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Are you looking for a trendy beach cover-up? The things you're most likely to end up with are the famous pareo or sarong, or a even a large lightweight scarf. But there's more! For example, you can also choose a fun tunic in bright colors, a kaftan or a kimono.

What is a kaftan?

Originally the "caftan" comes from North Africa and the Middle East where a caftan is often worn as part of the man's traditional costume. Looking like a long robe consisting of 1 layer of fabric, the original kaftan is often made of wool, cashmere, silk or cotton. There are many different styles, uses and even different names for this garment per culture. Nowadays, the kaftan is also widely used by women in Eastern countries. Decorated with colorful beads, embroidery and decorations, the kaftan is a beautiful dress for special occasions.

How do you wear a caftan?

The brightly colored and richly decorated variant is also totally on-trend in the Western world. A stylish pinafore dress for the summer! Wear the kaftan over your swimwear to the beach or swimming pool. And because of the lightweight fabric, it is wonderfully airy and you look super stylish with just 1 fashion item!

But a kaftan is also great for a day trip. An afternoon shopping? Lounging on a terrace? Going out for dinner? Strolling along the boulevard? Just wear your kaftan with leather sandals for a cute boho look, or go for wedges for a more chic look. Are you really in love with your kaftan? Hey, why not just wear also in the fall and winter?! Pair of thicker tights underneath, sturdy boots, boho jewelry and you're done.

What is a kimono?

The kimono is originally from Japan and literally means "what someone is wearing". Not very telling, right?! In fact, it comes down to a kimono being a long cloak with wide, long sleeves and you tie the kimono with a belt. These dresses or coats are made in the most beautiful colors with various beautiful patterns. A traditional kimono is made of silk and costs around € 60,000 for a new one. However, most kimonos are passed on from mother to daughter, whereby it is customary for a kimono to last for three generations. In the past, a kimono was seen as standard clothing in Japan, but nowadays it is no longer like that. The Western influences put an end to this traditional costume, because people started to wear more and more regular pants and shirts. This even went so far that Emperor Meiji (at the end of the 20th century) determined that even civil servants should only wear Western clothing. Nowadays, traditional kimonos are only worn on special occasions, such as weddings.

How do you style a kimono?

Assuming you are not Japanese and therefore not wearing a traditional kimono, you can wear a kimono in many fun ways. Of course a kimono is already an amazing fashion musthave for a day at the beach. Make sure to pick a lightweight version, so you don't get too hot on those sunny days. Perfect for when you want to go get a drink at that cozy beach bar or when you want to go for a walk along the waterfront. But a kimono is not just a garment for the beach or swimming pool. Why not wear a kimono over a cute little dress? Gives you an instant boho look. Or do you prefer wearing a denim short, basic shirt and sneakers? Just add a kimono and you have a very cool, somewhat sporty look.

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