with heels and extravagant jewellery with the hair and makeup to match.

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Casual sleeveless kaftan

Although often worn for formal events, casual kaftans make an elegant choice for general wear and more relaxed get-togethers. Making a Moroccan style statement, kaftans are an elegant choice, perfect to suit every body type.

Not sure on imagery here? - Should be a sleeveless kaftan or 2 in general category

Where is most suitable to wear a kaftan?

If you’re thinking where can I wear a kaftan this season, there really are no set rules. Heading to a formal occasion or party? Why not add a luxury kaftan to your shopping list and make an elegant entrance with a Moroccan twist? If you’re a more casual dresser, discover the huge selection of casual kaftans available at Diamantine in both bold colours and statement prints and find the perfect style to suit.

Whatever you have on the calendar this season, opt for a piece of Moroccan culture and create a whole new look for your next event.