If you’re planning (or have already booked) your summer beach holiday for next year, take note – the must-have garment for the beach these days is the kaftan.
Sales of beachwear in the UK have been increasing for the last few years as our holiday wardrobes evolve beyond the old T-shirt and pair of shorts. It’s now no longer enough to have a gorgeous swimsuit or bikini; you need the matching cover up as well.
Or could this be a sign that we are finally learning to cover up in the sun?
Online swim and beachwear retailer Coco Bay says kaftans are now the number one product on the website, overtaking even the most popular bikini.
‘We have seen a big change in customers’ shopping habits,’ says Belinda Robinson, co-founder of Coco Bay. ‘It used to be just about having the right bikini but now customers are looking for the whole beach wardrobe including sarongs, beach dresses, sun hats and, most of all, cover-ups.’
Belinda believes that the popularity of Australian swimwear brands in the UK might be one reason for the growing trend.
‘Many of the top international swimwear designers including Seafolly, Baku and Jets come from Australia and are therefore predominantly designing with the Australian woman in mind who is only too aware of the sun’s dangers and likes to cover-up stylishly.
‘As a result we are seeing some stunning and affordable designer beach outerwear flooding into the UK market giving our customers lots more choice.’
And then there’s the whole beach-to-bar concept, where you sun yourself on the beach all day and then throw on a glamorous cover up and go straight to the bar for cocktails at sunset. Well, that’s the theory anyway, and to pull it off you need more than your tatty old shorts and Tee.
It helps that a lot of current beachwear collections are designed to mix and match with swimwear so it’s easy to put a stylish outfit together. And there’s no doubt about it – the right beachwear can give you a real confidence boost.
Feeling the need to invest in a kaftan for your next holiday? Here are some of our picks for the best of the beach.