"You know what I think?" my friend said as she reached over to steal a truffle fry from my plate, ignoring my narrowed eyes and biting into it thoughtfully. We were about to talk summer trends for 2015, which meant things were about to get serious. I put my fork down, giving her my undivided attention. Well, sort of. I still side-eyed the key lime pie, but in a politely discreet way. "This is going to be the fashion world's summer of comfort," she continued "and I for one am completely on board with it." Stealing a sip of her cocktail to make up for her theft, I nodded in agreement. There won't be any protests coming from this corner if she's right.
In a year where sweatpants became fancy, white sneakers replaced heels during Fashion Weeks, and silhouettes took a turn towards the baggy and shapeless with tent dresses and wide leg culottes, one could argue that we clearly have someone working on the inside that has our best interests in mind. They took the bold move during a board meeting in Paris (I'd imagine) to suggest undoing waistlines, adding extra yards of delicate cloth, and letting trapped legs in tight pants run free. That or they themselves were tired of hurting their feet in lethal stilettos, too. Whichever it was, I'm thankful.
Skinny jeans now seem outdated, what with them being replaced with loose wide-leg or bell bottom shapes. Bandage dresses are nothing but a cringe-y memory, and it's near to impossible to find a tube top dress nowadays. Instead, shift dresses, shell tops, and minimalist shirt dresses are taking over display windows, promising days filled with no fuss and complete simplicity and ease.
We got bored of pouring ourselves into claustrophobia-inducing toddler-sized pieces, and instead, crave movement and comfort. We want something that would flirt with the wind and dance around our ankles; something that'll swish all dramatic-like with a sweep of an arm, letting us pretend we're Norma Desmond pouring vermouth from a decanter on Sunset Boulevard, ready for our close up.
That's exactly why I'm going to make this the summer of the caftan. I'm going to be all about that comfort — anything that tries to bind and cinch is automatically off of my radar. I'm going to slip on one of the wildly patterned dresses — all but popping and fizzing with its tangerine and azure, its lemon yellow and fuchsia — and pretend I'm an aging Old Hollywood starlet out in Palm Springs. I'll pad around barefoot on my shag carpet, my hair set in curlers underneath my silk scarf, pouring myself a gin and tonic at 10 in the morning. Maybe I'll even wear my cat eye sunglasses indoors. And no one will bat an eye because, hello, I'm wearing a caftan and anything goes in one of those.
I got the idea when I heard Christina Hendricks talking about an upcoming birthday last year on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Instead of going out in a fussy gown somewhere that has marble floors and requires red lipstick and a pair of Spanx, she instead decided to celebrate in style in caftans and with casseroles. That was the theme: Comfort clothes and comfort food, surrounded with best friends and well wishes. Now that's something I can get down with.
Oh yes, this is most definitely going to be the summer of the caftan. But even though the fashion world is taking a more relaxed, easygoing approach towards its clothes this season, it's interesting to see that the same magazines that boast roomy shirt dresses also continue to push intimidatingly trim bodies. So while just about every magazine on the news rack is practically spazzing itself out with "urgent" calls to squat your way to your "best bikini body yet," I say — meh — you keep your four pack abs. And I'll keep my four pack of cupcakes.
Now don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that the reason I'm opting for swishy dresses is because I don't think you can eat a party platter of pastries and then go out in shorts. Absolutely not; head out in whatever makes you feel gorgeous and confident. But there is something to say about stepping out in something that lets you breath and doesn't moonlight as a modern-day corset in disguise. Especially after said party platter of pastries has been conquered.
So my mind has been made up: This summer I'll be pouring myself a ladies-who-lunch amount of champagne, will be putting on my most flowy, most bohemian caftan dress, and heading over to Christina's house for some leftover casserole.
We'll save you a seat in case you can make it.
Images: Fotolia; Giphy (2)