Photos by Dvora @fashionistable

Apart from chic, holiday markets in Ibiza, where do you find a good kaftan? Pippa Holt’s luxury cotton kaftans are lovely but pricey  – the equivalent of two return Easyjet flights to Athens (still no sign of Mr TNMA’s reading glasses). Ditto Dosa. For something more reasonably priced try Boden and East. This full-length linen number is by Cyprus-based label YUMEworld available via Etsy. Yume means to dream in Japanese and the kaftan/lifestyle brand was created by the design duo Candy Manioudaki and Constantinos Kyriacou. The former studied fashion in London and worked as a stylist and a fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar and Madame Figaro magazines in Cyprus for 15 years before opening up a concept store. While Kyriacou is a jewellery designer who studied in Florence and has been commissioned by Yves Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent being one of the first fashion designers, along with Halston, to popularise the kaftan as ready-to-wear in the 1970s. 

At the Serpentine Pavilion. Photo: Dvora @fashionistable

Perfect for a London heatwave, I’ve been popularising the kaftan all summer. This ethically-produced style is called the JEFF, I’m wearing the ‘black olive’ version but it comes in several colours. Initially I was a bit concerned I’d look like I’d come out in my nightie, but the linen – sourced from Japan, Ireland and Hong Kong – is good quality and feels very substantial. Just add statement accessories to take the look away from the beach (a belt if it’s feeling too wafty) and think summer maxi not care in the community. My jewellery is from Claire Stratton, more of which coming soon. In the meantime, I’ve got my eye on the striped ANAIS. Could the kaftan be the new jumpsuit?

Thank you to the ever-so elegant Elizabeth The Vintage Contessa for introducing me to YUMEworld.

28 thoughts on “How to wear a kaftan all summer long

  1. You look super-cool in every sense Alyson. Lovely posting which made me laugh out loud with it’s wittyness. I also REALLY like that blue wall that you’re standing in front of! Where is that??

  2. You look stunning in your kaftan Alyson! I love them too but until now have only worn them on holiday. I’m totally converted to introduce the kaftan into my every day summer style. Perfect for school holidays just doing stuff with the kids. Thanks for all the lovely ones you included here.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to YUMEworld based here in Cyprus! Been wearing kaftans for many years as they are so comfortable – very glad to have now found a local source!

  4. I do think that the accessories would make all of the difference with this piece, Alyson!! In fact, on my blog today, I’m comparing wearing accessories to not wearing them. How funny that you said that!!

  5. I love the idea of kaftans,my
    Mother used to wear them when she lived in Spain and always looked amazing. I wish they could work for me,last time I wore one I tripped and fell,not elegant.!! But you have made me want to try again,I live in France so perhaps it might work as long as It’s not too long and my shoes comfortable and not high.
    Wish me luck.

  6. I was at a LUNCH with 4 other bloggers in the SPRING TIME and made a STATEMENT about how I wish I could wear a CAFTAN everyday in the SUMMER…………WELL, I have been LIVING UP TO MY STATEMENT!Since, discovering YUMEWORLD and THEIR GORGEOUS CAFTANS………I have purchased at least FIVE I think maybe MORE in the past YEAR!I buy THE MEN’s as I am TALL and the length is PERFECT!I think the MATERIAL IS FANTASTIC…….the weight DIVINE not CHEAP and they do not SHRINK !!!!!!I had READ ABOUT their PAST as well but somehow missed the FACT Constantinos Kyriacou had STUDIED in FLORENCE, ITALY!!!!!!!!AS you know I lived there in the 1990’s………..and LOVED every moment of it!In fact being the AMERICAN I didNOT want to LEAVE!I was BLESSED with MY GOOGLE SEARCH that DAY when I fell upon these TWO and their DESIGNS!Now, to GO visit in person would be the BEST!ONE must DREAM always………and don’t you love the packaging AS WELL!!!?

  7. omg. I promised myself, no more summer clothes, especially dresses, especially caftan dresses. Now I feel like I need 5 of these, 4 of which are Yumeword. Sigh. I do need to mention, which is known for caftans, although my summer favourite, the rose parrot, is gone. You have to be quick with emersonfry!

  8. I’ve a hankering for a kaftan and although I have acquired two lovely soft hammam towels from ‘My little wish’ with the intention of sewing my own, it is yet to happen. Thank you for sharing Yume – these look perfect for ‘midnight at the oasis’ (anyone remember the Maria Muldour song?) or lounging in my garden on Hayling Island!

  9. Lovely photos. They look so comfortable but I look like a sack of potatoes in most loose flowing garments unfortunately. I think it’s because I have narrow shoulders and a small bust!

  10. Lovely photo of Allyson against backdrop of dramatic new Serpentine pavilion. Hair looks gorgeous. However voluminous garments not flattering on me. I’m too short with too much bosom. Those loose dresses I do have like Oska ones I belt loosely except when it’s really hot and I’m at home.

  11. I live in long cotton caftans in the summer, wearing them for everything except swimming, trail hiking and bicycling. Thank you for introducing me to Yumeworld…I have my eye on their JEFF in aubergine!

  12. I love this caftan on you, beautiful! I recently moved from Seattle to a much warmer climate where I go swimming almost every day. A caftan is perfect and so comfy to put on after swimming, so now I’m a big fan of them. I sewed for many years and I’m thinking I should get out my machine and make myself a few. I would probably save myself a fortune lol

  13. So I ordered the same caftan as you, only in curry and with a hood (for reading by the pool when I don’t want my wet hair squished by a hat), as well as the brown embroidered one size you also have pictured. Yea Yumeworld. I think the male models they have pictured look fantastic too. What a good idea.

  14. Some of Pipa Holt’s “kaftans” are copies of indigenous Mexican huipiles. Of course, for the amount she charges one could but some real beauties.

  15. I know I’m WAY late to this party but I tripped over this blog entry while searching for a decent kaftan. My JEFF, in grey stripe, arrived last week and I may never take it off again. I slid it over my head and looked in the mirror and … it is perfect. Perfect! I did flinch at the price ($400 Canadian, including duty) and I may have to eat porridge for the rest of the year, but I’ll look fabulous doing so, and I’ll have this garment until I die. Thank you!

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