Meet your summer hero; no it’s not a shirt and it’s not a dress, it is in fact a kaftan. Easy breezy, relaxed and everything a holiday should be, you shouldn’t leave the country without one.

But the kaftan isn’t just for the beach, – the ultimate versatile item it is so much more than a cover-up and with its hippie, bohemian quality which is bang on-trend this season, the kaftan is more current than ever. Avid kaftan wearer, Rachel Zoe said “they’re one of the most versatile pieces of clothing” and we can’t help but agree. Here’s why you should be investing in a kaftan to wear all summer long…

On the Catwalk

From full-length evening kaftans at Emilio Pucci to simple chiffon styles at Chloe, designers embraced the kaftan with open arms and reinvented the summer hero to make it suitable for both beach and city.

The Icons

The kaftan has had numerous devotees. In fact, Christina Hendricks went so far as to plan a kaftan party purely because she loves the wearable summer item so much. The most elegant stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Bisset have helped bring the kaftan to the fashion forefront and we’ve not looked back since. These are some of our favourite kaftan enthusiasts who have helped make the kaftan what it is today:

From left: Jacqueline Bisset, Beyonce, Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Ashley Olsen, Rachel Zoe, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian

How to wear it

The kaftan is truly versatile; sheer versions are perfect for the beach, while full-length patterned options are red carpet appropriate when paired with glittering accessories. For the beach, simply throw on over your bikini and you’re good to go but for a more fashion savvy look that is fit for the city, here are a few ideas of how you can wear yours…

For Day

The kaftan may be known for its beach suitability, but we love it in the city too, as seen below on Lisa Snowdon. Wear a short printed kaftan with flat sandals and a cross-body bag for a practical outfit with hippie vibes. Alternatively, take it to Coachella with black ankle boots and wayfarer sunglasses.

Shop the edit- from left: Butterfly by Matthew Williamson patterned kaftan dress, H! by Henry Holland silver bag, Red Herring black wayfarer sunglasses, Faith black suede ankle boots, Red Herring aviator sunglasses, Faith tan saddle bag, Faith tan flat gladiator sandals, Warehouse embroidered kaftan.

For Night

Forget the little black dress, for summer you should embrace a maxi kaftan in a monochrome palette for a chic eveningwear update. Simply add metallic accessories, caged heeled sandals and a slick up-do for a fierce yet feminine look.

Shop the edit- from left: Wallis black and white maxi, Star by Julien Macdonald blue snakeskin clutch bag, Call it Spring black caged high heel sandals, Debut gold glitter high heel sandals, No. 1 by Jenny Packham gold box clutch bag, Principles by Ben de Lisi maxi kaftan.

We think we’ve discovered the key to a blissful summer: all you’ll need is peace, love and kaftans.

Top image: Preen /EDITION

(Images courtesy of REX, harpersbazaarus, nydailynews, pinterest)