6 Aug 2012

Saint Tropez… and the Kaftan

What to wear in Saint Tropez? It’s easy… The kaftan… long, short and in-between. I am a fan of the kaftan… have been forever… they look wonderful in the summer and hide a multitude of over indulgence… The women in Saint Trop have a penchant for the kaftan… flowing à la Moss as in the photograph above or worn short as a mini over shorts… They look sensational. I love the mix of colours and patterns… the anything goes with everything approach to fabric… it’s exuberant, happy and carefree. Kaftans also look incredibly stylish… and suit everyone…

What I love the most is that a kaftan can be worn at any age… There is no looking over the shoulder and worrying if it’s too much or not suitable… Kaftans work and give a joie de vivre to summer dressing… in short… or in long, they make you feel pretty and feminine. I wear mine over my swimmers and then I dress them up in the evening with long necklaces, bracelets or drop earrings. The other best part of kaftan dressing… is that it is easy… accessorising is a no brainer… you can be ready and gorgeous in 5… Most fashion isn’t like that… it requires planning and effort.

My girlfriends, who I am holidaying with, are all fans of the kaftan… and they look gorgeous… some wear long, some where short with palazzo style pants underneath and others wear knee length styles with their wedge espadrilles or strappy sandals… I can’t imagine wearing jeans and slim fitting clothes again… that may have something to do with all the delicious dinners and wines we have been enjoying… but that’s holidays… Right?

As I have a kaftan crush I have been surfing the sites and marking the ones I love… Enjoy…

Need a little Kaftan in your Life…

Cotton Kaftan Dress… black, purple and red… cool and comfortable… here
Black, blue and beautifully beaded… here
Leopard lovely from Oscar de la Renta… here
 Stunning Ikat Print… here
Pretty in Pink… here
A little tie dye… my latest crush… here
Short and fabulous over skinny or wide pants… here
Floral Fabulous… here
Black maxi… totally superb… here
Embroidered heaven… here
and the never-leave-home without classic white…here

Have a happy and relaxing weekend… See you next week… xv


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Jeanne @ Collage of Life

Hi Vicki….
I have mine with me in Da Lat, Vietnam this weekend. A bit cooler up north, so today I am wearing mine with white linen pants…back in Saigon, it is a kaftan as a dress. Love that they are so versatile!
Saint Tropez…sounds wonderful! Sending you best wishes…. Jeanne xx


Having spent time on the Cote D’azure…..I think wearing loose garb totally works to stay cool and look cool. I have a crush on the tunics from two new york.


I think I actually like Kate’s the most, it appears to be chiffon and very flowy and light, nothing stiff looking! The pattern/colors are gorgeous, and love those button and loop closures. I rarely wear prints as I’m tall and not skinny so feel too conspicuous in a mass of colors………….but that black maxi is awesome, and I’d love the short white one for a beach cover-up.

Thanks Vicki for showing us what’s in style for St. Tropez………all fabulous! Glad you’re having such fun with your girlfriends.
Also, thanks for stopping by to admire my little garden and leaving such a nice comment………..and there’s you with a garden in Provence to die for!!!!!!

Hugs – Mary


So funny – I am currently obsessed with Kaftans but haven’t yet found the perfect one for me – am considering one from Irving & Fine at the moment. And coming home from Las Vegas last week, I sat next to a French gentleman who has the most divine house in St. Tropez – will publish soon!! Hope you’re having a wonderful summer Vicki!!

Carolyn Bradford

I wish I had a kaftan right now! After eating way too much good seafood while here at the beach it would come in handy! Plus it’s so hot right now it just looks light and airy! What I really want is to be in St. Tropez at this very minute! Thanks for sharing this! Have a great weekend!


freedom…and something to cover the indulgence of holidays! Why is it that of all the ones you shared..the ones I love are the most expensive?!? :)



I remember my grandma wearing a kaftan and that was 50 years ago! What a great look and I adore the one that Kate Moss is wearing. I agree! Worn with espadrilles or strappy sandals, short, mid-range, or long.. works on everyone, at any age (as a mature woman..over 50.. I find my wardrobe becoming less fitted and more “flowing”) Perfect for warm weather, and when on holiday.. when we are indulging more :)

Sounds like a wonderful trip you’re having!



Great picture! Ohhh, and I love how it’s a la plage, the printed flowing fabric, the glass of rose or pink champagne.


Hi Vicki, If I can’t have Kate’s, then the white one is perfect. Thanks and have a wonderful vacance. Mary

La Contessa

Love love love Kaftans!,,I have a hard time finding them long enough however!Since,I’m 5’11”.Did you take a peek at my party pics?I truly lucked out weather wise it was a Provence like eve!Am just a tad bit jealous of you and your girl buddies soaking up the rays and people watching in St.Tropez!Enjoy!,,,

Helen Tilston

Hello Vicki

I think you have started a trend here. I have not seen any on the street here. Many are wearing maxi dresses in fine jersey.

I love the caftan in your post the best

Helen xx

L Sorensen-Jolink

Thanks for this piece on my favorite garment! Any idea of the provenance of the magnificent caftan in the photograph?


Vicki I’m not sure how old you are, but I am so happy that all the styles that were popular when I was 17 are now back..makes me sentimental and makes me think I actually had some style back then. Instead of on my body though, now, I use these looks in my rooms..body too sometimes I suppose. Hope your weekend is fantastic!

Garden, Home and Party

I remember kaftans being popular stateside when I was in my early 20’s. I will definitely check then out, I remember how comfortable they were. Nice to know they are styling’ in St Tropez today.


I have become such a fan this year. i agree they are so easy and cool. I wear mine on the beach and in the evening. They are also a great protector from too much sun.

david terry

My mother has never been in the least interested in fashion or really, for that matter, in what-she-wears-whatsoever. It’s all just clothes to her, and a purely practical issue. Granted, it’s probably easier to be indifferent to clothes when you’re a remarkably small (she’s weighed between 100 and 115 pounds all her adult life), extremely pretty woman who’s been receiving daily compliments on her looks since sometime in the Eisenhower administration.

She’s actualy pretty vocal about her disdain for fashion, hairstyles (she’s worn her hair in a simple, loose bun since she was married, 52 years ago), and jewelry. That said?….

She LOVES kaftans and claims they were the only “fashion” (I vaguely recall their coming into vogue sometime around 1970-1975; didn’t Elizabeth Taylor take to wearing them a lot around then?) that was “good” for women….according to her, when they came into fashion as public-wear, it was the first time in her life when 2/3rds of her friends weren’t starving themselves on constant dexedrine-regimes or wearing torture-device undergarments.

At 72, she still wears kaftans pretty-much everyday in warm weather. She seems to have bought about a hundred during various trips to Hawaii during the 80’s. She never puts them through the washer or dryer, so they’ve all l-a-s-t-e-d.

She would approve of this posting if I ever got her on a computer….

I suppose you wouldn’t necessarily know that kaftans are also the rainment-of-choice for middle-aged-to-aging American gay men in beachy/poolside environments. Women aren’t the only folks who appreciate something that covers up a variety of sins.

For better or worse, I’ve never worn a kaftan, nor do I own one.


Level Best as Ever,
david Terry

david terry

Oh, Vicki…..Perhaps you’re right in your advice, but my impression is that (for menfolks like me, at least)buying and wearing a kaftan is a sort of sartorial gateway-drug to eventually buying and wearing pinky rings that used to belong to your grandmother.

As I’ve said in regard to the WAY OVER THE TOP, chandeliered, and (frankly) fancy-whore-house master bathroom that came with our “new” (220 years old) house?……”We may be gay, but we’re not THAT gay”.

Incidentally?….a month into having moved here, I found myself alone this weekend, and more than tired of simply DEALING with all the detritus and stuff from three separate houses, all of which has washed up here in a tsunami of possessions (half of which Herve doesn’t even know he’s owned).

I was in a very sour/despondent mood about the whole business yesterday (he’s gone on a business trip). I thought to myself that I was acting spoiled(don’t forget that I wanted this old house and the property like I’ve never wanted anything in my life) and generally foolish.

So, I made a point of pulling down both of your books and simply going through them yesterday morning, while I had my coffee and avoided my “to-do” novellas….making myself recall just how enjoyable and gratifying it should be to establish a new home and make it your own. Your books (both of which, as you know, I know well) were a good kick-in-the-pants, reminding me that, if you don’t enjoy the PROCESS, then you’re not likely to enjoy much of anything else.

thanks as ever,
david terry

David Terry


I can’t wait to see what you do with the property… this is a most exciting time David… the challenge of the doing is what I love most… once it’s finished… well… that is a different beginning… xv

Francine gardner

I am 100% with you. Kaftans are indispensable… wherever i travel, i am in search of a perfect kaftan and have collected them over the years, it could be a simple cotton kimono from japan, to colorful Bubus from Senegal, djellabas from marrakech, a little something form Saint Barts… I wear mine all summer at home in the country or at the beach. i was just in Maine, and dressed up every night in a Kaftan…Are you in saint tropez??? lucky you..


Absolutely gorgeous – and I think a style that suits a lot of women – not just models like Kate. I was on the look out for one in St Tropez in June but never found what I was looking for. Apparently I should have looked in a boutique called Bla-Bla in Place Garonne? – So enjoying your St Tropez posts!

trish Murphy

I love the Kaftans bought my first in 1973.I must buy a new one I have got out of the long ones in favour of the short. The girls in St Tropez look fabulous I love the long Kaftan.
I picked up House and Garden today only to see your beautiful House and Garden featured.The roses look stunning.xTrish

david terry

What’s about your being featured in “House & Garden”, vicki (see Trish Murphy’s posting above)?

(1)I thought Conde Nast had completely (not to mention alarmingly abruptly) shuttered and closed-down “House and Garden”…..or was this just the American edition?

(2) How would I find this article? I just tried to search the site (which led me to guess that there’s an extant, British version of the magazine), but to no avail.

Curioser than usual,

David Terry


It is the Australian magazine David… and when I receive a copy I will happily scan it and send it to you… xv

david terry

Oh, thanks, Vicki……but I’ve got to say that I’m reminded of the time, a couple of years ago, when I (having complained that Disney’s “Song of the South”, my favorite childhood movie, was unavailable because it’s now deemed RACIST)got a package from an Italian friend who had been working in Japan. I now have a copy of the movie, but it came from an Italian and has a Japanese soundtrack, with English subtitles.

Watching Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit in Japanese is (I promise you) one of the most surreal cinematic experiences a boy from Tennessee can have.

In any case, I’ll be very happy to read an Australian article from a friend in France.

Did Gerard score a mention in the article? I expect he’ll be chuffed if he did. (see?…I’ve learned yet another thing from you…..first time I’ve ever employed that word….)

Level Best as Ever,

David Terry
“Entropy Acre”
Hillsborough, NC


Hi Vicki!
I am enjoying your Saint Tropez series. I normally wear Chanel’s Chance (au tendre)…I took a little leap and let you be my “nose”. I ordered Route du The’.


Oh how I love your style posts my friend. As I gain wisdom on such things (read: age) I find that identifying what really works for me over the latest trend is far more valuable. I love Kaftans!!

Enjoy your time in the sun,

Amy Kortuem

Kaftans aren’t really the rage here in southern Minnesota, but I do know what ou mean about dreading the eventual return to jeans and “real” shoes! My nice summer dresses are so comfortable…


How truly perfectly lovely! Can’t wait to click on some of your finds and favorites. Hope you are enjoying your holidays, Vicki!

Mona Thompson

This may be my new Summer go to…so chic…and as you have mentioned, hides a multitude of sins…who wants to be bothered with those on vacation?…Thanks for sharing. Mona


couldn’t love the kaftan more! if slightly see through it’s sexy but demure all at once- and stops me burning!

Slim Paley

Dear Lord, where would we be without our kaftans?!
That being said, one has to be careful to not cross over into “Mrs. Roper” land.
My favourites are Missoni, Etro and a couple of Zandra Rhodes oldies but goodies.
I was just in Greece and my fabulous friend there wore a different one, with lashings of jewelry every day and she just looked fabulous!

rosalie carmichael

I remember making my first caftan in 1967 from some green paisley fabric a brother gave me for Christmas. Another brother came up with the green patent leather shoes and clutch and another the hoop earrings to complete the outfit. I remember feeling wonderful during that hot Australian summer. I was 16 yrs old and have continued to love dressing and creating outfits each day.


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