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November 19, 2010


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Leah Wagner

Oh my! The precursor to the caftan maybe?? Or I guess that still came first....

Love it!


FIDM Museum


You're on the right track in linking this garment to the caftan and its cousins--lounge robes, nightgowns, house dresses, etc., all those garments used to manage that time when you're somewhere between dressed and undressed.

What I find most striking about this example is the eye-popping pattern! Love the color and the re-use of an older trim at the cuffs, collar and closure.


would the Caftan have come more from the Galabeeyah and similar gowns from the Middle East? The adoption of other dress forms during visits abroad?


how wide is the trim down the front of the dress?

FIDM Museum

Hi Raydeen,

The Greek key trim is about 3 3/8" wide.

Caftans are definitely related to traditional garments from the Middle East, including the jellabiya and similar garments. In the comment above, I was referring to caftans as they're worn in Western dress, which is usually a loose robe worn for informal occasions. Though the origins of the caftan might be different, its function in the Western wardrobe is similar to that of the cotton wrapper pictured here.

Hope that helps! Please leave a comment if you have any more questions.

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