15 Caftans We're Living in This Summer

Meet your warm-weather wardrobe's MVP.

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Vogue 1936 Models on Diving Board
Vogue 1936 Models. Toni Frissell / Contributor

We've already declared the house dress to be our unofficial at-home uniform, so it should only follow that we've deemed its sunny sister, the caftan, our summer wardrobe MVP. Unlike the original housedress, which was designed to #work, the modern Western interpretation of the caftan was designed for leisure. Picture glittering cocktail parties and Slim Aarons's pool scenes. The caftan still flies as formalwear these days (hello, beaded silk), but for our purposes, we're enamored of caftans that swing a little more casual, made from light-as-air cotton and as appropriate for running errands as parking it by the pool. Casual caftans are still effortlessly elegant, with a no-fuss fit that's comfortable for all-day wear and won't require a trip to the dry cleaners. So go ahead, Mama. Shake out your caftan, pour yourself a strawberry margarita spritzer, and settle onto the porch swing. If you close your eyes, it's almost like you're in Palm Beach.

Relaxed-Fit Short-Sleeve Cotton Poplin Shirtdress in Stripe

J Crew Relaxed Fit Short Sleeve Shirtdress
J. Crew

BUY IT: $128; jcrew.com

Throw it over your bathing suit as a pretty cover-up or tie on the optional belt for a more tailored look.

Kate Spade New York Hydrangea Floral Printed Satin Caftan

Kate Spade Hydrangea Caftan
Dillard's

BUY IT: $88; dillards.com

Wear spring's favorite flower all summer long in this satin number.

Tie-front Cotton-Voile Maxi Dress

J Crew Tie-Front Cotton-Voile Maxi Dress
J. Crew

BUY IT: $128; jcrew.com

Pair it with sandals for an easy daytime outfit, or dress it up with wedges and statement accessories.

Ivory And Black Block Print Gwyneth Dress

World Market Ivory And Black Block Print Gwyneth Dress
World Market

BUY IT: $35; worldmarket.com

A detachable slip simplifies the caftan's day-to-night quality.

Kate Landry Tie Dye Woven Dobby Caftan

Kate Landry Tie Dye Woven Dobby Caftan
Dillard's

BUY IT: $58; dillards.com

This textured cotton frock gets an of-the-moment update in indigo-blue tie dye.

Parigi Maxi Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Parigi Maxi Dress
Lilly Pulitzer

BUY IT: $228; lillypulitzer.com

Kimono sleeves, a bold print, and a breathable rayon blend together make this the perfect summer wedding guest dress.

Women's Balloon Long Sleeve Tiered Dress in Lilac

Women's Balloon Long Sleeve Tiered Dress in Lilac
Target

BUY IT: $30; target.com

Look effortlessly put together in this pretty throw-on-and-go pick.

Beautybatik Women Hand-Blocked Cotton Caftan

Beautybatik Women Hand Blocked Cotton Caftan
Amazon

BUY IT: $41; amazon.com

This sunny 100%-cotton caftan comes in 25 different colors and patterns.

Frey Maxi Cover Up

Frey Maxi Cover Up Dress
Lilly Pulitzer

BUY IT: $148; lillypulitzer.com

With the high slit and sheer fabric, this one isn't really designed to be worn beyond the beach or the pool—though we wouldn't blame you for trying.

Bsubseach Women Stylish Beach Shirt Dress

Bsubseach Women Beach Shirt Dress in Coral Print
Amazon

BUY IT: $25; amazon.com

Hello, vacation uniform! We can't get enough of this fun coral print. Plus, it has pockets.

Roller Rabbit Berrino Sorona Camp Collar Long Sleeve Printed Dress

Berrino Sorona Camp Collar Long Sleeve Printed Dress
Dillard's

BUY IT: $198; dillards.com

It's all about the details in this adorable cotton frock, from the camp collar to the cuffed sleeves and the tiered skirt.

R.Vivimos Women's Long Sleeve Floral Print Retro V Neck Tassel Bohemian Midi Dresses

R Vivimos Boho Tassel Dress
Amazon

BUY IT: from $23; amazon.com

If the dress fits ... buy it in every color! This Instagram influencer favorite comes in 43 patterns and colorways, so there's no shortage of vacation-worthy options.

Jessica Simpson Batik Babe Long Swim Cover Up Dress

Jessica Simpson Batik Babe Long Swim Cover Up
Dillard's

BUY IT: $88; dillards.com

Because you can never, ever go wrong with blue and white.

Somerset Maxi Dress

Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress
Anthropologie

BUY IT: $168; anthropologie.com

This pick is especially versatile: Wear it over your swimsuit this summer, or pair it with leather slides as an easy day dress this fall.

Flutter-Sleeve Caftan Dress in Tropical Vacation

Madewell Flutter Sleeve Caftan Dress in Tropical Vacation
Madewell

BUY IT: $98; madewell.com

Dress for the destination in this tropical flora-patterned frock.

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