Friday, July 16, 2010

Would you wear this?

Today it's dirty little secrets day. I admit to receiving this pattern in a box lot from an estate sale and not putting it into the "toss" pile.

It is proportioned to my height after all.
 Simplicity 8354 circa 1969. 

I just couldn't bring myself to throw it out. Caftan's are such a unique fashion statement from the 1970s and iconic of the decade. Plus they remind me of one of my all time favorite movies.

Brownie points if you can name this film in the comments of this post. 

I also confess that the idea of making these costumes for Fiancé and myself for the upcoming Dragon Con has crossed my mind several times. With some good bed sheets I know at least the black caftan could be done in under $25.

Although the caftan is iconic to the 1970s it has some how persisted through the decades in sewing patterns. I suppose people might wear caftans at home as lounge wear nowadays, but I don't know of anyone who owns one. The only caftan I've ever seen out in public was worn by my crazy 8th grade art teacher in 1999. So why have you always been able to buy a caftan pattern in the large fabric stores? My best guess as to why they're are still around is that they are very simple to make. The 8354 above has like what... 4 seams?



1999 Koko Beall (This looks very similar to the 80s caftan above... just saying..)

2000's Kwik Sew. Yeah... that's a cute model, but that caftan is not faltering to her figure at all. 

I'm sure caftans are very comfortable though I can't say I've ever worn one. I'm not a huge fan of the post 70s caftan styles. I still find the early 1970s vintage caftan styles to be down right elegant. Caftans of the later decades just can't compare.

1973. Not sure how I feel about floral caftan in the front there, but the solid blue without the bow ties is nice.

1973. Very mod. The black and white is actually quite lovely. Green on the left has a great little cinching waistline added which looks oh-so-sweet.

1973. I'm starting to see a pattern here (har har... oh, so punny) as far as which year to get your caftan patterns from. These asymmetrical caftans are so chic.

1972. The red version is definitely more lounge wear than anything, but I like the sleeves very much. The jumpsuit on the right... that isn't really something I could pull off per say, but if it floats someone's boat then I say go for it!

1970. The center caftan there is very cute, though I suppose it's more of an Abaya.

1972. I'm digging the waist line on the view 2 there, definitely improves the flatterability (I made that word up) of the caftan look.

So what do you think? Would you wear a caftan? Do you think caftans are the ugliest things on the planet? Would you make a caftan? Do you think they'll come back in style soon or should they even come back in style? Let me know your thoughts!


Kelli said...

I work with home bound seniors, err worked with anyway until recently, anywhoo, Ladies of a certain age *cough* still love them some caftan, especially ladies who may have been happier to run nude in their earlier days. In my experience, it's replaced the housecoat.

Would I wear it? No, but I also envy these certain ladies their positive body image when society has deemed them long passed attractive. Perhaps that is the lesson of the caftan? :)

~Kelli @ Smidgens

amy said...

I have a soft spot for caftans too. Very of the era. very hippie and also very chic hostess in my mind depending on styling of course. I don't think I could ever wear one though. I am too short. I would just get lost in all that fabric.

I have no idea what the movie is but that picture makes me want to see it. And is that Michael York?

What-I-Found said...

I sell every caftan pattern I get...folks wear them at home, at the beach, yeah, in nursing homes and to ethic women who prefer to keep covered.
And to people who live in hot places...nothing more comfortable than flowing fabric that isn't clinging to you when it's over 100 outside!

Nancy said...

Kelli: You're right, I wasn't thinking the older set. I could see how they would still enjoy getting their caftan on. I plan to be wearing my plastic rimmed glasses, crocks and low rise jeans into my elder years.

Amy: It is Michael York! You get 2 brownie points for knowing him, but you'll have to wait until the next post to find out what character he's playing there. And I agree, that could be a very chic hostess outfit. Especially one of those belted versions in a chiffon. Ooh! That sounds wondrous.

What-I-Found: That's surprising to me that they would sell so well. I guess I just haven't had much exposure to them in my life being reared in the chilly north.

Tasia said...

I'm from the chilly north, I suppose, and I can't see myself ever wearing one! When it's (finally) hot outside, I want to wear cute things like sundresses, not drape myself in fabric. I can see the appeal though, of having loose, flowy fabric that doesn't constrict or hug too closely (or at all!)
And if I had to, I'd choose something like that black & white one, the vertical lines are at least slimming! (And wear it with four inch heels for extra confidence.)

Alyssa said...

I think that last one would be sufficiently flattering and I love the 2377.
They always remind me of Mrs. Roper, though.
And I swear I'll have the Ruby post done, just no one is around to take my picture!

Sheffield @ said...

Kaftans sell like crazy on our vintage website. They are so comfortable and versatile! Wear as a cover up for the beach or pool. Add a belt and gladiator sandals and wear while running errands. They are a chic way to stay cool and look hot!

Eleanor said...

Hmmmm...I think I would wear one -if- they made one that actually fit me (as in height). Which means I would probably have to make one if I wanted to wear one! :D

Atomic Mum said...

With our weather hot even in winter these are not uncommen in North Australia. I don't care what anyones says, you realy need to livein the heat to understand the love affair some people up here have with them. Besides they can be cheap to make.

When my grandfather pasted on he took with him a bright very groovy orange one. We also found a stash of them, the fabric was unreal.

Heather said...

Hi-just found your blog via FartyGirl's blog!
So cool :)
Anyway-I'm not sure about wearing a caftan. I'm pretty petite, so it might drown me. Also it would depend on the material and pattern.
Tori Spelling wore one at her wedding renewal ceremony and rocked it. It looked like VERY light material.

Maura said...

I'm going to guess "Logan's Run" (which I loved but haven't seen in a decade or two). I don't remember this particular scene in the context of the movie, but those costumes look very familiar and also very Logan's run-ish.

Maura said...

Aaaand no. I won't be wearing a caftan, for a quarter of a century, at least. I see the "cool and breezy, yet covered" value of one, but I can get that with a simple, sleeved, lightweight, pull-over dress (with much less yardage, too!). I'm very confident that caftans are much too "dramatic" for me, and I would look like crazysauce in one of those.

Spacewomanspiff said...

Logan's Run for sure. I enjoy Sci-Fi movies but never was a fan of Logan's Run. My boyfriend doesn't understand why I don't like it. I guess I don't either.

I'd wear a caftan if I were in the middle east. I remember reading a magazine article a little while ago interviewing some super model who loved to wear her vintage caftan.

I guess it all depends on the pattern and fabric. You could look elegant or you can look like the Queen alien gal Captain Kirk would like to get it on with.