3 Things: Caftans (and Jon Hamm, but mostly Caftans…)

Elizabeth Taylor Caftan 3 Things: Caftans (and Jon Hamm, but mostly Caftans...)

Today I bring an obsession of mine to all of you: to be judged, praised or scoffed. I submit to you all, the Caftan.

I’m not sure if my years-long love of caftans surfaced because of their comfort, my advancing age and girth, or just because I think they are so darn chic. I do know that the caftan first appeared in Mesopotamia, some 600 years before Christ. Since then, it’s never really been gone from the fashion pages, or stone tablets.

The 60’s really spawned the caftan revival by most accounts. The hippies tended toward Moroccan robes while Joan Crawford, Jacqueline Bissett and, more famously, Elizabeth Taylor glammed it up in silk chiffons and flowy, sparkly bits. It segued into the 70’s and 80’s (check out Studio 54 pics!) and the Bianca Jaggers and Joan Collins-even Queen Elizabeth wore a regally purple one!

Liz Taylor Caftan 3 Things: Caftans (and Jon Hamm, but mostly Caftans...)

Today, everyone from the Olsen twins to JLo has taken a turn with the iconic dress, with celebs and regular folks wearing them on the beach everywhere from Malibu to St. Tropez. I saw Social Media postings from busy working moms and fashion influencers wearing or professing their love of caftans. Christina Hendricks reportedly has winter caftans, summer caftans, home caftans and dress caftans. I heard she even has caftan parties!

Speaking of the Mad Men star, I had drinks with Mr. Jon Hamm himself wearing a caftan that I made! So there’s a story.

My husband and I were sitting in a dark corner of a neighborhood cocktail parlor (the sort where I feel comfortable wearing my hot pink floral silk number), when Mr. Don Draper himself walked through the doors with a couple of young ladies. This thing happens sometimes when you live in Hollywood. What doesn’t usually happen, then happened: Jon Hamm sat himself down in the chair at our table, directly across from my hubs and me. He grabbed our knees and told us how gorgeous we both were (we’re ok, but I think it was my caftan that sold us). What followed was conversation about hometowns, music and words that this fan girl won’t soon forget. He offered to pick up our tab but we declined. Seriously, that little visit was more than enough. And no, I didn’t ask for a photo.

Make your own caftan 3 Things: Caftans (and Jon Hamm, but mostly Caftans...)Good enough for Don Draper, good enough for me!

As if all that weren’t enough to hard sell the caftan, I’ve realized that caftans are so very easy to make at home. Seriously, it’s basically two straight seams and some hemming. I can barely make a pillowcase, but this is SEW simple!

So, that’s my argument in favor of the caftan. I recommend a bright color, as they tend to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and Mad Men. Which brings us to this week’s 3 Things…

1. Are caftans for you? Yay or Nay? If yay, do you prefer the casual cover-up caftan or the glamorous evening, cocktail wear?
Clearly, yay, for me. I’ve made a casual cover-up that I’ve been known to wear to brunch, home, and the pool, as well as the aforementioned hot pink floral silk. Both seem entirely necessary.

2. What’s the most iconic caftan of them all?
Elizabeth Taylor had a closet full of caftans but I remember her Pucci print and lavender jersey ones best…also there was a green one with gold sequins…just, Elizabeth. No one did it better!

3. What would YOU wear to have a casual chat with Jon Hamm?
Been there, done that. A silk caftan!

Your turn, weheartsters! Cut and paste the following into the comments and tell us these 3 Things:
1. Are caftans for you? Yay or Nay?
2. What’s the most iconic caftan of them all?
3. What would YOU wear to have a casual chat with Jon Hamm?

Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room: My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and of course, a wht writer!
skin tone: NC 25
skin type: oily/sensitive
favorite beauty product: anti-aging anything

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Written by sherrishera


  1. Amity

    Um, this is basically the best story EVER!

    1. Are caftans for you? Yay or Nay? I actually don’t have any caftans, but I feel that I am very caftan-adjacent with kimonos and slinky robes. Does that count?

    2. What’s the most iconic caftan of them all? Mrs. Roper from 3’s Company was a bad ass B in her caftans.

    3. What would YOU wear to have a casual chat with Jon Hamm? A giant, nervous smile and a lot of alcohol, most likely.

    1. Profile photo of sherrishera

      Yes, it is the Best Story Ever! I’ll be telling it for all eternity. I’d actually sort-of met him a few times before (at work) but my interaction was short and it was all professional. I’m sure he had no recollection of me on this night. I wasn’t even so much phased when he first arrived and walked by us. I was very much phased when he left his party to invite himself to our table. We (hubs and I) played it cool–even suggesting his friends were lonely when they started calling after him, and even saying our goodbyes and leaving first. My cool cover is totally blown, however, if he ever reads this!
      And yes, I find Kimonos are just another culture’s word for caftan. I think every culture has a word for “amazingly versatile, comfortable and fashionable robe-dress.”
      I did think of Mrs. Roper when I wrote this but I kind of feel she crossed the line to mumu/housecoat. In any case, iconic for sure.

  2. Profile photo of turboterp

    1. Are caftans for you? Yay or Nay?
    I’ve never owned a caftan, but after seeing how adorable you look in yours, obviously that must change now! I want to make one out of something bright and/or sparkly. Thanks for the sewing lesson!
    2. What’s the most iconic caftan of them all? After that story, your caftan wins the prize, @sherrishera!
    3. What would YOU wear to have a casual chat with Jon Hamm? I’m not sure, but there would definitely be a goofy look on my face.

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