Kudos to the kaftan

How are you spending your Australia Day? I’m stuck at work, but in my mind I’m enjoying our great outdoors, on a beach, with a picnic blanket and a delicious spread that includes lamingtons (fortunately there’s an Australia Day lunch at the office and lamingtons are on the menu, so at least I get to enjoy that aspect of our national holiday!).
If I were actually on holiday, things would probably look like this… 

…and I’d be wearing something like this (not an Australian flag bikini in sight!).

I found this mini kaftan at the MS op shop for $4 but it would be easy to make one as it’s just a big circle of fabric with a hole for the head and a bit of stitching up the sides (and an irresistible ethnic print!). 

Kaftans make a great cover-up for the beach – in this case, the back beach at Sorrento – as they are so easy to slip on and off. I of course also slopped on sunscreen and slid on sunglasses, and recommend slapping on a hat too, although I personally much prefer my umbrella (because then I don’t have to seek shade, as it’s always with me!).

A kaftan is also handy on a holiday when you want to travel light – just add some accessories and it can take you from a day at the seaside to a stylish soiree. 

This isn’t strictly a kaftan, but same same… it’s a huge chiffon T-shirt I got at the Sacred Heart Mission op shop for $10. Kind of expensive, but then it is actually designer gear (Jimmy D, a New Zealand brand).

 I realise chiffon won’t do much to protect you against the sun, but it kind of does the trick when it’s more your modesty you want to preserve. And it works so well for evening wear!

I had been thinking of making all kinds of adjustments to this baggy garment to give it more shape, but as I was umming and aahing in front of the mirror, I worked out a solution that was just right (unlike my face which is all squinty from the sun – these shots were taken during the hideous heatwave recently!).

Can you see what I did? This is SUCH an easy DIY that I feel condescending even telling you – all I did was knot the hem at each side seam. Doing that makes the hemline look a bit more fitted and not so floaty (compare it with the “beach” pictures above). Plus, it’s not a permanent alteration so you can reverse it if you don’t like it or to want to wear the T-shirt loose, or tucked into a skirt or pants. And if you’re feeling really fancy, you could loop a tassel into each knot – how about silver or gold tassels for an evening out, with matching ones as earrings or in your hair? Who knew a huge T-shirt could be so versatile – and flattering?…

… after all, in something like this, no one’s going to know how many lamingtons you’ve eaten!