About a month ago, I was eating at a restaurant in West Hollywood with a friend. We’d already devoured faux In-N-Out burgers, the contents of the dim sum and sushi carts, and a generous helping of fries. She didn’t seem particularly concerned about our Falstaffian night of consumption. “I’m getting ready to go to a caftan party,” she told me. Instead of a bachelorette party, a friend of hers was having a house party with caftans as a required dress code. When I returned to New York, I saw that Christina Hendricks is also a fan of caftan parties (and even got Jimmy Fallon to wear one). One can only hope that, like juicing, injecting vitamin B-12, using hella as an adverb, and doing those weird IV drips, caftan parties are a chill West Coast trend that’s headed east very soon. That’s how it always starts: Your much-cooler-to-the-point-where-they’re-slumming friend tells you about it, then a minor celebrity raves about it, then everyone is suddenly doing it.
It’s now late May, which means that women’s publications are in full bikini-body crisis mode. A Vogue headline blares, “How to Get a Beach Body in Two Weeks.” Self magazine might as well display a visible forehead vein: Get that bikini body or else! (“SUMMER SEXY STARTS NOW,” screams their current cover.) These articles emphasize a Spartan regimen of salt-reduction, dry brushing, and tiny, fishy meals. Perhaps there’s the occasional Pyrrhic “cheat day,” but overall these prescriptions do not spell “summer fun.”
But getting a caftan body — now, that is far more pleasurable. Below, the Cut’s steps to getting yourself caftan-ready for the warmer months. (The best news: Literally every step but the first is optional.)
1. Select a caftan of your chosen gauge and length. Stroke its gauzy fabric and whisper into its folds.
2. Let your flesh settle into the crevices of your comfortable, comfortable caftan.
3. Crumbs? Let them fall where they may, swaddled in your caftan.
4. Throw out your razor.
5. Throw out your bra.
6. Throw out the aloe vera lotion you bought last summer. You will not be getting sunburned this summer.
7. Release your inhibitions. Feel the rain on your skin.
The Bargain Amazon Find (That Looks Expensive)
Get a couple and rotate them all summer long.
The One That Goes With Everything
Simple, chic, and black — what else do you need?
If You Love Prints But Don’t Want to Look Too Over-the-Top
The subtle pattern is beautiful and adds just enough color.
The One to Wear to the Beach
Toss it over your bathing suit and you’re good to go.
If You Want Something Modest
This feels very old-school Elizabeth Taylor and I love it.
The Dolce-Inspired One
The lemon pattern looks very similar to Dolce & Gabbana’s iconic version, but only costs a fraction of the price.
The Trendy Pick
Just in case you’re looking for one that all the influencers are wearing on Instagram — you’re welcome.
For the Minimalist With an Eye for Design
If You Want Something Airy
This slinky caftan looks extra expensive thanks to its flowy silhouette, creamy ivory color, and raw hem detailing.
If You Want Something That Could Be Dressed Up
Designer Margherita Missoni wears this dress from her collaboration with Splendid very often on Instagram — even to fancy parties!
Gigi Hadid, Jessica Alba, and Reese Witherspoon all count themselves as fans and for good reason — the embroidery and colorful tassels feel especially festive for warm weather.
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